Home » Politics » Former Defense Secretary James Mattis Denounces President Trump

Former Defense Secretary James Mattis Denounces President Trump

Former Secretary of Defense James Mattis, who served in the Trump administration for almost two years, unequivocally denounced President Trump in a statement accusing him of failing to unite the country amidst the unrest over the past week.

“I have watched this week’s unfolding events, angry and appalled. The words ‘Equal Justice Under Law’ are carved in the pediment of the United States Supreme Court. This is precisely what protesters are rightly demanding. It is a wholesome and unifying demand – one that all of us should be able to get behind. We must not be distracted by a small number of lawbreakers. 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 in a statement obtained by The Atlantic.

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“When I joined the military some 50 years ago, I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution. Never did I dream that troops taking that same oath 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,” he said.

As The Daily Wire previously reported, U.S. Park Police have rejected claims that tear gas was deployed at demonstrators, but acknowledged that they deployed smoke canisters and pepper balls after “violent protesters” purportedly became “combative.” White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters on Wednesday that the visit was important for its symbolic significance.

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper has distanced himself from the church visit, claiming that he thought he would be looking at damage and talking to troops, according to Business Insider.

“We must reject any thinking of our cities as a ‘battlespace’ that our uniformed military is called upon to ‘dominate,’” said Mattis, seemingly a reference to a call between Trump and state governors in which Esper urged the states to put an end to civil unrest, reports ABC News.

The relevant audio segment of the call is excerpted below (excerpt via The Washington Post):

Here’s the audio of the US secretary of defense referring to American streets as the “battle space” pic.twitter.com/SmqynReHTC

— John Hudson (@John_Hudson) June 1, 2020

The Washington Post reports that Esper has also distanced himself from the phrase “battlespace,” noting that he should have used a different term: “In retrospect, I would use different wording so as not to distract from the more important matters at hand or allow some to suggest that we are militarizing the issue.”

“At home, we should use our military only when requested to do so, on very rare occasions, by state governors,” continued Mattis in his statement. “Militarizing our response, as we witnessed in Washington, D.C., sets up a conflict—a false conflict—between the military and civilian society. It erodes the moral ground that ensures a trusted bond between men and women in uniform and the society they are sworn to protect, and of which they themselves are a part. Keeping public order rests with civilian state and local leaders who best understand their communities and are answerable to them.”

“James Madison wrote in Federalist 14 that ‘America united with a handful of troops, or without a single soldier, exhibits a more forbidding posture to foreign ambition than America disunited, with a hundred thousand veterans ready for combat.’ We do not need to militarize our response to protests. We need to unite around a common purpose. And it starts by guaranteeing that all of us are equal before the law,” he said.

“Instructions given by the military departments to our troops before the Normandy invasion reminded soldiers that “The Nazi slogan for destroying us…was ‘Divide and Conquer.’ Our American answer is ‘In Union there is Strength.’” We must summon that unity to surmount this crisis—confident that we are better than our politics,” said Mattis.

“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,” said Mattis. “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. 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.”

“We can come through this trying time stronger, and with a renewed sense of purpose and respect for one another. The pandemic has shown us that it is not only our troops who are willing to offer the ultimate sacrifice for the safety of the community. Americans in hospitals, grocery stores, post offices, and elsewhere have put their lives on the line in order to serve their fellow citizens and their country. We know that we are better than the abuse of executive authority that we witnessed in Lafayette Park. We must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution. At the same time, we must remember Lincoln’s ‘better angels,’ and listen to them, as we work to unite,” said Mattis.

“Only by adopting a new path—which means, in truth, returning to the original path of our founding ideals—will we again be a country admired and respected at home and abroad,” he concluded.

The former secretary of defense resigned in late 2018 — after Trump made the decision to withdraw troops from Syria — and told the president that he had the “right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours on these and other subjects,” according to a copy of the resignation letter obtained by The New York Times.

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38 comments

  1. Madass is a leftie deep down and they are LEFTIES FIRST ,Anything else after!, So he is F’d up!

  2. Hogwash ..

    Your pacifistic fantasies cost life and limb of American soldiers in the middle east.
    You watch in cowardly silence as foreign enemies of state energize lawless protests hiding behind civil rights as an excuse. Nobody prefers war but peace is never ever freely offered it must always be earned.
    How dare you encourage troops to disobey the CIC?
    Obama fired you and do did Trump….you have broken your oath soldier boy ….hang your head or get out there and stop the lawbreakers!

