Considering the high turnover rate in the White House, it doesn’t seem like many of the dozens of people who’ve left have done so with kind feelings for President Trump. Former aides and advisors like Anthony Scaramucci and Omarosa Manigault-Newman have publicly denounced the president and even wrote a book about their chaotic time in government.
When a man with the gravitas of Gen. James Mattis attacks the administration, however, people are going to listen. Following the events on Monday in which peaceful protesters in Washington D.C. were tear gassed, shot with rubber bullets, and beaten to clear the way for a Trump photo op, Mattis had a few things to say.
In a statement printed in The Atlantic, Mattis said:
‘I have watched this week’s unfolding events, angry and appalled. The words “Equal Justice Under Law” are carved in the pediment of the United States Supreme Court. This is precisely what protesters are rightly demanding. It is a wholesome and unifying demand—one that all of us should be able to get behind. We must not be distracted by a small number of lawbreakers. The protests are defined by tens of thousands of people of conscience who are insisting that we live up to our values—our values as people and our values as a nation. We must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution.’
While the “after Trump” book that Mattis wrote focuses on his time in the military and in public offense, his time as secretary of defense under Donald Trump is notably absent. Mattis has preferred to remain private and to be diplomatic about what he witnessed in the White House, declining to say anything negative about Trump. After Monday, that appears to have changed.
‘Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people—does not even pretend to try. Instead, he tries to divide us. We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. We can unite without him, drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society. This will not be easy, as the past few days have shown, but we owe it to our fellow citizens; to past generations that bled to defend our promise; and to our children.’
Two things to make clear: Trump did not fire Mattis; he resigned. A very public resignation letter is available for anyone to read online. Second, Trump did not give Jim Mattis the nickname “Mad Dog.” He’s had that nickname for at least 16 years and it was given to him by the press.
Maybe the lies are why people, and especially the people he works with, don’t like him. Or perhaps it’s a president with the level of pettiness it took to write those tweets about Mattis that doesn’t appeal.
Twitter had a lot of thoughts about Trump’s attack on Mattis. Read some of their comments below:
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