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[Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly:] My shut-up comment: the one thing sir, with all due respect, that is different between certainly my experience in the U.S. military and my experience now is that the men and women in the U.S. military, you can throw rocks or criticize, and God knows we deserve some criticism-- senior military officers-- you can criticize the policy of what they're trying to execute in the world. But the one thing that we never hear, from certainly this institution, is criticism of the rank-and-file men and women that put their lives on the line in the U.S. military every day. You never hear that.

In this job, all I heard day in and day out: Nazis, storm troop tactics, prejudice about the men and women- the foot soldiers, if you will, that stand on our border or inside our country and protect it. And I would just ask that: criticize me, criticize the Trump policies, but please recognize that my men and women are doing the same kind of thing day in and day out as our military men and women are in the sense-- give them a break, and that's what the shut-up comment was about.
Department of Homeland Security - Budget Hearing (Washington: U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, May 24, 2017) <https://appropriations.house.gov/calendararchive/eventsingle.aspx?EventID=394881>.