Gates on Trump’s treatment of Cabinet: ‘That's not the way I would deal with people’

Gates on Trump’s treatment of Cabinet: ‘That's not the way I would deal with people’

Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said in an interview broadcast Sunday that he would not deal with top aides in the same way President TrumpDonald John TrumpSchiff: Surveillance warrant docs show that Nunes memo 'misrepresented and distorted these applications' Chicago detention facility under investigation following allegations of abuse of migrant children Ex-Trump aide: Surveillance warrants are 'complete ignorance' and 'insanity' MORE does. 

"That's not the way I would deal with people. That's not the way I think I ever did deal with people, and I did fire people — very senior people," Gates told CBS's Margaret Brennan on "Face the Nation" when asked about a report that Trump berated Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenEx-ICE director responds to Michelle Wolf video comparing agency to ISIS Top Ethics Dem calls for Nielsen to resign Michelle Wolf compares ICE to ISIS in new video MORE. "But, you know, every president is going to have his own style — the way he deals with people. And, as I say, it's not the way I’d do it, but that's the way he does it."

"Different presidents deal with the people that work with them in different ways," he continued. "The first president I worked for, Lyndon Johnson, did a lot of yelling and swearing at — at his senior officials. In his own way, so did — so did Richard Nixon."  

The New York Times reported that Nielsen was on the edge of stepping down from her post after the president criticized her during a Cabinet meeting. 

Nielsen reportedly drafted a resignation letter but never sent it. 

DHS has pushed back against the report, calling it false. 


Gates also addressed the high turnover of Cabinet officials in the administration, saying it is "probably unprecedented."

"For a president who had no experience in government, bringing with him a variety of people who had little or no experience in government, the churn has not been a surprise to me," gates added. 

Trump's Cabinet has experienced a slew of shake-ups during his administration. 

Former CIA Director Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoTrump privately frustrated over lack of progress with North Korea: report Russian diplomat calls on Pompeo to free accused Russian agent Pelosi: 'Thug' Putin not welcome in Congress MORE recently replaced former Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonThe Memo: Putin furor sparks new questions on Kelly’s future US steps up its game in Africa, a continent open for business Matt Drudge shares mock ‘Survivor’ cover suggesting more White House officials will leave this summer MORE, and Veterans Affairs Secretary David ShulkinDavid Jonathon ShulkinTrump loyalists purge VA of longtime staffers who don’t support agenda: report Poll: Majority in some GOP districts say Republicans 'more corrupt' than Dems On paper, Wilkie is the perfect candidate for VA secretary, but his qualifications go further MORE stepped down in March.