Trump hits out at Republican Senator over Mattis comments

St. John's Episcopal Church known as the church of Presidents's that was damaged by fire during demonstrations in

Esper on Wednesday said he was opposed to invoking the Insurrection Act, or using the military to respond to protests set off by the case of George Floyd, the African American man who died last month after being restrained by Minneapolis police. Mullen wrote in the Atlantic that the president "laid bare his disdain for the rights of peaceful protest in this country, gave succor to the leaders of other countries who take comfort in our domestic strife, and risked further politicizing the men and women of our armed forces". The president held a Christian holy book in one hand.

FILE - President Donald Trump holds a Bible as he visits outside St. John's Church across Lafayette Park from the White House Monday, June 1, 2020, in Washington. She said Trump's action supported "the use of tear gas by police officers in riot gear" to clear the area in front of the church.

Several members of the GOP have since responded to the statement, including Sen. Even former generals avoid criticizing a sitting president - who serves as the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. He called Mr Mattis an "honourable man" and said the USA president did not fire him.

Firing the secretary of defence would come with a political price, and while Trump may be unhappy with Esper undercutting his hardline stance on the potential use of troops, some Republicans in Congress sided with Esper instead of the president.

Republican Utah Senator Mitt Romney, another prominent Trump critic from the right, agreed with Murkowski regarding the Trump-Mattis debate, describing the general's comments as "stunning and powerful". "Never did I dream that troops taking the same oath would be violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens-much less to provide a weird photo op for the elected commander-in-chief, with military leadership standing alongside".

Mattis added, "Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people..."

She said what happened was "something really terrible", adding "racism is something awful and society in the United States is very polarised".

Mr Mattis was not the only defence figure distancing themselves from the president. Trump called Mattis "the world's most overrated General". "I didn't support the president in the initial election, and I work hard to try to make sure that I'm able to represent my state well, that I'm able to work with this administration, but I think right now, as we are all struggling to find ways to express the words that need to be expressed appropriately, questions about who I'm going to vote for or not going to vote for, I think are distracting at the moment".

Mattis was Trump's first defense secretary. He resigned in 2018 after disagreeing with the president about pulling troops out of Syria. But he was moved to issue a statement in response to Trump's atrocious response to the widespread protests over the death in police custody of George Floyd. But he said he wasn't sure how secure Esper's job is now. But he said, "I was not aware a photo op was happening".

Trump has threatened to deploy US troops to "quickly solve" problems associated with violence that state and local officials don't resolve to his satisfaction - a move that even Trump's current Defense secretary, Mark Esper, has criticized.



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