Accepting a job inside the Trump White House invariably means that at some point in the future you’ll be subjected to the cold sensation of the president’s rhetorical knife plunging into your back. As soon as an official has lost their usefulness or a former official dares voice even the tamest of criticisms, Trump goes scorched earth in an effort to completely undermine their credibility and cow other would-be critics into silence.
Earlier today, Trump slammed his former Defense Secretary James Mattis as “the world’s most overrated general.” The president made the disparaging comment at a closed-door meeting about Syria during which he reportedly had a temperamental meltdown of sorts. Mattis resigned from the administration last year, in part because he disagreed with the president’s plan to withdraw American troops from Syria.
The Hill reports that Trump’s Mattis insult came after Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) read part of the transcript from Mattis’s weekend appearance on Meet the Press during which the general warned that ISIS could mount a resurgence in Syria if American forces completely vacate the region.
Before Schumer could finish relaying Mattis’s criticisms, Trump interjected and delivered his “overrated” comment.
“You know why? He wasn’t tough enough. I captured ISIS. Mattis said it would take two years. I captured them in one month,” Trump went on, delivering a delusional screed that almost sounds like he thinks he was literally on the ground rounding up terrorists.
It must be said that James Mattis, for all his flaws, has done more for this country on any single day of his service than Trump will do his entire life.
Trump’s smearing of Mattis comes amidst a wave of widespread bipartisan condemnation over the president’s completely unnecessary and largely unexplained decision to pull American forces from the Turkish border which in turn allowed the bloodthirsty Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to invade northeast Syria, slaughtering our Kurdish allies and loosing ISIS prisoners in the process.
The Syrian withdraw and tragic Turkish invasion will prove to be one of the most lasting elements of Donald Trump’s ignominious legacy and as he lashes out more and more at his enemies and former allies it’s becoming clear that he’s coming to realize what a monumental blunder he has made.
WATCH: Former Defense Secretary James Mattis says to know how he feels about the current situation in Syria, read his resignation letter.
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) October 13, 2019
Rob Haffey is a writer, filmmaker, and winner of the ScreenCraft Writing Fellowship. He is a graduate of Drexel University.