Former United States Secretary of Defense James Mattis has rejected President Donald Trump while blaming him for creating divide and abusing his authority after taking oath. In rare comments made to the public, Mr. Mattis said the President had stoked divisions among American citizenry and couldn’t provide the country the mature leadership after taking charge.
He said he was “angry and appalled” by the President’s manhandling of the unrest sparked by the death of George Floyd. The comments did not go well with Trump who denounced the former general as an “overrated” and added that he was glad the Defense secretary resigned from his post. Mattis left the office over disagreements with Trump administration for the withdrawal of United States troops from Syria.
Mattis has remained mostly silence after leaving the office until offering the latest admonishment to the Republican President which was published by The Atlantic magazine on Wednesday.
Responding to the stinging rebuke, Mr. Trump posted a number of tweets about the firing of the Mad Dog.
“I didn’t’ like his leadership” style or much else about him, and many others agree,” he wrote. “Glad he is gone!”
“Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people – does not even pretend to try instead he tries to divide us,” said Mattis in the Atlantic.
He added: “We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership.”
Nicked warrior monk, the general also expressed his concerns over the recent public activism against racism in the aftermath of under arrest death of African-American George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers. Four officers have been charged with the death of the Floyd on May 25. The charge against Derek Chauvin was raised to second-degree murder on Wednesday. The majority of demonstrations over the last week have remained peaceful but some places have seen violent protests, vandalism and looting prompting the authorities to enforce curfew at the locations.
“We must not be distracted by a small number of lawbreakers,” Mr. Mattis wrote.
“The protests are defined by tens of thousands of people of conscience who are insisting that we live up to our values as a nation.”
The retired general whose resignation letter in Dec 2018 was also filled with indirect criticism of Trump’s foreign policy, issued a stark criticism on the use of reserve military force to crush the peaceful demonstrations.
“Never did I dream that troops would be ordered under any circumstance to violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens,” he said.
Militarizing our response, as we witnessed in Washington DC, sets up a conflict between the military and civilian society,” he added.
General. Chaos was alluding to an incident earlier this week when the administration attempted to diffuse the peaceful protests by ordering the use of tear gas and rubber bullets on the demonstrators gathered at a park near WH. The president then crossed the park for a photo-op at a nearby church that was set alight during the unrest.
Trump’s visit to the historic church caused fierce criticism from Democrats as well as religious leaders who lambasted the President for allowing the use of power against protesters to attend the photo-op in the damaged building.
In his latest comments, Mr. Mattis mocked the bizarre photo-op and added that clearing the park for the sake of photographs was an abuse of executive authority. Mr. Trump has consistently raised question over the peacefulness of protesters and in one of his earlier tweets said “people liked my walk to this historic place of worship”.
On Wednesday, in an interview to his former press secretary Sean Spicer, the president once again defended his visit and said it was well handled and loved by religious leaders.
Following the death of Floyd, largely peaceful protests – carried out in dozens of US cities including Chicago, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Washington, DC. and others – have been minorly marred by very few violent incidents. Despite curfews people are stepping outside to participate in the anti-racism marches.