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WATCH LIVE: WHITE HOUSE PRESS BRIEFING WITH KAYLEIGH McENANY

Fox Anchor Ed Henry Confronts White House Spox After He Trashes Mattis: ‘You’re Attacking This Retired General’

White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley on Thursday doubled down on White House criticism of former Defense Secretary Gen. James Mattis, saying he had a “fundamental misunderstanding” of recent events.

“For Jim Mattis to have his head in the sand … is, quite frankly, appalling,” Gidley said in an interview with Fox News’ Ed Henry. “This president is trying to unite a country. He has. He’s talked about the death of George Floyd and how sobering and sad he was when he saw the video, how angry it made him. He stood up in the Rose Garden and said, ‘I stand with the protesters, who have the right to peacefully assemble, but I’m not going to allow lawlessness in the country.'”

Henry pushed back, asking Gidley whether the criticism of Mattis made the White House look divisive. “Rather than inviting him in, you are attacking this retired general. Isn’t that making the point that you are not uniting people? … Calling him the most overrated general when he’s the former Defense secretary for this president, that’s uniting people?”

Gidley said President Donald Trump was a “healer-in-chief” and argued that Mattis had caused the problem. “The division is on the other side. It’s obvious that the general doesn’t have a clue what’s going on in the American cities out there, or actually worse, has turned a blind eye to it.”

Mattis, who served as Trump’s defense secretary from 2017 to 2019, said Wednesday he was “angry and appalled” by the president’s response to riots in the wake of Floyd’s death. “Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people — does not even pretend to try. Instead, he tries to divide us,” Mattis said.

Watch above via Fox News.

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