Former secretary of defense James Mattis slammed a former Pentagon aide in response to reports about his new memoir coming out next week.
Candace Currier, Mattis's personal assistant, sent out an email from his office blasting retired Navy cmdr. Guy Snodgrass's upcoming memoir, Holding the Line: Inside Trump’s Pentagon with Secretary Mattis, which is scheduled to be released on Oct. 29, according to Politico.
"Mr. Snodgrass was a junior staffer who took notes in some meetings but played no role in decision making. His choice to write a book reveals an absence of character," said Currier. "Surreptitiously taking notes without authorization for a self-promoting personal project is a clear violation of that trust."
"[Snodgrass] may receive a few brief moments of attention for this book. But those moments will be greatly outweighed by the fact that to get them, he surrendered his honor," the statement continued.
While Mattis has taken subtle jabs at President Donald Trump during his own book tour in recent weeks, he has refrained from overtly knocking Trump while he remains in the White House. However, Snodgrass's memoir portrays Mattis privately voicing fears about Trump diminishing U.S. national security, Politico reported:
Asked in a private meeting in June 2018 whether he thought the commander in chief was strengthening America, Mattis responded: "No, I don’t. I do not think Trump’s policies will make America stronger." The conversation occurred after the president's first summit meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and Trump’s subsequent decision to cancel war games with South Korea.
During the summer of 2018, Snodgrass writes, Mattis confided to then-White House chief of staff John Kelly in a secret meeting that he was quitting the Cabinet at the end of the year — making his departure far more premeditated than the supposedly abrupt resignation that Mattis would later announce in December.
The book is the first account from inside the highest reaches of the Pentagon of how Trump has remade the American national security apparatus, reporting that Mattis respected the president for having highly tuned political skills but came to believe his policies were undermining the nation. And it reveals that even a Cabinet member like Mattis, a four-star general with ample experience in wartime, found himself unable to make a difference in shaping major decisions.
MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell attempted to get Mattis, who resigned in December over policy differences with Trump, to criticize the president last month during an interview. Mattis, however, refused, saying, "Andrea, I'm going to frustrate you here."