Administration

Trump says unlike Mattis he sees countries taking ‘total advantage’ of US as a problem

President Trump on Monday criticized outgoing Defense Secretary James Mattis, claiming he doesn’t see countries that “take total advantage of the U.S.” as “a problem.”

But “I DO, and it is being fixed,” Trump wrote in a tweet.

{mosads}Trump wrote in a series of tweets that he appreciates U.S. alliances but claimed that “many of these same countries take advantage of their friendship with the United States” and that the U.S. subsidizes the militaries of those countries.

“To those few Senators who think I don’t like or appreciate being allied with other countries, they are wrong, I DO. What I don’t like, however, is when many of these same countries take advantage of their friendship with the United States, both in Military Protection and Trade,” Trump wrote in a tweet.

“We are substantially subsidizing the Militaries of many VERY rich countries all over the world, while at the same time these countries take total advantage of the U.S., and our TAXPAYERS, on Trade. General Mattis did not see this as a problem. I DO, and it is being fixed!” he continued. 

Mattis last week resigned from his position as Defense secretary, prompted by Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria. 

Mattis wrote in his resignation letter that the strength of the U.S. is “inextricably linked to the strength of our unique and comprehensive system of alliances.” He added that the U.S. “cannot protect our interests” without “maintaining strong alliances and showing respect to those allies.”

Mattis was scheduled to leave his position in February, but Trump announced Sunday that Mattis would instead leave on Jan. 1.

A senior administration official confirmed to The Hill on Sunday that Trump’s anger over Mattis’s resignation letter pushed the president to force him out early. 

Tags Donald Trump James Mattis
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