Donald Trump’s decision to make his first appearance as president on 60 Minutes with Lesley Stahl did not go well for him. Ranting, fact-free statements rarely play well when an interviewer doesn’t lob softball, Fox News questions with no follow-up.
The entire interview was startling considering that it’s the president of the United States making these statements, but perhaps most confusing and unhinged came during questions about Secretary of Defense James Mattis, who many speculate was the writer of that infamous op-ed declaring that a resistance effort had been informed inside Trump’s administration to tamper the president’s ability to implement crazy policies.
A Justice Department spokesperson says AG Jeff Sessions is not the author of the NYT op-ed. He joins VP Mike Pence, Sec. of State Mike Pompeo, Sec. of Defense James Mattis, DHS head Kirstjen Nielsen, and DNI chief Dan Coats in denying the op-ed was theirs https://t.co/A9OkA66jwZ
— CNN (@CNN) September 6, 2018
Stahl asked if the rumors of Mattis’ plans to leave the administration were true. Trump answered:
‘Well, I don’t know. He hasn’t told me that…I have a very good relationship with him. I had lunch with him two days ago. I have a very good relationship with him. It could be that he is. I think he’s sort of a Democrat, if you want to know the truth. But General Mattis is a good guy. We get along very well. He may leave. I mean, at some point, everybody leaves. Everybody. People leave. That’s Washington.’
Yes, you read that correctly. Trump, who seemed somewhat frustrated by the question, accused the longtime military general and Republican “sort of a Democrat.”
“I think he's sort of a Democrat, if you want to know the truth," Trump said when asked if Mattis could depart the administration soon. https://t.co/Wb9NFs2PHx
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) October 14, 2018
Asked further questions about the unprecedented turnover rate in his administration, Trump bristled:
‘Fake news…I’m changing things around. And I’m entitled to. I have people now on standby that will be phenomenal. They’ll come into the administration, they’ll be phenomena.’
Trump says Mattis hasn’t told him he’s leaving but that “I think he’s sort of a Democrat.” pic.twitter.com/07953jSrqE
— Kevin Liptak (@Kevinliptakcnn) October 14, 2018
Mattis, of course, has made entirely contradictory statements to Trump’s publicly and insists he did not pen that infamous op-ed.
‘Mattis dismissed reports last month that he was planning on leaving in the near future. His status in the administration was called into question following the publication of on the Trump presidency, and an anonymous op-ed in the New York Times that detailed a resistance-style effort to undermine the president’s authority. denied Mattis was the author of the article.’
Trump: Jim Mattis 'sort of a Democrat' and could quit as defense secretary soon https://t.co/CJb9p8uDLP
— The Guardian (@guardian) October 14, 2018
Featured image screenshot via YouTube