Trump unsure if Mattis will stay: 'He's sort of a Democrat'

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: 'Haven't thought about' pardons for Mueller target Pence: Rocket attack 'proves that Hamas is not a partner for peace' Conservation remains a core conservative principle MORE said in an interview broadcast Sunday that it's possible Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman Mattis16 times Trump said ISIS was defeated, or soon would be Overnight Defense: Pentagon chief under investigation over Boeing ties | Trump uses visual aids to tout progress against ISIS | Pentagon, Amnesty International spar over civilian drone deaths Pentagon watchdog probing whether acting chief boosted Boeing MORE will leave his administration.

Trump told Lesley Stahl of "60 Minutes" that Mattis hasn't told him that he intends to leave his post, but demurred when asked if he'd like to see the general depart the Cabinet.

"I have a very good relationship with him," Trump said. "I had lunch with him two days ago. I have a very good relationship with him. It could be that he is."

ADVERTISEMENT

"I think he's sort of a Democrat, if you want to know the truth," the president continued. "But Gen. Mattis is a good guy. We get along very well. He may leave. I mean, at some point, everybody leaves. Everybody. People leave. That's Washington."

Mattis's departure has been the subject of speculation for weeks, with multiple news outlets reporting that Trump has been weighing potential replacements.

The president later denied those reports, citing Mattis's response to Bob Woodward's book, "Fear: Trump in the White House," which reported exchanges in which the Defense secretary criticizes the president to other staffers and questions Trump's understanding of key issues.

Mattis, 68, issued a statement denying he said anything attributed to him in the book, calling the work "fiction." He later told reporters not to take rumors of his exit seriously.

The president told "60 Minutes" that there are some Cabinet members he's "not happy with" and acknowledged there are likely to be more departures. 

In addition to Mattis, numerous reports in recent months have focused on the uncertain future of Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsAfter Mueller, Democrats need to avoid the Javert trap Mueller probe: A timeline from beginning to end Mueller's investigation ends, but divisive political circus will continue MORE. Trump has openly criticized his attorney general on several occasions, but said that the former Alabama senator would be safe at least until the midterms.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki HaleyNimrata (Nikki) HaleyTrump UN pick donated to GOP members on Senate Foreign Relations panel Pentagon sends B-52 bombers to Europe for exercises amid tensions with Russia Overnight Health Care: Trump officials sued over Medicaid work requirements in New Hampshire | Analysis contradicts HHS claims on Arkansas Medicaid changes | Azar signals HHS won't back down on e-cigs MORE announced last week that she would leave her post at the end of the year.