Not many people would risk getting on Defense Secretary James Mattis’ bad side but it seems author Bob Woodward did just that.
The Pentagon released a scathing statement from Mattis calling Woodward’s upcoming book, “Fear: Trump in the White House,” a “uniquely Washington brand of literature” and a work of “fiction.”
NEW: Defense Sec. James Mattis on Woodward book: “While I generally enjoy reading fiction, this is a uniquely Washington brand of literature, and his anonymous sources do not lend credibility.” https://t.co/H1DIB0RZb0 pic.twitter.com/w9WWTnUI45
— ABC News (@ABC) September 4, 2018
“The contemptuous words about the President attributed to me in Woodward’s book were never uttered by me or in my presence,” Mattis said in a blistering statement that crushed even the credibility of the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and bestselling author.
“While I generally enjoy reading fiction, this is a uniquely Washington brand of literature, and his anonymous sources do not lend credibility,” Mattis added.
The Watergate reporter alleged in his book that Mattis once described President Trump as having the understanding of “a fifth- or sixth-grader,” according to The Washington Post, recounting a January National Security Council meeting in which Trump questioned U.S. government spending in the Korean Peninsula.
Full statement, released to media by the Pentagon, pasted below.
Per Woodward: “Mattis was particularly exasperated and alarmed, telling close associates that the president acted like — and had the understanding of — ‘a fifth- or sixth-grader.’ ” pic.twitter.com/OQVzDtjLvs
— Aaron Mehta (@AaronMehta) September 4, 2018
Following that meeting, Mattis “was particularly exasperated and alarmed, telling close associates that the president acted like — and had the understanding of — ‘a fifth- or sixth-grader,’” according to the Post.
In his statement slamming Woodward’s book, Mattis noted that that “responsible policy making in the real world is inherently messy,” though “it is also essential that we challenge every assumption to find the best option.”
— Fin Gomez (@finnygo) September 4, 2018
“I embrace such debate and the open competition of ideas. In just over a year, these robust discussions and deliberations have yielded significant results, including the near annihilation of the [Islamic State in Iraq and Syria] ISIS caliphate, unprecedented burden sharing by our NATO allies, the repatriation of U.S. service member remains from North Korea, and the improved readiness of our armed forces. Our defense policies have also enjoyed overwhelming bipartisan support in Congress,” Mattis wrote.
“In serving in this administration, the idea that I would show contempt for the elected Commander-in-Chief, President Trump, or tolerate disrespect to the office of the President from within our Department of Defense, is a product of someone’s rich imagination,” he said.
The book by the Watergate author is set to be released next week and has already generated blistering criticism, including from Trump himself who said Woodward has “a lot of credibility problems.”
The Woodward book has already been refuted and discredited by General (Secretary of Defense) James Mattis and General (Chief of Staff) John Kelly. Their quotes were made up frauds, a con on the public. Likewise other stories and quotes. Woodward is a Dem operative? Notice timing?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 4, 2018
Those who read the general’s attack on Woodward applauded Mattis for living up to his “Mad Dog” nickname.
General Mattis to Bob Woodward:
“YOU LIE!” https://t.co/8BBaVXe9r2
— Meech (@michi83) September 4, 2018
The denials from Kelly, Dowd, Mattis are pretty explicit and direct. Bob Woodward’s sources are, as always, anonymous so we may never know who’s right. https://t.co/SxY51sLluq
— Brit Hume (@brithume) September 4, 2018
I’ll take General Mattis over Bob any day of the week, and twice on Sundays. https://t.co/V6HDB6Hple
— Meech (@michi83) September 5, 2018
I believe most folks will believe Gen Mattis over Woodward’s anonymous sources any day !
— MaryHarper (@marymel396) September 4, 2018
SecDef Mattis just “knife handed” Woodward with those words. #Mattiscanknifehandwithwords
— scott carpenter (@ilike_waffles) September 5, 2018
Careful you may get the knife hand pic.twitter.com/TjKLYVCoXz
— 🏁 Mario❌Trumpetti 🏎 (@SpeedyFastMario) September 4, 2018
The word of a man who has served his country – and multiple CinC’s – with distinction, valor, and the utmost respect, and who has a stellar record unblemished by such nonsense ———-> vs Bob Woodward & anonymous sources….think I’ll stick with “The Warrior Monk”.
— richb59oncemore (@richb59oncemore) September 4, 2018
Once again, General Mattis is brilliant in his comments.
— Elizabeth🌻 (@Elizabeth527813) September 4, 2018
Can you imagine the audacity of Bob Woodward to make up total lies about the President AND Defense Secretary James Mattis? It’s dirty and it’s rotten.
— Kelly Robinson (@kelrobi11) September 4, 2018
Mad Dog Mattis, people! 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽
— Miss Ducky (@daphneyuhas) September 4, 2018
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