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U.S. defense chief opposes deploying troops to quell protests; Mattis criticizes Trump threats

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By Phil Stewart and Idrees Ali

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make troops "political pawns."

Troops have always been political pawns. But I'm sure many of the current military personnel would refuse to be used to attack their fellow citizens. Or does Trump really want another Civil War.

U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Wednesday he does not support

Even Trump's appointee from big defense is questioning the divider-in-chief's efforts to further divide the country.

Knock wood Trump won't ramp up military actions in one of the several areas it's currently fighting, or start another US war in hopes of getting votes prior to the election.

But with the economy is such bad shape under Trump, Trump and the neo-cons know wars boost economic growth. And it is an election year. And wars have kept the US economy strong for decades.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

Secretary Esper, allow me to remind you of West Point's Cadet Honor Code:

"A cadet will not lie, cheat or steal or tolerate those who do". Trump violates everything you stood for. Resign now with your reputation in tact.

18 ( +21 / -3 )

Trump views the military the same way he views any other organ with power: it’s for his own personal benefit.

16 ( +19 / -3 )

Troops have always been political pawns. But I'm sure many of the current military personnel would refuse to be used to attack their fellow citizens. Or does Trump really want another Civil War.

Uhhhh, look at your TV, we are already there. It’d coming to that, this is why the 2nd amendment is so valuable. But yeah, let’s not use the military. I feel lucky.

Even Trump's appointee from big defense is questioning the divider-in-chief's efforts to further divide the country. 

He has money and lives in a very safe area, so why would he care?

Knock wood Trump won't ramp up military actions in one of the several areas it's currently fighting, or start another US war in hopes of getting votes prior to the election. 

This definitely won’t help Biden, because he doesn’t have a plan on quelling the vandals.

But with the economy is such bad shape under Trump,

Thanks to China and the governors that still want to keep the people from working, shame on them!

Trump and the neo-cons know wars boost economic growth. And it is an election year. And wars have kept the US economy strong for decades.

Utter and complete nonsense. Radical liberals don’t know the first thing about money, destruction or devastation. Let these thugs run wild, it won’t change their communities, it’s only making it worse.

-20 ( +4 / -24 )

@basf4k we are already there

'We'? Are you in the US now, or referring to the white supremacists throwing fuel on the fires.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Well, in case anyone had any doubts, now we all know:

Trump has no respect for the Constitution.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

And that is a bridge too far for Americans. As for those who support his bluster about martial law,

they are Americans by accident of birth.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

I guess Esper is the next one to be on Trump's "get out of here list".

But great to see that he (Esper, of course) got the guts to say this!

7 ( +9 / -2 )

James Mattis denounces Trump, compares his policies of division to the Nazis:

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2020/06/james-mattis-denounces-trump-protests-militarization/612640/

Strong stuff. Seems like the adults have decided it's time to speak out.

18 ( +20 / -2 )

Mark Esper standing up to dear leader, trump!!!!

Is this is the beginning of the revolution?

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Seems like more and more of 'Trump's Generals' and military professionals are calling him out for what he is: a puffed shirt, preening, strutting coward of a pretender.

I only wish they'd done it sooner.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

What do you expect from a cowering "draft dodger"? We have a lil Kim and Xi on their hands in the US.

“I was there for a tiny little short period of time,” Trump said, adding that “it was much more for an inspection.”

The president claimed that he’s visited the bunker two or three times “all for inspection.” He added, “Someday you may need it. ... I went down, I looked at it.”

LOL! trump voice: "I was just inspecting the bunker." trump, Adolf Hitler, and Saddam Hussein all hid in bunkers and gassed their own people!

Trump Brutally Mocked For Saying He Went To Bunker Just To Inspect It

https://www.yahoo.com/huffpost/trump-bunker-excuse-twitter-mock-172705922.html

13 ( +15 / -2 )

Other top brass to criticize Trump in the past few days: Adm. Mike Mullen and Gen. Martin Dempsey, both former heads of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Gen. Tony Thomas, former head of Special Ops Command.

And before you Trump cultists start calling these men far left swamp creatures, think again. They served their country admirably and with integrity. Something Trump knows nothing about.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

Aways nice to see Trump get slapped down after one of his tantrums.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Mattis fought for this country and served in the Trump administration. He has been highly praised by DT in the past but as Anderson Cooper has said, be ready for the smear campaign that is about to happen. Mattis knows how troops are supposed to be deployed and quelling protests is not one of the ways they have ever been nor ever should be used. Trump is making a mockery of the Constitution and just like the 3 cops who stood around and did nothing to stop the officer who had his foot on George Floyd's neck, no one in Trump's inner circle is willing to step forward and tell him he is wrong. Dark times in America right now.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

NEWS: Civil rights protesters show up at the White House fence.

trump: “Unrelated to this situation, I heard there’s a bunker here. Let’s take some executive time to go tour it, like right now, right now, right now now now now! Go! Run! Every man for yourself! Forget Eric!”

