Swalwell: We are ‘less safe’ with Mattis leaving

Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael Swalwell'This already exists': Democrats seize on potential Trump executive order on preexisting conditions Swalwell: Barr has taken Michael Cohen's job as Trump's fixer The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Chris Christie says Trump team wasn't aggressive enough early in COVID-19 crisis; Tensions between White House, Fauci boil over MORE (D-Calif.) on Thursday said Americans are “less safe” now following Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisTrump eyes replacing Esper after election: reports Overnight Defense: Most VA workers find racism 'moderate to serious problem' at facilities l Trump advisers were wary of talking military options over fears he'd accidentally start war Trump advisers were wary of talking military options over fears he'd accidentally start war: report MORE's resignation from the administration.

Swalwell, appearing on CNN’s “Out Front” with Erin Burnett, said Mattis often tried to “intervene against the president’s worst instincts.”

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“It’s just a fear that the adults in the room, the experts — who the president said he’s going to hire the best and rely on the best — that they’re leaving and that makes us less safe,” the lawmaker, who has said he is considering a 2020 White House run, said. 

Longterm staff members left behind in the White House will be senior adviser Stephen Miller and counselor Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayTrump hurls insults at Harris, Ocasio-Cortez and other women Trump and allies grapple with how to target Harris Conway: Harris is going to have to answer for marijuana prosecutions in California MORE, Swalwell said, "something that should terrify everyone." 

Swalwell, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, said he hopes Mattis’s resignation spurs Republicans in Congress to speak out against the Trump administration.

“We do have an executive branch in crisis,” he added.

 

Mattis announced his departure just a day after the White House said it would withdraw U.S. troops from Syria. Reports also suggest the White House is considering reducing the number of troops in Afghanistan.

Mattis, in a striking resignation letter to Trump, detailed his concern about the way Trump treated allies in NATO as well as rivals like China and Russia.

He wrote that his “core belief” is that U.S. strength is “inextricably linked with the strength of our unique and comprehensive system of alliances and partnerships.”

“My views on treating allies with respect and also being clear-eyed about both malign actors and strategic competitors are strongly held and informed by over four decades of immersion in these issues,” Mattis wrote. “We must do everything possible to advance an international order that is most conducive to our security, prosperity and values, and we are strengthened in this effort by the solidarity of our alliances.”

He concluded the letter by writing that the president had a “right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with your on these and other subjects.”