Former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis: Trump 'does not even pretend to try' to do his job

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Mattis broke his silence about his disdain for Trump, who he says is dividing the country and is incapable of 'mature' leadership.

Former Trump Defense Secretary Jim Mattis broke his silence on Wednesday to slam Donald Trump's actions in the wake of George Floyd's death, saying Trump makes "a mockery of our Constitution."

Mattis, who resigned in 2018 in protest of Trump's actions in Syria, made his blistering remarks against Trump in a statement to the Atlantic.

He said he was moved to speak out after Trump used the military "to violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens" and "provide a bizarre photo op for the elected commander-in-chief, with military leadership standing alongside."

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Mattis went on to say that 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," Mattis wrote. "We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. We can unite without him, drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society. 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."

Mattis, who says he sympathizes with the protesters demanding change following Floyd's death at the hands of police, appeared to call for Trump's defeat in November, saying the country must "reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution."

Shortly after Mattis' comments went public, Trump attacked his former defense secretary on Twitter, saying he is "glad" Mattis resigned from his administration.

"Probably the only thing Barack Obama & I have in common is that we both had the honor of firing Jim Mattis, the world's most overrated General," Trump tweeted.

Mattis is the latest former military leader to condemn Trump's actions in the wake of nationwide protests against police brutality.

Mike Mullen, who served as the chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under both former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, wrote an op-ed for the Atlantic on Tuesday saying Trump's actions "sickened" him.

"It sickened me yesterday to see security personnel —including members of the National Guard — forcibly and violently clear a path through Lafayette Square to accommodate the president's visit outside St. John's Church," Mullen wrote, referencing Trump's photo-op, when peaceful protesters were tear-gassed so Trump could pose with a bible outside a church near the White House.

"I have to date been reticent to speak out on issues surrounding President Trump's leadership, but we are at an inflection point, and the events of the past few weeks have made it impossible to remain silent," he said.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.