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

Former Defense secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisBiden under pressure to remove Trump transgender military ban quickly Progressive House Democrats urge Biden against Defense chief with contractor ties Trump fires Defense chief Mark Esper MORE responded to President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden adds to vote margin over Trump after Milwaukee County recount Krebs says allegations of foreign interference in 2020 election 'farcical'  Republicans ready to become deficit hawks again under a President Biden 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 SchumerChuck SchumerUS national security policy in the 117th Congress and a new administration Voters say Biden should make coronavirus vaccine a priority: poll New York City subway service could be slashed 40 percent, officials warn MORE (D-N.Y.) and House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiGovernors take heat for violating their own coronavirus restrictions Spending deal clears obstacle in shutdown fight Ocasio-Cortez, Cruz trade jabs over COVID-19 relief: People 'going hungry as you tweet from' vacation 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.