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Here’s what Mattis said when asked why he serves President Trump

August 31, 2017

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis knows a thing or two about serving his country.

He served in the U.S. Marine Corps for 41 years, retiring as a four-star general at the head of U.S. Central Command. He retired in 2013 and went on to teach at Stanford and Dartmouth. Now, he serves as President Donald Trump’s Defense Secretary.

The Executive Editor of Defense One, Kevin Baron, asked Mattis this week why he continues to serve President Trump; it could be argued that Trump sometimes makes decisions without consulting his officials or listening to their opinions.

Here’s what Mattis told Baron:

“You know, when a president of the United States asks you to do something – I don’t think it’s an old-fashioned school – I don’t think it’s old fashioned or anything. I don’t care if it’s a Republican or Democrat, we all have an obligation to serve. That’s all there is to it. And so, you serve.

First time I met with President Trump, we disagreed on three things in my first 40 minutes with him, on NATO, no torture, and on something else, and he hired me. This is not a man who is immune to being persuaded if he thinks you’ve got an argument. Anyway, press on.”


Baron asked Mattis why he doesn’t quit and why he serves, on the record at the Pentagon, according to Baron’s tweet.