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Mattis Accuses Trump of Dividing the Nation in a Time of Crisis

  • June 04, 2020

Mr. Trump fired back 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,” he said, although Mr. Mattis quit.

In 2013, Mr. Mattis was pushed out of his job as head of the military’s U.S. Central Command because he was viewed as too much of a hawk on Iran policy during the Obama administration.

In his tweet, the president added: “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!”

Mr. Mattis’s condemnation carries huge weight in military circles, where he remains highly influential. In the insular world of Marines, he has an almost cultlike status. But that influence extends far beyond just the military to include much of the national security establishment, members of Congress, foreign dignitaries and defense contractors.

For instance, at the Reagan National Defense Forum in Simi Valley, Calif., last December, Mr. Mattis, gliding through a reception of influential national security thinkers from government and the private sector, was stopped constantly by people who wanted to shake his hand and take photos with him. A crowd of people trailed him as he made his way through the hall, amid excited murmurs of, “Hey, Mattis is here.”

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