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Former WH Chief of Staff John Kelly Says ‘Nasty’ Trump is Confused and Losing His Memory

Well, well, well…the gloves are off.

Donald Trump’s former White House chief of staff John Kelly defended former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis on Thursday, calling him an “honorable man” and rejecting the president’s claim that he fired the retired Marine Corps general.

“The president did not fire him. He did not ask for his resignation,” Kelly, also a retired Marine Corps general, told The Washington Post [1] on Thursday.

“The president has clearly forgotten how it actually happened or is confused,” he added. “The president tweeted a very positive tweet about Jim until he started to see on Fox News their interpretation of his letter. Then he got nasty.”

“Jim Mattis is a honorable man,” Kelly said.

Mattis, who resigned from his position in December 2018, issued a stinging statement [2] Wednesday criticizing Trump’s handling of the nationwide unrest in the US.

“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,” Mattis wrote in a sharply worded statement published by The Atlantic.

“We must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution,” Mattis wrote, saying that Americans must unite despite the president’s divisive actions.

The former secretary of defense is one of several former military leaders to call out the Trump administration in a highly unusual rebuke to a sitting president.

In response to Mattis’ statement, Trump lashed out on Twitter, calling Mattis “the world’s most overrated general.”

The president said that “probably the only thing Barack Obama & I have in common is that we both had the honor of firing Jim Mattis, the world’s most overrated General.” He claimed that he asked Mattis for his letter of resignation and “felt great about it.”

In addition to the claims that Kelly, who left the administration around the same time as Mattis, disputed Thursday, it should be noted that the nickname “Mad Dog” was not coined by Trump but had been in use long before the president ever took office.

Several hours after Kelly’s comments to The Post, Trump hit back at his former chief of staff on Twitter, arguing that he would not know about Trump’s interactions with Mattis and doubling down on claims he fired his former defense secretary.