Donald Trump gave a lengthy interview to The New York Times, a news publication he has repeatedly referred to as “fake news” throughout his presidency. After saying for several years now that The Times lies about him, he sat and told them repeated lies he wanted printed.
For instance, Trump tried to change the narrative around former Defense Secretary James Mattis by saying that he didn’t choose to resign, Trump actually fired him. During his interview with The New York Times, Trump said:
‘So I wasn’t happy with Mattis. I told Mattis to give me a letter. He didn’t just give me that letter. I told him. And you could have seen that on “60 Minutes.” I did “60 Minutes” and Lesley Stahl asked me a question: “What do you think of General Mattis?”
"Mr. Trump seemed relaxed and confident as he sought to make his case, distributing handouts including, at one point, printed copies of two tweets sent out in his name even as he was speaking with his visitors." https://t.co/WTyVyNIwKN
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) February 1, 2019
Mattis quite famously quit in spectacular fashion after Trump announced, with no warning to his advisors or allied leaders, that he would be pulling out of Syria. The “letter” Trump is referring to was a shocker, Mattis blasted Trump’s decision to kowtow to enemies and abandon allies. It happened in full view, but Trump tried to say that it didn’t happen the way everyone saw it happen.
”I just — I didn’t like the job he was doing. I wasn’t happy with it. I wasn’t happy with the — I got him more money than the military has ever seen before. And I wasn’t happy with the job that he was doing at all. And I said it’s time.
‘That’s why in the letter he wrote, “You have to have your own choice.” The reason he said that was because I said, “You’re just not my choice.”’
Trump: “I’m sort of entitled to a great story — just one, from my newspaper…I ran against very smart people — a lot of ‘em. I just sorta think I’m entitled to a great story in the New York Times.”
Entitled. About sums it up.https://t.co/NANAtEXTr5
— Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) February 1, 2019
‘One core belief I have always held is that our strength as a nation is inextricably linked to the strength of our unique and comprehensive system of alliances and partnerships. While the US remains the indispensable nation in the free world, we cannot protect our interests or serve that role effectively without maintaining strong alliances and showing respect to those allies.
Breaking News: Angry over a rebuke by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, President Trump told administration officials that he would force Mattis out by Jan. 1 https://t.co/lm7IAXQ3Q4
— The New York Times (@nytimes) December 23, 2018
It took Trump several days after the letter’s release to try and change the narrative around it, saying that he essentially fired him. No one believed him then and no one believes him now.
Mattis had a serious warning for Trump, one that he still has not needed.
‘My views on treating allies with respect and also being clear-eyed about both malign actors and strategic competitors are strongly held and informed by over four decades of immersion in these issues. We must do everything possible to advance an international order that is most conducive to our security, prosperity and values, and we are strengthened in this effort by the solidarity of our alliances.’
— The New York Times (@nytimes) February 1, 2019