Former Mattis aide writes book offering ‘fly on the wall’ view of Trump’s relationship with Chaos

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Brace yourselves, the post-Mattis tell-alls are coming.

A book offering a purported “fly on the wall" view of the relationship between President Donald Trump and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis — callsign Chaos — is about to drop in October, according to NBC News.


“Often described as the administration's 'adult in the room,' Mattis has said very little about his difficult role, and since his resignation has kept his views of the President and his policies private. Now, Mattis's former chief speechwriter and communications director, Guy Snodgrass, brings readers behind that curtain," reads a teaser description for the book on Amazon and Goodreads, where it is expected to be available on Oct. 29.

Titled “Holding The Line: Inside the Pentagon with General Mattis,” the book description says its contents are drawn from Snodgrass’ “meticulous notes” that he kept during 17 months working for Mattis, which include anecdotes on how he reacted when he learned of major policy decisions over Twitter rather than from the White House, and how Mattis “minimized the damage done” to allies and slow-rolled some of Trump’s more controversial decisions.

I’m speculating a bit here on what the reaction was to learning of a major DoD policy change coming via presidential tweet, but it probably involved at least a few cuss words.

Mattis resigned in protest over Trump’s decision to quickly withdraw all U.S. forces from Syria, which the president has since walked back. The former defense secretary recently rejoined Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.

The book’s title seems to be a nod to Mattis’ talk with deployed troops in 2017, in which he told them, "You just hold the line until our country gets back to understanding and respecting each other, being friendly to one another; what Americans owe to one another.”

Snodgrass told NBC he was still finishing the book and was planning to submit it to the Pentagon for review, to ensure no classified material is shared.

Although this is the first “Pentagon insider” account of Mattis’ tenure, other books have offered some interesting tidbits on the Mattis-Trump relationship, most notably in Bob Woodward’s book “Fear.”

As my colleague Jeff Schogol wrote:

After speaking to reporters on Tuesday, news broke that author Bob Woodward's upcoming book portrays Mattis as frustrated with President Trump, especially after a meeting about North Korea, when the defense secretary allegedly vented to colleagues that Trump has the understanding of a "fifth- or sixth-grader." (Mattis has called Woodward's account "fiction.")

SEE ALSO: We Asked Gen Mattis About Why Civilians Don't Understand War

President Donald J. Trump departs from the Pentagon alongside Secretary of Defense James Mattis on Jan. 27, 2017, in Washington, D.C. (DOD photo by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jette Carr)
(U.S. Army/Pfc. Hubert D. Delany III)

More than 7,500 boots on display at Fort Bragg this month served as a temporary memorial to service members from all branches who have died since 9/11.

The boots — which had the service members' photos and dates of death — were on display for Fort Bragg's Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation's annual Run, Honor and Remember 5k on May 18 and for the 82nd Airborne Division's run that kicked off All American Week.

"It shows the families the service members are still remembered, honored and not forgotten," said Charlotte Watson, program manager of Fort Bragg's Survivor Outreach Services.

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After more than a decade of research and development and upwards of $500 million in funding, the Navy finally plans on testing its much-hyped electromagnetic railgun on a surface warship in a major milestone for the beleaguered weapons system, Navy documents reveal.

The Navy's latest Northwest Training and Testing draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Assessment (NWTT EIS/OEIS), first detailed by the Seattle Times on Friday, reveals that " the kinetic energy weapon (commonly referred to as the rail gun) will be tested aboard surface vessels, firing explosive and non-explosive projectiles at air- or sea-based targets."

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(U.S. Army/Sgt. Amber Smith)

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Congress fell short ahead of Memorial Day weekend, failing to pass legislation that would provide tax relief for the families of military personnel killed during their service.

Senators unanimously approved a version of the bipartisan Gold Star Family Tax Relief Act Tuesday sending it back to the House of Representatives, where it was tied to a retirement savings bill as an amendment, and passed Thursday.

When it got back to the Senate, the larger piece of legislation failed to pass and make its way to the President Trump's desk.

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In less than three years after the National Security Agency found itself subject to an unprecedentedly catastrophic hacking episode, one of the agency's most powerful cyber weapons is reportedly being turned against American cities with alarming frequency by the very foreign hackers it was once intended to counter.

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(U.S. Marine Corps/Cpl. Scott Schmidt)

Editor's Note: This article by Richard Sisk originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

The spectacle of hundreds of thousands of motorcycles roaring their way through the streets of Washington, D.C., to Memorial Day events as part of the annual Rolling Thunder veterans tribute will be a thing of the past after this coming weekend.

Former Army Sgt. Artie Muller, a 73-year-old Vietnam veteran and co-founder of Rolling Thunder, said the logistics and costs of staging the event for Memorial Day, which falls on May 27 this year, were getting too out of hand to continue. The ride had become a tradition in D.C. since the first in 1988.

"It's just a lot of money," said the plainspoken Muller, who laced an interview with a few epithets of regret over having to shut down Rolling Thunder.

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