Trump insists ex-Chief of Staff John Kelly ‘didn’t know’ he would fire Jim Mattis amid mutiny of bitter ex-officials – The Sun

DONALD Trump insisted that ex-Chief of Staff John Kelly "didn't know" he would fire Jim Mattis amid the mutiny of bitter ex-officials.

The president made the bold statement on Twitter on Thursday evening in a raging response to earlier comments that Kelly and Mattis had made about him.


"John Kelly didn’t know I was going to fire James Mattis, nor did he have any knowledge of my asking for a letter of resignation. Why would I tell him, he was not…" he wrote.

"…in my inner-circle, was totally exhausted by the job, and in the end just slinked away into obscurity. They all want to come back for a piece of the limelight!"

The president's comments follow an interview that Kelly did with the Washington Post, where he said Trump "is confused" about his claims that he fired Mattis.

"The president did not fire him. He did not ask for his resignation," Kelly, a retired Marine Corps general, said.

"The president has clearly forgotten how it actually happened or is confused.

"The president tweeted a very positive tweet about Jim until he started to see on Fox News their interpretation of his letter.

"Then he got nasty. Jim Mattis is a honorable man."



On Thursday, the president also tweeted a copy of a harsh letter his former lawyer, John Dowd, had written to Mattis.

"I thought this letter from respected retired Marine and Super Star lawyer, John Dowd, would be of interest to the American People. Read it!" Trump urged in a tweet.

In the letter, Dowd wrote: "President Trump has done more to help our minority brothers and sisters in the last three years than anyone in the last fifty."

The conflict came after Mattis denounced the president as a "threat to the constitution" amid the George Floyd protests, on Wednesday.

Hours later, the president took to Twitter to slam his former defense chief.

"Probably the only thing Barack Obama and I have in common is that we both had the honor of firing Jim Mattis, the world’s most overrated General. I asked for his letter of resignation, & felt great about. His nickname was 'Chaos', which I didn’t like, & changed it to 'Mad Dog'…" he tweeted.

"….His primary strength was not military, but rather personal public relations. I gave him a new life, things to do, and battles to win, but he seldom 'brought home the bacon'. I didn’t like his 'leadership' style or much else about him, and many others agree. Glad he is gone!"

In a statement published by The Atlantic, Mattis said that his former boss was "setting up a false conflict" between the military and civilian society.

The secretary resigned his position in December 2018 in protest at Trump's Syria policy.

He had previously declined to speak out against the president, saying he owed the nation public silence while his former boss remained in office.

However, the protests across the United States prompted the former soldier to speak out.

"I have watched this week's unfolding events, angry and appalled," he wrote.

Criticizing Trump's Monday trip to St. John's Church, Mattis said: "Never did I dream that troops taking that same oath would be ordered under any circumstance to violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens—much less to provide a bizarre photo op for the elected commander-in-chief, with military leadership standing alongside.”

The ex-secretary went on to call Trump "the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people."

Mattis called on Americans to "unite without him, drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society."

He continued: "This will not be easy, as the past few days have shown, but we owe it to our fellow citizens; to past generations that bled to defend our promise; and to our children."

Speaking directly about the George Floyd protests, Mattis said that protesters "must not be distracted by a small number of lawbreakers."

"The protests are defined by tens of thousands of people of conscience who are insisting that we live up to our values—our values as people and our values as a nation."

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