In his first Cabinet meeting of the new year, President Trump went off-script with reporters, slamming recently-departed Defense Secretary Jim "mad dog" Mattis, claiming he "essentially fired" the four-star general, who abruptly resigned last month.
Trashing Mattis' management of the Afghanistan war, Trump reminded reporters that Mattis had personally thanked him for helping secure $716 billion for national security in the current fiscal year. But then he quickly rebuked:
"What’s he done for me?” Trump said.
“How had he done in Afghanistan? Not too good.”
"I think I would have been a good general...but who knows..."
Trump says he essentially fired Mattis.— Steven Portnoy (@stevenportnoy) January 2, 2019
"What's he done for me?" pic.twitter.com/dsRSv63Yis
Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan took part (quietly) in the Cabinet meeting.