James Mattis Resignation Letter: Full Text, Reaction and Quotes
The resignation letter of General James N. Mattis, the U.S. Secretary
of Defense, resulted in shockwaves around the world. This page contains quotes
from leading Republicans and Democrats, analysts and pundits on both sides, and
the response from Israel, the Kurdish perspective, and other global viewpoints,
including those of Russia and China.
What are "people in the know" saying about the resignation of James Mattis, and
what does that response tell us about Trump? The letter has been compared to
"flying the flag upside down" and an SOS or "distress signal."
Why does the senior Republican leadership sound absolutely terrified by the
thought of Trump acting without adult supervision? Trump's fellow Republicans
quoted here include George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush, Bob Corker, Ann Coulter,
Ted Cruz, Jeff Flake, Lindsey Graham, Orrin Hatch, John Kasich, Rush Limbaugh,
Mitch McConnell, Rand Paul, Mitt Romney, Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, and Ben Sasse,
The consensus opinion, not only of Democrats but of Republicans and America's
allies around the world, seems to be that: (1) The world is suddenly a much more
dangerous place; (2) Israel has been betrayed and is now isolated with Iranian,
Russian and Syrian forces just across its northern border, not to mention ISIS;
(3) the Kurds, who lost upwards of 10,000 combatants while fighting ISIS
compared to two American soldiers lost in combat, have also been betrayed and
may now be in real danger of slaughter; (4) America's allies cannot believe
anything they are promised or told by the Trump administration; (5) Trump is
highly erratic and impulsive, if not mentally unstable; (6) tweeting information
about American troop deployments and military strategy is very dangerous and the
height of folly; (7) the winners are Putin, Russia, Assad, Syria, Iran, ISIS and
Turkey; (8) the losers are the United States, Israel, the Kurds, and anyone in
Syria still dreaming of democracy.
Sources include Fox News, Fox & Friends, the Israeli newspaper
Haaretz, CNN, MSNBC, major American newspapers, and spokespersons for
Vladimir Putin and Russia, among others.
James Mattis's letter of resignation as Secretary of
Defense, delivered to President Trump on December 20, 2018, stunned Americans and the
larger world, particularly because
Mattis had been called "the last adult" in the White House and a sort
of human "guardrail"
against Trump going completely off track. The reaction to Mattis's resignation
letter can be gauged throught the "reactionary" quotes below. The consensus seems to be horror and
dismay on all sides (except among America's enemies; vodka glasses are
undoubtedly tinkling in the Kremlin). The majority of the reactions are by Trump's fellow
Republicans, and they reveal how little they trust him and how much they consider him to be
impulsive, unreliable and an extreme danger to Americans and the world. Why Republican
leaders have supported Trump almost unanimously to date, only they can say,
if they know themselves. Obviously they know how dangerously
unstable he is, and yet they have
refused to stand up to him, even when Trump puts Russian interests above those
of America and its allies. Why?
James Mattis is one of the most widely respected generals in American history.
And he's no dummy.
During his service years, Mattis was considered to be an intellectual of note. Robert H.
Scales, a retired United States Army major general, described Mattis as "one of the
most urbane and polished men I have known." Reinforcing this intellectual
aura was the fact that Mattis carried a copy of the Meditations of
Marcus Aurelius throughout his deployments. Mattis served his country in the
Persian Gulf, Afghanistan and Iraq wars. He rose the rank of four-star general
and eventually oversaw the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2016 he became Trump's choice for Secretary of Defense. He was
confirmed by the Senate by a vote of 98-1, with the only "nay" being over a
According to CNN, Trump "hates" the resignation letter, but hates the coverage
even more — especially
the claims that he requires "adult supervision." Ironically, Mattis may be
partly responsible for that perception because, according to Bob Woodward, after
a meeting in which Trump asked why the US was spending any money in Korea, the
Secretary of Defense “was particularly exasperated and alarmed, telling close
associates that the president acted like — and had the understanding of — a
fifth- or sixth-grader.” Mattis had to explain to Trump that the US was spending
money in the region in an attempt to avoid WWIII. It seems likely that Mattis
resigned over a similar argument, with Trump being unable to understand why the
US was spending money —
probably a lot less money — so far from home.
Several times in the past, Trump made it sound as if he expected other nations
to pay "protection money" to the US.
