Saagar Enjeti, DCNF
Washington state high school newspaper editor Teddy Fischer successfully texted Secretary of Defense James Mattis for an interview in late May, after his phone number was accidentally revealed in a White House photo.
— Pamela Engel (@PamEngel12) July 12, 2017
Fischer told BuzzFeed News he was shocked to see Mattis call him back for an interview nearly a week later. Mattis eventually gave Fischer one of his longest on-the-record interviews since assuming office describing a range of foreign policy positions, ruminating on the importance of history, and decrying bipartisanship.
Mattis also issued rare criticism of his former boss, President Barack Obama, saying, “He [Obama] unfortunately didn’t always have the best advisors or he didn’t listen to his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, so we missed some opportunities there.”
Mattis also praised Clinton’s handling of the Islamic Republic of Iran throughout the interview, saying, “What you have to do eventually is what then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did, which was to move sanctions, economic sanctions, against them and force them to the negotiating table because they want to stay in power.”
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