When President Trump gave a shout out to chief of staff John Kelly during his fiery, wide-ranging campaign-style rally Tuesday evening, social media had a bit of fun imagining what the retired Marine general was doing when he didn't when Trump beckoned.
"Where is John? Where is Gen. Kelly? Get him out here. He's great. He's doing a great job," Trump said to cheers. The nearly one-and-a-half-hour speech touched on a number of issues; Trump notably spent roughly 25 minutes lambasting the media.
Kelly, who was sworn in as chief of staff at the end of July after serving as Trump's homeland security secretary, has been seen as a stabilizing force within an oftentimes chaotic White House. But the mitigation that Kelly reportedly provides hasn't tamed Trump when the president speaks off the cuff.
Last week, Trump issued a third set of comments on the violence in Charlottesville, Va., during an impromptu press conference at Trump Tower, doubling back to his original statement, pinning blame on "both sides" and not singling out neo-Nazi and white supremacy groups. Kelly was in attendance, and his stern expression became a viral sensation for a day.
As Kelly made no move to appear on stage with Trump in Phoenix, Twitter users began to speculate why Kelly did not answer Trump's call.