These are reactions from around the globe, in the form of quotes, to Mattis's resignation letter
and to Trump's impulsive, unilateral withdrawals of American troops from Syria
and Afghanistan. The full text of the resignation letter appears below the first
set of quotes, after which more quotes follow.
Reactions and Quotes from Around the Globe
Before his death, former President George H. W. Bush had a blunt assessment of
Donald Trump: "He's a blowhard." His son, former President George W. Bush, also
had harsh words for his Republican successor: "This guy doesn't know what it
means to be president." Former President Jimmy Carter agreed, saying: "I think
he’s a disaster."
"Make no mistake — Jim Mattis is resigning in
protest over the president's national security policies," a senior U.S. defense
official told Fox News.
Fox News was told by its sources that "Mattis believes pulling out of
Syria is a betrayal of the Kurds and the Syrian Democratic Forces
— U.S. allies whom military leaders believe will be
slaughtered once the U.S. leaves Syria." [One can hardly blame the Kurds,
considering the risks they took and the thousands of deaths they suffered in the
war against ISIS. The Haaretz quotes on this page will confirm that
this is also the view in Israel.]
"The U.S. President is weak. He is running away, with America’s tail between its
legs. He is abandoning Israel, betraying the Kurds and sticking a knife in the
back of Bashar Assad’s opponents. He is strengthening Iran, handing a victory to
Russia, throwing a lifeline to ISIS and encouraging radical Islam." (Haaretz,
a major Israeli newspaper)
Barry McCaffrey, a retired four-star Army general, said: "This is a rogue
Former Director of National Security James Clapper says ISIS has not been
defeated and blasts Trump's claims that he knows more about ISIS than the
generals do as "appalling arrogance."
Senator Bob Menendez, the ranking Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee,
said: "As this Administration continues to implode, Secretary Mattis'
extraordinary resignation is a significant loss and a real indication that
President Trump's foreign policy agenda has failed and continues to spiral into
The Mattis resignation is being cheered in Russia. Vodka glasses are once again
tinkling in the Kremlin. Konstantin Kosachev, head of the Foreign Affairs
Committee in the Upper House of the Russian Parliament, said that “the departure
of James Mattis is a positive signal for Russia, since Mattis was far more
hawkish on Russia and China than Donald Trump.”
Jubilation was even more apparent on Russia’s state television, which adheres
closely to the Kremlin’s point of view. The host of the Russian state TV show 60
Minutes, Olga Skabeeva, announced: “Secretary of Defense Mattis didn’t want to
leave Syria, so Trump fired him. They are leaving Syria.” Skabeeva surmised that
Americans are “losers, since Putin has defeated them in every way.” With a
theatrical sigh, her co-host, Evgeny Popov, added: “Trump is ours again—what are
you going to do?” Every member of the sizeable audience clapped
enthusiastically. Popov smirked: “It seems to Americans that we won on every
front: the U.S. Secretary of Defense has been removed, we unquestionably secured
a complete, unconditional victory in Syria.” Skabeeva chimed in: “They’re also
planning to leave Afghanistan.” Popov then pointed out: “On top of that, Rusal
sanctions have been lifted with Trump’s hands.” Panelists of the show, including
Russian lawmakers, couldn’t hide their satisfied grins.
Texas Representative Lloyd Doggett told The New York Times that the
move to lift Rusal sanctions amounted to Trump “sliding another big gift under
Vladimir Putin’s Christmas tree.” The gesture is certainly being interpreted
that way in Russia.
The Russians are enjoying their easy victory over the US, thanks to Trump. But
why was it so easy? Discussing the planned departure of the U.S. from Syria,
Skabeeva pondered why Trump suddenly decided to leave at this point in time:
“Americans say, it’s because he is beholden to Putin. Is that logical? Yes, it
Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger said: “They’re celebrating in Moscow and Tehran
right now. They’re trembling in Tel Aviv. And in Washington we’re confused,
because nobody saw this coming.”
Meanwhile a sense of "transatlantic crisis" if not doom spread quickly across
Europe. Carl Bildt, the co-chair of the European council on foreign relations,
tweeted: “A morning of alarm in Europe. Sec Def Mattis is the remaining strong
bond across the Atlantic in the Trump administration. All the others are fragile
at best or broken at worst.”
