Former Secretary of Defense James Mattis has said “no” to what many would view as a very enticing offer — and the Democrats are fuming.
During an interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, she repeatedly tried to push Mattis into attack President Donald Trump.
After he refused the bait several times, he also smacked down the idea that he plans to run for president in 2020.
Mattis went on to tell Mitchell that he’s “going to frustrate” her because he was only interested in talking about military policy and strategy.
“This is a military, Department of Defense tradition, that we maintain the military’s apolitical role obedient to the elected leadership,” he remarked.
Mattis also noted that he believes “the American people have good judgment,” and ultimately the political decisions are up to them.
“They will make the right decisions. I believe very strongly in our Constitution and our form of government,” he said.
Mattis also knocked Mitchell on her heels throughout the interview by refusing to attack Trump or announce a 2020 run.
Later in the interview, Mitchell practically begged Mattis to criticize Trump about withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan.
He refused after she asked if American alliances were weaker now.
“I don’t think I can quantify that,” he said. “NATO is actually stronger today. Now, there are political tensions. Those tensions have always been there in NATO.”
Mattis appeared on MSNBC as part of a media blitz for his new book, where he doesn’t mince his words about former President Barack Obama.
In his new book, titled, “Call Sign Chaos: Learning To Lead,” Mattis slammed the Obama administration’s weak and practically nonexistent response to what Mattis referred to as an “act of war” by Iran –- the planned bombing of a café in Washington, D.C.
While serving as the leader of U.S. Central Command between 2010 and 2013, Mattis writes that he repeatedly warned the Obama administration about Iran and Islamist terrorists.
Mattis said he warned often that he believed Iran to be “more deadly of the two threats.”
Mattis claims in his book that Obama fired him because of these warnings, and that the administration didn’t even tell him about the Iranian plot to bomb the café — he was informed by another officer.
“Attorney General Eric Holder said the bombing plot was ‘directed and approved by elements of the Iranian government and, specifically, senior members of the Qods Force.’ The Qods were the Special Operations Force of the Revolutionary Guards, reporting to the top of the Iranian government,” Mattis writes in his book.
Mattis explains in the book that he “saw the intelligence: we had recorded Tehran’s approval of the operation.”
If the bomb had gone off, Mattis said it would have been “the worst attack on us since 9/11.”
Mattis went on to say that he wanted to “respond forcefully,” but that Obama refused to inform the public about just how dangerous the plot truly was.
What’s worse, Mattis detailed, was that the Obama administration refused to do anything out of fear of “upsetting” the Iranian regime.