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Jim Mattis says he wouldn't have blasted Joe Biden in his book if he knew the former VP would run for president

'Had I known the former vice president was going to run for office ... '

Image source: YouTube screenshot

Former Secretary of Defense James Mattis says that he has regrets over his criticism of former Vice President Joe Biden in his book, "Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead."

What are the details?

Mattis told CBS' "Face the Nation" that he would not have criticized the former VP in his newly released book if he had known that Biden would actually run for president.

In the book, Mattis blasted Biden and former President Barack Obama over what he referred to as faulty leadership that exacerbated ISIS' effect in Iraq.

During the interview, CBS News host Margaret Brennan pointed out, "You wrote, '[Biden] exuded the confidence of a man whose mind was made up, perhaps even indifferent to considering the consequences were he judging the situation incorrectly,'" regarding the Obama administration's decision to leave Iraq.

"Well," Mattis responded, "I was writing a history book at that point, Margaret, because I started writing this book in 2013. Had I known the former vice president was going to run for office, I assure you I would not have probably been that forthcoming."

In the book, Mattis wrote that the decision was hasty.

"We should slowly inch the wheels up, allowing the Iraqis to wobble but not crash as they slowly pedaled down the path to self-sufficiency," a portion of this book read, according to the Washington Examiner. "If we pulled out too early, I noted, we would have to bring our troops back in."

Brennan responded to Mattis' remarks by asking Mattis if he had questioned Biden's judgment.

"I think the Obama administration, President Obama's administration, had made the decision to leave Iraq despite what the intelligence community was telling us what would happen," he explained. "They were very clear that an al-Qaeda-associated group would rise, that the Iraqi government, the Iraqi people, the Iraqi nation was in a post-combat, pre-reconciliation phase."

"We needed to keep our influence there a little longer," he added.

Anything else?

Elsewhere in the book, Mattis wrote, "I found [Biden] an admirable and amiable man. But he was past the point where he was willing to entertain a 'good idea.' He didn't want to hear more; he wanted our forces out of Iraq. Whatever path led there fastest, he favored."

You can more read excerpts from the book here.

(H/T: Mediaite)

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