Defense Secretary James Mattis may be known as the “Mad Dog,” but the former Marine general has been surprisingly sparing when it came to his former boss, Barack Obama.
However, in a surprising venue — a high school newspaper interview — the defense secretary offered some rare criticism of the former president for listening to the wrong advisers and not being willing to sustain a campaign against the Islamic State terrorist group.
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When the student, Teddy Fischer, asked him what the differences between Trump administration and Obama administration policies on the Middle East, Mattis gave a surprisingly candid answer.
“I was a NATO officer and then a central command officer under President Obama and he was trying to reach out to the Arab people,” Mattis said. “He unfortunately didn’t always have the best advisers or he didn’t listen to his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, so we missed some opportunities there.
“But I think also under the Obama administration, there was a more of an accelerated campaign against the terrorists than perhaps the Obama administration was willing to sustain,” he added.
Mattis continued to surprise when he said the administrations were “variations on a theme” when it came to their foreign policy but acknowledged deteriorating relationships with our allies under the Obama administration made things more difficult… [CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE]