Ex-defense Chief Mattis Rips Trump For Dividing Americans

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FILE - In this Nov. 9, 2018, file photo, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis waits outside the Pentagon. Mattis issued a statement Wednesday, June 3, 2020, on the recent protests around the United States. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — In an extraordinary rebuke, former defense secretary Jim Mattis on Wednesday denounced President Donald Trump’s heavy-handed use of military force to quell protests near the White House and said his former boss was setting up a “false conflict” between the military and civilian society.

“I have watched this week’s unfolding events, angry and appalled,” Mattis wrote.

The criticism was all the more remarkable because Mattis has generally kept a low profile since retiring as defense secretary in December 2018 to protest Trump’s Syria policy. He had declined to speak out against Trump, saying he owed the nation public silence while his former boss remained in office.

But he’s speaking out after this past week’s protests in response to the death of George Floyd in police custody.

Mattis had a scathing description of Trump’s walk to a historic nearby church Monday to pose with a Bible after law enforcement forcibly cleared Lafayette Square of mostly peaceful protesters.

He said he never dreamed troops “would be ordered under any circumstance to violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens — much less to provide a bizarre photo op for the elected commander-in-chief, with military leadership standing alongside.”

“Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people —does not even pretend to try. Instead he tries to divide us,” Mattis wrote in a statement published by The Atlantic. “We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership.”

Mattis called on Americans to unite without Trump. “This will not be easy, as the past few days have shown, but we owe it to our fellow citizens; to past generations that bled to defend our promise; and to our children,” he wrote.

Mattis said of the protesters that Americans should not be distracted by a small number of lawbreakers. He said they are rightly demanding that the country follow the words of “Equal Justice Under Law” that are on display at the U.S. Supreme Court.

“The protests are defined by tens of thousands of people of conscience who are insisting that we live up to our values — our values as people and our values as a nation,” Mattis said.

Mattis took particular issue with the use of force to move back protesters so Trump could visit St. John’s Church the day after it was damaged by fire during protests.

“We know that we are better than the abuse of executive authority that we witnessed in Lafayette Square. We must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution,” Mattis said.

One day after Trump announced he was pulling all U.S. troops out of Syria, where they were partnering with local Syrians to fight the Islamic State, Mattis tried but failed to change Trump’s mind. So, he resigned. Trump soon turned on Mattis, calling him a failure. He said falsely that he had fired Mattis.

“What’s he done for me?” Trump said January 2. “How had he done in Afghanistan? Not too good. I’m not happy with what he’s done in Afghanistan, and I shouldn’t be happy.”

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17 COMMENTS

  1. Madman Mattis was also fired by Obama.
    He’s dog barking but doesn’t explain how Trump mocked the Constitution. Read his braying carefully. It’s nothing but a bitter diatribe by a bitter madman, who lives in a castle, did not lose a business, his property easn’t looted, and he wasn’t beaten in front of his wife.
    This is a jerk who should never been hired. But he’s a nobody__ 99.999% of Americans have no idea who this bitter guy is.

  2. A swamp dog who tried to stab Trump from within like some others.
    It’s going to take another 4 years to spray the stinking swamp clean.
    KAGA…TRUMP GETS ALL 50

  3. As I predicted, the crazed TDS mob is revving up attacks in frenzy mode from last month till Election Day.
    It will get crazier by the minute , as more demented haters of all kinds , stripes and careers, will rage with foamed mouth hysteria. All losers whom Trump showed the door are being rounded up like wild animals to join the savagery.
    Not the least, is because Obama boys are soon going to jail and they’re scared. So they distract.

  4. Nancy Pelosi Admits Democrats LIED IN LATEST, LATEST NEWS, NEWS
    Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has recently admitted that law enforcement probably did not use tear gas on protesters. Biden had made a speech recently saying:
    “When peaceful protestors dispersed in order for a president, a president from the doorstep of the people’s house, the White House, using tear gas and flash grenades in order to stage a photo-op at one of the most historic churches in the country or at least in Washington, DC, we can be forgiven for believing the president is more interested in power than in principle.”
    Now Pelosi is coming out and saying, “Maybe they didn’t have tear gas, I don’t know.”
    Even the U.S. Park Police stated that tear gas was not used:
    “At approximately 6:33 pm, violent protestors on H Street NW began throwing projectiles including bricks, frozen water bottles and caustic liquids. The protestors also climbed onto a historic building at the north end of Lafayette Park that was destroyed by arson days prior. Intelligence had revealed calls for violence against the police, and officers found caches of glass bottles, baseball bats and metal poles hidden along the street.
    As many of the protestors became more combative, continued to throw projectiles, and attempted to grab officers’ weapons, officers then employed the use of smoke canisters and pepper balls. No tear gas was used by USPP officers or other assisting law enforcement partners to close the area at Lafayette Park.”
    Democrats love over exaggerating and this time the over exaggeration has come back to bite them. Now they are apologizing for their mistake

  5. This general knows that Floyd was a career criminal.
    Not saying it’s justified, but can we see video of what happened before he was on the ground? Show all videos.

  6. Depressed old cow with nothing to look forward.
    Why don’t you rage against the pulling of a disabled man out of his wheelchair in Portland and beaten?

  7. mattis and esper both total JERKS . President Trump knows what he’s doing . Jerks are all coming out of the wood works . Let’m all come out and get their butts fired !

  8. Why is Secretary of Defense Esper a “jerk”. He was number one in his class at West Point. It is his duty to disagree with Trump, if he feels that the President is wrong. General Curtis LeMay also disagreed with JFK over military policy. Was he (in your scholarly opinion), also a “jerk”. Curtis LeMay authorized relentless bombing over Germany and Japan, and helped win the war against them. These brilliant military tacticians, including General Mattis, have the absolute right to disagree with Trump, who is a narcissist, and likes people to bow down to him.

    • Even though President BoneSpurs is supposedly the commander in thief, every military chief under him has the right to oppose him if they feel he’s a complete nutjob. The crazy meshugenah is obviously trying to stir things up between the left and the right so he can cancel or postpone the November elections and stay in power indefinitely. I can’t believe all the trump behaimas here look up to this menuval. Shame!!

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