Amongst the array of sycophants, yes-men, and you-betcha-women that President Trump surrounds himself with, there appears to be one Cabinet Secretary who has finally drawn a line in the sand.
The New York Times has revealed that, every week, the President’s staff asks Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis to appear on the sham news show Fox and Friends, and every week, Mattis refuses.
Mattis — who Trump calls “Mad Dog” despite the former General’s distaste for the nickname — has for the most part, joined his colleagues in the regime in obeying the President’s whims. Last month, for example, he agreed to hold a press conference to update the media on “progress” against ISIS.
Helene Cooper, Michael R. Gordon, and Eric Schmitt write for the Times that, “Mr. Mattis used the occasion to assert that the idea of surrounding enemy strongholds to prevent Islamic State fighters from escaping and to ‘annihilate’ the group was originated by the president, who did not serve in the armed forces and has no experience as a military strategist.”
Despite a willingness to give Trump credit that he transparently does not deserve, appearing beside the jokers on the inadvertently satirical Fox and Friends was just too much for the man who endeavors to rise above the partisan fray.
“For him to do his job, he has to be apolitical,” said Dov Zakheim, the Pentagon’s top financial officer under President George W. Bush. That message seems to be lost however on the rest of Trump’s team, who have yet to cease their weekly requests.
While defiance of Trump from his own top brass is rare, it is not unprecedented. Both Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson were transparently absent from the list of officials praising Trump’s decision to abandon the world’s efforts to combat climate change by withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accord.
“The care and feeding of allies and partners and friends is really the domain of those two guys,” Zakheim said, noting the fine line they must walk to maintain diplomatic relations.
Of course, that task is made all the more difficult and important by a president who seems to be working overtime to undermine American credibility and embarrass our nation on the world stage.
Unfortunately, in the view our foreign allies, avoiding the jokers at FOX News does little to avoid the stigma of associating himself with the far more dangerous clowns of the Trump regime.
But you can’t blame Mattis for trying.
Sheila Norton is a writer with ten years of Capitol Hill experience. Subscribe to the OD Action email to get all the hottest news delivered right to your inbox every day at www.odaction.com