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CNN Military Analysts Slam Trump Comments on Mattis: ‘It’s a Smear… and It Didn’t Work’

During a conversation with CNN’s Don Lemon on Wednesday,  General James “Spider” Marks and General Mark Hertling––both CNN military analysts––reacted to President Donald Trump trashing now former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis.

Lemon started by showing the generals a clip of Trump at a cabinet meeting from earlier today speaking about Mattis.

During that meeting, he asked what Mattis has done for him and suggested — wrongly — that he “essentially” fired him.

“First. Mattis departed as head of central command under Obama in part over disagreements over Iran. Mattis resigned from the Trump Administration to protest the policy in Syria. He wasn’t fired. He quit,” Lemon said, challenging Trump’s claim. “It’s one of many lies today. I mean is it lies, or do you think he — do you think he actually knows what the truth is?”

General Marks replied that is a “much bigger question.”

Then, he said this:

The issue is, is the president starts with what has he done for me, which I find — I’m incredulous that the president of the United States would make it about ‘me,’ that a president. But this president does. This has become very personal. That’s the narcissistic side of this president that I simply do not understand as I guy who’s been immersed in leadership like Mark [Hertling] from the age of 18 on. Mark and I have been in this world where leadership and character matter in everything. Consistency in how you behave and what you say matters every moment of every day. And for the president to say, I essentially fired him is simply not true because what Jim Mattis did at the end of the day, after two years, Jim Mattis realized my voice is not being heard. I’m not providing sound counsel to the president. I’m getting pushback as a matter of routine. I’m trying to have these conversations, they’re not working. So in a term that Mark knows very, very well, is Jim Mattis stole a march on the president. He said, Mr. President, you’re burning daylight on me. This obviously isn’t working. I’ve reached the decision point before you did. I’m going to leave. Then the president then takes credit for his departure. That I simply don’t understand.

General Hertling next weighed in on Trump’s words.

“It’s a smear,” he said. “And it’s a type of influence technique that those of us who do study leadership, you know people — I’m sure you know people like this that try and make themselves look stronger by making other people look weaker.”

He added, “And in this case, it didn’t work.”

Watch above, via CNN.

[image via screengrab]

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