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Trump claims Mattis asked for a military operation to be delayed due to an 'ammo shortage'
President Donald Trump just can't stop telling stories about former Defense Secretary James Mattis. This time, the president claims Mattis said U.S. troops were so perilously low on ammunition that it would be better to hold off launching a military operation.
"You know, when I came here, three years ago almost, Gen. Mattis told me, 'Sir, we're very low on ammunition,'" Trump recalled on Monday at the White House. "I said, 'That's a horrible thing to say.' I'm not blaming him. I'm not blaming anybody. But that's what he told me because we were in a position with a certain country, I won't say which one; we may have had conflict. And he said to me: 'Sir, if you could, delay it because we're very low on ammunition.'
"And I said: You know what, general, I never want to hear that again from another general," Trump continued. "No president should ever, ever hear that statement: 'We're low on ammunition.'"
Mattis declined to respond to the president's comments on Monday. Since he resigned in protest last year over Trump's initial decision to withdraw all U.S. troops from Syria, Mattis has steadfastly avoided criticizing the president, citing the French concept of devoir de reserve – the duty of silence.
No information was immediately available about when Mattis' conversation with Trump allegedly took place or what country the president was referring to. Trump's comments on Monday were just the latest personal attack on Mattis, who is widely revered by service members — especially Marines, who consider him a man-god.
When Mattis submitted his resignation in December, Trump was initially respectful, tweeting that Mattis would retire in February. But as media reports focused on Mattis' differences with the president, which he subtly expressed in his resignation letter, Trump became enraged and announced Mattis would leave the Pentagon on Jan. 1.
The president subsequently falsely claimed that he had fired Mattis because the U.S. military had not made adequate progress in Afghanistan.
"As you know, President Obama fired him, and essentially so did I," Trump said during his Jan. 2 cabinet meeting. "I want results."
"That's why in the letter he wrote, 'You have to have your own choice,'" Trump said in his Feb. 1 interview. "The reason he said that was because I said, 'You're just not my choice.'"
Ahead of the release of his book "Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead," Mattis wrote an essay in the Wall Street Journal last month about how he used the skills he had honed as a Marine to serve as defense secretary "for as long as I could."
"When my concrete solutions and strategic advice, especially keeping faith with our allies, no longer resonated, it was time to resign, despite the limitless joy I felt serving alongside our troops in defense of our Constitution," Mattis wrote.
Retired Col. Charles McGee stepped out of the small commercial jet and flashed a smile.
Then a thumbs-up.
McGee had returned on a round-trip flight Friday morning from Dover Air Force Base, where he served as co-pilot on one of two flights done especially for his birthday.
By the way he disembarked from the plane, it was hard to tell that McGee, a Tuskegee Airman, was turning 100.
The 2020 National Defense Authorization Act would allow service members to seek compensation when military doctors make mistakes that harm them, but they would still be unable to file medical malpractice lawsuits against the federal government.
On Monday night, Congress announced that it had finalized the NDAA, which must be passed by the House and Senate before going to President Donald Trump. If the president signs the NDAA into law, it would mark the first time in nearly seven decades that U.S. military personnel have had legal recourse to seek payment from the military in cases of medical malpractice.
A major serving at U.S. Army Cyber Command has been charged with distributing child pornography, according to the Justice Department.
Maj. Jason Michael Musgrove, who is based at Fort Gordon, Georgia, has been remanded to the U.S. Marshals service, a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Georgia says.
Navy senior leaders could decide whether or not to approve the new I-Boot 5 early in 2020, said Rob Carroll, director of the uniform matters office at the Chief of Naval Personnel's office.
"The I-Boot 5 is currently wrapping up its actual wear test, its evaluation," Carroll told Task & Purpose on Monday. "We're hoping that within the first quarter of calendar year 2020 that we'll be able to present leadership with the information that they need to make an informed decision."