Former staffer hits back at Mattis's office over criticism of tell-all book

A former aide on Monday pushed back at ex-Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisThreatening foreign states with sanctions can backfire Overnight Defense: Erdoğan gets earful from GOP senators | Amazon to challenge Pentagon cloud contract decision in court | Lawmakers under pressure to pass benefits fix for military families Amazon to challenge Pentagon's 'war cloud' decision in federal court MORE’s office over criticism of his new tell-all book.

Retired Navy Cmdr. Guy Snodgrass, who served as Mattis's communications director and head speechwriter, told Hill.TV that he was “disappointed” by the comments.

An assistant for Mattis, Candace Currier, issued a statement last month knocked Snodgrass's book, describing him as a “junior staffer” who “played no role in decision making."

Snodgrass maintains that he played a key role in the Defense Department’s messaging.

“It was just the traditional Washington, D.C. if you want to try and undercut someone’s position, you call into question the position they held or the accomplishments they had, which is unfortunately what President TrumpDonald John TrumpSanders urges impeachment trial 'quickly' in the Senate US sending 20,000 troops to Europe for largest exercises since Cold War Barr criticizes FBI, says it's possible agents acted in 'bad faith' in Trump probe MORE has done with Secretary Mattis,” he told Hill.TV. “It was a little like the pot calling the kettle black.

"That being said, I served alongside him for a year and a half was on a vast majority of travel that he had, wrote all of the speeches and a lot of his messages and strategies that he put out during his tenure," he added.

Currier declined to provide further comment, saying "we have nothing to add to the original statement issued."

A number of bombshell details were reported in the lead-up to the release of Snodgress’s memoir, "Holding The Line: Inside Trump's Pentagon with Secretary Mattis.”

Snodgrass alleged that Mattis said privately that he’d “rather swallow acid” than watch a massive Fourth of July military parade that had been requested by President Trump. The book also claims that Trump wanted to “screw” Amazon founder and CEO Jeff BezosJeffrey (Jeff) Preston BezosHillicon Valley: Amazon alleges Trump interfered in Pentagon contract to hurt Bezos | Federal council warns Trump of cyber threats to infrastructure | China to remove foreign technology from government offices Overnight Defense: Bombshell report reveals officials misled public over progress in Afghanistan | Amazon accuses Trump of 'improper pressure' in Pentagon contract decision | House Judiciary holds final impeachment hearing Amazon accuses Trump of 'improper pressure' to influence Pentagon contract decision MORE out of a $10 billion Pentagon cloud computing contract.

Snodgrass also offered praise in his book for the retired general, saying that "Mattis provided a valuable service to the nation, our international allies and partners, and the members of the department he led."

"Holding the Line" was released last Friday after initially being delayed over concerns that its contents could potentially jeopardize U.S. national security. 

Updated at 12:28 a.m.

⁠—Tess Bonn