Former Defense Secretary James Mattis Chastises President Donald Trump

Former Defense Secretary James Mattis on Wednesday chided President Donald Trump as “the first president in my life who doesn’t try to unite the American people” in a powerful reprimand of his former boss as mass demonstrations have ramped up over George Floyd ‘s death.

His sharp remarks follow over a week of countrywide protests across the country willing to call for justice for Floyd, a black man who was killed by a white Minneapolis police officer last week. In response, Trump proclaimed himself “the president of law and order” earlier this week, and threatened to use the military to restore peace to American streets if widespread violence is not quenched.

Mattis’ remarks are a momentous moment for a man who has been largely quiet since leaving the administration. The retired Marine General had been pressured on many occasions to comment on Trump, the policies of the troops, the Pentagon and other current events and had always refused because he did not want to get involved and be a contradictory voice to the troops. Instead, Mattis has always insisted that in his resignation letter he had said everything he wanted to say.

And he had held that view privately until a few days ago, but Mattis has become so distraught by the events of the last week that his views on speaking out have changed. The remarks come from a significant moment for many service members. They idolatry the former defence secretary who — through a career is on allegiance and reverence for the military chain-of-command. It is giving troops the message that the nation can survive without the leadership of the president. In a series of tweets Wednesday night the President responded to Mattis.

Federal Law Enforcement Officers Protest

A Trump campaign adviser made mention of Trump’s affection to have early retired Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster retired generals in high-ranking positions in his administration. It includes Mattis, former Homeland Security Secretary and chief of staff John Kelly and former National Security Adviser.

After days of increased military presence in Washington, the message is coming. National guards and federal law enforcement stationed from around the nation’s capital in a force show unseen in recent memory. On Monday, federal law enforcement officers violently broke up peaceful protests. It is in front of the White House, apparently so that Trump could stage a photo-op at a church. It is across the street from Lafayette Square where protesters had gathered. The former secretary, who resigned from Trump’s Cabinet, also indirectly criticized the use of the word “battlespace”. It is in reference to American cities by the current Secretary of Defense Mark Esper.

His comments echo some in the Pentagon ‘s growing discomfort. It began well before Trump announced he was willing to deploy the force to protect order within the US.

Esper admits on Wednesday that his use of the word “battlespace” is no suggestion to any dispute with Americans. But state that he uses a military term for art. At this time, Esper also outright denied the use of active-duty forces. It is in a law enforcement role comments putting him on shaky ground with the White House.

Still, Mattis made it clear that the President’s blistering assessment extends far beyond issue at all.

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