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Jim Mattis. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis jokingly roasted President Trump on Thursday during a keynote address at New York's annual Alfred E. Smith dinner, saying he was "honored" to be called "the world's most overrated general" by the president earlier this week, the Washington Post reports.

"I'm honored to be considered that by Donald Trump because he also called Meryl Streep an overrated actress. So I guess I'm the Meryl Streep of generals, and frankly that sounds pretty good to me."

More Mattis jokes:

  • "I earned my spurs on the battlefield. Donald Trump earned his spurs in a letter from a doctor."
  • "I think the only person in the military that Mr. Trump doesn't think is overrated is Colonel Sanders."

The big picture: Mattis has generally avoided directly addressing Trump since resigning his post last year with a letter stating that his views were "not aligned" with those of the Trump administration.

  • He said he "did as well as [he] could for as long as [he] could" during his tenure in the Trump administration in a memoir released earlier this year.
  • He wrote, without addressing Trump by name: "A leader must display strategic acumen that incorporates respect for those nations that have stood with us when trouble loomed. Returning to a strategic stance that includes the interests of as many nations as we can make common cause with, we can better deal with this imperfect world we occupy together."

Go deeper: James Mattis on Trump's Syria decision: "ISIS will resurge"

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
3 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden to sign suite of major climate change orders

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Biden will sign new executive actions today that provide the clearest signs yet of his climate plans — and will begin an intense battle with the oil industry.

Driving the news: One move will freeze issuance of new oil-and-gas leases on public lands and waters "to the extent possible," per a White House summary.

The rebellion against Silicon Valley (the place)

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Smith Collection/Gado via Getty Images

Silicon Valley may be a "state of mind," but it's also very much a real enclave in Northern California. Now, a growing faction of the tech industry is boycotting it.

Why it matters: The Bay Area is facing for the first time the prospect of losing its crown as the top destination for tech workers and startups — which could have an economic impact on the region and force it to reckon with its local issues.

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
4 hours ago - Economy & Business

Telework's tax mess

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

As teleworkers flit from city to city, they're creating a huge tax mess.

Why it matters: Our tax laws aren't built for telecommuting, and this new way of working could have dire implications for city and state budgets.