President Donald Trump reacted to a statement from Gen. Jim Mattis after his former Secretary of Defense criticized his leadership.
“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,” Trump wrote.
In a statement, Mattis said that federal soldiers under Trump’s command were ordered to “violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens” by clearing Lafayette Park of protesters on Monday.
“We must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution,” Mattis wrote about the president.
The president said he “felt great” about asking for Mattis to resign, and he also said he preferred the nickname “Mad Dog” for Mattis, rather than Chaos. (Mattis hated the nickname Mad Dog, given to him by Marines under his command.) Reports noted that privately Trump called him “Moderate Dog” after Mattis was routinely sympathetic with Democrats and the foreign policy establishment.
Mattis released his letter of resignation in December 2018, after he adamantly opposed Trump’s decision to pull troops from Syria.
Trump said he was disappointed with Mattis’s performance, and he referred to the military mythology that followed him.
“His primary strength was not military, but rather personal public relations,” Trump wrote.
The president also said he was disappointed with Mattis’s leadership of the military, despite funding the Department of Defense at record levels.
“I gave him a new life, things to do, and battles to win, but he seldom ‘brought home the bacon,'” Trump wrote. “I didn’t like his ‘leadership’ style or much else about him, and many others agree. Glad he is gone!”