Former Defense Secretary blasts Trump: He's not trying to unite Americans

James Mattis condemns Trump for his handling of the protests over George Floyd’s death. Trump: I'm glad he is gone!

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

James Mattis and Donald Trump
James Mattis and Donald Trump

Former US Defense Secretary James Mattis on Wednesday issued a fiery statement in which he condemned President Donald Trump for his handling of the protests over George Floyd’s death in a fiery statement released Wednesday and quoted in The Hill.

“I have watched this week’s unfolding events, angry and appalled,” Mattis wrote.

“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,” he added.

Mattis accused Trump of being the first President in his lifetime “who does not try to unite the American people—does not even pretend to try.”

"We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership," Mattis added, urging Americans to “unite without him.”

“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,” Mattis wrote.

Mattis’ sharp criticism follows Trump’s threat earlier this week to deploy US troops to states to quell protests. It also follows the incident in which law enforcement fired tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters outside the White House before Trump walked to the nearby St. John's Episcopal Church to take a photo.

“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,” Mattis wrote in his statement.

Trump responded to Mattis’ statement later on Wednesday and wrote on Twitter, “Probably the only thing Barack Obama & 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 it. His nickname was ‘Chaos’, which I didn’t like, & changed to ‘Mad Dog’. His primary strength was not military, but rather personal public relations,” continued Trump, who also wrote, “I didn’t like his ‘leadership’ style or much else about him, and many others agree. Glad he is gone!”

Mattis resigned in December of 2018 amid disagreements with Trump over plans to pull all US troops out of Syria.

Trump had hinted in an interview several months earlier that Mattis "could be" leaving and referred to him as "sort of a Democrat".

Meanwhile on Wednesday, Trump said he doesn't think it will be necessary to send military forces to US cities to quell protests sparked by the death of George Floyd.

"It depends. I don’t think we’ll have to. We have very strong powers to do it. The National Guard is customary and we have a very powerful National Guard," Trump said in an interview with Newsmax.