During his latest appearance on CBS‘ 60 Minutes, President Donald Trump discussed a few burning issues with the show’s host, Lesley Stahl.
The two touched upon the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and Defense Secretary James Mattis.
Trump boasted about “knowing more” about NATO than James Mattis, a four-star marine general, the Washington Examiner reports.
“Frankly, I like General Mattis. I think I know more about it than he does. And I know more about it from the standpoint of fairness, that I can tell you.”
President Trump has criticized NATO on numerous occasions, slamming member states for refusing to pay what he claims to be their fair share.
Pulitzer-prize winning journalist and author of Fear: Trump in the White House, Bob Woodward, alleged in his book about the Trump administration – citing sources close to the highest office in the land – that Defense Secretary James Mattis once had to explain to President Trump that the United States has to stay in NATO in order to prevent World War III from happening, according to Newsweek.
Possibly referencing allegations made in Woodward’s book, 60 Minutes’ host Lesley Stahl pressed Trump on the issue, but the POTUS hit back.
“The answer is this,” he said, “I will always be there with NATO, but they have to pay their way. I’m fully in favor of NATO, but I don’t wanna be taken advantage of.”
Trump’s disparaging comments about Mattis come following speculation that the Defense Secretary may step down, the Washington Examiner notes.
First reports of Mattis’ possible stepping down – or firing – surfaced mid-September, when the New York Times reported that President Trump is looking into firing the decorated general. According to the NYT, President Trump is unhappy with James Mattis, and looking for someone willing to be more vocally supportive of his decisions and policies.
Trump gave credence to these rumors today, calling Mattis “sort of a Democrat,” and arguing that “everybody leaves” at some point.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) October 15, 2018
As detailed by a previous Inquisitr report about Mattis’ possible firing, the retired general is thought to enjoy largely bipartisan support in Washington D.C., but this is reportedly another issue for President Trump who is allegedly becoming annoyed with the public’s favorable perception of Mattis.
Trump addressed a number of controversial issues today, according to CNN.
President Trump discussed Vladimir Putin and Russian interference in the 2016 election, his relationship with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, Robert Mueller’s investigation, the trade war he has been escalating with China, climate change, and his mocking of Kavanaugh accuser Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.