Tags: Trump Administration | james clapper | trump | james mattis | advice

Clapper: Trump Feeling Less Need for Advice, Including From Mattis

Clapper: Trump Feeling Less Need for Advice, Including From Mattis
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By    |   Tuesday, 26 June 2018 08:12 AM

President Donald Trump is feeling more confident that he does not need advice from anyone, including Defense Secretary James Mattis, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said Tuesday in response to reports that the retired Marine Corps general is no longer in the president's inner circle.

"I think that history is replete with examples of where there have been, shall I say, communications gaps between the White House and the Pentagon and that was certainly true during the last administration and the four secretaries of defense that I served with," Clapper told CNN's "New Day."

"Of course, it's a particularly acute issue here with President Trump,who I think, as more time has elapsed in his tenure, feels more and more confident that he doesn't really need any advice from anybody and he's smarter than everybody else," said Clapper, now a CNN national security analyst.

On Monday, NBC News reported that Trump is relying less on advice from Mattis, with the cabinet official often learning about the president's actions concerning the military after he announces them publicly.

"I think for Secretary Mattis' part, I think he knows what the deal is here, but I do think even he, as dedicated as he is to this country and particularly the men and women of the armed forces that he leads, even he would at some point I think would have a tipping point if he's completely cut out of things," Clapper said.

If the trend continues and Mattis eventually reaches the point where he feels "irrelevant" and steps down, "that would be a huge, huge loss for the country and certainly for the department of defense. He's a great patriot, a great American, and, you know, it would be terrible."

Clapper said he would be "very concerned" should that happen, but much would depend on who would succeed Mattis.

"The Pentagon, the Department of Defense, is a huge institution, and it kind of, like a big aircraft carrier, has its own momentum," said the former DNI.

While Trump took pride in the former generals in his administration, including Chief of Staff John Kelly, a retired Marine Corps general, Clapper said that as time goes on the president is relying less on anyone.

"I think the president has gotten ever more confident in his abilities and his intelligence and his smarts and feels less and less of the need for advice from anybody," said Clapper. "I think there was initially a certain fascination, perhaps, with generals and I think even that seems to be wearing off."

Mattis arrived in Beijing on Tuesday https://www.newsmax.com/world/globaltalk/as-united-states-china-mattis/2018/06/26/id/868277/ to meet with senior Chinese leaders, while the world waits for signs that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to dismantle the nation's nuclear program.

"I think the Chinese welcome the detente, if you want to call it that, with North Korea and it will probably be supportive of sustaining it," Clapper told CNN, noting that Mattis will likely also be talking about China's military activities in the South China Sea.

"The task for him, which is no small one, would be to try to separate these issues," said Mattis. "The national security issue, as opposed to trade and tariff and tariffs and all the consternation that's causing, and try to work on those issues that are actually germane to his portfolio."

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Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said President Donald Trump is feeling more confident that he does not need advice from anyone, including Defense Secretary James Mattis.
james clapper, trump, james mattis, advice
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2018-12-26
Tuesday, 26 June 2018 08:12 AM
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