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Trump Takes Parting Shot at Mattis

Says outgoing defense chief doesn't see that other nations 'take total advantage' of US
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 24, 2018 11:29 AM CST
President Trump gestures as he walks to Air Force One in this file photo.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

(Newser) – President Trump is showing defense chief James Mattis to the door on Jan. 1, earlier than expected, and on Monday the president got in a parting shot. The US, wrote Trump, is subsidizing the militaries of rich nations who are taking "total advantage" of America in the process, reports the Hill. "General Mattis did not see this as a problem," said Trump. "I DO, and it is being fixed!" Trump also took issue with senators who say the president doesn't value alliances with other nations. "They are wrong, I DO," he said. "What I don’t like, however, is when many of these same countries take advantage of their friendship with the United States" on military and trade issues.

Trump didn't mention any names, but Politico notes that Sens. Pat Toomey, a Republican, and Chris Coons, a Democrat, made statements to that effect over the weekend. “The greatest asset we have is that most people around the world want to be allied with us,” Toomey said. "It's a great ability to achieve our goals and I don't think the president shares that view nearly to the extent that the rest of us do." Coons, meanwhile, faulted the president's decision to pull out of Syria and said US alliances there against ISIS must continue. (Trump said he had given Mattis a "second chance.")

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