Trump Trying To ‘Divide’ America: Former US Defense Secretary
In an exceptional criticism, former U.S. defense secretary Jim Mattis on Wednesday criticized President Donald Trump’s harsh use of military power to stop protests near the White House and declared his ex-boss was setting up a “false conflict” among the military and civilian community.
“I have seen this week’s unwinding events, outraged and appalled,” Mattis penned.
The critique was all the more extraordinary because Mattis has usually held a low profile since retiring as defense secretary in December 2018 to protest Trump’s Syria strategy. He had refused to speak out toward Trump, stating he owed the nation public quietness while his former boss remained in office.
But he’s speaking out after this past week’s protests in response to the death of George Floyd in police custody. Trump reacted on Twitter Wednesday evening by calling Mattis “the world’s most overrated General.”
“Glad he is gone!” Trump tweeted.
Mattis had a harsh portrait of Trump’s walk to a close-by historic church on Monday to pose with a Bible after enforcement energetically unblocked Lafayette Square of mostly nonviolent protesters.
He stated he never imagined troops “would be required under any condition to break the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens — much small to supply a strange photo opportunity for the selected commander-in-chief, with military leadership standing beside.”
“Donald Trump is that the first president in my existence who doesn’t strive to unite the Americans does not also attempt to engage. Alternatively, he tries to divide us,” Mattis drafted during a statement issued by The Atlantic. “We are witnessing the outcomes of three years of this intentional attempt. We are witnessing the results of three years without mature leadership.”
Mattis called on Americans to unite without Trump.
Mattis said of the protesters that Americans shouldn’t be distracted by a small number of lawbreakers. He said they’re rightly demanding that the country follow the words of “Equal Justice Under Law” that are on display at the U.S. Supreme Court.
Mattis took particular issue with the use of force to move back protesters so that Trump could visit St. John’s Church the day after it had been damaged by fire during protests. Several different groups, including the National Guard and therefore the U.S. Park Police, were involved.
One day after Trump declared he was extracting all U.S. troops out of Syria, where they were partnering with local Syrians to fight the Islamic State, Mattis tried but did not change Trump’s mind. So, he resigned. Trump quickly turned on Mattis, declaring him a failure. He said falsely that he had fired Mattis.
“What’s he done for me?” Trump said January 2. “How had he done in Afghanistan? Not too good. I’m not proud of what he’s wiped out Afghanistan, and that I should not be happy.”