Screengrab via Fox News

In a Fox News interview, John Kelly said he thought an investigation was needed into funding from Hillary Clinton's campaign and the DNC for the research behind the Trump/Russia dossier, and Clinton's involvement in the Uranium One deal.

"The American people really do have a right to know what their government does… have a right to know what their government is doing on any given day, and by this same token what private citizens are doing if they break the law," he said.

Russia probe

Kelly said he thought Robert Mueller's Russia investigation "should wrap up soon," and attempted to distance President Trump from any wrongdoing by the three men for whom indictments were announced Monday.

Monuments

Kelly was also asked about the removal of monuments to prominent slaveowners like George Washington and Robert E. Lee. He said it was wrong to apply modern standard to past actions, citing Christopher Columbus as an example.

"Robert E. Lee was an honorable man. He was a man who gave up his country to fight for his state," he said, adding that lessons had to be learned from history, including that "the lack of an ability to compromise led to the Civil War."

Worth noting: The obvious counterpoint here is that slavery led to the Civil War, and Lee's army was fighting to preserve slavery.

Gold Star widow

Kelly condemned the "politicization" of Trump's conversation with the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson, who was killed in Niger. He said he would not apologize to Rep. Fredrica Wilson, despite having mischaracterized statements she made.

Trump's Asia trip
  • Kelly said North Korea is "coming close" to having an ICBM that can successfully strike the U.S. mainland.
  • On China: "They beat us in trade, but that doesn't make them the enemy... they're another world power."

Why it matters: As Peter Baker noted in a recent NY Times piece, Kelly was until recently viewed as a fairly apolitical figure. With comments like these, that's clearly no longer the case.

Go deeper

59 mins ago - Sports

Pac-12 football players threaten coronavirus opt-out

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

A group of Pac-12 football players have threatened to opt out of the season unless the conference addresses systemic inequities and concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: College football players have never had more leverage than they do right now, as the sport tries to stage a season amid the pandemic. And their willingness to use it shows we've entered a new age in college sports.

Betting on inflation is paying off big for investors

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The specter of rising inflation is helping power assets like gold, silver and Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS) to strong returns with record demand this year.

The big picture: Investors continue to pack in even as inflation metrics like the consumer price index (CPI) and personal consumption expenditure (PCE) index have remained anchored.

Scoop: Top CEOs urge Congress to help small businesses

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

With a new coronavirus relief measure stalled in Congress, CEOs of some of the world's biggest companies have banded together to send a message to Washington: Get money to small businesses now!

Why it matters: "By Labor Day, we foresee a wave of permanent closures if the right steps are not taken soon," warns the letter, organized by Howard Schultz and signed by more than 100 CEOs.