President Donald Trump has dismissed reports that Defense Secretary James Mattis intends to resign, though he has conceded that the retired four-star general may boast some “Democrat” tendencies.
“I don’t know, he hasn’t told me, but I have a very good relationship with him,” he said when asked in a “60 Minutes” interview set to air Sunday evening about Mattis’ potential departure.
“It could be that he is. I think he’s sort of a Democrat, if you want to know the truth. But General Mattis is a good guy, we get along very well. He may leave, I mean at some point, everybody leaves.”
Listen to the whole clip below:
The president also addressed unsubstantiated reports regarding the White House’s atmosphere allegedly being chaotic, saying, “It’s wrong. It’s so false. It’s fake news.”
Regarding the president’s dig at Mattis, it’s true that he does boast some liberal tendencies. Last year Politico ran a report highlighting some Republican leaders’ frustration with the defense secretary for his reluctance to push for more military spending but willingness to recommend Obama- and Clinton-era officials to key posts.
“The latest flash point between the secretary of defense and congressional Republicans came over Anne Patterson, a former diplomat appointed ambassador to Egypt under Obama whom Mattis wanted to nominate as his undersecretary for policy,” the publisher reported in March of 2017.
“Her nomination was officially scrapped last week after two GOP senators, Ted Cruz of Texas and Tom Cotton of Arkansas, waged a public campaign against her, explaining they weren’t comfortable with her willingness to engage with Egypt’s former Muslim Brotherhood-aligned government.”
Mattis has also exasperated Republican leaders by buying into the left’s unproven theories about man-made climate change and making it clear he believes the U.S. military should wean itself off conventional energy sources.
— POLITICO (@politico) December 20, 2016
Rumors about Mattis resigning or Trump firing him have been circulating since at least September, when The Washington Post ran a piece claiming the White House had prepared a “short list” of potential candidates to replace him.
“He’ll stay right there. We’re very — we’re very happy with him. We’re having a lot of victories. We’re having victories that people don’t even know about. And he’s highly respected all over the world,” the president said to reporters at the time.
Mattis personally responded to the rumors shortly thereafter, saying, “How many times have we been through this, now, just since I’ve been here? It will die down soon, and the people who started the rumor will be allowed to write the next rumor, too. I wouldn’t take it seriously at all.”
What’s concerning though is that at least one of the rumors put forth by the mainstream media have been proven true. According to more than a dozen officials whom The New York Times spoke with last month, Trump’s view of Mattis has soured because he feels the general “is a Democrat at heart.” The president’s statement Sunday seemed to confirm this sentiment.
In response to Trump’s statement, liberals on social media seemed to suddenly fall in love with Mattis:
What he meant:
“James Mattis is isn’t a criminal,Like everyone else in my Cabinet”
Trump calls all Americans with ethics “Democrats” https://t.co/mgH1PzA66q
— #ZeroFucksGiven (@JedGarren) October 14, 2018
BREAKING: President Trump hinted At Firing Defense Secretary James Mattis after the November midterm elections Because HE Thinks He’s a Democrat
Trump “he’s sort of a Democrat”
in other words, he has some principles, and he isn’t personally loyal to Trump
— PoliticsVideoChannel (@politvidchannel) October 14, 2018
— Baritone Liberavoice (@redstmiscreant) October 14, 2018
— Captain Fuzzle (@WanagiKangee) October 14, 2018
Mattis is not a yes man, and I respect that. If he leaves I fear the trouble Trump will get us into.
Trump: Jim Mattis ‘sort of a Democrat’ and could quit as defense secretary soonhttps://t.co/urc28JnRPb
— FireGoddessBeth (@FireGoddessB) October 14, 2018
The irony was noted by some:
I wonder what General Mattis is about to do that had Trump make a comment resulting in Democrats all of a sudden loving him…. ?
— ProudTrumplican (@TrumpFan1975) October 14, 2018
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