Trump Responds to Mattis' Scathing Rebuke

President calls his ex-defense secretary 'overrated'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 4, 2020 6:19 AM CDT
Trump Fires Back at 'World's Most Overrated General'
In this Oct. 23, 2018, file photo, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis speaks beside President Trump during a briefing with senior military leaders in the Cabinet Room at the White House in Washington.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

(Newser) – James Mattis pulled no punches Wednesday in a statement blasting President Trump for his response to the George Floyd protests, calling Trump "the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people." Trump fired back at his ex-defense secretary later that evening, per the Hill. "Probably the only thing Barack Obama & I have in common is that we both had the honor of firing Jim Mattis, the world's most overrated General," he tweeted. Trump also claimed he came up with the nickname "Mad Dog" for Mattis; and "gave him a new life, things to do, and battles to win." Trump added Mattis "seldom 'brought home the bacon.' I didn’t like his 'leadership' style or much else about him, and many others agree." Press secretary Kayleigh McEnany piled on in a tweet, calling Mattis' remarks "little more than a self-promotional stunt to appease the DC elite."

"President @realDonaldTrump is the law and order President that has restored peace to our nation's streets," she continued. "Mattis' small words pale in comparison to @POTUS' strong action." Meanwhile, CNN reports that Mattis, who resigned in December 2018, wasn't the only military bigwig going after Trump's actions on the protesters. In an op-ed in Foreign Policy, retired four-star Marine Gen. John Allen, who was the commander of US forces in Afghanistan, described a "moment of national shame and peril" and wrote that we may be seeing "the beginning of the end of the American experiment." But Allen is hopeful "there is still a way to stop the descent," though "it will have to come from the bottom up," he writes. "For at the White House, there is no one home." (More from Allen here.)

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