Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee is taking heat for calling incoming White House Chief of Staff John Kelly an “extremist” who supposedly is poised to help President Trump militarize the White House.
Lee, of California, made the charge late Friday in response to Trump’s decision to put the Homeland Security secretary and retired general in charge of his West Wing team.
“By putting Gen John Kelly in charge, Pres Trump is militarizing the White House & putting our executive branch in the hands of an extremist,” she said.
But Sean Spicer, Trump’s former press secretary who resigned a week before Kelly was announced as Reince Priebus’ replacement, fired back on Twitter.
“Not only is this wrong, it's offensive on multiple levels,” he wrote.
Kelly is being sworn in Monday. His selection drew widespread praise elsewhere on Capitol Hill.
On CNN over the weekend, Lee stood by her remarks, claiming she was referring to Kelly’s role at DHS pursuing the deportation of “innocent” people, a border wall, the “Muslim ban” and other policies she called “extreme.”