In Berlin, Norbert Röttgen, chairman of the German parliament's foreign affairs
committee and an ally of Angela Merkel, said: "Mattis was the last man standing
for what had been US foreign policy since World War II. "With him gone this
really marks a juncture in the Trump presidency. Now we have an unrestrained
Trump, which is a dangerous signal for the year ahead."
Guy Verhofstadt, a leader of the European Union Parliament, said: "Mattis
checked President Trump's worst instincts and was a strong supporter of NATO and
multilateralism. His departure is bad news and makes it look like Putin’s plan
is being delivered on."
Verhofstadt called Trump's impulsive decision: “A victory for Russia, Iran,
Turkey, Turkish proxies & the Syrian regime.
According to The Guardian: "British officials have described the
outcome as deeply disturbing." Alistair Burt, a British minister who oversaw
British-Syrian policy for three years, observed: “There are no vacuums in
foreign policy, certainly not in the Middle East. In a fragile region every
action is a catalyst for another. If allies cannot be relied upon, others are
sought to take their place. Jim Mattis understood —
vital any successor agrees.” [But Trump and his kiddie corps apparently don't
agree, or just don't care.] Burt was warning the US that the Gulf states and
Kurds may deduce that the US pullout means their long-term interests may lie in
allying with more steadfast partners such as Russia or China. Russia has been
increasingly active in the Middle East, and now seems certain to emerge as the
victor that protected Syria's ruler, Bashar al-Assad. Other Arab countries are
preparing to recognize Assad as victor, and his patron Putin, by sending
diplomats to Damascus.
Great Britain's defense minister, Tobias Ellwood, praised Mattis as “trusted,
respected and admired by friends and allies, as well as feared and revered by
our foes.” He tweeted: “The most impressive military mind I’ve had the honour to
know. Jim my friend — our world will be less safe
without you.” Ellwood had previously clashed with Trump’s assessment that ISIS
had been defeated in Syria. “It had morphed into something else,” he said.
The former British ambassador to Lebanon, Tom Fletcher, spoke of “storm clouds
The president of France, Emmanuel Macron, was quickly engaged in discussions
with allies about the departing US ground troops in Syria. The sense of anger,
edging on defiance, at Trump’s decision was clearest in Paris. The French
defence minister, Florence Parly, said: "We do not share the analyses that the
territorial caliphate [ISIS] has been annihilated. It’s an extremely grave
decision, and we think the job must be finished."
According to The New York Times: "President Trump’s decision to
withdraw roughly 7,000 troops from Afghanistan, along with the resignation of
his defense secretary, Jim Mattis, stirred fears in the Asia-Pacific region that
the United States was abandoning its leadership of decades-old alliances crucial
to stability and peace since World War II." The troop withdrawals "drew
particular alarm in Australia, a close American ally whose soldiers have died in
American-led wars in Vietnam, Korea, Iraq and Afghanistan." Mattis’s resignation
reignited Australia concerns about whether the US can be depended upon as an
ally. “I had a discussion with a senior government official this morning and he
asked, ‘Who’s left in the U.S. cabinet who we regard as an adult?’ We both
scratched our heads,” said Peter Jennings, executive director of the Australian
Strategic Policy Institute and a former government defense strategist. “Mattis
offered a consistent approach to pushing back against China,” Jennings said.
“With Trump everything is negotiable, everything is up in the air.”
"Trump’s decision cedes 'hegemony' to Russia." (Haaretz)
Republican senators admit that ISIS, Iran and Russia "are the winners." (Haaretz)
The reaction in Israel is that Trump is a betrayer who is "erratic" and "cannot
be relied on." (Haaretz)
The Kurds certainly feel betrayed, "after they sacrificed thousands of their
fighters to aid the American campaign against the Islamic State." (Haaretz)
"Russian president Vladimir Putin can, for now, consider his Syrian adventure to
be an impressive success." (Haaretz)
"We gave the country to Putin, the winner of this conflict." (Rula Jebreal, an
Israeli foreign policy analyst)
It's a "victory" for the Iranians, Russians and Assad. (Rula Jebreal)
"James Mattis just cut the world's safety net." (CNN)
Washington insiders (both Democrats and Republicans) are "stunned." (Ryan
"Trump is giving Putin exactly what he wants." (Erin Burnett)
"It could not get better for Putin
today." (Erin Burnett)
Putin's spokesperson called the US an "obstacle to peace" and made it clear
America should get out of Putin's way, as Trump just did.
