After saying that it was “so false” and “fake news” to assert that his administration was in “chaos” due to the high turnover rate among senior officials, President Donald Trump implied that Defense Secretary James Mattis may be on his way out. The President called Mattis “sort of a Democrat.”
In a clip of a “60 Minutes” interview between CBS’ Lesley Stahl and Trump released Sunday morning — the interview will be aired in full later Sunday — Trump said “I have some people that I’m not thrilled with” in the Cabinet. Stahl asked, “What about General Mattis? Is he going to leave?”
“Well, I don’t know,” Trump responded. “He hasn’t told me that.”
“I have a very good relationship with him,” Trump continued, after Stahl interjected to ask if Trump wanted Mattis to leave the administration. “I had lunch with him two days ago. I have a very good relationship with him. It could be that he is.”
“I think he’s sort of a Democrat, if you want to know the truth,” Trump continued. “But General Mattis is a good guy. We get along very well. He may leave. I mean, at some point, everybody leaves. Everybody. People leave. That’s Washington.”
The answer recalled a nugget from New York Magazine’s recent report on the evergreen rumors that White House chief of staff John Kelly will leave that role: “I think the president just doesn’t know who to call to fire him,” an unnamed administration official told the magazine.
Mattis has dismissed reports of his potential departure in the past.
Watch the clip below:
WILL MATTIS LEAVE? “General Mattis is a good guy. We get along very well. He may leave. I mean, at some point, everybody leaves,” President Trump tells Lesley Stahl for @60Minutes https://t.co/kYresbc0JT pic.twitter.com/3Rq8rVjb0G
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) October 14, 2018
This post has been updated.