Peters: Mattis Is a 'Marine's Marine' and a 'Soldier's Soldier'

December 8, 2016

Retired. Lt. Col. Ralph Peters appeared Thursday night on the Fox Business Network to push back against criticism of President-elect Donald Trump's decision to choose multiple retired generals for his Cabinet.

Host Charles Payne jokingly asked Peters what he thought about the new "scandal" of Trump picking multiple generals for his cabinet.

"It cracks me up actually because you have legions and thousands of lawyers in D.C., and that's okay, but you can't have two or three retired generals in the upper reaches of government?" Peters said.

"We have gone with the lawyers. We have gone with the academics and the professors, and I think the one major distinction between them and the generals, and also these small business folks that are coming in, they are oriented towards results, success, and no excuses," Payne said. "I think the American public wants accountability right now."

Peters agreed with Payne and said that there are admirals and generals that he would not trust with a "homeless person's shopping cart." However, he praised Trump's picks of retired Marine Gen. John Kelly as secretary of homeland security and retired Marine Gen. James Mattis as secretary of defense, both of whom were four-star generals.

"These guys, Mattis and Kelly, are not only great leaders, they are proven managers," Peters said. "They are result oriented, but they are not bullies. They are not thugs. They are very intelligent men. Mattis reads more serious books in a week than the average American reads in a lifetime. They are thoughtful men of great experience and a sense of duty and integrity you will search hard to find a parallel anywhere else."

Payne noted that Peters did not mention retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, Trump's pick for national security adviser. Peters responded that he is watching that selection and respects Flynn, but over the last two months he has been troubled by some of his actions. However, Peters said that Flynn deserves a chance.

Later in the interview, Peters praised the working relationship between Mattis and Kelly.

"These men have a great working relationship, and wouldn't it be wonderful to have our departments cooperating. Defense and Homeland Security working together instead of the usual interagency squabbles," Peters said.

Peters also praised Trump for rebuilding morale in the military community by selecting Mattis to be secretary of defense.

"He is known. He is respected. He is loved by the troops. He is a Marine's Marine, a soldier's soldier. The troops know they will have someone looking out for them, someone they can trust," Peters said. "And, oh, by the way, Jim Mattis is also somebody that will look out for the taxpayer."