General Stanley McChrystal
said: "The kind of leadership that causes a dedicated patriot like Jim Mattis to
leave should give pause to every American."
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham praised Mattis and said the president "just
has to listen" to his advisers, suggesting that he doesn't.
Graham also said that Americans are "dramatically less safe" and called the premature
withdrawals an "Obama-like move."
Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell cautioned that Russia is
America's enemy, something Trump refuses to accept.
Republican Senator Marco Rubio said Mattis's resignation would lead to "grave
policy errors which will endanger our nation."
Rubio called Trump's actions "a terrible mistake" and said he was afraid that
Americans would "pay a price" for his rashness.
Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger said: "That’s what happens when you ignore sound
Kinzinger, who fought for his country in Iraq and Afghanistan, also said that
Trump's claim to have defeated ISIS was "simply not true."
Brett McGurk said defeating ISIS will be a long-term initiative and "nobody is
declaring mission accomplished."
McGurk said it would be "reckless" to think otherwise and that "anyone who has
looked at a conflict like this would agree with that."
McGurk is Trump's own Special Presidential Envoy to the Global Coalition to
So according to his own Special Presidential Envoy, Trump is blind and reckless.
Republican Senator Bob Corker said he doubted there were any Republican leaders
who weren't "stunned" by Trump's "precipitous" decision.
Corker later said of Trump's theatrics: "It's a spectacle, and candidly, it's
juvenile. The whole thing is juvenile."
Former Republican Presidential candidate John Kasich said: "This chaos, both
foreign and domestic, is putting America in danger and must stop immediately."
Republican Congressman Mike Turner, who sits on both the House Intelligence and
Armed Services committees, said "no one has been briefed."
Turner said that Trump's failure to brief anyone had led to "consternation on
Capitol Hill." Trump apparently blindsided his own party.
Turner also said that running troop deployments through Twitter is "dangerous
for our troops" and "dangerous for our allies."
Republican House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mike McCaul said he "slept
better at night knowing (Mattis) was in charge of our military."
Not so much with Trump calling the shots without listening to his senior
Former CIA Director John Brennan rebuked Trump's "policy by tweet" and observed
that his is now surrounded by "yes men."
Former CIA Director Leon Panetta said that the United States is going through "a
steady diet of chaos."
Panetta simply sounded furious: "The last damn thing we need is more chaos and
Panetta said Trump "enjoys chaos" because he believes it brings him more
attention, "but a steady diet of chaos creates hell for the American people."
Panetta continued: "We need a president who is going to make the right decisions
and provide stability for this country."
"Chaos reigns in President Trump's Washington." (MSNBC)
"There are no more grown-ups in the room." (Jeffrey Toobin)
"He's going to close down the government because Ann Coulter got mad at him."
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said that Trump is "plunging the country
Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, called
Mattis "an island of stability amidst the chaos of the Trump administration."
Warner tweeted: "as we've seen with the President's haphazard approach to Syria,
our national defense is too important to be subjected to the President's erratic
Senator Chris Murphy called the Mattis resignation a "national security crisis."
Murphy also said: "There is a "morale crisis at the Department of Defense right
Senator Bob Menendez tweeted: "Secretary Mattis’ resignation is a significant
loss and shows that that President Trump’s foreign policy agenda is spiraling
Trump proved the Taliban’s maxim: "Americans have watches, we have
time." (Husain Haqqani, Pakistan’s former ambassador to the US)
"Is the president smarter than his generals?" (Don Lemon, speaking
House Armed Services Chairman Mac Thornberry said he was "disappointed" that
Mattis is leaving.
The incoming chairman of Armed Services, Rep. Adam Smith, said the news of
Mattis' resignation is "very disappointing."
Incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters that she was "sad" and
"shaken" by Mattis' departure.
Eliot Engel, the incoming chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said
he believes Trump's Syria decision was "the straw that broke the camel's back"
Apparently, every Republic senator and congressman knows that Trump is erratic,
unstable, dangerous, and not to be trusted. And yet they all bow down to him,
kiss his ass, and do whatever he tells them to do. Are they leaders, or sheep?
