President Donald Trump does not listen to Defense Secretary James Mattis: report

Since the beginning of Trump’s tenure, Mattis and the president have had differing opinions on a range of issues

Published June 25, 2018 6:17PM (EDT)

Donald Trump and James Mattis (Getty/Michael Reynolds)
Donald Trump and James Mattis (Getty/Michael Reynolds)

While President Donald Trump’s controversial immigration policies continue to dominate the news cycle, the turmoil resulting from his actions is also being felt behind closed doors at the White House. Or, maybe, not so closed.

The most recent opponent of Trump's fire and fury? Defense Secretary James Mattis, on whom the president has allegedly become less and less reliant. In fact, a former senior official at the White House reveals that the two men “don’t really see eye to eye," according to a new report from NBC News.

Since the beginning of Trump’s tenure, Mattis and the president have had differing opinions on a range of issues. The secretary was opposed to deploying the National Guard to the border, pulling out of the Iran deal and torturing suspected terrorists, to name a few.

Mattis allegedly heard second-hand that the president was pulling out of the Iran deal – and quickly tried to get in touch with Trump before the news was made public. The president also apparently blind-sided the defense secretary when he announced the Pentagon would create a sixth military branch overseeing operations in space.

Trump president often leaves his defense secretary "out of the loop" and "doesn't listen to him," insiders tell NBC.  The president allegedly believes that Mattis “looks down on him” and “slow walks his policy directives,” sources tell the outlet.

The pair's relationship further deteriorated after President Trump announced early this year that John Bolton and Mike Pompeo – two firebrands opposed by Mattis – would join his security team.

While a defense official said there is no specific indication that Trump is unhappy with Mattis, he is reportedly no longer in the president's inner circle. Unlike other Trump administration players such as White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, whose time in office is rumored to be numbered, Mattis neither contradicts the president publicly or irks his ego. Could that be a calculated move on Mattis’ part, after the firing of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster earlier this year?

These are just two of the more than 30 officials and staff who have been fired or left office, according to ABC News. As state officials in the executive branch continue to be fired or resign, the revolving door of staff has remained an ongoing and public issue since Trump was first sworn in to the Oval Office. Those names include:

Preet Bharara, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York

Steve Bannon, chief strategist and senior counselor

Gary Cohn, director of the National Economic Council

James Comey, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation

Rick Dearborn, deputy chief of staff

Mike Dubke, White House communications director

Mike Flynn, national security advisor

Sebastian Gorka, deputy assistant to the president

Hope Hicks, White House communications director

Omarosa Manigault-Newman, director of communications for the Office of Public Liaison

Vivek Murthy, surgeon general

Rob Porter, White House staff secretary

Tom Price, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services

Reince Priebus, White House chief of staff

Anthony Scaramucci, White House communications director

Walter Shaub, director of the Office of Government Ethics

George Sifakis, director of the Office of Public Liaison

Sean Spicer, White House press secretary

David Sulkin, secretary of the Department of Veteran Affairs

Katie Walsh, deputy chief of staff

Sally Yates, acting attorney general

By Clarrie Feinstein

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