Trump booted James Mattis two months early because he finally figured out that the Mattis resignation letter was critical of his foreign policy.
Aides said that the president was furious that Mr. Mattis’s resignation letter — in which he rebuked the president’s rejection of international allies and his failure to check authoritarian governments — had led to days of negative news coverage. Mr. Mattis resigned in large part over Mr. Trump’s hasty decision to withdraw American forces from Syria.
When Mr. Trump first announced that Mr. Mattis was leaving, effective Feb. 28, he praised the defense secretary on Twitter, saying he was retiring “with distinction.” One aide said that although Mr. Trump had already seen the resignation letter when he praised Mr. Mattis, the president did not understand just how forceful a rejection of his strategy Mr. Mattis had issued.
Trump was furious about the negative news coverage, not the letter, until someone told him, or he saw on cable news what the letter meant. The scary part is that it took days for Trump to figure out what Mattis was saying. In this context, it is easy to see how Trump is getting played by Putin and other authoritarians around the world.
Trump doesn’t take in or process information. The president didn’t understand Mattis’s resignation letter until he got bad coverage for it on cable news. He responded to the bad coverage by trying to look strong by showing Mattis the door two months early.
Donald Trump is talking to leaders around the world on a daily basis. He is negotiating for the United States, yet, he didn’t read or understand enough to know that the Mattis resignation letter was bad.
Trump is in over his head and sinking fast in the White House.
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Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association