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Mattis Says If He Had Written Anonymous NYT Op-Ed He Would Have Signed It: I Don’t Believe ‘In Cowardice’

Former Secretary of Defense James Mattis slammed the unnamed Trump administration official behind a 2018 New York Times op-ed criticizing President Donald Trump, suggesting the author is a coward for hiding behind anonymity.

During an appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Wednesday, the network’s political analyst Mike Barnicle asked Mattis about the infamous op-ed — which was published a year ago this week.

“You said to Mika [Brzezinski] that you don’t want to be speaking from the cheap seats — you almost more than anyone I know paid for your cheap seat,” Barnicle said. “Paid for it in blood and treasure and the leadership of men who you lost, and so, a year ago tomorrow, someone, I don’t know who, wrote an anonymous op-ed in in the New York Times.”

Barnicle went on to read a portion of the essay, in which the author accused Trump of ruling in a “manner that is detrimental to the health of the republic,” and asked if Mattis’ agreed with the unnamed author’s sentiment.

“I wouldn’t comment on it other than to say that I’ve never believed in cowardice,” Mattis replied. “If I felt that strongly about something, I would have signed it. I would have been right up front about it. I think you would owe that degree of candor.”

Watch above, via MSNBC.

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Caleb Ecarma was a reporter at Mediaite. Email him here: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter here: @calebecarma