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James Mattis. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

In a meeting on Wednesday that included Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, President Trump trash talked former Defense Secretary James Mattis, calling him "the world's most overrated general," per a Democratic source familiar with the meeting's events.

What we know: Lawmakers met to discuss the ongoing situation in northern Syria, where Turkish forces, emboldened by the withdrawal of U.S. troops, have invaded.

  • In Wednesday's White House meeting, Schumer attempted to read a quote from Mattis, stating: "if we don't keep the pressure on, then ISIS will resurge. It's absolutely a given that they will come back," according to a Democratic source.
  • But Trump reportedly cut Schumer off, asserting Mattis "wasn’t tough enough."
  • "I captured ISIS," Trump touted, adding, "Mattis said it would take 2 yrs. I captured them in 1 month."
  • Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley clarified: "ISIS is defeated not destroyed."

Democrats said they walked out of the meeting — the first between Trump and Pelosi since the speaker launched a formal impeachment inquiry — after the president had a "meltdown."

Between the lines: Mattis exited the Trump administration in December, penning a letter to Trump in which he said that the president should "have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with [his]."

  • In the letter, Mattis also criticized America's fraying relationships with foreign allies, and its coziness with "countries whose strategic interests are increasingly in tension with ours," such as Russia and China.

Go deeper: Trump on Syria's Kurds: "They're not angels"

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director says number of U.S. Omicron cases "likely to rise" — Two years of COVID-19 — Prior coronavirus infections may not protect well against Omicron.
  2. Vaccines: Data demonstrates most-vaccinated counties less vulnerable to worst of COVID — Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating world — Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters.
  3. Politics: Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers — New Jersey GOP lawmakers defy statehouse COVID policy — Oklahoma sues Biden administration over Pentagon vaccine mandate.
  4. World: Vaccine mandates lose steam in the U.S. while Europe doubles downWHO: Delta health measures help fight Omicron — COVID cases surge in South Africa in sign Omicron wave is coming.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.

Vulnerable Democrats: Less Trump talk

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Vulnerable House Democrats are convinced they need to talk less about the man who helped them get elected: President Trump.

Why it matters: Democrats are privately concerned nationalizing the 2022 mid-terms with emotionally-charged issues — from Critical Race Theory to Donald Trump's role in the Jan. 6 insurrection — will hamstring their ability to sell the local benefits of President Biden's Build Back Better agenda.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Bipartisan tributes flood in for "giant of the Senate" Bob Dole

Then-Vice President Joe Biden and former Sen. Bob Dole at an event put on by the World Food Program at which he was awarded the first “McGovern-Dole Leadership Award” in December 2013. Photo: Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call

Republican and Democratic politicians, including former Senate colleagues, are sharing condolences and memories commemorating the life of Bob Dole, who passed away at 98 on Sunday morning.

The big picture: Dole, the Republican presidential nominee in 1996, was the longest-serving Republican leader in the Senate until 2018, when current Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell surpassed his record.