Defense Secretary James Mattis was asked by Fox News’ Bret Baier if he had plans to step down from the Trump administration any time soon and the answer he gave is what you’d expect from a U.S. Marine nicknamed “Mad Dog.”
That is, after Mattis dispensed with the expected formalities, “Well, if I did, Bret, you wouldn’t be the one to know.”
The initially response evoked plenty of laughter, but the former four-star Marine Corps general then got a little more serious in addressing the crowd at the Reagan National Defense Forum.
“But, ladies and gentlemen, let me explain something,” Mattis said. “When the president of the United States — Republican or Democrat, male or female, none of that matters — when the president of the United States, and I’d never met Mr. Trump until I met him as president- elect when he called me back for a job interview, when the president of the United States asked you to do something in America you just do it.”
“To quote Nike, just do it,” he reaffirmed.
Honored to welcome Sec. of Defense James #Mattis to #RNDF2018. Appreciate his perspective on Peace Through Strength and how the legacy of Pres. Reagan still resonates today. Many thanks as well to moderator @BretBaier. @ReaganDefense @ronaldreagan40 pic.twitter.com/guEPlrWDIz
— Reagan Institute (@ReaganInstitute) December 1, 2018
Somehow, you expect no less from Mattis.
“Don’t get all caught up in the hamlet wishing, wondering and ringing your hands or something like that, and say, ‘To do or not to do,’ or whatever, just do it,” Mattis added. “Get up, go up, do your job to the best of your ability, uphold the Constitution, give the president your best military advice, in my case.”
But Mattis touched on something that seems to be missing these days.
.@JHeubusch & @mgiller welcome U.S. Secretary of Defense James #Mattis to the Reagan Library ahead of his keynote address at the sixth Reagan National Defense Forum. Follow us here for live-streaming of #SecDef Mattis' address & discussion with @BretBaier at 11AM Pacific Time. pic.twitter.com/9Kej9usaJp
— Reagan Defense Forum (@ReaganDefense) December 1, 2018
“We’ve got to get back to the point where service in this country is something you do,” he told Baier.
“I mean, to tell you the truth, the only reason I’m back in this low-paying outfit is because I love the troops,” he continued “Because I learned to hate mine fields at age 21, but I love the guys so valiant they’d go through looking for something they didn’t want to find — they didn’t want their buddy behind them to step on it.”
“And the other reason is I have love affair with the U.S. Constitution, I will just leave it at that.”
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