  3. As Deroy Murdock said the other day General Mattis May have 7000 books in his library but he does not think he has read any of them. Unfortunately the military has been politicized like everything else in Washington DC. I truly believe that President Trump was convinced to bring on Mattis and Kelly by a group within the Republican Party who wanted to see the President fail. Fortunately as usual President Trump was smart enough to get rid of them. Theses people are part of the swamp and part of the elite Washington insiders and have no place in this administration. I am grateful for their service to our country. But I feel that they are truly out of touch with most Americans. The gravy train they have been on for a very long time is coming to an end and they do not like it. As far as I am can see that includes a lot of the Republican Congressman and Senator’s alike and 99% of the Democrats. If President Trump and Attorney General Barr had not brought in the National Guard and threatened to bring in the active military Washington DC would have been destroyed ( did anyone pay attention to what was happening the first few nights of the “peaceful “ LOL protests). Washington DC belongs to us and you may not like to hear it but you work for us. Thank God for President Trump. He shows real leadership and does not bow down to groups like Antifa and BLM. He has stated many times what happened to George Floyd was terrible and he is with the real peaceful protesters but that is never good enough for the people who feel he is not on the same level as them he is uncouth and like a bull in a china shop. Well guess what that is what this country needs to get back to where we were before Clinton and Bush and Obama. We the people are tired of this crap. Social justice my ass I live in New York and it was not peaceful it was domestic terror and looting. I am sorry for the real peaceful protesters and for George Floyd. I am also sorry for the family of the 77 year old retired police officer murdered on Facebook live and the 63 year old federal officer killed the second night of the riots ( both black) and many others who were hurt. But I guess that does not fit the narrative so it is forgotten about. When I see 5 th Avenue in Manhattan boarded up like we live in Iraq or Afghanistan it infuriates me Saks 5 th ave where I have shopped since I was a child has a chain link fence with barbed wire on top and security guards with dogs. Unbelievable. Wake up America before it is too late.

    • Bravo!!!! Very well said! We, The People, should raise our voices and demand respect for our institutions, the President of this great USA, and ourselves. We just want to provide the best to our families through hard work, whether employed or as business owners. No criminal group as Antifa, has the right to destroy our lives, and the Democrats should learn to respect us, our values, our freedom, not try to impose on us theirs.

    • Hogwash ..

      Your pacifistic fantasies cost life and limb of American soldiers in the middle east.
      You watch in cowardly silence as foreign enemies of state energize lawless protests hiding behind civil rights as an excuse. Nobody prefers war but peace is never ever freely offered it must always be earned.
      How dare you encourage troops to disobey the CIC?
      Obama fired you and do did Trump….you have broken your oath soldier boy ….hang your head or get out there and stop the lawbreakers!

    • Excellent! I am relieved to know that I am not by myself in my disgust at this display of total ego Chase!

      There is an enormous army of blue uniforms on the street every day facing enemies just as vicious and just as ruthless as any that have ever been faced on any battlefield at any time in history. They are well-funded well-organized and supported by our virulent enemies abroad. And now they have co-optef a former icon who has become an adset in the enemy army that would eventually bring down the great republic of the United States…

      And now more to Mattis:

      Battlespace my ass…… Open your eyes you blind old man! The battle space had already been established and good citizens are falling at the hands of the soldierized enemy activists even as we speak and even as you turn your back on them and abandon the home soldiers in blue the field.

      Jo

    • So agree with All you say but what is it gonna to take to get rid of Trump

      • Syl, if you agree with them – that President Trump is a leader, why would you like to get rid of him? The democrats are socialists and communists. Our president loves our country and his words have always been taken out of context. The liberal abc channels and liberal newspapers treat him with disdain. They never treated Obama this way and he did lie on important things and was in the midst of scandals. The MSM protected him always.