If they are sheep, why the hell should anyone vote for them when they run for
their nation's highest positions of leadership?
According to Jeffrey Goldberg, editor-in-chief of The Atlantic, "The
Mattis critique is foundational: The president he serves, he suggests in his
[resignation] letter, does not understand the value of allies, or the immorality
of disparaging and abandoning them. Trump, as my colleague David Frum notes, is
abandoning America’s Kurdish allies in Syria to extremism and terror, and he is
abandoning Afghanistan to the Taliban. Mattis always knew that Trump lacked an
understanding of why autocracy is the enemy of the American idea. But Mattis
operated under the illusion that he could change Trump’s views, or at least some
of his foolish ways. Yesterday marked the end of the illusion."
Goldberg continues: "Mattis’s departure also means that the United States is
entering the third phase of Trump’s foreign policy. In the first year of his
presidency, Trump paid attention mainly to domestic issues, and did not afflict
America’s diplomatic and national-security establishment with an undue number of
his ignorant and damaging foreign-policy views. In the second year, he became
more destructively engaged, but he listened, on occasion, to those in his
administration who possessed actual expertise in foreign policy. We are now
entering the third year of his presidency, and third phase of his foreign
policy: Trump alone, besieged, but believing, perhaps more than ever, in the
inerrancy of his beliefs."
And now Trump is without "the only adult in the room" to act as a circuit breaker when
he becomes over-energized and a danger to his country and the world.
Here is Israel's position, as reported by Haaretz: "This is what
happens to a country and a prime minister who have wagered all their chips on
empty gestures, such as the embassy move, at the expense of the far greater and
more immediate threat on its northern border. This is what happens when one
relies on evangelicals - who couldn’t care less about Syria, at best, or are
praying for it to spark the war of Gog and Magog, at worst - as its sole
advocate in Washington. This is what awaits an Israeli leader who gets bogged
down in the thick molasses of flattery and kowtowing to a U.S. President, to the
extent that he effectively loses any ability to challenge him or to enlist
Congress and public opinion against his decisions. This is the destiny of a
prime minister who is terrified that any direct public rebuke could make Trump
blow his top and endanger the beautiful friendship he worked so hard to build.
In the next few weeks and months, Israel will watch with bated breath as the
U.S. relinquishes much of its ability to influence events on the ground in
Syria. Although U.S. officials promised on Wednesday to maintain the U.S. air
campaign, without a significant ground presence, its deterrence will be
weakened, its ability to quickly deploy troops on the ground will disappear and
its impact on a final settlement of the Syrian civil war will diminish
dramatically. The withdrawal, announced on Wednesday by U.S. defense officials,
concedes hegemony in Syria to the Kremlin. According to reports in U.S. media,
Trump overruled senior army and Pentagon officials, who objected to the quick
pullback. Trump tweeted on Wednesday “We have defeated ISIS” but U.S. defense
experts claim that the Islamic terrorists continue to hold significant swaths of
territory in northern Syria, that the organization is definitely down, but
certainly not out. If a worst case scenario emerges, history might list Trump’s
ISIS braggadocio alongside George Bush’s woeful 2003 declaration “Mission
Accomplished” on Iraq or Senator George Aiken’s famous 1966 recommendation that
the U.S. declare victory in Vietnam before it scurries away."
Here is the full text of Mattis's resignation letter, which he presented to
Trump. The letter is noteworthy for what it says, and what it doesn't say. What
it says is that Trump has been weakening the United States by alienating its
allies. It also says that Trump has been irresolute and ambiguous in his
approach to a common defense against authoritarian enemies of the United States,
particularly Russia and China. What the letter doesn't say is that Mattis has
any thanks, admiration or regard for Trump. Nor should he.
Dear Mr. President:
I have been privileged to serve as our country’s 26th Secretary of Defense which
has allowed me to serve alongside our men and women of the Department in defense
of our citizens and our ideals.
I am proud of the progress that has been made over the past two years on some
of the key goals articulated in our National Defense Strategy: putting the
Department on a more sound budgetary footing, improving readiness and lethality
in our forces, and reforming the Department’s business practices for greater
performance. Our troops continue to provide the capabilities needed to prevail
in conflict and sustain strong U.S. global influence.
