The White House meeting Wednesday afternoon didn't go well for either party, according to their counterparts. Both sides are dishing on details, including a Democratic aide who said that there were two of President Donald Trump's claims that his own Pentagon chief wouldn't vouch for.
At the onset of the meeting, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) began by reading a quote from Gen. James Mattis, who briefly served in Trump's administration.
"But POTUS cut Schumer off," reported PBS News correspondent Lisa Desjardins. Trump then "said that Gen Mattis was: 'the world’s most overrated general. You know why? He wasn’t tough enough. I captured ISIS. Mattis said it would take 2 yrs. I captured them in 1 month."
The aide said that the president claimed fewer than 100 ISIS prisoners escaped during Turkey's bombing. Twice, the president claimed the prisoners were “The least dangerous” ones.
"Sec. Esper confirmed the number (less than a 100) but didn’t acknowledge the president’s decision that they were the 'least dangerous,'" Desjardins said.
When Schumer pressed Esper to say whether or not he agreed with the president’s description of the fighters being "the least dangerous," Esper replied: 'I don't know that."
Gen. Mark Milley, by contrast, said, “ISIS is defeated not destroyed." He confessed that the terrorist group “could reconstitute.”
Dem aide 2/: POTUS Said fewer than 100 ISIS prisoners escaped. He said twice they were “The least dangerous” ones.… https://t.co/R6wQak9NNf— Lisa Desjardins (@Lisa Desjardins)1571261811.0
Dem aide 3/: Schumer .... pressed Sec Def to answer if he agreed w the president’s description (that the escaped IS… https://t.co/ljTgyudoq9— Lisa Desjardins (@Lisa Desjardins)1571261968.0