"Mad Dog" Mattis Goes After Trump in Public Roast

James Mattis wearing a suit and tie talking on a cell phone Mattis responds to Trump criticism 'I guess I'm the Meryl Streep of generals'

Trump's former Defence Secretary Jim Mattis, revered Lincoln's patriotism, quoting somber lines from Lincoln's Lyceum speech as Mattis addressed attendees of the 74th annual Al Smith dinner in NY. In an interview with NPR in September, Mattis said: "I don't discuss sitting presidents".

After publishing his book "Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead" in August, Mattis was criticized by some for not doing more to condemn Mr. Trump in the book or in subsequent media appearances to promote it. "I'm the world's greatest overrated general", joked Mattis, who received a standing ovation as he stepped to the dais. "So I guess I'm the Meryl Streep of generals, and frankly that sounds pretty good to me", Mattis continued. "And you do have to admit that between me and Meryl, at least we've had some victories".

On Wednesday, Trump made the remarks during a White House meeting with members of Congress about the president's decision to remove USA forces from northern Syria.

Mattis was responding to reports that during a meeting with Congressional leaders on Wednesday over the United States' response to Turkish aggression against Kurdish fighters, Trump called his former Defense secretary "the world's most overrated general", according to Schumer.

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"I earned my spurs on the battlefield; Donald Trump earned his spurs from the doctor". "I tried to bring some peace and order to places with no organized government, chaotic and warring factions, irrational fears and toxic hatred", Mattis told diners.

Through his autobiography "Call Sign Chaos" that hits the stand on Tuesday, the former US Defence Secretary said, "Off all the countries I've dealt with, I consider Pakistan to be the most risky, because of the radicalization of the society and the availability of nuclear weapons".

Critics contrasted Mattis' jokes with a Thursday op-ed penned by retired Navy Adm. William McRaven in the New York Times that sharply rebuked the president. He resigned the position last December after a series of policy disputes with the president. Upon his resignation, he gave Trump a letter outlining his reasoning.

In it, Lincoln "observed great nations crumble for one of two reasons", the first being foreign invasion, Mattis said, which the future president dismissed as "inconceivable".

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