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President Trump reacts after being criticized by former defense chief Jim Mattis

The commander in chief did not mince words

Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

President Donald Trump fired back harsh words against his former secretary of defense, Jim Mattis, on Wednesday, after the general publicly criticized the commander in chief for his response to the ongoing protests and rioting across the U.S.

What are the details?

In a statement published by the Atlantic, Mattis wrote, "Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people—does not even pretend to try. Instead, he tries to divide us."

"We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort," Mattis continued. "We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. We can unite without him, drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society. This will not be easy, as the past few days have shown, but we owe it to our fellow citizens; to past generations that bled to defend our promise; and to our children."

Mattis went on to criticize President Trump's threat to deploy troops to states in order to quell the violence, and condemned the president for bringing the National Guard in to help secure Washington, D.C.

He wrote, "When I joined the military, some 50 years ago, I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution. Never did I dream that troops taking that same oath would be ordered under any circumstance to violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens — much less to provide a bizarre photo op for the elected commander-in-chief, with military leadership standing alongside."

A few hours after the article was published, President Trump tweeted, "Probably the only thing Barack Obama & I have in common is that we both had the honor of firing Jim Mattis, the world's most overrated General. I asked for his letter of resignation, & felt great about it. His nickname was 'Chaos', which I didn't like, & changed to 'Mad Dog'..."

The president added, "His primary strength was not military, but rather personal public relations. I gave him a new life, things to do, and battles to win, but he seldom 'brought home the bacon". I didn't like his 'leadership' style or much else about him, and many others agree. Glad he is gone!"

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany reacted to Mattis' criticisms of President Trump on Twitter, too, writing, "Former Secretary Mattis' 'article' is little more than a self-promotional stunt to appease the DC elite. President @realDonaldTrump is the law and order President that has restored peace to our nation's streets. Mattis' small words pale in comparison to @POTUS' strong action."

She added, "Under President @realDonaldTrump's leadership, there will be NO burning of churches, looting of businesses, destruction of property, and assaults on civilians and police. America will unite in LAW AND ORDER!"

One last thing…
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