Mitch McConnell piles onto Defence Secretary James Mattis' rebuke of Trump

Mark Wilson/Getty ImagesSenate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), speaks to reporters about the proposed Senate Republican tax bill
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican of Kentucky, issued a strong statement following the resignation of Defence Secretary James Mattis, saying he is “particularly distressed that he is resigning due to sharp differences with the president on these and other key aspects of America’s global leadership.”
  • His statement echoes Mattis’ resignation letter, which stresses the importance of maintaining US alliances.
  • President Donald Trump’s decision to pull troops out of Syria – which analysts say is a boon for our adversaries, Russia, ISIS, Iran, and the Syrian regime – was reportedly the last straw for Secretary Mattis.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican of Kentucky, issued a strong statement following the resignation of Defence Secretary James Mattis, saying he is “particularly distressed that he is resigning due to sharp differences with the president on these and other key aspects of America’s global leadership.”

His statement echoes Mattis’ resignation letter when stressing the importance of maintaining US alliances.

“I believe it’s essential that the United States maintain and strengthen the post-World War II alliances that have been carefully built by leaders in both parties,” McConnell said in his statement. “We must also maintain a clear-eyed understanding of our friends and foes, and recognise that nations like Russia are among the latter.”

In Mattis’ resignation letter he said, “while the US remains the indispensable nation in the free world, we cannot protect our interests or serve that role effectively without maintaining strong alliances and showing respect to those allies.”

Like McConnell, Mattis also name-checked Russia: “It is clear that China and Russia, for example, want to shape a world consistent with their authoritarian model gaining veto authority over other nations’ economic, diplomatic, and security decisions to promote their own interests at the expense of their neighbours, America and our allies.”

Trump’s decision to pull troops out of Syria – which analysts say is a boon for US adversaries, Russia, ISIS, Iran, and the Syrian regime – was reportedly the last straw for Secretary Mattis. Kurds in Syria, US allies in Syria, are furious about the withdrawal, as they fear a Turkish incursion.

“So I was sorry to learn that Secretary Mattis, who shares those clear principles, will soon depart the administration,” McConnell continued.

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