“Donald Trump is the first president in my life who doesn’t try to unite the American people – he doesn’t even pretend to try. Instead, he tries to divide us,” said Mattis.
“We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without a mature leader. We can unite without it and draw on the strengths of our civil society. This will not be easy.” The past few days have shown, but we owe it to our fellow citizens, previous generations who bleed to keep our promise, and our children. “
His deliberate statements followed more than a week of nationwide protests across the country demanding justice for Floyd, a black man killed by a white cop in Minneapolis last week. In response, Trump declared himself “Your President for Law and Order”
And until a few days ago, he had stuck to this view privately, but Mattis is so troubled by the events of the past week that his views on pronouncing have changed.
The statements will be a significant moment for many members of the service who idolize the former defense minister who, despite a career based on loyalty and respect for the military chain of command, sends the message to the troops without which the country can unite Leadership of the President.
The news comes after days of increased military presence in Washington. National guards and law enforcement agencies are stationed in the country’s capital to demonstrate violence that has not been seen recently. Federal police officers violently broke out peaceful protests outside the White House on Monday, apparently so Trump could hold a photo op in a church across Lafayette Square where demonstrators had gathered.
The former secretary, who resigned from Trump’s cabinet, indirectly criticized the use of the word “battlefield” by current Secretary of Defense Mark Esper in relation to American cities.
“We have to reject any idea of our cities as a” battlefield “that should” dominate “our uniformed military,” said Mattis. “At home, we should only use our military if the state governors so rarely require it. Militarizing our response, as we saw in Washington, DC, creates a conflict – a wrong conflict – between the military and the military civil society. “
“It undermines the moral ground that ensures a trustful connection between men and women in uniform and society, to which they are obliged to protect and to which they belong. The maintenance of public order is up to the civilian state and the local leaders who understand their communities best and are accountable to them. “
Esper admitted on Wednesday that his use of the word “battlefield” should not indicate conflict with Americans, but claimed that he used a military term in art. At that time, Esper also explicitly rejected the use of active forces in law enforcement functions.
But Mattis directed most of the anger at Trump, saying, “I never thought that troops taking the same oath would under no circumstances be instructed to violate the constitutional rights of their fellow citizens – let alone give the elected commander a bizarre photo close.” – Chief, with military leadership next to it. “
This is a groundbreaking story and is being updated.