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Mattis lashes out at Sean Spicer after he didn't stop pestering him

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Sep 11, 2018
08:44 A.M.
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'I've killed people for a living. If you call me again, I'm going to [...] send you to Afghanistan. Are we clear?"'

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Secretary of Defense James Mattis lashed out at former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer after repeated attempts to get him to go on Sunday-morning talk shows. These are the facts according to a partial passage from journalist Bob Woodward’s soon-to-be released book which was tweeted by an Associated Press reporter on Tuesday.

Spicer, a US Navy Reserve Commander apparently tried on several occasions to get Mattis to go on television, finally causing an incensed Mattis to issue the threat.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Source: Wikimedia Commons

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To date the Secretary of Defense has made only one appearance on a network since Donald Trump’s presidency began. That appearance was in May 2017 on CBS’s “Face the Nation”.

Source: Facebook

Source: Facebook

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According to Woodward’s book which is due to be released next Tuesday, Mattis privately criticized Trump after a particularly trying meeting.

“After Trump left the meeting, Woodward recounts, “Mattis was particularly exasperated and alarmed, telling close associates that the president acted like — and had the understanding of — ‘a fifth- or sixth-grader.’ ”

Philip Rucker and Robert Costa, Washington Post, September 4, 2018

The Post also reported that Woodward’s book says Mattis had to rein in Trump following a phone call when the president ranted about wanting to "f---ing kill" Syrian President Bashar Assad. (Washington Post, September 4, 2018)

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Source: Facebook

Source: Facebook

On Tuesday Mattis responded to Woodward’s reporting, condemning it as “a uniquely Washington brand of literature”.

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"The contemptuous words about the President attributed to me in Woodward's book were never uttered by me or in my presence. While I generally enjoy reading fiction, this is a uniquely Washington brand of literature, and his anonymous sources do not lend credibility."

Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, September 4, 2018

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Further to this Mattis spoke of the contempt and disrespect which Woodward describes as being a product of his (Woodward’s) imagination. In concluding he said:

"In serving in this administration, the idea that I would show contempt for the elected Commander-in-Chief, President Trump, or tolerate disrespect to the office of the President from within our Department of Defense, is a product of someone's rich imagination."

Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, September 4, 2018

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