Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham on Thursday responded to former Defense Secretary James Mattis‘ scathing rebuke of President Trump by suggesting that Mr. Mattis needs some perspective on what Mr. Graham described as an ongoing campaign to destroy Mr. Trump.
He said Mr. Mattis has the right to express himself “above all others, in many ways” because of his long-time service to the country.
“To Gen. Mattis: I think you’re missing something here, my friend,” Mr. Graham, South Carolina Republican, said on “Fox and Friends.” “You’re missing the fact that the liberal media has taken every event in the last three and a half years and laid it at the president’s feet.”
“The one thing I would tell Gen. Mattis is you don’t quite understand that from the time President Trump wakes up [until] he goes to bed, there’s an effort to destroy his presidency,” Mr. Graham said.
Mr. Mattis said in a piece published by The Atlantic on Wednesday that Mr. Trump is trying to divide the country, slammed him for “militarizing” the federal response to protests across the U.S., and said America is “witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership.”
Mr. Graham said former President George H.W. Bush leveraged the military to try to safeguard Los Angeles amid the 1992 riots.
He also said New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo should have taken quicker action to use the National Guard amid the national unrest after the killing of George Floyd.
“I would ask Gen. Mattis to look at the behavior of the politicians in these cities and see if you can find fault with them. It is so fashionable to blame President Trump for every wrong in America,” he said.
“And he can be a handful, and can he do better? Yes,” Mr. Graham said. “But the problems we have in America today weren’t caused by Donald Trump, and hopefully he can help the nation heal some of these problems.”
The president also said he changed the retired four-star general’s nickname from “Chaos” to “Mad Dog.” The “Mad Dog” moniker long preceded Mr. Trump’s time in office and was one that Mr. Mattis reportedly didn’t care for.
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