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Donald Trump May Oust Defense Secretary Mattis, Who Is ‘Sort of a Democrat’

“At some point, everybody leaves,” president said of White House staff shake-ups

President Donald Trump and US Defense Secretary James Mattis at a NATO summit.

US President Donald J. Trump (R) and US Defense Secretary James Mattis (L) arrive for the North Atlantic Council round table during a NATO summit in Brussels, Belgium.

OLIVIER HOSLET/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock

President Donald Trump forecasted a potential post-midterm White House shake-up in his 60 Minutes interview that airs Sunday evening. CBS’s Leslie Stahl asked Trump about reports of “chaos” in the White House, and Trump told her that those reports are “fake news.” Trump then said that he is “changing things around” and has replacements ready.

“I have people now on standby that will be phenomenal,” the president said, “They’ll come into the administration, they’ll be phenomenal.”

Stahl asked Trump if more staffers will leave the White House, noting the “record turnover” that has characterized his administration and mentioned Defense Secretary James Mattis.

“I have a very good relationship with him. I had lunch with him two days ago,” Trump said. “I have a very good relationship with him. It could be that he is. I think he’s sort of a Democrat, if you want to know the truth. But General Mattis is a good guy. We get along very well. He may leave. I mean, at some point, everybody leaves. Everybody. People leave. That’s Washington.”

Or at least, that’s Trump’s Washington. People have been leaving his administration so frequently, some publications keep a running list of who has quit after how many days.

The panel on Meet the Press discussed the president’s comments and made some interesting observations. Chuck Todd said that Trump “has a tell of when somebody is about to lose their job, he says ‘I think they’re kind of a Democrat.'” He then said that Trump has also called embattled Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein a Democrat.

Whether he leaves or not, General Mattis today is far from the “Mad Dog” Mattis Trump proudly bragged about previously. According to a September Politico report, Trump has started calling Mattis “Moderate Dog” behind closed doors.

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