The current president is a structural engineer now?

Or maybe when he heard the word ''bunker,'' he went there thinking he'd find his golf ball.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Sending troops against their own families and friends? Even life long professional military men are against it. The police who should "protect and serve" rather than "persecute and kill" caused this, they need to fix both their toxic culture and their community relations. But with a game show host in charge don't think that's going to happen.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Gen Mattis is one of our most respected four star Generals to serve over the past several decades - intelligent, with combat experience, and a commitment to his troops - I actually said Trump was wise to pick him in 2017.

But we know how that turned out - Mattis quickly learned that Donald had "the understanding of a fifth or sixth grader" - which has only been re-confirmed since he was unceremoniously dumped.

So when Mattis speaks, people listen...and he has spoken;

Former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who had long refused to criticize a sitting president explicitly, on Wednesday accused Trump of trying to divide America and roundly denounced a militarization of the U.S. response to civil unrest.

"Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people — does not even pretend to try," Mattis, who resigned as Trump's defense secretary in 2018, wrote in a statement published by The Atlantic. "Instead he tries to divide us. We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort."

Well said Gen Mattis - and most diplomatically.

If Repubs had a brain, they'd team Mattis with Nikki Haley in Nov...but we know that won't happen - they've already made their pact with the Devil...

8 ( +8 / -0 )

There should be army checkpoints everywhere. They do it in Israel.

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

Mattis fought for this country

No he didn't. He only served the military industrial complex's wars against Iraq and Afghanistan. Trump is merely standing on the shoulders of people like Mattis. Meanwhile Mattis stands on our backs and is now concerned the pyramid is going to collapse ruining his own ride and its the same for others as well.

We are very far from seeing a new Smedley Butler here. These guys are not heroes.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

@bass4funk so your for sending the Troops in?Straight yes or no its easy...

8 ( +8 / -0 )

All well and good. But as soon as Mattis says something that liberals dont like, he will be a killer of people of color overseas.

Great military strategist. Leader of men. Honorable intent. Known liberal leanings.

Should not be this naive to somehow not know that his careless comments will be politicized by Dems.

But sometimes generals who only know war are quite dismissive of civilian leadership and miss the days where they were the final decision maker.

-14 ( +0 / -14 )

No he didn't. He only served the military industrial complex's wars against Iraq and Afghanistan. Trump is merely standing on the shoulders of people like Mattis. Meanwhile Mattis stands on our backs and is now concerned the pyramid is going to collapse ruining his own ride and its the same for others as well.

We are very far from seeing a new Smedley Butler here. These guys are not heroes.

What a load of BS - Mattis, Kelly, McMaster, Stravridis, Mullen, McRaven - all superb leaders with impeccable records of achievement and service. Why do Trump and his supporters hate them? Because the contrast with Trump is so striking - they have integrity, a record of service to their country, and most importantly, the respect of the American people. Trump has none of that...

We understand Trump and his supporters prefer Generals like confessed liar Michael Flynn and traitor Benedict Arnold...one's that have colluded and sold out their country to our enemies...just like Trump...

7 ( +8 / -1 )

politicized by Dems.

Friendly reminder: the US still has remnants of democratic principles. The Democrats are a political party. In most countries built on democratic principles political parties politicize events.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Why do Trump and his supporters hate them?

> We understand Trump and his supporters prefer Generals like confessed liar Michael Flynn and traitor Benedict Arnold...one's that have colluded and sold out their country to our enemies...just like Trump...

People gravitate to other people that the have something in common with or inspire to be like! What were they called deplorables.

Donald "bunker" trump: I hire only the best!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Oh liberals love John Kelly again? Dont you just list people who make you happy at any one moment with an anti-Trump comment? Sure looks like it.

What a load of BS - Mattis, Kelly, McMaster, Stravridis, Mullen, McRaven - all superb leaders with impeccable records of achievement and service.

https://theintercept.com/2018/12/09/john-kelly-was-a-bully-bigot-and-liar-for-trump-goodbye-and-good-riddance/

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

I agree. trump with a small t divides America. Large A.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@black

All well and good. But as soon as Mattis says something that liberals dont like, he will be a killer of people of color overseas.

