Former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, in no uncertain terms, denied having any interest in a presidential run Tuesday night, telling Fox News’ Martha MacCallum that he’s trying to find a way to say “no even stronger.”
“I think we have a lot of great people in America I think that after 40 odd years of serving the country in the military and in the defense establishment I am eager to see the fresh ideas from people who handle a much broader array of issues that I have,” he said.
MacCallum jumped in, noting the pause in his speech.
“There is not a hesitation,” he responded with a grin. “I’m just trying to think how to say no even stronger.”
Mattis has been speaking out recently in advance of his new book, promising that his silence on his stint in the Trump administration will not be “eternal,” but being careful not to encourage rumors of his own reportedly turbulent relationship with the President.
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