Gates on Trump’s treatment of Cabinet: ‘That's not the way I would deal with people’

Gates on Trump’s treatment of Cabinet: ‘That's not the way I would deal with people’

Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said in an interview broadcast Sunday that he would not deal with top aides in the same way President TrumpDonald John TrumpSunday shows preview: Trump sells U.N. reorganizing and Kavanaugh allegations dominate Ex-Trump staffer out at CNN amid “false and defamatory accusations” Democrats opposed to Pelosi lack challenger to topple her MORE does. 

"That's not the way I would deal with people. That's not the way I think I ever did deal with people, and I did fire people — very senior people," Gates told CBS's Margaret Brennan on "Face the Nation" when asked about a report that Trump berated Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenFEMA head to reimburse government for use of federal vehicles: report US to prioritize attacks against foreign adversaries under new cyber strategy Paddlers sue Trump over frequent golf visits shutting down the Potomac River MORE. "But, you know, every president is going to have his own style — the way he deals with people. And, as I say, it's not the way I’d do it, but that's the way he does it."

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"Different presidents deal with the people that work with them in different ways," he continued. "The first president I worked for, Lyndon Johnson, did a lot of yelling and swearing at — at his senior officials. In his own way, so did — so did Richard Nixon."  

The New York Times reported that Nielsen was on the edge of stepping down from her post after the president criticized her during a Cabinet meeting. 

Nielsen reportedly drafted a resignation letter but never sent it. 

DHS has pushed back against the report, calling it false. 

 

Gates also addressed the high turnover of Cabinet officials in the administration, saying it is "probably unprecedented."

"For a president who had no experience in government, bringing with him a variety of people who had little or no experience in government, the churn has not been a surprise to me," gates added. 

Trump's Cabinet has experienced a slew of shake-ups during his administration. 

Former CIA Director Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoSunday shows preview: Trump sells U.N. reorganizing and Kavanaugh allegations dominate Pompeo: 'We've not been successful' in changing US-Russia relations Positive Moon-Kim summit creates a diplomatic opening in North Korea MORE recently replaced former Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonSunday shows preview: Trump sells U.N. reorganizing and Kavanaugh allegations dominate Pompeo working to rebuild ties with US diplomats: report NYT says it was unfair on Haley curtain story MORE, and Veterans Affairs Secretary David ShulkinDavid Jonathon ShulkinVeterans group sues to block advisers known as ‘Mar-a-Lago Crowd’ from influencing VA Mar-a-Lago insiders provided input on VA policy, personnel decisions: report Ahead of speech, Kansas City newspaper urges Trump to listen to veterans MORE stepped down in March.