With most of Donald Trump’s choices for his cabinet being an utter nightmare, one pick actually seemed almost sane, and that was General James N. Mattis for Secretary of Defense. The Marine Corps General is seemingly the only person out of Trump’s picks that actually puts country before themselves. Which is likely why Mattis said yes.
However, it looks as though Mattis may be having second thoughts.
According to The Washington Post:
“With only two weeks left before Inauguration Day and days before Mattis’s Senate confirmation hearing, most major Pentagon civilian positions remain unfilled. Behind the scenes, Mattis has been rejecting large numbers of candidates offered by the transition team for several top posts, two sources close to the transition said. The dispute over personnel appointments is contributing to a tenser relationship between Mattis and the transition officials, which could set the stage for turf wars between the Pentagon and the White House in the coming Trump administration.”
One position that is a source of tension is undersecretary of defense for intelligence, a powerful post that oversees all Defense Department intelligence agencies, which include the National Security Agency and the Defense Intelligence Agency.
With the biggest tension seeming to surround Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who is currently Trump’s choice for national security adviser.
“Mattis has rejected all of the names the Trump team has offered to be the top intelligence official in the department, another transition source said. Mattis is also unlikely to accept Trump’s top Pentagon transition landing team official, Mira Ricardel, as a top official. She was rumored to be in line to be undersecretary of defense for policy, a hugely influential job.”
It seems Trump and his transition team won’t allow anyone who was a “Never Trump” Republican, and Mattis is asking for these individuals to be considered. However, since Trump holds a grudge where his ego doesn’t allow him to choose the best person for the job and holds loyalty above integrity, Mattis seems to be growing increasingly frustrated.
When the Trump team responded to WaPo, they said:
“We are ahead of schedule with assembling the most qualified cabinet and administration in history. Any implication contrary to that is completely false and from sources who do not have any knowledge of our transition efforts.”
Yet, Trump and his team have proven to be anything but honest, so really, who knows what the truth is anymore, which is probably just how Trump would like it. The first step of a successful dictatorship is controlling the message while calling everyone else liars.
Hopefully Mattis does stay on, because he actually cares for serving the country first above all else, unlike Trump, who only seems to serve himself. It should scare us that his only seemingly sane choice may quit before he starts.
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