Trump Finally Goes After Mattis, Days After Defense Secretary Drops Bombshell Resignation Letter

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jette Carr

It took three days before President Donald Trump finally went after Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. That must be a new record.

On the weekend after Mattis dropped a bombshell of a resignation letter, in which he wrote the president has "the right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours" just before he outlined his view that allies should be treated with respect and enemies should not, Trump of course took to Twitter to say he had given Mattis "a second chance."

"When President Obama ingloriously fired Jim Mattis, I gave him a second chance," Trump tweeted on Sunday. "Some thought I shouldn’t, I thought I should. Interesting relationship-but I also gave all of the resources that he never really had. Allies are very important-but not when they take advantage of U.S."

Given Trump's past criticism of just about anyone and everyone, this one is fairly mild, but I expect there will be more to come. Still, the subtle dig that Mattis "got a second chance" is worth exploring, since it's patently absurd.

Although Mattis was forced to retire from his post commanding U.S. Central Command in 2013 after a falling out with the Obama administration, he didn't need or want a second chance when President Trump came along in 2016.

Mattis was doing just fine in the post-military world, serving on a number of boards, consulting and doing speaking gigs, and teaching classes at Stanford University.

Not counting Mattis' annual retirement pension of more than $230,000 after 41 years of service, his financial disclosure form showed him earning $419,359 a year from his role at Stanford's Hoover Institution, $242,000 as a board member of defense contractor General Dynamics, and $150,000 as a board member of Theranos, for a grand total of $811,359.

All of these sources of income — and a bunch of stock in General Dynamics — went away after he was confirmed as Secretary of Defense. Which means Mattis took a massive pay cut when he came back into government.

Second chance? Give me a break.

"The guy never loses a battle, never loses. Winning record," the president told Republican donors last year, according to Politico.

If Trump keeps attacking Mattis — who is revered by military members, lawmakers, and many Americans — he'll probably see that winning record firsthand.

Besides the dig at Mattis, Trump also tweeted on Sunday a critique of his anti-ISIS envoy Brett McGurk, who he claimed he did not know — a hilarious self-own — "was supposed to leave in February but he just resigned prior to leaving. Grandstander?"

SEE ALSO: The Pentagon Feels Hollow The Day After Mattis’ Resignation

Chief Mass Communication Spc. Keith DeVinney sleeps between exercises during Fleet Combat Camera Pacific's Winter Quick Shot 2013 combined field training exercise in the Angeles National Forest near Azusa, Calif., Feb. 17, 2013. (U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Peter D. Blair)

(Reuters Health) - Soldiers who experience sleep problems during basic combat training may be more likely to struggle with psychological distress, attention difficulties, and anger issues during their entry into the military, a recent study suggests.

"These results show that it would probably be useful to check in with new soldiers over time because sleep problems can be a signal that a soldier is encountering difficulties," said Amanda Adrian, lead author of the study and a research psychologist at the Center for Military Psychiatry and Neuroscience at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Silver Spring, Maryland.

"Addressing sleep problems early on should help set soldiers up for success as they transition into their next unit of assignment," she said by email.

Read More Show Less
The Armed Forces Service Medal has a green, blue and yellow ribbon and a bronze medal featuring a torch like that held by the Statue of Liberty. (U.S. Air Force/Staff Sgt. Alexx Pons)

Editor's Note: This article by Gina Harkins originally appeared, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

Thousands of U.S. service members who've been sent to operate along the Mexico border will receive a military award reserved for troops who "encounter no foreign armed opposition or imminent hostile action."

The Pentagon has authorized troops who have deployed to the border to assist U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) since last April to receive the Armed Forces Service Medal. Details about the decision were included in a Marine Corps administrative message in response to authorization from the Defense Department.

There is no end date for the award since the operation remains ongoing.

Read More Show Less
Photo: US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia

A former sailor who was busted buying firearms with his military discount and then reselling some of them to criminals is proving to be a wealth of information for federal investigators.

Julio Pino used his iPhone to record most, if not all, of his sales, court documents said. He even went so far as to review the buyers' driver's license on camera.

It is unclear how many of Pino's customer's now face criminal charges of their own. Federal indictments generally don't provide that level of detail and Assistant U.S. Attorney William B. Jackson declined to comment.

Read More Show Less
Photo illustration by Paul Szoldra/Task & Purpose

It all began with a medical check.

Carson Thomas, a healthy and fit 20-year-old infantryman who had joined the Army after a brief stint in college, figured he should tell the medics about the pain in his groin he had been feeling. It was Feb. 12, 2012, and the senior medic looked him over and decided to send him to sick call at the base hospital.

It seemed almost routine, something the Army doctors would be able to diagnose and fix so he could get back to being a grunt.

Now looking back on what happened some seven years later, it was anything but routine.

Read More Show Less
U.S. Army Cpt. Katrina Hopkins and Chief Warrant Officer 2 James Rogers, assigned to Task Force Warhorse, pilot a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter during a medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) operation at Camp Taji, Iraq, Dec. 18, 2018. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Javion Siders)

U.S. forces must now ask the Iraqi military for permission to fly in Iraqi airspace before coming to the aid of U.S. troops under fire, a top military spokesman said.

However, the mandatory approval process is not expected to slow down the time it takes the U.S. military to launch close air support and casualty evacuation missions for troops in the middle of a fight, said Army Col. James Rawlinson, a spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve.

Read More Show Less