One core belief I have always held is that our strength as a nation is
inextricably linked to the strength of our unique and comprehensive system of
alliances and partnerships. While the US remains the indispensable nation in the
free world, we cannot protect our interests or serve that role effectively
without maintaining strong alliances and showing respect to those allies. Like
you, I have said from the beginning that the armed forces of the United States
should not be the policeman of the world. Instead, we must use all tools of
American power to provide for the common defense, including providing effective
leadership to our alliances. NATO’s 29 democracies demonstrated that strength in
their commitment to fighting alongside us following the 9-11 attack on America.
The Defeat-ISIS coalition of 74 nations is further proof.
Similarly, I believe we must be resolute and unambiguous in our approach to
those countries whose strategic interests are increasingly in tension with ours.
It is clear that China and Russia, for example, want to shape a world consistent
with their authoritarian model — gaining veto authority over other nations’
economic, diplomatic, and security decisions — to promote their own interests at
the expense of their neighbors, America and our allies. That is why we must use
all the tools of American power to provide for the common defense.
My views on treating allies with respect and also being clear-eyed about both
malign actors and strategic competitors are strongly held and informed by over
four decades of immersion in these issues. We must do everything possible to
advance an international order that is most conducive to our security,
prosperity and values, and we are strengthened in this effort by the solidarity
of our alliances.
Because you have the right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better
aligned with yours on these and other subjects, I believe it is right for me to
step down from my position. The end date for my tenure is February 28, 2019, a
date that should allow sufficient time for a successor to be nominated and
confirmed as well as to make sure the Department’s interests are properly
articulated and protected at upcoming events to include Congressional posture
hearings and the NATO Defense Ministerial meeting in February. Further, that a
full transition to a new Secretary of Defense occurs well in advance of the
transition of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in September in order to
ensure stability within the Department.
I pledge my full effort to a smooth transition that ensures the needs and
interests of the 2.15 million Service Members and 732,079 DoD civilians receive
undistracted attention of the Department at all times so that they can fulfill
their critical, round-the-clock mission to protect the American people.
I very much appreciate this opportunity to serve the nation and our men and
women in uniform.
Jim N. Mattis
More Mattis Resignation and Trump-Related Quotes
According to Fox News, the resignation of James Mattis "would mark the
first time in 40 years that a Cabinet official has resigned over a policy
difference. The last person to do so was then-President Jimmy Carter's Secretary
of State Cyrus Vance during the failed Iran hostage rescue."
Fox News was told by its sources that more resignations at the Pentagon
could be coming in Mattis’s wake.
Republican Senator Ben Sasse said: "This is a sad day for America because
Secretary Mattis was giving advice the President needs to hear."
Republican Senator Jeff Flake has been a frequent critic of Trump and has
written about his “instability.”
Former Republican Senator Gordon Humphrey said Trump is "dangerously reckless"
and that he gave Putin a "very cheap victory."
Republican Senator Ted Cruz has accused Trump of having mob ties, evading taxes,
being mentally unstable and potentially nuking Denmark!
Republican Rand Paul called Trump a “delusional narcissist and an orange-faced
Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney called Trump a "phony" and a
"fraud" whose promises "are as worthless as a degree from Trump University.''
Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan once accused Trump of racism and
"identity politics" before he apparently lost his spine.
Republican Senator Orrin Hatch said: "Anyone who breaks the law should face
appropriate consequences" with no exception for the president.
Republican Senator Pat Toomey said: “I think General Mattis has put his finger
on where the president has views that are very, very distinct from the vast
majority of Republicans and probably Democrats, elected and unelected.”
Republican Senator Marco Rubio said that Mattis's resignation letter "makes it
abundantly clear that we are headed towards a series of grave policy errors
which will endanger our nation, damage our alliances & empower our adversaries."
Incoming House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerry Nabler said "The wheels are
coming off" the Trump "bus."
Incoming House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff said Trump is
jeopardizing “the rule of law.”
Former CIA director John McLaughlin said Trump has "no principles, no policy, no
process" and accused him of "complete folly."
Barbara Boxer compared Trump to the Wizard of Oz, standing behind a curtain
pretending to have great powers.
Eleanor Clift said the Trump administration was the "most chaotic in history."
wrote: "Russia is the beneficiary."
Michael Beschloss, a presidential historian, called the Mattis resignation
letter a "screed against Donald Trump."
