A new book written by a former top aide to ex-Defense Secretary James Mattis reportedly claims that the retired general privately said he’d “rather swallow acid” than watch the massive Fourth of July military parade that President Trump wanted in D.C.
Retired Navy Cmdr. Guy Snodgrass, who served as Mattis’s communications director and head speechwriter, alleges that Mattis felt “iced out” by the Trump administration and used a disagreement last December over keeping U.S. troops in Syria as a “pretext” to resign, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.
In “Holding the Line: Inside Trump’s Pentagon With Secretary Mattis,” Snodgrass also says that Trump wanted to “screw” Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos by prohibiting Amazon from bidding on the Pentagon’s $10 billion JEDI cloud network contract, a desire Mattis sought to stymie.
“We’re not going to do that,” Mattis reportedly told Department of Defense (DOD) officials. “This will be done by the book, both legally and ethically.”
Snodgrass praises the general, writing, “Mattis provided a valuable service to the nation, our international allies and partners, and the members of the department he led.”
“Just as important, Mattis effectively translated the president’s desires into ethical, well-executed outcomes.”
The release of “Holding the Line,” set for next Tuesday, was initially held up by the Pentagon over concerns that the book contained intelligence that could jeopardize U.S. national security. Officials approved its release last month.