Mattis thinks 'nothing at all' about Trump's comments about him

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US President Donald Trump said Defense Secretary James Mattis "could be" leaving, referring to him as "sort of a Democrat", AFP reported.

In an interview to be aired Sunday on CBS's "60 Minutes", Trump was asked whether he wanted Mattis to leave.

Stahl pressed Trump on what his immigration policy actually is multiple times before Trump bemoaned that the "60 Minutes" interviewer was treating him differently than she had treated Obama. I will say this: I don't want to give trillions and trillions of dollars. We get along very well. That the President's vanishingly rare appearance on a nonpartisan news program had resulted in a spectacle in which randomly assorted questions were bulldozed by a man eager to speak, and in which the interviewer generally left the viewers to decide what those answers meant without the benefit of meaningful follow-up, made the point clear. "Plus, we look at what we consider to be nearly predatory - in some cases certainly predatory economic behaviour...", Mattis told reporters on Monday travelling with him to Vietnam.

Experts have said that the trip is part of the United States plan to include Vietnam in a defence cooperation network to deal with regional security challenges, including Chinese assertiveness in the South China Sea.

The Woodward book details a number of times Mattis or Trump officials are said to have slow-walked orders from the president, such as in the aftermath of Trump's tweets past year that said all transgender personnel would be banned from the military.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner. "We just continue doing our job", he told reporters.

The defence chief's Asia trip initially included a leg in Beijing, but that fell through after China declined to make Mattis's counterpart available for him to meet. Mr Trump then expressed his full support for Mr Mattis, and suggested Mr Mattis should let the press know this.

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No doubt, he has helped the Chelsea team to record the success they now enjoy this season. You have to get the fruits of your labour".

In the book, Mattis was quoted as telling aides that Trump had the understanding of a "fifth- or sixth-grader" on world and military affairs.

The speculation that Trump and Mattis would eventually be at odds began shortly after the Defense Secretary took the oath of office.

"Of course, I don't think about leaving", Mattis told Pentagon reporters last month.

As Defense Secretary, Mattis has avoided the expressions of loyalty to Trump sometimes voiced by other Cabinet members.

"Nothing at all", Mattis said.

In a policy speech this month, Vice President Mike Pence accused Beijing of meddling in upcoming US elections and condemned China's aggressive moves in the South China Sea. However Mattis had never identified himself as a Republican, nor as a Democrat.