Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
Trump blasted Mattis and other top Pentagon leaders as ‘dopes and babies' in an intense meeting, new book claims
President Donald Trump called then-Defense Secretary James Mattis and other top Pentagon leaders "dopes and babies" during an intense 2017 meeting, according to a new book about the president.
The incident happened in July 2017 when Trump arrived at the Pentagon for an expansive briefing on the post-World War II international order, according to Washington Post reporters Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig in their upcoming book A Very Stable Genius: Donald J. Trump's Testing of America.
Former Defense Secretary James Mattis, who led a Marine task force to Afghanistan shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, said the Washington Post's recent reporting about the U.S. government's pattern of lies about the war over the last two decades is not "revelatory."
Mattis, who was interviewed by the Washington Post's David Ignatius on Friday, also said he does not believe the U.S. government made any efforts to hide the true situation in Afghanistan and he argued the war has not been in vain.
Here are 10 key quotes from Mattis regarding the Washington Post's reporting in the 'Afghanistan Papers.'
Americans' eroding trust in all forms of government has made it impossible to solve the most serious problems facing the United States today, former Defense Secretary James Mattis wrote in a recent article for The Atlantic.
The retired Marine Corps general laid out why the world's oldest democracy no longer seems to be able to reach a consensus on any issue, arguing that the underlying problem is politicians no longer debate: They just launch personal attacks against each other.
"We scorch our opponents with language that precludes compromise," Mattis wrote. "We brush aside the possibility that a person with whom we disagree might be right. We talk about what divides us and seldom acknowledge what unites us. Meanwhile, the docket of urgent national issues continues to grow—unaddressed and, under present circumstances, impossible to address."
Your friend and humble narrator will never claim to be the smartest person in the room. Recently, for example, this reporter wrote that Conan – the heroic military working dog that was injured on the raid that killed ISIS founder Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi – appeared to be a female dog, based on a picture of the canine tweeted by President Donald Trump.
Days later, the head of U.S. Central Command revealed that Conan is actually a male. This reporter apologizes to Conan. My eyesight is not nearly as good as it used to be. (And I really looked.)
More importantly, some readers have voiced objections to last week's column about the erratic and chaotic movement of U.S. forces as part of Operation Turn The F**k Around and Go Back to Syria.
A few of you felt this reporter was being unfair to the president by arguing that Trump appears to be improvising his Syria strategy as events unfold. Others took issue with your normally friendly Pentagon correspondent for criticizing the U.S. military's lack of transparency over how many service members are deployed to Syria, Afghanistan, and elsewhere downrange.
U.S. Marine Corps Gen. Jim Mattis once sat in the dirt with a man who'd attempted to kill him with a roadside bomb in Iraq.
"It had been a bad night for him," said Mattis to a crowd of roughly 1,100 people in downtown Spokane on Thursday night. "He was out there with his wheelbarrow. He had two artillery rounds, and he was out digging a hole, and next thing you know he looks up and there's five guys with automatic weapons standing around him, and they're not his."
"So he knew, at that point, his retirement plan was in jeopardy," Mattis said.
U.S. Rep. Dan Newhouse will introduce legislation Monday to award former Defense Secretary James Mattis the Congressional Gold Medal.
The award has previously been bestowed on George Washington, Ulysses S. Grant, Douglas MacArthur and Harry S Truman.