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Trump claimed he read James Mattis’ resignation letter — but didn’t know it was critical of him until he saw it on TV: report

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A bombshell report in the New York Times that details the split between President Donald Trump and Defense Secretary James Mattis, who was once one of his closest advisers.

“One aide said that although Mr. Trump had already seen the resignation letter when he praised Mr. Mattis, the president did not understand just how forceful a rejection of his strategy Mr. Mattis had issued,” the Times reported.

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When Trump received the resignation letter he tweeted out his overwhelming support for Mattis for his service and the work he’d done. He called the resignation a “retirement” that Mattis deserved.

General Jim Mattis will be retiring, with distinction, at the end of February, after having served my Administration as Secretary of Defense for the past two years. During Jim’s tenure, tremendous progress has been made, especially with respect to the purchase of new fighting equipment. General Mattis was a great help to me in getting allies and other countries to pay their share of military obligations. A new Secretary of Defense will be named shortly. I greatly thank Jim for his service!” Trump tweeted.

The resignation letter was then released to the public, where cable news pundits pointed out how critical of Trump it was.

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“Because you have the right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours on these and other subjects, I believe it is right for me to step down from my position,” Mattis said in the two-page letter.

Two days after the president allegedly read the resignation letter and tweeted his positive support, Trump took a 180-degree turn to attack the general.

“When President Obama ingloriously fired Jim Mattis, I gave him a second chance. Some thought I shouldn’t, I thought I should. Interesting relationship-but I also gave all of the resources that he never really had. Allies are very important-but not when they take advantage of U.S.,” Trump tweeted Saturday.

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It was reported that the president read the letter, it’s unclear if he understood what he was reading at the time. Mattis will be replaced by a former Boeing executive.


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Impeachment: Trump’s ‘hearsay’ defense just crashed and burned

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In the panoply of contradictory and incoherent defenses of Donald Trump, a favorite of Republicans has been to harp on the claim that witnesses to Trump's extortion scheme against Ukraine were all "second-hand" or "third-hand." This has always been confounding, as the official summary readout of the famous phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky shows Trump clearly conditioning military aid and U.S. support on Zelensky giving a public boost to Trump's conspiracy theories about former Vice President Joe Biden and other Democratic leaders. The witnesses so far have simply affirmed what the written record demonstrates amply.

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WATCH: Dejected Devin Nunes slumps back in his chair after he fails to yield his time to Elise Stefanik

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The top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee was visibly frustrated after once again getting shut down while attempting a parliamentary maneuver.

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) has been attempting to ignore the rules governing the impeachment inquiry so that he can yield Republicans' time to fellow members of Congress, instead of just the professional GOP counsel.

Nunes has attempted to yield time to Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), who has been raising re-election funds off of her outbursts in the hearings.

Once again, Nunes attempted to yield his time to a fellow Republican and once again Nunes was told that is against the rules.

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Mike Pompeo wants to run for Senate — but can’t figure out a graceful way to resign: report

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For months, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been dogged by rumors that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is trying to recruit him to run for Senate in his home state of Kansas — a claim that he has flatly denied.

Now, Time reports that multipler Republican sources have confirmed Pompeo does in fact have a Kansas Senate run on his radar. The only problem is that he can't figure out a graceful way to exit the Trump administration.

Pompeo, who has largely remained in President Donald Trump's good graces, has come under national scrutiny for his role in the Ukraine scandal, which has seen several foreign service officers and national security officials testifying that Trump set up a backchannel with his lawyer Rudy Giuliani to Ukrainian leadership to demand political help against former Vice President Joe Biden.

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