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Fmr. Mattis aide announces ‘shocking’ new book on SecDef

Cmdr. Guy M. Snodgrass, from Colleyville, Texas recites his orders during a change of command ceremony for Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 195. During the ceremony, Cmdr. Ryan S. Jackson, From Carrolton, Texas, relieved Snodgrass as commanding officer of VFA-195. (Petty Officer 3rd Class Matthew C. Duncker/U.S. Navy)
March 29, 2019

A top advisor for former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has announced an upcoming book highlighting Mattis’ time in the Trump Administration.

Retired Navy Cmdr. Guy “Bus” Snodgrass, who served as Mattis’ chief communications director, will release “Holding the Line: Inside the Pentagon With General Mattis,” in October, and it’s expected to “alarm” readers, according to an NBC report on Tuesday.

A former F/A-18 pilot and TOPGUN instructor, Snodgrass became one of Mattis’ closest aides, and the one who wrote the former defense secretary’s speeches. He took extensive notes during his time at Mattis’ side, and used those to craft his book.

“I was at the defense secretary’s side for 17 crucial months of the Trump Presidency,” Snodgrass said in a statement. “I saw how our men and women in uniform worked tirelessly to carry out their duties and the (Defense) Department’s mission. I want to share this story with readers.”

The book was described in a press release as “an insider’s sometimes shocking account of how Defense Secretary James Mattis led the U.S. military through global challenges while serving as a crucial check on the Trump Administration.”

The release also described the book as a “fly-on-the-wall view of Mattis,” who “slow-rolled some of Trump’s most controversial measures, with no intention of following through.”

In July 2018, anonymous White House officials said that President Trump and Mattis didn’t see eye to eye. One said Trump grew distant from Mattis and instead relied on other advisors, believing Mattis was slow to follow policy directives.

The rift in their relationship had reportedly grown since December 2017, when Trump announced that the U.S. Embassy in Israel would be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Mattis opposed the move due to security concerns.

Mattis reportedly disagreed with other decisions, such as the southern border deployment, and the full withdrawal of 2,000 U.S. troops from Syria.

Mattis’ retirement as defense secretary was announced after his resignation letter surfaced in online reports in December 2018.

He wrote President Trump a letter saying, “because you have a right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours … I believe it is right for me to step down from my position.”

Mattis, 68, is a retired four-star Marine Corps general with a career spanning 43 years. He previously headed the U.S. Central Command overseeing military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Earlier this month, a Stanford University announcement revealed that Mattis will be joining the university’s Hoover Institution as a Davies Family Distinguished Fellow beginning May 1. It was the first widespread public announcement of Mattis’ activities since retiring in December.