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

A former staffer to 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 called President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says he will 'temporarily hold off' on declaring Mexican drug cartels as terror organization House Judiciary Committee formally receives impeachment report Artist behind gold toilet offered to Trump sells banana duct-taped to a wall for 0,000 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