A daily roundup of the biggest stories in right-wing media.
Conservatives praised the speech that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly gave defending President Trump’s remarks to the widow of an American soldier killed earlier this month in Niger. National Review’s Rich Lowry called Kelly’s speech “moving, impressive, [and] highly informative.” Hot Air’s Allahpundit called it “one of the most effective damage-control performances you’ll ever see”:
POTUS couldn’t have asked for more from him to end the controversy over what he said to Sgt. La David Johnson’s widow. Kelly *is* angry — at Rep. Frederica Wilson, not at Trump, for listening in on Trump’s condolence call and then using it as a political bludgeon. (Kelly himself was listening in, actually, according to Sarah Huckabee Sanders.) And Trump only said what Kelly advised him to say, Kelly adds. The idea that Johnson “knew what he signed up for” was merely to suggest that he was with his comrades, serving his country and doing what he loved, when he was killed. He died nobly among those who cared for him. That’s all Trump meant. Kelly even goes so far as to note that he advised Trump *not* to call families of the fallen, as presidents don’t routinely do it and it wasn’t done when his son died (which, he stressed in noting it, was no criticism of Obama). Trump was actually going beyond the call of duty, per Kelly’s own conception of that duty. What more could he have said to protect POTUS here?
RedState’s Jon Street noted that Kelly’s comments seemed to be at odds with Trump’s own words. “[W]hile Kelly’s presser does answer some questions, it raises one more,” he wrote. “Why did President Trump say that he never told the widow that her late husband ‘knew what he signed up for’ when his own Chief of Staff confirmed as much on Thursday?”
In other news:
Multiple outlets ran posts on Playboy announcing the selection of its first transgender playmate. “Who would have thought we’d actually come to miss Hugh Hefner,” NewsBusters’ Matt Philbin wrote. “The old libertine’s PJs are barely cold and the magazine he founded to showcase nude women has turned to showcasing … nude sort-of women.” In a post titled, “Playboy Magazine Features Transgender Woman With ‘Seductive’ Raspy Voice,” the Daily Caller’s Grace Carr surveyed reactions to the news on social media:
When I open a Playboy, I expect to see women, not some guy who identifies as a woman, or some former male who has had the surgery to become female,” wrote one reader on the Playboy’s Facebook page. [...]
Parents are also expressing concern about what their kids might think of the magazine spread. “I just don’t want my kids confused,” wrote a mother on Facebook. “It’s also a parent’s responsibility to guide and teach their kids at an early age … Males have male parts and females have female parts! Sorry!”