Trump hints Pentagon Chief Mattis might be planning to quit

Leroy Wright
October 15, 2018

"There are some people that I'm not happy with".

Stahl noted the Trump administration has been marked with record turnover of staff. Trump said he has a "great cabinet", including people he's "not thrilled with" and others he's "beyond thrilled with".

"More people gonna go?" It has even been said that Trump considered removing Mattis after the midterms, but both Mattis and Trump have vehemently denied the rumors. I have some people that I'm not thrilled with.

"Well, I don't know".

"I have a very good relationship with [Mattis]", Trump said. "I had lunch with him two days ago", he said.

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"It could be that he is", Trump said about Mattis leaving. "I think he's sort of a Democrat, if you want to know the truth", Mr. Trump said of the retired Marine Corps general. "But General Mattis is a good guy, we get along very well".

The defense chief has reportedly been at odds with Trump on several issues, including the president's request to ban transgender troops from the military as well as his policies toward NATO and North Korea.

The exchange on Mr Mattis came after Mr Trump alluded to upcoming changes in his cabinet, which last week saw the surprise resignation of Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

Mr Mattis's future has become a focus of media speculation, particularly after last month's release of a book by Watergate reporter Bob Woodward that portrayed him as privately disparaging Mr Trump to associates.

Mattis has a dim view of journalism about inside-the-beltway politics in Washington, using the word "fiction" to describe Woodward's book and similar reporting about closed-door conversations among USA national security leaders. Over two dozen high-ranking administration figures ― including several Cabinet members ― have resigned or been fired over the last 20 months.

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