NBC's Brokaw compares Trump to Captain Queeg: 'Time for all hands to be on deck'

Former NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw compared outgoing Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman Mattis The US can't go back to business as usual with Pakistan The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Senate nears surprise deal on short-term debt ceiling hike Overnight Defense & National Security — Pentagon chiefs to Congress: Don't default MORE to "the captain of a sinking ship" and urged all Americans regardless of "party label" to confront President TrumpDonald TrumpMan sentenced to nearly four years for running scam Trump, Biden PACs Meadows says Trump's blood oxygen level was dangerously low when he had COVID-19 Trump endorses David Perdue in Georgia's governor race MORE, whom he compared to Captain Queeg.

Queeg is the fictional unstable skipper of the U.S.S. Caine in Herman Wouk's classic World War II novel, "The Caine Mutiny," released in 1951. 

"Pres trump getting rid of general mattis is like the captain of a sinking ship firing the coast guard. this is a time for all hands to be on deck - whatever their party label - and confront captain queeg, er, president trump," Brokaw wrote in a tweet.

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The comparison by the veteran newsman, who anchored "NBC Nightly News" for 22 years and now serves as a special correspondent for NBC News, comes the day Defense Secretary James Mattis announced he would resign at the end of February. 

Mattis's announcement came after the White House announced plans on Wednesday to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria. There are also reports that Trump wants to withdraw troops from Afghanistan after more than 17 years of war there. 

Pentagon officials and members of the foreign policy establishment strongly rejected the proposals, saying they only embolden terror groups in those countries while putting U.S. national security at risk. 

In his resignation letter to Trump, Mattis said the president would be better suited with a defense secretary "whose views are better aligned with yours."  
 
Those being seen as potential replacements for Mattis include Fox News senior national security analyst Jack Keane, 75, a former four-star general, and Sen. Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonGOP senators introduce bill targeting Palestinian 'martyr payments' White House announces diplomatic boycott of Beijing Olympics Demand Justice launches ad campaign backing Biden nominee who drew GOP pushback MORE (R-Ark.).