For the past couple of years, retired USMC General and former Secretary of Defense James Mattis has been a central member of the the NeverTrump Pantheon. Trump hadn’t been in office all that long when rumors surfaced that a “suicide pact” existed between Mattis, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, the cabinet secretaries NeverTrump considered the “adults in the rooom,” in which if one was given the heave-ho the other two would resign in protest. As it came to pass, this story had exactly as much credibility as the Steele Dossier.
What is instructive, though, is that as far as the NeverTrump people are concerned, these guys were and are only as useful as their ability to hurt President Trump. When they cannot or will not attack Trump, then they became anathema.
Yesterday, Mattis was on ABC’s This Week with Martha Raddatz, primarily to talk about Iranian adventurism. But, naturally the Ukraine non-scandal came up:
.@MarthaRaddatz: "Should a president be asking foreign leaders to investigate political opponents?"
Former Trump Defense Sec. Gen. James Mattis: "This is is not something I have any background on … I really prefer to talk about things I know more about" https://t.co/jMFPcBlHEI pic.twitter.com/But44gzLA9
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) September 22, 2019
RADDATZ: Secretary Mattis, I just want to turn to something else that’s in the news, and that’s the whistleblower investigation. President Trump just said “I hope they can put out that conversation.” Should a president be asking foreign leaders to investigate political opponents?
MATTIS: Yeah, Martha, this is not something I have background on. I don’t know anything more than what I read in the news. And apparently no one has seen the complaint, so I really prefer to talk about things I know more about.
Good points all. So far, the argument has been about something which no one really knows anything about. All we know for certain is that the “whistleblower” doesn’t appear to actually be a “whistleblower” because we’re told they neither heard the conversation nor read a transcript. They made a complaint based on something that was heard/seen outside the scope of their duties. What President Trump actually said or didn’t say is unknown.
But that will never do for those with TDS.
General Mattis is an honorable man.
This is a dishonorable statement. https://t.co/sFRZPvkPpH
— David Leonhardt (@DLeonhardt) September 23, 2019
Qatar is pretty smug about it:
I did try and warn you all about Mattis… https://t.co/UrW7D7wtcZ
— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) September 23, 2019
My gosh. So sad. Prepared his life for this moment . . .
— John Weaver (@jwgop) September 23, 2019
And the train trust of Max Boot and Tom Nichols had a major sad:
I’ve defended Mattis before for not speaking out but I can’t defend this. https://t.co/bvVLHkXYsX
— Max Boot (@MaxBoot) September 23, 2019
That wraps up #ETTD: The Mattis Years
— Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) September 23, 2019
What this shows is that these people aren’t interested in honor or dignity or integrity (of which Mattis has loads). They are only interested in inflicting political damage upon President Trump and his administration.