The day after Donald Trump blasted him in front of congressional leaders and cabinet officials as “the world’s most overrated general,” former Trump administration Secretary of Defense and retired Marine Corps General James “Mad Dog” Mattis bit back at Trump, during a monologue delivered at the annual Alfred E. Smith dinner in New York City on Thursday night, according to an ABC News report.
The annual dinner features local and national political figures attending in full formal dress, delivering comedic monologues in which they “roast” each other, as well as directing barbs at political figures that were not in attendance.
“I do stand before you…having achieved greatness,” Mattis said. “I’m not just an overrated General, I am the greatest, the world’s most overrated.”
But he saved his sharpest barb for Trump’s own military record — or lack of it. In the late 1960s, the president allegedly avoided serving in the Vietnam War by claiming that he had been diagnosed with “bone spurs” in one of his feet.
However, as the Military Times reported, Trump could not produce medical records to prove that he had ever suffered from “bone spurs,” per sworn testimony by his now-former personal lawyer Michael Cohen.
“‘You think I’m stupid? I wasn’t going to Vietnam,'” Trump told Cohen, according to the lawyer’s testimony.
At the Thursday dinner in New York, Mattis took a direct shot at Trump over the apparently fake ailment.
“I earned my spurs on the battlefield,” Mattis quipped. “Donald Trump earned his spurs from the doctor.”
"I’m not just an overrated general. I’m the most overrated general," Mattis says. "I'm honored to be considered that by Donald Trump because he also called Meryl Streep an overrated actress. So I guess I'm the Meryl Streep of generals, and frankly that sounds pretty good to me." pic.twitter.com/Hzpe5lUeje
— NBC News (@NBCNews) October 18, 2019
Mattis also joked that he felt “honored” to be described as “overrated” by Trump, according to the ABC News report.
“He also called Meryl Streep an overrated actress,” Mattis said. “So I guess I’m the Meryl Streep of generals. Frankly, that sounds pretty good to me.”
He then added another barb seemingly directed at Trump, saying that he shared something else with Streep, who has won two Best Actress and one Best Supporting Actress Academy Awards.
“Between me and Meryl, at least we’ve had some victories,” Mattis remarked.
The 69-year-old former Marine general resigned his post as Defense Secretary in December of 2018, over a disagreement with Trump’s orders to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, according to a Washington Post report.
At the time, Mattis wrote a letter to Trump saying that he felt someone “better aligned” with Trump’s own views would be better suited to lead the Defense Department.
Trump’s remark in which he called Mattis “overrated” came during the same contentious meeting in which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sparked an angry tirade from the president when she told him, “All roads with you lead to Putin,” as The Inquisitr reported.