Great military strategist. Leader of men. Honorable intent. Known liberal leanings.

Should not be this naive to somehow not know that his careless comments will be politicized by Dems.

But sometimes generals who only know war are quite dismissive of civilian leadership and miss the days where they were the final decision maker.

One is an honorable decorated general who served their country with a good reputation, and the other is known lying criminal. Depending on who you back says more about you as an individual than it does about the two people being discussed.

Anyone else notice the Bible in trump's hand was upside down and backwards? The place mark ribbon and blank back give it away. Would he hold up a cross that way?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Mattis, Kelly, McMaster, Stravridis, Mullen, McRaven - all superb leaders with impeccable records of achievement and service. 

Service to who? Raytheon? Lockeed Martin? Bechtel? Halliburton? Satan? Hitler's ghost? The enemy of our enemy is not always our friend. The last war America fought that had any integrity at all was in Korea and even involvement in that war was a stupid mistake by the U.N. Everything since then has been about power and money and riddled with lies.

All those guys helped create the chickens that are coming home to roost now. Most of our cops admire and envy the soldiers that got to kick in doors and terrorize the residents at gun point with impunity overseas and it all happened thanks to those guys. The American people are on their own. None of our government people are worth a damn right now.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Oh liberals love John Kelly again?

I'm not a liberal and definitely don't 'love' him. That's another partisan extremists's one pole or its opposite-type frame to stop discussions.

My opinions of Kelly vary somewhere between negative and mixed.

If there are still some Trump supporters who respect the Constitution and are willing to listen to Kelly's opinions merge with an increasing number of other voices, including generals and admirals, saying loudly and clearly Trump's trying to undermine the republic and its Constitution, I say good; that's a positive. But I still can never 'love' him.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I mentioned Mattis and Kelly. So Kelly is the known lying criminal? What did he do?

One is an honorable decorated general who served their country with a good reputation, and the other is known lying criminal

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

This definitely won’t help Biden, because he doesn’t have a plan on quelling the vandals.

Haha, he has a plan. The thing you don't understand is that he doesn't really need a plan. Biden represents compassion. Biden has a moral compass. Biden is FOR the people. Trump has none of these qualities.

If you really want to know why Trump is blamed for everything that is happening now is because Trump is the epicenter of this blight across American soil. He is racism incarnate. He is the source of the division in the highest office in the land.

The U.S military is a blunt instrument that is not trained to police. I dare Trump to try it though. There is a huge difference between dirty police forces who racially profile vs everyday Americans who serve their country. I don't think our nation's military will turn on the American people. I don't think they will raise their weapons. When they don't point their guns at the people, they will go with us to the White House.

I don't expect some of you to understand that logic, because the individuals here who are making the most comments, have never served or put on the uniform.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

We'? Are you in the US now, or referring to the white supremacists throwing fuel on the fires.

I have a family there and I’m also an American.

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

who is "we" and in your proposed scenario why would you be going to the White House with an armed military? There are some pretty bad words that describe such things, I hope that is not what you are implying, suggesting or proposing.

Simply vote. If Trump is everything you claim and more, and if your candidate is any better, Trump will be gone. Otherwise, 4 more years.

When they don't point their guns at the people, they will go with us to the White House.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Service to who? Raytheon? Lockeed Martin? Bechtel? Halliburton? Satan? Hitler's ghost? The enemy of our enemy is not always our friend. The last war America fought that had any integrity at all was in Korea and even involvement in that war was a stupid mistake by the U.N. Everything since then has been about power and money and riddled with lies.

All those guys helped create the chickens that are coming home to roost now. Most of our cops admire and envy the soldiers that got to kick in doors and terrorize the residents at gun point with impunity overseas and it all happened thanks to those guys. The American people are on their own. None of our government people are worth a damn right now.

Yes, burn it all down and the elites will still win in the end, people are stupid.

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

Gen Mattis is one of our most respected four star Generals to serve over the past several decades - intelligent, with combat experience, and a commitment to his troops -

He is? That’s debatable.

But we know how that turned out - Mattis quickly learned that Donald had "the understanding of a fifth or sixth grader" - which has only been re-confirmed since he was unceremoniously dumped. 

Mattis doesn’t understand middle America

If Repubs had a brain, they'd team Mattis with Nikki Haley in Nov...

Obviously not, because people didn’t seem that concerned that Mattis was kicked out, so...guess they are smarter than Mattis.

