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what does "held the special trust and confidence" mean?

 

Clifton had swiftly adjusted to the transition. His reasoning was clear. As a general he held the "special trust and confidence" of the President. The occupant of the Presidency had changed, and Clifton had to change, too. His duty was to the office, not to the man. Following a talk with Valenti and Thornberry he functioned as President Johnson's military aide. Meanwhile McHugh, who felt otherwise, was building up steam. The conflict had become irreconcilable. The Kennedy party, on the one hand, believed that Air Force One's chief passenger was their fallen leader; since he could not give them orders, they looked to Mrs. Kennedy, who shared their feeling that they must quit Dallas, and who was bewildered by the delay. The attitude of the Johnson party, on the other hand, was summed up by Youngblood, who drew Lem Johns aside during the turmoil and emphatically told him, "When the boss says we go, then we go."

For learning: English
Base language: English
Category: Language

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    The use of the words 'special trust and confidence' here, have the same meaning as their literal dictionary meaning. So 'special trust' means different/distinct trust, or trust in high regard. Confidence here means a belief in someone (or themselves) to succeed. The use of the word 'held' means the general 'had'. 'of the president' means the president is the one who places special trust and confidence in the general. So put together, you could say this all means the president has special trust and confidence the general. The general 'has' or 'holds' this special trust and confidence. I hope this helps you!

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