White House says former chief of staff John Kelly took protest D.C. license plates off Trump limo

Limos used by President Trump no longer have license plates bearing the District of Columbia’s unofficial motto, “End Taxation Without Representation.”

The change to plain plates was made quietly in August 2018 by then–White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, a White House official told the New York Post.

It’s unclear why Kelly ordered the plates removed, and whether Trump was even aware of the decision. The ex–chief of staff told the newspaper he “has no idea” what the White House is talking about in citing his role.

The issue of D.C. statehood has roiled the capital city’s residents for decades. Though they vote and pay federal taxes, Washingtonians have no representation in the Senate and only one nonvoting member in the House of Representatives.

Support for D.C. statehood has historically fallen along partisan lines, with Democrats generally in favor of granting representation to the city, and Republicans balking.

Presidents of both parties have weighed in on the matter in the form of presidential plates.

Bill Clinton first put them on shortly before he left office; they were later removed by George W. Bush. President Obama restored the plates in 2013 — and D.C. blogs noticed when President Trump appeared to have elected to keep them throughout 2017.

Trump has sent mixed messages on the issue. In a 2015 interview he said he was in favor of doing “whatever is good for the District of Columbia because I love the people.” A year later he told the Washington Post editorial board that he had no position on the matter and that the issue was “a tough thing for D.C.”

“The quote on our license plates — ‘Taxation Without Representation’ — is a constant reminder … that over 700,000 American citizens living in the Capitol have no voting representation in Congress,” D.C.’s long-serving House delegate, Eleanor Holmes Norton, told the New York Post.

A previous version of this report appeared at NYPost.com.

Source: Read Full Article