Mattis made the remarks a day after President Donald Trump called him "the world's most overrated general" because he "wasn't tough enough" during a contentious White House meeting with members of Congress. "So, I assume I'm the Meryl Streep of generals". "Because you have the right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours on these and other subjects, I believe it is right for me to step down from my position".
Trump reportedly gave Mattis his new sobriquet during a meeting with Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer on Wednesday after Senate Minority Leader Schumer read a quote from the general nicknamed "Mad Dog" suggesting "ISIS will resurge" if the USA did not remain in Syria.
The president did no longer admire the unusual airing these concerns publicly.
"You know why?" Trump told lawmakers Wednesday. This is in direct contrast to James Mattis's relationship with former President Barack Obama. He also jabbed Trump for draft dodging. "I'm the world's greatest overrated general", joked Mattis, who received a standing ovation as he stepped to the dais. "Donald Trump earned his spurs in a letter from a doctor'".
"I think the correct particular person in the militia that Mr. Trump doesn't think is overrated", the unusual mentioned, "is Colonel Sanders".
The White House did not immediately return a request for comment about Mattis'sremarks. Guests at the dinner usually lampoon politicians, but the mocking tone was a departure for Mattis, who has generally refused to criticize the president's foreign policy actions since leaving office. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., tweeted a photo of himself chatting with the general after the event.
Nonetheless for more than just a few observers, Mattis's zingers drew consideration to the militia officer's reticence to substantively criticize the president. But as ABC also noted, Mattis had previously said that he wouldn't be quiet on Trump "forever", and we may already be seeing the first cracks in what was always a poorly maintained omerta.
Mattis, a retired four-star Marine general, didn't stop there, roasting Trump for the bone spurs that kept him from serving in the Vietnam War.
Mattis famously resigned after Obama pulled troops out of Iraq and refused to take the rise of ISIS seriously. "He is wrong", McRaven wrote.
Mattis has defended his decision to preserve his personal beliefs regarding the Trump administration personal.
Mattis had said in an interview in August that his silence about Trump was "not going to be forever". "When you leave an administration over clear policy differences, you need to give the people who are still there as much opportunity as possible to defend the country".