Mattis, who was the keynote speaker of the blue-blooded charity event, spoke after Trump attacked the retired Marine Corps general for his refusal to withdraw American forces from Syria. Trump announced last week's withdrawal of the US military presence in the country to alarm lawmakers from both sides of the aisle. The retreat paved the way for Turkish air strikes on Kurdish forces, which were loyal US allies in the fight against the Islamic State.
Both Democrats and Republicans in Congress have sharply condemned the move and subsequent Turkish aggression. The leaders of the Democratic Congress met with Trump in the White House on Wednesday to discuss the issue, but the meeting was a furious confrontation in which the Democrats called their names and said goodbye early.
When Chuck Schumer, chairman of the Senate Minor, quoted a statement by Mattis that the withdrawal of troops from Syria was causing IS to revive, Trump declared Mattis the "most overrated general in the world" and claimed the militant group was his own to have defeated yourself. The statement revealed the remaining evil blood of Mattis' exit from the government in December, in protest of a previous plan for a military withdrawal from Syria.
Mattis had a successful military career long before the Trump presidency, after serving in the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, and Iraq. As a retired four-star general, he was seen as a stabilizing force in the spirited decision-making of the government. He spoke out against some of Trump's most controversial acts, including the withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal and the escalation of tensions with North Korea. Mattis' devotion to post-war alliances contrasted with the president's preference for isolationist and transactional rhetoric.
Mattis' departure rocked Washington and lowered morale in the Pentagon when Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) at the time tweeted: "That's scary."
Trump was dismayed about the attention Mattis received for his resignation, and even tried to figure out his retirement by Tweet that Mattis retired just minutes before the Pentagon's announcement. Although Mattis' resignation indicated he wanted to play his role by February of this year, Trump abruptly declared on Twitter that his successor, Patrick Shanahan, would take the helm on January 1st.
In his December letter Mattis wrote that Trump "has the right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better coordinated," and previously said he owes Trump the duty to discuss his views on the leadership of the Hide president.
But that did not stop the former Pentagon head from bumping into the president on Thursday night.
"You must admit," Mattis told dinner attendees, "that we had at least two victories between myself and Meryl." "Trump" earned his spurs in a letter from a doctor. "The engraving is an indication of Trump's postponement in the Vietnam War for Bone Spurs."
Schumer, who also attended the dinner, joined the jokes and tweeted, "It was great, General Mattis – Meryl Street
Still, Mattis' recklessness did not completely drown out his retired silence Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) tweeted a video of Mattis at dinner and asked him to comment.
"You are not a TV personality," wrote Schatz. "Tell us what you think. Tell us what you know. The Republic depends on people like you speaking clearly, quickly and energetically. All hands on deck. "