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 MattisOvernight Defense: Mattis downplays Afghanistan papers | 'We probably weren't that good at' nation building | Judiciary panel approves two impeachment articles | Stage set for House vote next week James Mattis: Afghanistan papers not 'revelatory' Overnight Defense: Watchdog to audit company's border wall contract | Pentagon to step up vetting of foreign students after Pensacola | Report finds former defense official sexually harassed staffers MORE to "the captain of a sinking ship" and urged all Americans regardless of "party label" to confront President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrats ask if they have reason to worry about UK result Trump scramble to rack up accomplishments gives conservatives heartburn Seven years after Sandy Hook, the politics of guns has changed 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 CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonTikTok chief cancels Capitol Hill meetings, inflaming tensions Lawsuits pose new challenge for TikTok TikTok's leader to meet with lawmakers next week MORE (R-Ark.).