After congressional Democrats reportedly mentioned Former Secretary of Defense and Marine Gen. Jim Mattis’ ISIS remarks during a meeting with President Trump, the president lashed out about his former defense chief.
A senior Democratic aide told the Washington Examiner that Trump called Mattis “the world’s most overrated general.”
The remark arose when Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer mentioned Mattis’ recent remarks on ISIS, which warned the terror group could “resurge” following Trump’s order to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria.
Trump reportedly added that Mattis “wasn’t tough enough,” and stated, “I captured ISIS. Mattis said it would take two years. I captured them in one month.”
The meeting between the president and congressional Democrats was to discuss Trump’s plans and goals for Syria, but it ended with the latter storming out of the meeting, and both sides accusing one another of having a “meltdown.”
“We have got to keep the pressure on [IS] so they don’t recover,” Mattis told NBC News’ Meet the Press program last weekend.
“You can pull your troops out as President [Barack] Obama learned the hard way out of Iraq, but the ‘enemy gets the vote,’ we say in the military. And in this case, if we don’t keep the pressure on, then ISIS will resurge. It’s absolutely a given that they will come back,” Mattis added.
Mattis’ term as Secretary of Defense ended in December 2018 when he submitted his resignation letter to Trump just one day after Trump announced the full withdrawal of 2,000 U.S. troops from Syria and months of rumors of tensions between Trump and Mattis.
In the letter, Mattis wrote, “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.”
During an interview with The Atlantic in August, Mattis referred to his resignation and said, “I had no choice but to leave. … I’ve been informed by four decades of experience, and I just couldn’t connect the dots anymore.”
In an interview with the New York Times in February, Trump said he demanded Mattis’ resignation – the second time he repeated that notion.
“I wasn’t happy with Mattis,” Trump said at the time. “I told Mattis to give me a letter. He didn’t just give me that letter. I told him.”
During his time in the administration, Mattis became the most approved member of the Trump Administration. He has been hailed as one of the greatest military minds of our time.