Former Mattis staffer: Trump 'shooting himself in the foot' on foreign policy

A former staffer to ex-Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisLawmakers push back at Pentagon's possible Africa drawdown Overnight Defense: Book says Trump called military leaders 'dopes and babies' | House reinvites Pompeo for Iran hearing | Dems urge Esper to reject border wall funding request Trump called top military brass 'a bunch of dopes and babies' in 2017: book MORE called President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump rails against impeachment in speech to Texas farmers Trump administration planning to crack down on 'birth tourism': report George Conway on Trump adding Dershowitz, Starr to legal team: 'Hard to see how either could help' MORE’s approach to foreign policy “not helpful,” saying the president is “shooting himself in the foot” by going on Twitter.

“President Trump is basically putting his revolver out of his holster and shooting himself in the foot,” retired Navy Cmdr. Guy Snodgrass, who served as Mattis's speechwriter and communications director, told Hill.TV on Monday.

“You’ve been working with your allies and partners to fulfill some of this policy directives and then suddenly a tweet comes out that undermines months and months and months of planning," he added. “That is not helpful to the American public. It’s also not helpful to our nation or to his own policies he’s trying to enact.”

Snodgrass didn’t point to a specific example, but Trump has repeatedly taken to Twitter to weigh in on a number of pressing foreign policy issues over the course of his presidency.

Over the summer, he tweeted amid escalating tensions with Iran that an attack on "anything American" would be "met with great and overwhelming force." The threat appears to have been in response to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani calling the White House "mentally retarded" in the wake of fresh sanctions targeting the leader.

Snodgrass is currently on tour promoting his new tell-all memoir, "Holding The Line: Inside Trump's Pentagon with Secretary Mattis.”

A White House spokesperson didn't immediately respond to Hill.TV's request for comment. 

—Tess Bonn