With trifecta of tweets, Trump fires back at critics Murkowski, Mattis and Kelly
The president on Thursday blasted two former associates and a sitting Republican senator after their criticisms of him.
The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook
President Trump on Thursday unleashed Twitter attacks against former Defense Secretary James Mattis, former Chief of Staff John Kelly and sitting Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski, pledging to see the latter unseated during her next election.
Trump said he will campaign against Murkowski and endorse a candidate who challenges her. Earlier on Thursday, Murkowski said that she is "struggling" with whether to support the president in the upcoming election.
"Few people know where they’ll be in two years from now, but I do, in the Great State of Alaska (which I love) campaigning against Senator Lisa Murkowski. She voted against HealthCare, Justice Kavanaugh, and much else," Trump tweeted. "Get any candidate ready, good or bad, I don’t care, I’m endorsing. If you have a pulse, I’m with you!"
Trump also tweeted the text of a note in which his former attorney John Dowd excoriated James Mattis, the former Defense Secretary who on Wednesday issued a scathing rebuke of the president. The president urged people to read the note that Dowd wrote lambasting Mattis.
"Perhaps, your anger is borne of embarrassment for your own failure as the leader of Central Command," Dowd said to Mattis in the note.
And Trump's former Chief of Staff John Kelly did not escape the president's fiery criticism on Thursday either. The Washington Post quoted Kelly disputing Trump's claim that he fired Mattis and requested his resignation.
“The president did not fire him. He did not ask for his resignation,” Kelly said. “The president has clearly forgotten how it actually happened or is confused. 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 an honorable man.”
Trump lobbed several tweets about Kelly, including one in which he said Kelly "was totally exhausted by the job, and in the end just slinked away into obscurity."