John Kelly was supposed to bring credibility to the White House. He failed.

Finally, he adopted—or maybe revealed that he shared—Trump’s contempt for democratic institutions. In a speech at George Washington University in April, Kelly lambasted congressional critics of the crackdown on once-protected DACA children, saying that “they should shut up and support the men and women on the front lines.” At a press conference in August 2017, he took questions only from reporters who knew Gold Star families, saying, “We don’t look down upon those of you that haven’t served,” but “we’re a little bit sorry for you, because you’ll never have experienced the wonderful joy you get in your heart when you do the kinds of things our servicemen and women do.”

When Rep. Frederica Wilson, a Florida Democrat, criticized Trump for his insensitive phone call to a constituent whose husband had been killed in battle, Kelly denounced her as an “empty barrel” and told a story about a self-serving speech she’d given at the dedication of an FBI building—a story that a video of her speech revealed was false. Kelly never corrected the record. When a reporter asked White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders about the contradiction, Sanders said it was “highly inappropriate” to question a four-star general. Kelly never dissociated himself from that absurd statement either—though others did. Another retired four-star general, David Petraeus, said on a weekend talk show, “We in uniform protect the rights of others to criticize us.”