Secretary of Defense Jim ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis fired-back against recent reports that claimed President Trump “refused” to hear briefings related to Russia, saying “I have no reservation” about discussing any topic with the President, nor has he seen any “pushback” from Trump while discussing Russia.
“I have no reservation nor has the president ever evidenced any pushback when I bring up Russia in a national security context”
CNN’s Brooke Baldwin commented on Mattis’ statement regarding a recent Washington Post report that falsely claimed Trump’s National Security Council had an “unspoken understanding” that topics related to Russia would not be discussed.
“Trump has never convened a Cabinet-level meeting on Russian interference or what to do about it, administration officials said. Although the issue has been discussed at lower levels at the National Security Council, one former high-ranking Trump administration official said there is an unspoken understanding within the NSC that to raise the matter is to acknowledge its validity, which the president would see as an affront,” writes the Post.
Mattis pushed back against the allegations over the weekend, saying Trump has never “evidenced” any of the behavior described by the Washington Post.
“I have no reservation nor has the president ever evidenced any pushback when I bring up Russia in a national security context … I have not seen this shyness including over at the White House,” Mattis said.
Watch Mattis’ comments below:
UNDER ATTACK: 'Mad Dog' Mattis Targeted in Taliban Ambush
Secretary of Defense James ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis was the target of Taliban attack on Wednesday, when nearly fifty rockets and grenades were hurled at Kabul’s main airport moments after the Pentagon chief arrived for high-level talks with his Afghani counterparts.
According to Fox News, Mattis had left the terminal less than two hours before the attack, leaving in a helicopter to meet with Afghanistan’s President Ghani. The Taliban took credit for the ambush, saying Mattis’s aircraft was the intended target of the missiles.
The Defense Secretary commented on his close-call earlier Wednesday, saying the United States will “suffocate” any terror organization operating in the region.
“If in fact there was an attack on an international airport anywhere in the world, if it’s an attack by a terrorist it’s designed to go after innocent people… And this is a classic definition of what the Taliban is up to now,” said Mattis.
“We will suffocate any hope that Al Qaeda or ISIS or the Taliban have of winning by killing. I want to reinforce to the Talban that the only path to peace and political legitimacy to them is through a negotiated settlement,” he added.
The Defense Secretary is visiting Afghanistan as part of President Trump’s plan to re-focus American efforts in the region. The United States is forging a new strategy in the 16-year long conflict; pulling back from previous efforts of nation building and doubling-down on the military’s ability to “find and kill” terrorists.
CRISIS IN KOREA: 'Mad Mog' Mattis Tells Army to 'Be Ready' for War with Kim
Secretary of Defense James ‘Mad Dod’ Mattis told members of the US military to “be ready” on Monday, warning the Army that all-out war could erupt on the Korean peninsula should dictator Kim Jong Un continue his illegal nuclear and missile programs.
Mattis was speaking at an annual meeting of the United States Army when he was asked about the Trump administration’s policy regarding North Korea.
“I suspect your probably not going to reveal the intricate details of your Korea strategy, but what can the U.S. military do to lessen the likelihood of conflict on the Korean peninsula?” asked one questioner.
“What a great question. Let me talk about Korea for a minute because it’s on all of our minds,” said the Defense Secretary. “It is right now a diplomatically led, economic sanction-buttressed effort to try to turn North Korea off this path. What does the future hold? Neither you nor I can say.”
“There’s one thing the US Army can do. You have got to be ready to ensure that we have military options that our President can employ if needed,” he added.
President Trump commented on the escalating crisis unfolding on the Korean peninsula earlier Monday, saying that “25 years” worth of diplomacy have yielded little results, and that “policy didn’t work.”
Military experts and officials believe North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un is preparing a major provocation in the region to mark Monday’s national holiday; possibly firing another missile or testing a nuclear warhead to mark the founding of the nation’s ruling communist party.
Watch the Secretary of Defense’s comments above.