Trump allegedly read the letter before praising the secretary's work and dedication to the United States, but once cable news began reporting the letter's contents, he turned to rage. A Twitter-rant quickly followed.
It's led many pundits and activists online to wonder if the president was smart enough to understand what Mattis was saying in his two-page letter.
CNN White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins was among the first to comment it seemed Trump didn't really read the letter.
"The more you read Mattis’s resignation letter, the clearer it becomes that Trump had not read it before he sent his tweet," she tweeted Thursday.
The more you read Mattis’s resignation letter, the clearer it becomes that Trump had not read it before he sent his tweet.— Kaitlan Collins (@Kaitlan Collins)1545362253.0
"Trump is clearly kicking Mattis out early because he’s just now realizing that Mattis’s resignation letter was a rebuke of his Presidency," tweeted draft Beto chief Nate Lerner. "It took him 3 days to figure that out."
Trump is clearly kicking Mattis out early because he’s just now realizing that Mattis’s resignation letter was a re… https://t.co/eA8paKZUid— Nate Lerner (@Nate Lerner)1545587011.0
Read the rest of the comments below:
Mattis cleverly concealed his critiques of Trump for several days by encrypting them in complete sentences. https://t.co/ZylaPdASLw— LOLGOP (@LOLGOP)1545588409.0
Trump, who at first did not seem to realize the rebuke in Mattis’ resignation letter, is now pushing the defense se… https://t.co/L1Vk79jqYY— Vera Bergengruen (@Vera Bergengruen)1545584105.0
@RawStory He. Can't. Read.— Dianna Donnelly (@Dianna Donnelly)1545592392.0
@RawStory He can’t comprehend adult writing... He needs pictures!!!🙄— LUIS 🇵🇷 (@LUIS 🇵🇷)1545592494.0
@RawStory Reading and comprehension are two different things— mona berrier (@mona berrier)1545592699.0
@RawStory This is embarrassing.— Wanderlust (@Wanderlust)1545592763.0
@RawStory Gen Mattis is way too professional, diplomatic and a gentleman to insert a photo with him flipping the bi… https://t.co/Em5dH2CNyf— A Canadian View From Above (@A Canadian View From Above)1545593437.0
Trump speeds up Mattis’s departure significantly. Aides say he had not realized how critical the defense secretary’… https://t.co/kozU588fql— Kaitlan Collins (@Kaitlan Collins)1545585489.0
It speaks volumes that Trump had read Mattis’ resignation letter before praising him last week. He couldn’t even un… https://t.co/gP1sO2YMp2— Ned Price (@Ned Price)1545584217.0
@RawStory Hooked on Phonics— JackBell (@JackBell)1545593121.0
@realDonaldTrump Someone finally read the resignation letter to you. #TrumpResign #illterate— Tim (@Tim)1545593878.0
@BN9 Someone probably finally read him his resignation letter. I wonder if all of Fox did what Hannity did and only… https://t.co/O0eZuUndeK— John (@John)1545593857.0
Did someone translate the resignation letter to a simpler language? https://t.co/glFVTQe8mr— Sia Sharif (@Sia Sharif)1545593786.0
@realDonaldTrump Someone must've told you about the letter of resignation bc we all know you don't read! #TrumpResign— Elton R. (@Elton R.)1545594200.0
If it doesn’t have pop-ups how can anyone expect our president to know what any writing means?… https://t.co/sGFNi7CtSW— J Michael (@J Michael)1545594196.0