Mattis said he'd 'rather swallow acid' than watch Trump's military parade: book

A new book written by a former top aide to ex-Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisLawmakers push back at Pentagon's possible Africa drawdown Overnight Defense: Book says Trump called military leaders 'dopes and babies' | House reinvites Pompeo for Iran hearing | Dems urge Esper to reject border wall funding request Trump called top military brass 'a bunch of dopes and babies' in 2017: book MORE reportedly claims that the retired general said privately he'd "rather swallow acid” than watch the massive Fourth of July military parade that President TrumpDonald John TrumpRouhani says Iran will never seek nuclear weapons Trump downplays seriousness of injuries in Iran attack after US soldiers treated for concussions Trump says Bloomberg is 'wasting his money' on 2020 campaign MORE wanted.

"Holding the Line: Inside Trump’s Pentagon With Secretary Mattis," which was written by retired Navy Cmdr. Guy Snodgrass, who served as Mattis's communications director and head speechwriter, alleges that Mattis felt "iced out" by the administration and used a disagreement last December over keeping U.S. troops in Syria as a "pretext" to resign, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.


The book also says that Trump wanted to “screw” Amazon founder and CEO Jeff BezosJeffrey (Jeff) Preston BezosSaudi Arabia calls for probe into 'absurd' reports of Bezos phone hacking Hillicon Valley — Presented by Philip Morris International — Apple reportedly dropped plans to let iPhone users encrypt backups | Justices decline facial recognition case | Critics fear Facebook losing misinformation fight | Truce on French tech tax Message from Saudi crown prince linked to hack of Bezos's phone: report MORE by prohibiting Amazon from bidding on the Pentagon's $10 billion JEDI cloud network contract, a desire Mattis sought to stymie.

“We’re not going to do that,” Mattis reportedly told Department of Defense (DOD) officials. “This will be done by the book, both legally and ethically.”

Snodgrass praises the general, writing, "Mattis provided a valuable service to the nation, our international allies and partners, and the members of the department he led."

"Just as important, Mattis effectively translated the president’s desires into ethical, well-executed outcomes.”

The release of "Holding the Line," set for next Tuesday, was initially held up by the Pentagon over concerns that the book contained intelligence that could jeopardize U.S. national security. Officials approved its release last month. 

Trump's Independence Day military parade in Washington this year was opposed by many in the Pentagon who feared it risked politicizing the military or echoing jingoistic events held by authoritarian regimes.

Mattis left the Trump administration late last year amid a disagreement with the president over an ongoing military presence in Syria, but Snodgrass writes that while Mattis's "outrage over Syria" was real, it was "a decision that he had made months before to cut his losses and move on."