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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.
Mattis' attempts to educate the president about the importance of America's current military alliances went terribly wrong, according to the book: Trump complained that the United States should charge South Korea "rent" to base troops there, called NATO worthless, vowed to get out of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, and became enraged that the U.S. military had failed to declare victory in Afghanistan.
Finally, Trump exploded by lashing out at everyone at the briefing. "I wouldn't go to war with you people. You're a bunch of dopes and babies."
Ever the Marine, Mattis did not respond to Trump's tirade, the two authors report. Instead, then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson spoke up, telling the president: "You're totally wrong. None of that is true."
Tillerson's relationship with the president was permanently damaged by that meeting, according to the book. Trump eventually fired him in March 2018.
Mattis declined to comment when reached by Task & Purpose on Friday. He has repeatedly said that he will not criticize Trump while the president is still in office.
Rucker and Leonnig are not the first authors to document the now-infamous briefing at the Pentagon. Mattis' former speechwriter Guy Snodgrass recounted in his book Holding the Line: Inside Trump's Pentagon With Secretary Mattis that the president also discussed holding a military parade and complained that the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford was "completely out of control with cost overruns."
The key takeaway from the episode was that briefers needed to capture the president's attention and keep it, Snodgrass wrote in the book.
"I learned an important lesson that would pay off when President Trump returned for a briefing the following January: only use slides with pictures . . . no words," Snodgrass wrote.
Though the Army has yet to actually set an official recruiting goal for this year, leaders are confident they're going to bring in more soldiers than last year.
Maj. Gen. Frank Muth, head of Army Recruiting Command, told reporters on Wednesday that the Army was currently 2,226 contracts ahead of where it was in 2019.
"I will just tell you that this time last year we were in the red, and now we're in the green which is — the momentum's there and we see it continuing throughout the end of the year," Muth said, adding that the service hit recruiting numbers in February that haven't been hit during that month since 2014.
KABUL/WASHINGTON/PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - The United States and the Taliban will sign an agreement on Feb. 29 at the end of a week long period of violence reduction in Afghanistan, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the Taliban said on Friday.
Another Marine was hit with jail time and a bad-conduct discharge in connection with a slew of arrests made last summer over suspicions that members of a California-based infantry battalion were transporting people who'd crossed into the U.S. illegally.
Some Fort Bragg paratroopers who left for the Middle East on a no-notice deployment last month came home Thursday.
About 3,500 soldiers with the 82nd Airborne Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team were sent to Kuwait beginning Jan. 1 as tensions were rising in the region. The first soldiers were in the air within 18 hours of being told to go.
Large cargo ships, small fishing boats and other watercraft sail safely past Naval Station Norfolk every day, but there's always a possibility that terrorists could use any one of them to attack the world's largest naval base.
While Navy security keeps a close eye on every vessel that passes, there's an inherent risk for the sailors aboard small patrol boats who are tasked with helping keep aircraft carriers, submarines and destroyers on base safe from waterborne attacks.
So the Navy experimented Wednesday to test whether an unmanned vessel could stop a small boat threatening the base from the Elizabeth River.