        I LOVE PRESIDENT TRUMP. He has done more for America than any other president in recent times. Get on board. TRUMP/PENCE 2020

    • Conrad J Herold

      Always months after someone washes out of the TRUMP administration, it sooner or later is revealed that the one leaving was discovered to be a deep stater by TRUMP. And out the door he goes.! Now maddog the general seems to be lining up with madcow the switching sides reporter . She used to be pretty and attractive and slightly conservative. These remind me of mr Walrus the insider traitorous skunk who was soon sniffed out and shown the door. None of these will be missed. TRUMP 2020

  4. MATTIS NOW IS ONCE AGAIN IN BOZO’S CIRCUS AGAINST THE PRESIDENT AND THE SAFETY OF THE UNION OF THE REPUBLIC!

  5. This is proof that the military is infected with liberals and RINO’S.

  6. Michael O'Connor

    One thing that everyone needs to realize is this: No matter who you are or what race you belong to, you must obey the laws of this country. Most blacks have learned that or have been taught by socialist that they are some how special so that if they are ever challenged because of their actions the must play the race card and that is exactly what is happening here. They think they can because they have, get away with breaking the laws of the land by claiming racism. The biggest problem is the blacks who have made it so to speak do nothing to help their own community. Oh sure the give lip service when it’s to their advantage but what do they actually do? So when an event like this comes along, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out who is behind this and it isn’t President Trump. This man was a criminal, not “Mama’s poor little boy”. Check his police record for your self. High on fentenol and meth, resisting arrest, violent, what do you expect. How much abuse should police have to take. He was not a midget!!! General Mattis needs to understand along with Mayors and Governors that these people are not there because Mr Floyd, they are there to cause Chaos and destruction. If it takes the military to quell the violence then so be it, Mayors are not doing their job so who will. Now the Mayor of Minneapolis want the governt to fix his city. My answer to that little creep is, STUFF IT. You inaction caused this, don’t look for the taxpayers to fix the problems caused by your inaction. There is no reason for this kind of behavior, no matter what. The fake news, the Democrats and the sponsors of groups like Antifa are to blame and congress needs to act immediately to see that those responsible are charged ans sent to prison for their involvement.

  7. Patricia Barnes

    James Marris – DROP DEAD!

  8. What’s frightening is the responses from your readers denouncing and not believing the words of a true patriot.Also believing the lies Trump tells.Mattis didn’t get fired,he resigned over a Trump policy in Syria.General Kelly also didn’t get fired and nor did Rex Tillerson.They resign when they had enough of working for a corrupt incompetent moron.Next Trump will claim that he forced Paul Ryan to resign who when he resigned said that “he was tired of teaching Trump how government works.Your readers should start listening to Mitt Romney,Jeff Flake,George Conway,and other Republicans who are terrified of Trump as President.

    • Let me correct you President Trump knows how the Government works, he didn’t know how the Deep State worked.

      • If you think Trump knows how government works you aren’t paying attention.Isn’t it amazing that virtually all his initial appointments who were clearly conservative active Republicans have resigned out of frustration.Read Bret Stephens in today’s NY Times.They recruited him from the Wall St Journal to ensure that they had a very conservative columnist.His column is titled “Donald Trump is our National Catastrophe”.
        As for the “Deep State” they are career civil servants who care about their country.

        • Steven, you are crazy. The deep state is trying to make our country bankrupt and be controlled by communists. The deep state or one world order want to take over the earth and have us all be slaves to them. They are not smart enough to see that they are not all going to be in power. Many will be no longer useful and will be horribly removed.

          President Trump has done amazing things for America. His deregulations so small businesses could flourish for one. He has demanded that other countries that are part of organizations pay their fair share. Making trade changes to benefit America, laws that help blacks and others of color in prisons to be released because of harsh laws passed by Biden, etc. You are IGNORANT or want America taken over.

          • I can only think your commentary is a joke.I can’t believe anyone could be this stupid.Trump deserves the support of all the people who supported George Wallace because of his own bigoted and anti immigrant beliefs.Anyone else who supports him obviously misses that we have a major climate crisis and Trump has only made it worse,we have a major gun violence problem and Trump has done nothing to deal with it,and we have lost the respect of the whole world.I am unaware of any prior President who has had a succession of former White House officials and Cabinet Secretaries that have denounced him and stronly don’t believe he is good for the country.

