Former Defense Secretary James Mattis ripped into his former boss on Wednesday night, comparing President Donald Trump’s response to the nationwide unrest over George Floyd’s murder to the Nazi strategy of “divide and conquer.”
CBS News reports: It’s the most forceful statement yet from the decorated retired Marine Corps four-star general who left his role as defense secretary in late 2018 amid disagreements with the president about withdrawing troops from the Middle East. “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 said in his lengthy statement titled, “In union there is strength.” “We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. We can unite without him, drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society.”
More from the Washington Post: Trump responded on Twitter on Wednesday night, criticizing Mattis in a pair of tweets that had at least two factual errors. “Probably the only thing Barack Obama and I have in common is that we both had the honor of firing Jim Mattis, the world’s most overrated General. I asked for his letter of resignation, & felt great about. His nickname was ‘Chaos’, which I didn’t like, & changed it to ‘Mad Dog’,” Trump tweeted. “His primary strength was not military, but rather personal public relations. I gave him a new life, things to do, and battles to win, but he seldom ‘brought home the bacon’. I didn’t like his ‘leadership’ style or much else about him, and many others agree. Glad he is gone!” In reality, Mattis tendered his resignation in 2018 as he disagreed with Trump’s decision to pull U.S. forces out of Syria, numerous U.S. officials have said. Mattis’s military call sign was “Chaos,” and the nickname “Mad Dog,” which Mattis does not like, came along years before Trump became president.