Former United States Defence Secretary, James Mattis, says Donald Trump is deliberately dividing Americans over his handling of the ongoing protests in the country.
Mr Mattis berated Mr Trump’s “abuse of authority” – and backed protesters seeking to uphold American values, as did ex-President Barack Obama.
“Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people — does not even pretend to try,” said Mattis, who has kept silent since resigning in 2018.
“Instead he tries to divide us. We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership,” said the retired Marine general in a statement, criticizing Trump for threatening to deploy regular troops to quell unrest in a flagrant threat to US political stability.
Trump however fired back by describing Mattis as an “overrated general”.
Mr Mattis quit in 2018 after Mr Trump decided to pull US troops out of Syria.
In response to the fresh criticism, Mr Trump posted a series of tweets in which he claimed to have fired Mr Mattis.
“I didn’t like his “leadership” style or much else about him, and many others agree,” he wrote. “Glad he is gone!”
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