Mattis Quit His Secretary Position, But Now Trump Is Claiming He ‘Essentially’ Fired Him

Mattis, Trump

In a Cabinet meeting Wednesday, Trump dissed former Defense Secretary James Mattis, a man once held in high regard by the president.

“What’s he done for me?” Trump asked during the meeting, according to Bloomberg. “How has he done in Afghanistan? Not too good.”

Trump reportedly said that he “essentially” fired Mattis, but in reality, Mattis resigned last week, citing differing opinions with the president on Syria.

The president ultimately took the news well and thanked Mattis for his service, but it appeared Trump did so before reading the former general’s resignation letter that criticized Trump’s foreign policy positions.

Mattis was supposed to stay on the Cabinet until Trump found a replacement, but after reading the letter, Trump dismissed Mattis early.

As a former general, many lawmakers on both sides saw Mattis as fit in his position as secretary of defense. His temporary replacement, Patrick Shanahan, did not serve in the military.

Neither did Trump, who recused himself from the draft during the Vietnam War multiple times, first for an education deferment and later for bone spurs in his feet. Last week, the New York Times reported the bone spurs diagnosis could’ve been a favor from a doctor who had business ties with Trump’s father.

Nevertheless, Trump insulted Mattis and thought he would be good for the job.

“I think I would’ve been a good general,” Trump said at the meeting. “But who knows.”

Trump first publicly criticized Mattis via Twitter on Christmas Eve, claiming Mattis couldn’t see the problems he does.

Two days before that, Trump pointed out that former President Barack Obama fired Mattis after serving as head of Central Command.

Before his resignation, Trump was nothing but encouraging of his defense secretary.

Once affectionately called “Mad Dog” by the president (a nickname Mattis reportedly despised), Trump’s former defense secretary has joined the increasing amount of former administration officials that Trump dismisses.


  1. If you ever notice, he rarely throws the first punch, President Trump has a right to punch back!
    Can you imagine if you had half of the World bashing you 24/7/365?!

  2. I think I would avoid talking about Mattis as much as possible. He had one of the highest favorability ratings of anyone on the administration.

    1. That is because you do not have 33% of the country under mind control. If you say the sky is green & grass is blue, a reader would politely point out a typo. You do have the trust of IJR readers. So if you report “Today Trump proclaimed the sky is green & grass is blue,” IJR posters would simply claim that Democrats/Obamas/Clintons/Pelosi/Soros caused the sky to turn green & grass blue AND the DOJ refuses to investigate. And the poster would quickly garner 10 up votes.

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