‘I mean, at some point, everybody leaves. Everybody. People leave. That’s Washington…’
(Kaylee McGhee, Liberty Headlines) President Donald Trump said in an interview on Sunday that Defense Secretary James Mattis may leave the administration.
Trump told Lesley Stahl during “60 Minutes” that Mattis hasn’t mentioned any intention of leaving his role as defense secretary, and reassured her that he and Mattis “have a very good relationship.”
But Trump didn’t specifically answer whether he’d like Mattis to leave the Cabinet.
“I think he’s sort of a Democrat, if you want to know the truth,” Trump said. “But Gen. Mattis is a good guy. We get along very well. He may leave. I mean, at some point, everybody leaves. Everybody. People leave. That’s Washington.”
Mattis’s and Trump’s relationship has been the subject of speculation since journalist Bob Woodward released his book “Fear: Trump in the White House,” a few months ago. Woodward claimed in his book that Mattis exchanged heated criticism about the president to fellow staffers, questioning Trump’s understanding of key issues.
Mattis denied the statements attributed him, calling Woodward’s book “fiction.” And he later told reporters that rumors of his possible exit should not be taken seriously.
Trump admitted that there are Cabinet members he’s “not happy with,” however, and that he doesn’t always trust everybody in the White House. He admitted there will likely be more departures in the days to come. Trump said that reports that the White House is in internal chaos are “fake news,” though.
“I have people now on standby that will be phenomenal that will come into the administration,” Trump said. “They’ll be phenomenal.”
“I’m not a baby. It’s a tough business. This is a vicious place. Washington D.C. is a vicious, vicious place. The attacks, the bad mouthing, the speaking behind your back. But you know, in my way, I feel very comfortable here.”