20 Powerful (& Controversial) James Mattis Quotes About Trump, War, And The United States Today

20 Powerful James Mattis Quotes About Trump, War, And The United States Today

Political headlines are going haywire this morning as former Secretary of Defense James Mattis' quotes about Trump's leadership make the rounds.

Trump chose Mattis, retired US Marine Corps General and former head of Central Command, as defense secretary in December 2016. After disagreeing with Trump’s decision to withdraw US troops from Syria, Mattis resigned in December 2018.

These troops were conducting anti-terrorism operations and Mattis protested with his resignation letter. It stated that the president should have a defense secretary whose views aligned with his own.

Soon going viral, this letter angered Trump and he forced Mattis to leave office two months earlier than expected. Having been silent ever since, Mattis has now given a statement on Trump’s performance as president.

Although considered a controversial speaker, Mattis' quotes about Trump are being applauded for their honesty in accusing Trump of dividing the nation. This comes shortly after Trump’s command to involve the military in the current police brutality protests.

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Taking a look at his recent statement as well as other remarks, here are some of the most notable James Mattis quotes.

James Mattis quotes about Trump:

1. “Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people — does not even pretend to try. Instead, he tries to divide us.”

2. “We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership.”

3. “We can unite without him, drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society.”

4. “We must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution.”

5. “Our American answer is ‘In Union there is Strength.’ We must summon that unity to surmount this crisis — confident that we are better than our politics.”

James Mattis quotes about war:

6. “You are part of the world’s most feared and trusted force. Engage your brain before you engage your weapon.”

7. “Carry out your mission and keep your honor clean. Demonstrate to the world there is ‘No Better Friend — No Worse Enemy’ than a US Marine.”

8. “The most important six inches on the battlefield is between your ears.”

9. “Treachery has existed as long as there’s been warfare, and there’s always been a few people that you couldn’t trust.”

10. “If you cannot create harmony — even viscous harmony — on the battlefield based on trust across service lines, across coalition and national lines, and across civilian/military lines, you need to go home, because your leadership is obsolete.”

Most controversial James Mattis quotes:

11. “Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.”

12. “There are hunters and there are victims. By your discipline, you will decide if you are a hunter or a victim.”

13. “I come in peace. I didn’t bring artillery. But I’m pleading with you, with tears in my eyes: If you f*** with me, I’ll kill you all.”

14. “There are some people who think you have to hate them in order to shoot them. I don’t think you do. It’s just business.”

15. “Find the enemy that wants to end this experiment (in American democracy) and kill every one of them until they’re so sick of the killing that they leave us and our freedoms intact.”

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James Mattis quotes about the world today:

1. “I have watched this week’s unfolding events, angry and appalled. The words ‘Equal Justice Under Law’ are carved in the pediment of the United States Supreme Court. This is precisely what protestors are rightly demanding.”

2. “We do not need to militarize our response to protests. We need to unite a common purpose.”

3. “The protests are defined by tens of thousands of people of conscience who are insisting that we live up to our values — our values as people and our values as a nation.”

4. “We must reject any thinking of our cities as a ‘battlespace’ that our uniformed military is called upon to ‘dominate.’”

5. “The pandemic has shown us that it is not only our troops who are willing to offer the ultimate sacrifice for the safety of the community. Americans in hospitals, grocery stores, post offices, and elsewhere have put their lives on the line in order to service their fellow citizens of their country.”

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According to Encyclopedia Britannica, Mattis enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1969 at the age of 19 and attended Central Washington University. After earning his bachelor’s degree, he was appointed to second lieutenant.

He later had promotions as first lieutenant, captain, and lieutenant colonel, as he oversaw forces in the Persian Gulf War and the War in Afghanistan. When he received the promotion to major general he commanded forces in the Iraq War.

Among many brave acts throughout his time in the Marine Corps, was his establishment of the Center for Advanced Operational Culture Learning. This training academy was for “marine officers and senior enlisted personnel, to instill cultural awareness and language skills.”

Promoted to general in 2007, Mattis held that position until his retirement in 2013. His role as Secretary of Defense did not come without its obstacles.

In order to take on this position, Congress had to approve a waiver due to the National Security Act amendment that prohibits “active-duty commissioned officers from serving as defense secretary for a period of seven years after their retirement.”

In a Senate vote of 98-1, Mattis was granted the ability to serve as Trump’s Secretary of Defense. He was sworn in on January 20, 2017.

Mattis’ decision to speak out against Trump was commented on by the man himself in a tweet saying he’s “glad [Mattis] is gone!”

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Isabella Pacinelli is a writer who covers love, relationships, self-care, body confidence, women’s health, college, and entertainment topics.