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

I think liberals missed Mattis comments in his book:

'Catastrophic decisions': Mattis savages Obama for 'failure' in foreign policy

The former general's opinion of Obama, for whom Mattis was head of U.S. Central Command from 2010 until 2013, might be summed up by a single entry in the book’s index: “Obama, Barack, strategic thinking lacking.”

He details in the book how Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, who was in charge of Iraq policy, were “ignoring reality” in the country and made a political decision to withdraw troops, a choice that allowed the return of al Qaeda in a new and more ambitious guise, the Islamic State.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Lost in much of the one-dimensional coverage of Mattis' book is what is actually in it. It's true that Mattis implies sharp criticism of Trump, but he also registers strong disagreement with George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Joe Biden, who he argues made strategic errors that have been costly to the American military and to American interests.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Trump's done.

"Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people — does not even pretend to try," "Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people — does not even pretend to try,"

These are words from Mattis, a person formerly in Trump's cabinet. Esper spoke and denounced Trump's words and policy of usage of the Insurrection Act. He apologized for using the very Trump like words of 'battlespace' and Mullen writes, "Our fellow citizens are not the enemy, and must never become so," 

What I and many have written in the past couple of days, that Trump's racism, words of division and inability to lead the United States of America is now turning a number of Trump loyalists against him. He is being rightfully heavily criticized by people who normally don't voice their opinion in public against a president in office.

It was inevitable with the incredibly stupid move by him to bunker and the try and debunk that story by using words of threat and misuse of the military for his own photo op, one that the church he went to was clearly upsetting as the diocese saying Trump doing so was antithetical to the teachings of Jesus.

The ridiculously cartoonish picture of him standing with a bible is the reason why people like Mattis are speaking out. That pic will go down in infamy, along with Trump's not so rosy speech prior.

The worst president the United States of America has ever had.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

yet not one person who already planned to vote for Trump has or will change their vote based on anything any of these people have said.

Mattis was fired by Obama too, right?

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

Lost in much of the one-dimensional coverage of Mattis' book is what is actually in it. It's true that Mattis implies sharp criticism of Trump, but he also registers strong disagreement with George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Joe Biden, who he argues made strategic errors that have been costly to the American military and to American interests.

But they are not the current president, right?

I also don't know any other president who gassed their own citizens to get a photo op with a backwards upside-down bible at a church after running to a bunker.with 110,000 dead countrymen on their watch without a war, 40 million unemployed, and nationwide protests. Then later claim that he and his family went there to inspect it. Did I also mentioned the draft dodging?

It is like comedy gold watch you and others get upset trying to support a career criminal and charlatan!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The U.S military is a blunt instrument that is not trained to police.

That depends on your definition of "to police". It sure looked like they have been doing a lot of policing at checkpoints in Afghanistan, detcording doors in Iraq and brutally detaining people for carrying bread in a basket. And I bet a significant number of American cops binge watch the occupation footage judging by their actions and their Oakley's. Its no mystery where they got the inspiration for their no knock raids and knees on the neck.

There is a huge difference between dirty police forces who racially profile vs everyday Americans who serve their country.

The U.S. military has been racially profiling entire nations for nearly two decades now. Most of our cops may have been too sub-par to get into the actual military but they are serving the rich at home just as the soldiers served the rich in banker's wars abroad: with violence, impunity a mountain of self-serving excuses for murder and outrageous lies about patriotism and service to the people. Peas in a pod they are.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

@Black

yet not one person who already planned to vote for Trump has or will change their vote based on anything any of these people have said.

It simple supports the notion that there are a lot of ill-informed as well as racists in the US.

Case in point: Republicans and the christian right spent decades warning us about the AntiChrist, and when he finally shows up carrying an upside down backwards Bible, they vote for him.

Talk about irony!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

In fairness to President Trump, the demonstrations turned more calmer and less violent after his warning to use the US military.

Maybe it did have some effects preventing more harm .

Anyway, we'll know if he's right or wrong after the election.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

yet not one person who already planned to vote for Trump has or will change their vote based on anything any of these people have said.

Once again the default all or nothing. Millions of Americans are out of work under Trump's watch. If people 'vote their wallets', and if millions remain unemployed between now and November and their wallets remain empty, I think many in Trump's base will not support him. Maybe they won't vote for Biden, instead just stay home on election day. However, I think Trump's fellow 'elite' who've done so well during Trump's reign will 'stay the course' As the Republicans used to say..

2 ( +3 / -1 )

yet not one person who already planned to vote for Trump has or will change their vote based on anything any of these people have said.