Don Lemon called Trump's vision of spike-topped fences a "theater of the
absurd," saying "People, you're being played."
Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer called the week ending Dec. 22, 2018
“the most chaotic week of what’s undoubtedly the most chaotic presidency ever in
the history of the United States.” He added: “The institutions of our government
lack steady and experienced leadership. With all of these departures, it is
about to get even more unsteady. The president is making decisions without
counsel, without preparation, and even without communication between relevant
departments and relevant agencies.”
More ISIS Quotes
Brian Kilmeade, a co-host of Fox & Friends, said, "He’s giving Russia a
big win. Vladimir Putin praised him."
Kilmeade also said: "He also is doing exactly what he criticized President Obama
for doing — he said President Obama is the founder of ISIS. He just re-founded
Sasse also said: "Radical jihadists are still at war with us, and NO, MR
PRESIDENT, ISIS is not gone. It's not true and just proclaiming it doesn't make
Republican Vice President Mike Pence refused to confirm that he agreed with
Trump's capitulation to Putin, walking silently past assembled reporters.
“I disagree w removing US troops from Syria,” tweeted Ari Fleischer, the former
White House press secretary under George W. Bush.
More Israel Quotes
According to McClatchy: The abrupt resignation of Defense Secretary Jim
Mattis has left Israel, America’s closest ally in the Middle East, confounded as
it comes to grips with the even greater implications of the U.S. military
withdrawal from Syria that prompted Mattis’s departure. Combined with the
departures of Chief of Staff John Kelly and Ambassador to the United Nations
Nikki Haley, Israeli officials are scrambling to determine who is left in the
White House who can convince President Donald Trump to think of Israel before
taking such drastic security moves, as Mattis successfully did in the past.
“There is no question that Israeli officials are concerned about the U.S.
pulling out,” said Dan Shapiro, U.S. ambassador to Israel in the Obama
administration. “It was done without any meaningful consultation with them.”
“Trump wants total freedom to do what he wants when he wants and he’s much
closer to getting that, which is what will terrify not only Congress but the
rest of the world as well,” said Thomas Wright of the Brookings Institution.
Rex Tillerson, Trump’s first secretary of state and a longtime corporate
executive, recently described the futility of trying to contain Trump. He said
Trump is “undisciplined, doesn’t like to read, doesn’t read briefing reports,
doesn’t like to get into the details of a lot of things, but rather just kind of
says, ‘This is what I believe.’”
Trump Wall Quotes
Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney once called President Donald
Trump's views on a border wall and immigration "simplistic" and "absurd and
Steve Doocy, a co-host of Fox & Friends, called Trump the ultimate loser: “He
loses, and the Democrats will win everything they want.”
Ann Coulter called Trump a "Gigantic Douchebag" and a "Gutless President in a
Republican pundit Rush Limbaugh said that without the wall "Trump gets nothing
and the Democrats get everything," persuading Trump to shut down the government.
"The bottom line is that a fence doesn't stop anybody who really wants to get
across," Mick Mulvaney said in the 2015 interview. "You go under, you go around,
you go through it. And that's what the ranchers tell us, is that they don't need
a fence. What they need is more manpower, and more technology, and more
willingness to enforce the law as it exists today. There are parts of our border
that are secure and parts of our border that are not. A lot of that comes down
to whether or not we are just willing to enforce the law as it exists. So it's
easy to tell people what they want to hear, 'Build the darn fence, vote for
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Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bought Trump's prized yacht from his
creditors when he was on the cusp of personal bankruptcy. A few years later, one
of Trump's lenders forced him to sell the Plaza Hotel, a New York City landmark
also mired in debt, to Alwaleed. As David Fahrenthold and Jonathan O'Connell
noted in the Washington Post recently, this was a period when Trump was
trying to dig himself out of $3.4 billion of debt, about $900 million of which
he had guaranteed personally. But Alwaleed was a bargain-hunter at the time, not
someone trying to ensnare a failed developer on the unlikely chance that he
might someday become president. Still, Alwaleed, who once described Trump on
Twitter as a “disgrace not only to the GOP but to all America,” kept those early
deals in mind. When Trump made fun of him on Twitter two years ago, Alwaleed
responded by tweeting, “I bailed you out twice; a 3rd time, maybe?”
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