Gen. Mattis says he’s ‘angry and appalled’ at Trump’s response to protests

President Trump’s first Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, who resigned last year, spoke out against his former boss for the first time Wednesday, saying he is “angry and appalled” at the White House’s response to the protests over the death of George Floyd.

“When I joined the military, some 50 years ago, I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution,” Mattis said in a statement emailed to reporters. “Never did I dream that troops taking that same oath would be ordered under any circumstance to violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens — much less to provide a bizarre photo op for the elected commander-in-chief, with military leadership standing alongside.”

He continued: “Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people — does not even pretend to try. “Instead he tries to divide us. We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership.”

The statement by Mattis, who when he was appointed was lauded by Trump for his toughness and praised by the President as one of “my generals,”  was remarkable because, until now, he has studiously avoided any direct criticism of his former  Commander-in-Chief. But Mattis in his statement made it clear that the president’s attempted crackdown on protesters was his breaking point. 

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 “The words “Equal Justice Under Law” are carved in the pediment of the United States Supreme Court,” Mattis wrote. “This is precisely what protesters are rightly demanding. It is a wholesome and unifying demand — one that all of us should be able to get behind. We must not be distracted by a small number of lawbreakers. The protests are defined by tens of thousands of people of conscience who are insisting that we live up to our values — our values as people and our values as a nation.” 

 He then decried the idea of using military force to police disturbances in American cities.  

“We must reject any thinking of our cities as a ‘battlespace’ that our uniformed military is called upon to dominate,’” Mattis wrote, a reference to the call by Secretary of Defense Mike Esper for governors to “dominate the battle space” in the face of demonstrations. “At home, we should use our military only when requested to do so, on very rare occasions, by state governors. Militarizing our response, as we witnessed in Washington, D.C., sets up a conflict — a false conflict — between the military and civilian society. It erodes the moral ground that ensures a trusted bond between men and women in uniform and the society they are sworn to protect, and of which they themselves are a part. Keeping public order rests with civilian state and local leaders who best understand their communities and are answerable to them.” 

Not long after, Trump replied with a tweet saying that he never liked Mattis in the first place:

'Random Piles of Bricks' Magically Appearing at Protests While Agitators Hand Out Cash to Rioters

A video from New York City shows a protester heaving a brick through a window. This is a common sight the last few nights as riots have broken out in the wake of protests over the killing of George Floyd.

Ever wonder where those bricks come from? No doubt, a nearby construction site, right? Believing anything else is nutty and a conspiracy theory.

Tell that to the Kansas City Police.

kcpolice @kcpolice

We have learned of & discovered stashes of bricks and rocks in & around the Plaza and Westport to be used during a riot. If you see anything like this, you can text 911 and let us know so we can remove them. This keeps everyone safe and allows your voice to continue to be heard.

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“Stashes of bricks”? What’s a stash of bricks doing in the middle of a Manhattan street with no construction project around?

Kevin R Hogan@KRHogan_NTD

"Yo, we got bricks. We got bricks!"— in Manhattan chanced upon a cache in the street equipped with bricks and a shovel at 10:01 p.m. on Second Ave between St. Marks Pl. and Seventh St.

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Fox News:

Unconfirmed videos emerged on social media that claimed to show random stacks of bricks in the middle of some of these protest locations. Breaking911, a Twitter handle with nearly 700,000 followers, posted that “videos continue to surface showing protesters stumbling upon pallets of bricks or pavers in areas with no construction taking place.”

Videos of rioters stumbling on these piles prompted several theories online about their origin, ranging from them being planted there by police so rioters could face tougher charges to outside agitators trying to up the stir up more trouble.

ICE T, who has spoken out against police brutality and in favor of the protesters, posted a Twitter video that showed some of the bricks, and wrote,  “Looks like a set up to me…There’s ALWAYS more than meets the eye.”

Yes, there is, and it’s happening everywhere.

Houston police chief rips Donald Trump’s violent rhetoric: 'Keep your mouth shut'

Houston police chief Art Acevedo on Tuesday ripped President Donald Trump’s divisive rhetoric on the protests that have erupted nationwide following the death of George Floyd.

“Let me just say this to the president of the United States on behalf of the police chiefs in this country. Please, if you don’t have anything constructive to say, keep your mouth shut. Because you’re putting men and women in their early 20s at risk,” Acevedo told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.

“It’s not about dominating, it’s about winning hearts and minds,” the police chief continued, referencing Trump’s order earlier this week that governors should “dominate” anti-racism protesters.

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“And it hurts me to no end because whether we vote for someone or we don’t vote for someone, he’s still our president, but it’s time to be presidential and not try to be like you’re on ‘The Apprentice,’” he added.

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