You're completely wrong here. Some, if not many, of the most staunch of supporters are turning away from Trump, with the realization (incredibly dense it takes some people this long to see it) his lies, his stupidity and his unpatriotic acts toward the American people. Up from 1% to 20% dissension in the past couple of months!

Curling up in a corner and denying this won't make it go away.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Our dear leader , trump has claimed multiple times he is the most 'militaristic' person in America.

He probably doesn't even know what that means, but isn't it ironical that a draft dodger, using false pretenses to get out of fighting an overseas enemy, now is crowing endlessly about using the military on unarmed protestors in his country!!!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

yet not one person who already planned to vote for Trump has or will change their vote based on anything any of these people have said.

Jim Jones flock didn't turn on him either - even when he ordered them to drink the Kool-Aid...

Same with Trump, his supporters didn't turn on him when he told them to take a drug not recommended by his FDA or to inject disinfectant...

That's the way cults work...

And the way they end...

2 ( +4 / -2 )

You’ve all heard what Trump said in broad daylight on camera. He threatened to order the US military to be used on US citizens in the United States. And somehow there are people still defending him.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Trump's done.

I seriously doubt it. If his poll numbers are under 20% yes, but they still haven’t changed that much since January.

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

Biden can’t, there’s absolutely No way they would even try.

These are words from Mattis, a person formerly in Trump's cabinet. Esper spoke and denounced Trump's words and policy of usage of the Insurrection Act. He apologized for using the very Trump like words of 'battlespace' and Mullen writes, "Our fellow citizens are not the enemy, and must never become so," 

Funny, no one elected them to be POTUS.

What I and many have written in the past couple of days, that Trump's racism,

What racism?

It was inevitable with the incredibly stupid move by him to bunker

All Presidents would do so.

and the try and debunk that story by using words of threat and misuse of the military for his own photo op, one that the church he went to was clearly upsetting as the diocese saying Trump doing so was antithetical to the teachings of Jesus.

He was making the point, you (Looters) will not take our cities from us.

The ridiculously cartoonish picture of him standing with a bible is the reason why people like Mattis are speaking out. That pic will go down in infamy, along with Trump's not so rosy speech prior.

From the liberal one-sided skewed perspective view it might.

The worst president the United States of America has ever had.

Some May say, others don’t .

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

@Bass

From the liberal one-sided skewed perspective view it might.

LOL!

Televangelist Pat Robertson blasts Trump for his protest response

https://www.washingtonpost.com/religion/2020/06/02/pat-robertson-trump-isnt-cool-protests/

Mainstream U.S. religious leaders criticize Trump after church photo

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-minneapolis-police-protests-religion/mainstream-us-religious-leaders-criticize-trump-after-church-photo-idUSKBN23A03W

3 ( +3 / -0 )

LOL!

Trump's ship is sinking. Look for more of his supporters to add a different username to the oneS they're already using.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Televangelist Pat Robertson blasts Trump for his protest response

Ok and?

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jun/03/donald-trump-church-photo-op-evangelicals

Mainstream U.S. religious leaders criticize Trump after church photo

https://apps.bostonglobe.com/nation/politics/2019/11/voters-2020-election/wisconsin/new-london/

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Trump's ship is sinking.

His ship isn’t going by the polls, but America is, burn it down, keep the poor, poor.

Look for more of his supporters to add a different username to the oneS they're already using.

Coming from the people that don’t support voter ID.

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

Trump's ship isn't polled it's holed and going down.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Trump's ship is sinking.

His ship isn’t going by the polls, but America is, burn it down, keep the poor, poor.

On whose "reign"?

Look for more of his supporters to add a different username to the oneS they're already using.

Coming from the people that don’t support voter ID.

Or try to commit voter mail fraud.....oops, let's strike that one...

President Trump tried to register to vote in Florida using an out-of-state address

President Trump originally tried to register to vote in Florida while claiming his “legal residence” was in another part of the country — Washington, D.C. — according to Florida elections records. The September 2019 registration application listed Trump’s legal residence as 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, the location of the White House. That created a potential problem for Trump: Florida law requires voters to be legal residents of the state. A month later, Trump resubmitted his application to use a Florida address and in March he voted by mail in Florida’s Republican primary.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/elections-2020/president-trump-tried-to-register-to-vote-in-florida-using-an-out-of-state-address/ar-BB14YXBa

First tried to fraudulently register, then changed it and voted by mail.....all the while saying voting by mail is corrupt....

Well, I guess he would know...

4 ( +4 / -0 )

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