President Donald Trump dismissed on Sunday rumors that Defense Secretary James Mattis is close to leaving his administration.
Trump's comments came during an interview with CBS' "60 Minutes." The pre-taped interview is set to air Sunday evening and touched on a wide-range of issues, including the recent disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
What did Trump say?
When pressed about consistent rumors that Mattis is close to submitting his resignation, Trump responded: "Well, I don't know. He hasn't told me that."
"I have a very good relationship with him. I had lunch with him two days ago. I have a very good relationship with him," Trump explained.
"It could be that he is. I think he is sort of a Democrat if you want to know the truth. But General Mattis is a good guy. We get along very well," he added
The president when on to downplay the seriousness of officials departing his administration saying "everybody leaves," calling the proverbial revolving-door a textbook characteristic of Washington.
WILL MATTIS LEAVE? “General Mattis is a good guy. We get along very well. He may leave. I mean, at some point, ever… https://t.co/RdXvYN4g9y— Face The Nation (@Face The Nation)1539518955.0
There have been consistent rumors all summer that Mattis is nearing the end of his tenure as Trump's defense secretary. It has even been said that Trump considered removing Mattis after the midterms, but both Mattis and Trump have vehemently denied the rumors.
Still, even if Mattis left, it would not be a sign of further discord inside the White House. Officials come and go nearly every day, including top-level officials. Nikki Haley announced her resignation as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations last week. She left on her own terms, most likely for personal reasons outside of her official duties. It's clear, given the amicable relationship between Haley and Trump, that she did not leave due to dysfunction.