Few who work at senior levels in the administration of President Donald Trump leave with their reputations unsullied. Even fewer leave on their own terms.Jim Mattis is one of the few.
In the wake of Mattis’ resignation as defense secretary Thursday, it’s worth recalling that the relationship between Trump and Mattis started well. Mattis met Trump for the first time at Trump’s golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey in mid-November 2016 to talk with the President-elect about the Secretary of Defense job.
After the meeting, Trump came out to talk to the press. Framed by the imposing, white columns of his Bedminster estate, Trump posed for pictures with Mattis.
Reporters shouted questions at Trump about whether Mattis was being considered for a cabinet job. Trumpreplied, “He’s just a brilliant, wonderful man. What a career! We’re going to see what happens, but he is the real deal.”