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 MattisFed chief issues stark warning to Congress on deficits Why US democracy support matters Hillicon Valley: DOJ indicts four Chinese military officers over Equifax hack | Amazon seeks Trump deposition in 'war cloud' lawsuit | Inside Trump's budget | Republican proposes FTC overhaul MORE to "the captain of a sinking ship" and urged all Americans regardless of "party label" to confront President TrumpDonald John TrumpFed saw risks to US economy fading before coronavirus spread quickened Pro-Trump super PAC hits Biden with new Spanish-language ad in Nevada Britain announces immigration policy barring unskilled migrants 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 CottonSunday shows preview: 2020 Democrats jockey for top spot ahead of Nevada caucuses Senate votes to rein in Trump's power to attack Iran Coronavirus poses risks for Trump in 2020 MORE (R-Ark.).