Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) swiped back Thursday at former Secretary of Defense General Jim Mattis over criticism of President Trump’s handling of nationwide riots and looting in the wake of George Floyd’s death.
This comes after Mattis, in an article published by The Atlantic, blasted the military for providing a “bizarre photo op” at St. John’s church and accused Trump of not ever trying to “unite the American people.”
“When I joined the military, some 50 years ago,” Mattis wrote, “I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution. Never did I dream that troops taking that same oath would be ordered under any circumstance to violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens—much less to provide a bizarre photo op for the elected commander-in-chief, with military leadership standing alongside.”
Mattis went on to say, “Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people—does not even pretend to try. Instead, he tries to divide us. We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. We can unite without him, drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society. This will not be easy, as the past few days have shown, but we owe it to our fellow citizens; to past generations that bled to defend our promise; and to our children.”
Senator Graham responded on “Fox & Friends” to Mattis’ remarks published by The Atlantic, saying, “General Mattis has the right to express himself above all others in many ways as he served the country over a long period of time, put himself at risk for the nation. I admire his service to the nation.”
He continued: “But the one thing I would tell General Mattis is that you don’t quite understand that from the time President Trump wakes up and goes to bed, there’s an effort to destroy his presidency– that George H. W. Bush 41, used the military to support the police in Los Angels after the Rodney King verdict. The Insurrection Act has been used, but has been sparingly used. Nobody wants to send active-duty troops into American cities unless they’re invited, unless they’re absolutely necessary.” Continued Below
Senator Graham noted that New York Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo “should have called out the National Guard early on, and I would ask Gen. Mattis to look at the behavior of the politicians in these cities and see if you can find fault with them.”
“And I would ask General Mattis to look at the behavior of the politicians in these cities and see if you can find fault with them,” he recommended.
Then Senator Graham swiped back at Mattis saying: “It is so fashionable to blame President Trump for every wrong in America.” Video Below
The South Carolina Senator acknowledged that President Trump “could be a handful” and could “do better,” but pointed out that “the problems we have in America today weren’t caused by Donald Trump and hopefully he can help the nation heal some of these problems.”
Senator Graham’s remarks; watch: