Mattis Says Hell No To Trump Aides Who Want Him To Go On ‘Fox & Friends’

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis provides testimony on the Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Budget Request from the Department of Defense to members of the Senate Committee on Armed Services Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington D.C., June 13, 2017.
DoD photo

Fox & Friends has had a string of interviews with high-profile figures close to President Donald Trump, who frequently tweets directly to the show. But there’s at least one person in Trump’s administration who seems reticent to go on the morning TV program: Secretary of Defense James Mattis.

As the top dog in the Defense Department, Mattis has taken an apolitical stance, carefully sidestepping requests from Trump staffers, according to the New York Times. Those close to Mattis say he’s repeatedly turned down repeated offers from Trump’s aides who have called the Pentagon weekly, asking the Pentagon chief to appear on Fox & Friends, according to the New York Times.

Mattis has a well-documented history of saying exactly what he thinks, whenever he wants, a trend which has its own name: Mattisms.

But as secretary of defense, the retired career Marine has taken a more cautious approach, picking and choosing his media appearances with care, like that time he was the subject of a feature spread in The New Yorker, or when he did a lengthy one-on-one interview with CBS’ Face The Nation in May.

In order to avoid being drawn into politics, Mattis has even limited the number of public briefings he’s conducted at the Pentagon since taking over the post, "appearing behind the lectern" in the briefing room only twice, according to the Times.

There’s a string of other sticky issues which have put the Pentagon and the White House at odds with each other, from Qatar — which the president accused of sponsoring terrorism — to climate change, which the Pentagon sees as a national security concern.

Related: 6 Big Takeaways From Mattis’ Testimony On The DoD’s 2018 Budget Request »

Mattis’ decision to eschew the “political” has fueled speculation that he’s distancing himself from the Trump administration, but the Defense Department head has a track record of sidestepping political landmines.

Mattis has long been a proponent of the military as an apolitical institution, telling Task & Purpose in September 2016 that that when the military begins taking sides along political lines, it erodes trust between the services, their civilian leaders, and American citizens.

“There’s got to be an openness and a trusted dialogue where motives are not suspect and the gap does not create alienation between our political leadership and our military, and certainly not between our citizenry and the military.”


"It's kind of like the equivalent of dropping a soda can into canyon and putting on a blindfold and going and finding it, because you can't just look down and see it," diver Jeff Goodreau said of finding the wreck.

The USS Eagle 56 was only five miles off the coast of Maine when it exploded.

The World War I-era patrol boat split in half, then slipped beneath the surface of the North Atlantic. The Eagle 56 had been carrying a crew of 62. Rescuers pulled 13 survivors from the water that day. It was April 23, 1945, just two weeks before the surrender of Nazi Germany.

The U.S. Navy classified the disaster as an accident, attributing the sinking to a blast in the boiler room. In 2001, that ruling was changed to reflect the sinking as a deliberate act of war, perpetuated by German submarine U-853, a u-boat belonging to Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine.

Still, despite the Navy's effort to clarify the circumstances surrounding the sinking, the Eagle 56 lingered as a mystery. The ship had sunk relatively close to shore, but efforts to locate the wreck were futile for decades. No one could find the Eagle 56, a small patrol ship that had come so close to making it back home.

Then, a group of friends and amateur divers decided to try to find the wreck in 2014. After years of fruitless dives and intensive research, New England-based Nomad Exploration Team successfully located the Eagle 56 in June 2018.

Business Insider spoke to two crew members — meat truck driver Jeff Goodreau and Massachusetts Department of Corrections officer Donald Ferrara — about their discovery.

Read More Show Less
(CIA photo)

Before the 5th Special Forces Group's Operational Detachment Alpha 595, before 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment's MH-47E Chinooks, and before the Air Force combat controllers, there were a handful of CIA officers and a buttload of cash.

Read More Show Less

The last time the world saw Marine veteran Austin Tice, he had been taken prisoner by armed men. It was unclear whether his captors were jihadists or allies of Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad who were disguised as Islamic radicals.

Blindfolded and nearly out of breath, Tice spoke in Arabic before breaking into English:"Oh Jesus. Oh Jesus."

That was from a video posted on YouTube on Sept. 26, 2012, several weeks after Tice went missing near Damascus, Syria, while working as a freelance journalist for McClatchy and the Washington Post.

Now that Tice has been held in captivity for more than seven years, reporters who have regular access to President Donald Trump need to start asking him how he is going to bring Tice home.

Read More Show Less

"Shoots like a carbine, holsters like a pistol." That's the pitch behind the new Flux Defense system designed to transform the Army's brand new sidearm into a personal defense weapon.

Read More Show Less

Sometimes a joke just doesn't work.

For example, the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service tweeted and subsequently deleted a Gilbert Gottfried-esque misfire about the "Storm Area 51" movement.

On Friday DVIDSHUB tweeted a picture of a B-2 bomber on the flight line with a formation of airmen in front of it along with the caption: "The last thing #Millenials will see if they attempt the #area51raid today."

Read More Show Less