Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Thursday that former Defense Secretary James Mattis' criticism of President Trump's response to mass protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing was "unfair" during an interview on "Fox & Friends."

What he's saying: "To General Mattis, I think you're missing something here, my friend. You're missing the fact that the liberal media has taken every event in the last three-and-a-half years and laid it at the president's feet."

  • "I'm not saying he's blameless, but I am saying that you're buying into a narrative that I think is, quite frankly, unfair."
  • "You don't quite understand that from the time President Trump wakes up until he goes to bed, there's an effort to destroy his presidency. ... It is so fashionable to blame President Trump for every wrong in America," Graham said earlier in the interview.

The backdrop: Mattis, a retired Marine Corps four-star general who served in the Trump administration between 2017 and 2019, condemned his former boss for making a "mockery of our Constitution."

  • Trump later tweeted that he was "glad" that Mattis is no longer part of his Cabinet.

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Woodward book: Former intel chief Dan Coats believed "Putin had something on Trump"

Trump and Putin arrive for a meeting in Helsinki. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Former director of national intelligence Dan Coats could not shake his "deep suspicions" that Russian President Vladimir Putin "had something" on President Trump, seeing "no other explanation" for the president's behavior, according to Bob Woodward's new book "Rage," which was obtained by CNN ahead of its publication next week.

Why it matters: Coats was the president's top intelligence official from March 2017 until August 2019. Woodward reports that Coats and his staff examined the intelligence regarding Trump's ties to Russia "as carefully as possible" and that he "still questions the relationship" between Trump and Putin despite the apparent absence of intelligence proof.

Mark Meadows: I wouldn't have recommended Woodward's WH access

President Trump confers with White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows at the White House on Sept. 1. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told Fox News Wednesday he wouldn't have recommended that Bob Woodward gain the extensive White House access the journalist did for his interviews with President Trump.

Why it matters: Trump has faced criticism following leaks of Woodward's new book "Rage," particularly for his comments during on-the-record interviews earlier this year that his approach to the coronavirus pandemic was to "play it down" to avoid a panic — something Meadows used in defense of the president during his interview.

Bill Clinton slams McConnell and Trump: "Their first value is power"

Former President Bill Clinton on Sunday called Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) vow to fill Ruth Bader Ginsburg's vacant Supreme Court seat before the next presidential inauguration "superficially hypocritical."

The big picture: Clinton, who nominated Ginsburg to the court in 1993, declined to say whether he thinks Democrats should respond by adding more justices if they take back the Senate and the White House in November. Instead, he called on Republicans to "remember the example Abraham Lincoln set" by not confirming a justice in an election year.