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 MattisPresident Trump: To know him is to 'No' him Nearly 300 more former national security officials sign Biden endorsement letter John Kelly called Trump 'the most flawed person' he's ever met: report 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 TrumpBiden campaign slams Facebook after thousands of ads blocked by platform's pre-election blackout Mnuchin says he learned of Pelosi's letter to him about stimulus talks 'in the press' Harris to travel to Texas Friday after polls show tie between Trump, Biden 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 BezosBlue Origin takes one small step toward being a competitor to SpaceX Democrats question Amazon over reported interference of workers' rights to organize Hillicon Valley: Twitter lacked adequate cybersecurity protection ahead of July hacks, regulator says | Twitter, Facebook clamp down on New York Post article about Hunter Biden | YouTube bans COVID-19 vaccine misinformation 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."