Is The Mattis-Trump Honeymoon Over?

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President-elect Donald Trump greets retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis, right, as he announces him as his Defense Secretary at a rally at the Crown Coliseum in Fayetteville, N.C., Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016.
AP Photo by Andrew Harnik

Relations may be souring between President-elect Donald Trump and the legendary Marine general he has tapped to be his secretary of defense, Marine Gen. James “Mad Dog” Mattis.


Trump heralded Mattis as a stellar leader from their initial meetings in late November, through when he announced him as secretary of defense at a rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina, on Dec. 6.

But according to a report from The Washington Post citing unnamed sources in the Trump transition team and the Mattis camp, in the weeks since Mattis was announced as Pentagon chief, there has been consistent sparring between the general and Trump’s inner circle.

Mattis apparently learned from the news media that Trump had tapped a close ally, Vincent Viola, an Army veteran and billionaire, for the position of Army secretary.

“Mattis was furious,” an anonymous source told the Post. “It made him suspicious of the transition team, and things devolved from there.”

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Mattis reportedly wants influence into how those key Pentagon posts are staffed, and that has not necessarily been occurring. Mattis has since rejected all of the names the Trump transition team has offered for key positions like undersecretary of defense for intelligence. There is further tension over the post of undersecretary of defense for policy, which Trump ally Mira Ricardel is reportedly preferred for by those inside the Trump camp. Mattis is viewed as unlikely to accept her nomination.

“Let’s put it this way, he’s being very picky about the options presented to him,” the anonymous source told the Post.

Guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem (DDG 63) Sailors participate in a memorial for the shipÕs namesake, Robert D. Stethem. Navy diver, Steelworker 2nd Class Robert Stethem, who was returning from an assignment in the Middle East, when he was taken hostage aboard TWA 847 commercial airliner. The flight was hijacked by terrorists, and Stethem was shot to death after being tortured by the terrorists on June 15, 1985. (U.S. Navy photo by Ensign Danny Ewing Jr.)

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek police have arrested a 65-year-old Lebanese man suspected of involvement in the 1985 hijacking of a Trans World Airlines (TWA) plane in which a U.S. navy diver was killed.

A Greek police official said on Saturday the suspect had disembarked from a cruise ship on the island of Mykonos on Thursday and that his name came up as being wanted by German authorities.

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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.

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SAN DIEGO — John Timothy Earnest didn't hide his smirks as he sat in a San Diego courtroom on Thursday, watching surveillance video of Lori Gilbert-Kaye being shot down inside the lobby of a Poway synagogue.

Earnest also smiled as a synagogue congregant testified about running toward the shooter, screaming "I'm going to kill you!" and seeing the gunman "with a look of astonishment or fear" turn and run.

Earnest, 20, is facing one count of murder and three counts of attempted murder in the shootings at Chabad of Poway on April 27. He also faces an arson charge related to an Escondido mosque fire in March, when several people who were sleeping inside escaped unharmed.

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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."

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ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkey is ready to act on its southern border with Syria, President Tayyip Erdogan said, after warning that it could take unilateral steps if the U.S. does not establish a "safe zone" in northeast Syria this month.

"Our preparations along our borders are complete," Erdogan told reporters in Istanbul on Saturday before departing to attend a U.N. General Assembly meeting.

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