As President Donald Trump doubled down on his claim that “both sides” were to blame for the deadly violence at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville in a speech on Tuesday, White House Chief of Staff Gen. John Kelly folded his arms and appeared to hang his head — and Twitter noticed.
During the press conference at Trump Tower, originally billed as being about infrastructure, the president said there were “a lot of bad people in the other group too,” in reference to the anti-racist protesters demonstrating against the rally, one of whom, 32-year-old Heather Heyer, was killed when a driver rammed his car into a group of the counter-protesters.
Trump also stated there were “very fine people” on both sides, including those participating in the white nationalist rally. “Not all of those people were neo-Nazis. Not all of those people were white supremacists by any stretch,” he said.
Kelly looked visibly uncomfortable as he stared at the ground during the questioning from reporters, a 260-second video of which was shared on Twitter by NBC.
Social media users wasted no time in turning Kelly’s reaction into a meme and commenting that he represented a majority of Americans when listening to Trump.
“John Kelly looks like 68% of America today,” one Twitter user captioned Kelly with his head down.
“John Kelly is all of us today,” another wrote. “Get out while you still can, pal!”
Kelly, a retired U.S. Marine general, has been called Trump’s “last hope” to bring order to the White House staff by political commentators and is seen as a moderating influence. He replaced Reince Priebus as White House Chief of Staff last month.