    • Steven Newman – I truly respected Jim Mattis & found him a cut above. But this move by him is so sad. Not only does he break his own oath that he would not speak out against a sitting president, but he has also said, he wished to remain apolitical.
      His letter was a disgrace, a lie.. every word of it!
      First President Trump does has the Cobstitutional Right to use the Insurrection Act – & it has been used 13 other times by presidents, for very similar situations.
      These are not peaceful protesters. Peaceful protesters don’t go around inciting violence against Whites & Police. The chant, “What do you want.. Dead cops”.. & “Shoot all police & Whites” is simply unacceptable & NOT peaceful.
      The rioting & looting, with the massive destruction is just pure criminal activity. There is NO EXCUSE FOR IT!
      My. George Floyd’s death was murder & that is unacceptable! I long to see the guilty police officers receive their punishment. But not all the police officers deserve the same punishment. 2 officers were rookies, 2 being only days on the job. Both rookies tried to get the senior officers to stop & roll Floyd over to let him breathe. But so are protesters inciting violence & rioting & looting.
      Every word of Jim Mattis’ letter contained a lie, & frankly he’s so much better than that.
      I admired & still admire, Jim Mattis, but he was WRONG… 100% wrong. And it saddens me to see him do such a thing. As I said, “Jim Mattis is better than this” & I hope he comes to his senses, takes a step back & repents; either privately or publicly!

      • If he was wrong why have Trump’s former Chief of Staff John Kelly and numerous generals and admirals agreed with him.
        Clearly peaceful protests are appropriate but violence,rioting,and looting are unacceptable,should denounced,and the people who did that should be arrested

  9. Laqueesha Reid

    He even tried to force the 7th Marines to wear pink panties and form two Daffodil Brigades complete with Pink Camouflage Field Uniforms ….! Seem’s like Mattis had a stable of Tyrones at every Marine Base…. The Tyrones regularly stretched his brown-eye…..!

  10. Oscar V Pearson

    Stay retired and enjoying your life outside of politics – you speak nonsense! Obama Boy!

  11. He did not deserve a general, may be too old to be confused. What is the protection of the commander-in-chief, what is the protection of a President of the United States of America?
    While outside of insecurity, terrorist riots mingle with protesters sabotaging historic sites in the country.
    Do you deserve to be a general of the United States???

  12. It seems that a lot of the people who where in the top of the pentagon under Obama wore their wives panties to work, and still do.

  13. YOU aren’t paying attention! Those who are against Trump do NOT care about the country! They are against the well being and sovereignty of the United States of America! Take Open Borders for example! Where does THAT fit in this country’s government “working”? To have no boundaries is to have no respect for yourself and those you are responsible for! The one thing you said is true is that the Deep State ARE career people, but NOT civil servants – they are political opportunists who have sold out to the DC ring of pandering to lobbyists, using their position for personal gain, – not to represent the people! Trump is the only one I know of that sought the Presidency for the sake of building up and restoring the country to her original greatness, NOT to get rich! When he moved into the White House, it was down scaling to comply with the office he now held – to occupy the historical Government House where Presidents were required to take up residence! But he is NOT a rich snob! He knows how to work and has given 120% of every day for the sake of restoring greatness, honor and national Constitutional self respect back to a government OF THE PEOPLE, BY the PEOPLE and FOR the PEOPLE!

    • The major one using the Presidency for personal gain is Donald Trump and his family.Why do you think he opposes all efforts to determine how much the Federal government has spent at Trump properties.Newspapers have documented millions and they have only barely obtained info.We are being ripped off by the President.Also why do you think he opposes all efforts to release his tax returns.Do you think it might be that they will provide information different from financial documents filed with the foreign banks(American ones knew him and were smart enough to know not to lend him money) and that it conflicts with what he sold you that he was a successful businessman.
      As for career people they choose to support the country and dedicated their life to doing so under both Republican and Democratic Presidents.
      As for immigration the overwhelming proportion of Democrats and Republicans including elected officials want a rationale immigration system including controls at the borders but you have been taken in by the fool in the White House who sold you a border wall that Mexico would pay for.Have you seen the check?

  14. Conrad J Herold

    Steven :Mattis is a treacherous deep stater. But you being a marxist demonstrated by your reasoning would like to ignore the systemic patterns of being appointed under false pretenses. How long Steven will it be before you are exposed as a fellow marxist.?There are two categories or types of marxist – the moronic or the imbecilic. The moron is an incredibly stupid person. The imbecile has reasoning ability of a seven year old. Which are you Steven? It is neck and neck.

    • Anyone whose only commentary is insults obviously has nothing useful to say.As for your comments I have two Masters Degrees,one in Engineering and one in Business Administration.I have been both a Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer of major organizations .You?

    • Steve needs to change his name to Steve Oldman. I wish he would tell what companies he was CFO AND COO. It would be great to see the organizational charts of those companies. Key words in his reply are HAVE BEEN. I think he should also list that he has a BS.

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