Secretary of Defense James Mattis, one of the most reclusive members of the Trump administration, issued a rare interview to a reporter for a Washington State high school newspaper where he took a swipe at Barack Obama and his foreign policy.
In terms of approach to national security, Mattis said that the Trump administration is more of “variation on a theme” instead of “dramatically different” from the previous administration.
Mattis said Obama didn’t have the best advisers with him or he simply didn’t listen to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, which led to many missed opportunities in foreign policy.
He also revealed that he was forced to retire as commander of U.S. Central Command five months earlier than scheduled in 2013 because the Obama administration felt he was too hawkish on Iran.
Mattis clarified that he didn’t oppose the Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, but he felt he asked to retire because he was asking provocative questions about the long-term consequence of the deal.
He reiterated during the interview that Iran remains the most destabilizing influence in the Middle East.
The Daily Caller reports:
Mattis noted in his January confirmation hearing before the U.S. Senate that he would not have signed the Iranian nuclear deal, calling it an “imperfect arms control agreement.” Nevertheless, “we have to live up to it,” he advised.