Jun 4, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump hits back at Mattis: "I gave him a new life"

President Trump sits and speaks
President Trump speaks at the White House. Photo: Doug Mills - Pool/Getty Images

President Trump unloaded on his former defense secretary via Twitter on Wednesday, hours after James Mattis condemned him for making a "mockery of our Constitution" in his response to mass protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing.

What he's saying: "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. I asked for his letter of resignation, & felt great about it. His nickname was 'Chaos', which I didn’t like, & changed it to 'Mad Dog'"

  • "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!"

Reality check: Trump did not create the "Mad Dog" nickname during his administration as he claimed. News reports as far back as 2004 have used the informal title.

  • Mattis resigned in 2018 after clashing with Trump on the administration's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria.

Go deeper: James Mattis condemns Trump as a threat to the Constitution

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