Former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis blasted Trump and sided with protesters in a statement he made to The Atlantic magazine.
The Washington Post reports: “Former defense secretary Jim Mattis excoriated President Trump on Wednesday, accusing the nation’s chief executive of deliberately trying to divide Americans, taking exception to his threats of military force on American streets, and praising those demanding justice following the police killing of George Floyd.”
“We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership,” he continued. “We can unite without him, drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society. This will not be easy, as the past few days have shown, but we owe it to our fellow citizens; to past generations that bled to defend our promise; and to our children.”
Mattis wrote that he has watched events this week “angry and appalled,” and said protesters are right to demand equal justice under the law.
“It is a wholesome and unifying demand — one that all of us should be able to get behind,” he wrote. “We must not be distracted by a small number of lawbreakers. The protests are defined by tens of thousands of people of conscience who are insisting that we live up to our values — our values as people and our values as a nation.”
While Trump has threatened to invoke the Insurrection Act and use active-duty troops to quell unrest, Mattis said the military should only be used at home on “very rare occasions” when requested by state governors.
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