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

Former Defense secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisBudowsky: Biden-Duckworth would be America's team Trump insulted UK's May, called Germany's Merkel 'stupid' in calls: report Mattis urges people to wear masks in PSA about 'nasty little virus' MORE responded to President TrumpDonald John TrumpDeSantis on Florida schools reopening: 'If you can do Walmart,' then 'we absolutely can do schools' NYT editorial board calls for the reopening of schools with help from federal government's 'checkbook' Mueller pens WaPo op-ed: Roger Stone 'remains a convicted felon, and rightly so' 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. 




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.


“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 SchumerChuck SchumerDemocrats blast Trump for commuting Roger Stone: 'The most corrupt president in history' A renewed emphasis on research and development funding is needed from the government Data shows seven Senate Democrats have majority non-white staffs MORE (D-N.Y.) and House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiAs coronavirus surges, Trump tries to dismantle healthcare for millions Sunday shows preview: Coronavirus poses questions about school safety; Trump commutes Roger Stone sentence Pelosi plans legislation to limit pardons, commutations after Roger Stone move 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.