February 27, 2024

John Kelly listens to US President Donald Trump.

Kevin Lamarque | Reuters

During his tenure as president, Donald Trump once praised Nazi leader Adolf Hitler during a conversation with then-chief of staff of the White House, General John Kelly, a new book says.

“Well, Hitler did a lot of good things,” Trump told Kelly during an official visit to Europe in 2018 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, according to the Michael Bender book, “Frankly, we did this Election won. “

The Guardian newspaper, which received a copy of the book, reported that Trump made the positive comment about Hitler during an “impromptu history lesson” in which the retired Marine Corps general “reminded the president of which countries were on which side during the conflict stood “and described how the First World War led to the” Second World War and all of Hitler’s atrocities “.

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Tens of millions of people died in World War II, in which the United States, the Soviet Union, Great Britain and other allied powers fought against the Axis powers Germany, Italy and Japan.

Among the dead were millions of Jews and others who were exterminated in German concentration camps.

The report comes more than 30 years after Vanity Fair magazine quoted a claim by Trump’s first wife Ivana Trump that he kept a book of Hitler’s speeches by his bed.

Trump said Hitler also “did a lot of good,” Kelly told Kelly that the German economy recovered in the 1930s under the Nazi dictator, according to the Guardian report.

But Kelly is supposed to have said, even if that were true: “You can never say something that Adolf Hitler supports. You just can’t.”

Trump’s spokeswoman Liz Harrington denied the report on the book in a statement on Wednesday.

“That’s totally wrong,” said Harrington.

“President Trump never said that. It’s fake news, probably from a general who was incompetent and was fired,” Harrington said of Kelly.

Kelly did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Trump’s White House rejected an earlier report on the same trip that he had skipped a planned visit to an American cemetery near Paris that contains the bodies of U.S. soldiers who died during World War I after the Had told staff, “Why should I go to this cemetery? ? It’s full of losers. “

Trump announced in late 2018 that Kelly, who was previously his Secretary of Homeland Security, would resign as chief of staff at the end of the year. In the months leading up to his departure, Kelly had clashed with Trump, other White House staff and then-first lady Melania Trump.

Vanity Fair magazine reported in 1990 that Ivana Trump had told her lawyer that Donald Trump occasionally “reads a book of Hitler’s collected speeches, ‘My New Order,’ which he keeps in a closet next to his bed.”

When the Vanity Fair reporter asked Trump himself if Trump’s cousin had given him the book, the magazine reported that “Trump hesitated.”

“Who told you that?” Trump asked according to the magazine.

Trump then said, “Actually, it was my friend Marty Davis at Paramount who gave me a copy of Mein Kampf, and he’s a Jew.”

Davis told Vanity Fair, “I gave him a book about Hitler … but it was ‘My New Order’, Hitler’s speeches, not ‘Mein Kampf’.”

“I thought he’d find it interesting,” said Davis. “I’m his friend, but I’m not a Jew.”

Trump told the magazine, “If I had these speeches and I don’t say I do, I would never read them.”