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 TrumpTrump nominates Jeffrey Rosen to replace Rosenstein at DOJ McCabe says ‘it’s possible’ Trump is a Russian asset McCabe: Trump ‘undermining the role of law enforcement’ 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 NielsenThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump faces mounting challenges to emergency declaration 2,000 asylum seekers return home, decide to stay in Mexico: report Trump taps FEMA official to lead agency 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."

ADVERTISEMENT

"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 PompeoTrump administration combining Palestinian mission, Israeli embassy next month: report The Hill's 12:30 Report: Sanders set to shake up 2020 race The Hill's Morning Report - Trump faces mounting challenges to emergency declaration MORE recently replaced former Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonHeather Nauert withdraws her name from consideration for UN ambassador job Trump administration’s top European diplomat to resign in February Pompeo planning to meet with Pat Roberts amid 2020 Senate speculation MORE, and Veterans Affairs Secretary David ShulkinDavid Jonathon ShulkinIs a presidential appointment worth the risk? It’s time to end the scare tactics and get to work for our veterans House Democrats open investigation of Trump associates' influence at VA MORE stepped down in March.