Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis rejected the notion that he was aligned with one political party, pushing back after President Trump questioned his future plans at the Pentagon because he is “sort of a Democrat.” I’ve never registered for any political party,” Mattis told reporters en route to Vietnam when asked if he had registered as a Republican or a Democrat. You know, we’re all built on our formative experiences,
” Mattis said.
“When I was 18, I joined the Marine Corps, and in the U.S. military, we are proudly apolitical. By that, I mean that in our duties, we were brought up to obey the elected commander in chief, whoever that is. And we’ve seen, over those — since I was in the military longer than some of you have been alive, I have seen Republicans and Democrats come and go.”
Mattis also said he thought “nothing at all” of Trump’s comments on his future in the administration. Additionally, Mattis said that he has not spoken to Trump about the comments and did not watch the “60 Minutes” interview in which they were made. Mattis also said “we continue in the Department of Defense to do our job” and stressed the comments were “no problem.”
“I’m on his team. We have never talked about me leaving,” Mattis told reporters. “And as you can see right here, we’re on our way. We just continue doing our job.”