Conservative pundit Bill Kristol told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that the retirement of Defense Secretary James Mattis sends a “chilling” message about the decision-making process inside the White House.
The retired U.S. Marine Corps general sent a strong rebuke of President Donald Trump and his foreign policy in his letter announcing his decision to leave the administration, and Kristol said the departure was a big deal.
“It so dwarfs everything else that’s happening right now,” Kristol said.
Kristol said the Mattis retirement came as a surprise to the military and the secretary’s own friends, even after Trump made the unexpected decision to remove U.S. troops from Syria.
“I spoke with a retired general just a couple days ago who is close to Mattis and discreet about his conversations with Mattis, but has been in touch with Mattis throughout,” Kristol said. “He said he’s going to hang in there, Jim really thinks it’s important for the country. Jim doesn’t have a big ego, but he thinks he’s there, he think he’s doing good. He will take a lot of blows and hang in there to prevent worse things from happening.”
Kristol said his decision to retire shows that he no longer believes he can do good inside the White House.
“For me the resignation is so important because it’s not simply that he’s disgusted about the Syria decision or disappointed by it, though he is, or even appalled by it,” he said. “This means that Mattis thought he could not stop a lot of other bad decisions from happening down the road.”
“Mattis saw what was coming and thought, ‘I can’t make a difference anymore,'” Kristol added. “He has swallowed an awful lot, he has put up with an awful lot. He’s told people he’s going to stay for four years, he told friends of mine that as recently as this month. The fact that Mattis felt he couldn’t do any good anymore, which is what I think that letter suggests, really, for me, is a chilling moment. The fact that he felt he couldn’t stay and do any good is even worse.”
Republican staffer caught spying on Democrats during Judiciary Committee meetings
A Republican staffer from the Ways and Means committee was caught spying on Democrats during their work over the weekend.
According to a Judiciary Committee source, the female staffer was ultimately discovered and ran out of the committee room once it was discovered she was there, tweeted Olivia Beavers, a writer at "The Hill."
"A Judiciary source says the committee, which has been practicing for their Monday impeachment hearing this whole weekend, came across a female GOP Ways and Means staffer in the hearing room today, but that she ran out once discovered," she tweeted.
New York Times editorial board asks Trump if he didn’t do anything wrong — why he won’t let witnesses testify
The New York Times editorial board issued a scathing op-ed Sunday detailing the ways in which President Donald Trump is destroying one of the key branches of the United States government.
While many presidents battle with Congress, Trump has taken his "obvious contempt" to a whole new level. But if he was truly innocent of the accusations he's facing, then why is he hiding so much.
"If Mr. Trump is so clear in his own mind that he didn’t try to pressure the Ukrainian government to interfere in the 2020 election, why won’t he send the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, to testify under oath that there was no quid pro quo?" asked The Times. "Instead, he has issued a blanket refusal to allow officials of his administration to testify or submit documents demanded by Congress. His approach is pitting Republican House members’ fealty to him against their respect for their own institution. They are making a fateful choice to diminish the House."
Former Republican Congressman admits he ‘can’t explain’ Ted Cruz: ‘You’d think he’d have more self-respect’
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) appeared on "Meet the Press" Sunday to perpetuate the false narrative that Ukraine hacked the 2016 election, a fact that has been disproven by all of the U.S. intelligence agencies. When asked to explain what Cruz could possibly have been thinking, former Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA) confessed he has no idea how to explain Cruz.
"So, Charlie, what's going on here?" asked CNN host Fredricka Whitfield.