Mattis Wouldn't Have Thrown Biden's Judgment Under the Bus If He Knew About 2020 Plans

Photo: Richard Drew (AP)

Former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis wouldn’t have criticized Joe Biden in his memoir if Mattis had known that Biden was going to run for president again, according to a CBS interview. Because that’s how criticizing our world leaders should definitely work.

On Sunday, “Face the Nation” host Margaret Brennan read a part of Mattis’ memoir where Mattis says of Biden possibly ignoring his advice on the consequences of pulling out of Iraq: “He exuded the confidence of a man whose mind was made up, perhaps, even indifferent to considering the consequences were he judging the situation incorrectly.”

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“Well, I was writing a history book at that point, Margaret, because I started writing this book in 2013,” Mattis said. “It was done pretty much by version five, by 2017. Had I known the former vice president was going to run for office, I assure you, I would not have probably been that— that forthcoming.”

Brennan followed up by asking if Mattis was criticizing Biden’s judgement. Mattis seemed to stand by the criticism. “I think the Obama administration— President Obama’s administration had made the decision to leave Iraq despite what the intelligence community was telling us would happen. They were very clear that an al-Qaeda-associated group would rise, that the Iraqi government, the Iraqi people, the Iraqi nation was in a post-combat, pre-reconciliation phase,” Mattis told Brennan. “We needed to keep our influence there a little longer and drawdown year by year. Not draw everyone out at one time. The intelligence community was very clear. They forecasted the rise of a group, you and I know it as ISIS, and we should have taken their advice on board.”

Is this the kind of criticism that will move voters’ decisions? Unclear how many Democratic primary (or general) election voters are reading former Trump administration memoirs.

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