President Trump, speaking at a Cabinet meeting during the ongoing government shutdown, claimed he "essentially" fired his former Pentagon chief James Mattis, despite a resignation letter in which Mattis wrote he was departing because he didn't share Trump's worldview.
"I wish him well. I hope he does well. But as you know, President Obama fired him and essentially so did I," Trump said. "I want results."
Mattis departed as head of Central Command under Obama, in part because of disagreements over Iran.
In his resignation letter to Trump, Mattis said the President deserved a Defense chief more closely aligned with his "America First" views. Aides said at the time that Trump was frustrated at coverage of Mattis' resignation.
Trump said during his Cabinet meeting on Wednesday that Mattis was thrilled when Trump secured hundreds of dollars in military funding. But he said Mattis hadn't provided any success in return.
"What's he done for me? How has he done in Afghanistan? Not too good. Not too good. I'm not happy with what he's done in Afghanistan and I shouldn't be happy."
After recalling a meeting in which he questioned why the Taliban could not fight ISIS without US involvement, Trump mused he might have made a good military man.
"I think I would have been a good general but who knows?" Trump said. While of the Vietnam era, Trump himself did not serve after receiving a draft exemption for bone spurs.
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