Defense Secretary James Mattis Just Gave Trump A Brutal Ultimatum
A feud seems to be brewing between Defense Secretary James “Mad Dog” Mattis and president Donald Trump. Now Mathis has threatened to go AWOL and given the erratic president an ultimatum. If the president refuses to give Croatian-American Mira Radielovic Ricardel her marching orders, Secretary James “Mad Dog” Mattis is gone.
Mattis has had a difficult time filling the positions within his agency, because Ricardel, who sits in the Office of Presidential Personnel, has been blocking his nominees. Nearly 75 percent of those jobs remain unfilled. Ricardel was integral to the nominee review process, which means she has been holding one-on-one interviews with potential Mattis nominees.
The president promised Secretary Mattis that he could choose his own team. That was a requisite part of his agreement to take the secretary position. Yet, Mattis and the White House have clashed over and over regarding his nominees. The secretary’s first choice for deputy secretary, Michèle Flournoy fell through when, after meeting with the White House, she withdrew.
Days later, Trump forced Mattis to withdraw his choice for undersecretary, diplomat Anne W. Patterson, because conservatives did not like her, according to the Washington Post.
Pentagon sources indicate that after Mattis gave the president his ultimatum, she was moved.
“Mattis told the White House either Mira goes, or he walks. They blinked,” an administration official told DefenseNews.
Ricardel is moving to a senior national security position with the Department of Commerce. Mattis won this round, but his ultimatum stands. Both Democrats and Republicans admire this secretary, but the nation’s security hangs by a thread.