Asked about Mattis, Trump says ‘Everybody leaves at some point.’ MSM: Mattis is GOING!
Lesley Stahl, who interviewed the US president for CBS 60 minutes, which will air on Sunday night, kept repeatedly pressing her subject on persistent rumors Jim Mattis will leave his post, which have escalated following the announced departure of his colleague, Nicky Haley from her UN envoy post.
“It’s wrong. It’s so false. It’s fake news.” —President Trump on reports that the White House is in chaos. The president's full 60 Minutes interview airs tonight. https://t.co/tFUrrwfPmrpic.twitter.com/2xRTBqYJnX— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) October 14, 2018
“I have a very good relationship with him. I had lunch with him two days ago. I have a very good relationship with him,” replied Trump.
“It could be that he is. I think he’s sort of a Democrat, if you want to know the truth. But General Mattis is a good guy. We get along very well. He may leave. I mean, at some point, everybody leaves. Everybody. People leave. That’s Washington.”
The highlight was perhaps that Trump regards Mattis, who has never publicly declared his views, a Democrat, though the president has mentioned this inkling before. Definitely not what was a non-committal and innocuous reply on his future.
This is how the media framed it.
CBS: “Trump ‘60 Minutes’ interview: President suggests Defense Secretary James Mattis could leave Cabinet.”
Bloomberg: “Trump Hints Pentagon Chief Mattis May Be Planning to Quit.”
The Guardian: “Trump: Jim Mattis 'sort of a Democrat' and could quit as defense secretary soon.”
The Daily Mail: “Trump signals more Cabinet changes to come with General Mattis on the chopping block.”
Perhaps these outlets have some privileged wisdom about the situation, or maybe merely by failing to guarantee that he is staying, Trump is signaling that Mattis is leaving. The current administration has enjoyed a rapid turnover as the president has attempted to find qualified politicians who are loyal, share his views, can keep on his good side, and don’t mind his methods and personality.
But for a media that the US president often accuses of twisting his words, and publishing “fake news” the media outlets did little to contradict his words.
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