Mattis responds to Trump criticism: 'I guess I'm the Meryl Streep of generals'

Former Defense secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisOvernight 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 Former Mattis staffer: Trump 'shooting himself in the foot' on foreign policy MORE responded to President TrumpDonald John TrumpDem senator says Zelensky was 'feeling the pressure' to probe Bidens 2020 Dems slam Trump decision on West Bank settlements Trump calls latest impeachment hearings 'a great day for Republicans' MORE calling him “the world’s most overrated general” during a meeting with congressional leaders Wednesday. 

At the Al Smith Memorial Foundation dinner on Thursday, Mattis opened his speech with a caustic blow about Trump's deferment from the draft during the Vietnam War. 

"I earned my spurs on the battlefield; Donald Trump earned his spurs in a letter from a doctor” he said. 

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The general continued on with more Trump references, stating, “I’m not just an overrated general. I’m the greatest, the world’s most overrated." Mattis was the keynote speaker at the 74th annual event.   

"I'm honored to be considered that by Donald Trump because he also called Meryl Streep an overrated actress. So I guess I'm the Meryl Streep of generals, and frankly that sounds pretty good to me,” Mattis continued.

But Mattis didn’t stop there with his jabs at the president.

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“And you do have to admit that between me and Meryl, at least we’ve had some victories,” he joked. 

Trump reportedly called Mattis “the world’s most overrated general” during a tense meeting Wednesday with Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis Schumer2020 Republicans accuse Schumer of snubbing legislation Schumer: Leadership trying to work out competing surprise medical bill measures Top GOP senator: Drug pricing action unlikely before end of year MORE (D-N.Y.) and House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOvernight Health Care: GOP senator says drug price action unlikely this year | House panel weighs ban on flavored e-cigs | New York sues Juul Five things to know about Tuesday's impeachment hearings McConnell hopes Senate impeachment trial 'not too lengthy a process' MORE (D-Calif.), among others. Schumer reportedly read a quote from Mattis’s Sunday appearance on “Meet the Press,” during which he warned that “ISIS will resurge” if the U.S. does not keep forces in northern Syria.

Trump pulled troops from the area last week.

“He wasn’t tough enough," Trump reportedly said at the Wednesday meeting. "I captured ISIS. Mattis said it would take two years. I captured them in one month."

Shortly following Mattis's remarks, Schumer, who happened to attend the function as well, showed solidarity with the general, tweeting, "While Donald Trump was having another rally, it was great to catch up with General Mattis—the Meryl Streep of generals." 

 

Trump called Streep “one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood” in a tweet after his election, after Streep criticized Trump in a speech at the Golden Globes. 

--Updated at 10:54 p.m.