Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
Trump Finally Goes After Mattis, Days After Defense Secretary Drops Bombshell Resignation Letter
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?"
The three sailors whose lives were cut short by a gunman at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, on Friday "showed exceptional heroism and bravery in the face of evil," said base commander Navy Capt. Tim Kinsella.
Ensign Joshua Kaleb Watson, Airman Mohammed Sameh Haitham, and Airman Apprentice Cameron Scott Walters were killed in the shooting, the Navy has announced.
This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
SIMI VALLEY, Calif. – Gen. David Berger, the US Marine Corps commandant, suggested the concerns surrounding a service members' use of questionable Chinese-owned apps like TikTok should be directed against the military's leadership, rather than the individual troops.
Speaking at the Reagan National Defense Forum in Simi Valley, California, on Saturday morning, Berger said the younger generation of troops had a "clearer view" of the technology "than most people give them credit for."
"That said, I'd give us a 'C-minus' or a 'D' in educating the force on the threat of even technology," Berger said. "Because they view it as two pieces of gear, 'I don't see what the big deal is.'"
WASHINGTON/SEOUL (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un risks losing "everything" if he resumes hostility and his country must denuclearize, after the North said it had carried out a "successful test of great significance."
"Kim Jong Un is too smart and has far too much to lose, everything actually, if he acts in a hostile way. He signed a strong Denuclearization Agreement with me in Singapore," Trump said on Twitter, referring to his first summit with Kim in Singapore in 2018.
"He does not want to void his special relationship with the President of the United States or interfere with the U.S. Presidential Election in November," he said.
The Pentagon’s troop deployment denials means nothing when the White House screams ‘fake news’ all the time
The Pentagon has a credibility problem that is the result of the White House's scorched earth policy against any criticism. As a result, all statements from senior leaders are suspect.
We're beyond the point of defense officials being unable to say for certain whether a dog is a good boy or girl. Now we're at the point where the Pentagon has spent three days trying to knock down a Wall Street Journal story about possible deployments to the Middle East, and they've failed to persuade either the press or Congress.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that the United States was considering deploying up to 14,000 troops to the Middle East to thwart any potential Iranian attacks. The story made clear that President Trump could ultimately decide to send a smaller number of service members, but defense officials have become fixated on the number 14,000 as if it were the only option on the table.
Just before 8 a.m. on a Sunday morning 78 years ago, Lauren Bruner was preparing for church services and a date that would follow with a girl he'd met outside his Navy base.
The 21-year-old sailor was stationed as a fire controlman aboard the U.S. battleship USS Arizona, overseeing the vessel's .50-caliber guns.
Then alarms rang out. A Japanese plane had bombed the ship in a surprise attack.
It took only nine minutes for the Arizona to sink after the first bomb hit. Bruner was struck by gunfire while trying to flee the inferno that consumed the ship, the second-to-last man to escape the explosion that killed 1,177, including his best friend; 335 survived.
More than 70% of Bruner's body was burned. He was hospitalized for weeks.
Now, nearly eight decades after that fateful day, Bruner's ashes will be delivered to the sea that cradled his fallen comrades, stored in an urn inside the battleship's wreckage.