President Donald Trump on Wednesday denounced former Defense Secretary James Mattis as "the world's most overrated general" during a strained meeting with legislators on Syria.
Trump met with top Republicans and Democrats at the White House to discuss Turkey's attacks on the Kurds in northern Syria after he decided to withdraw U.S. forces from the region.
During the meeting, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., read a quote from Mattis' interview Sunday on "Meet the Press" on NBC News, The Hill reports.
Mattis warned that "ISIS will resurge" if the U.S. did not remain the region.
However, Trump cut Schumer off, two Democratic aides told the Hill, and then slammed Mattis as "the world's most overrated general."
"You know why? He wasn't tough enough," Trump said, according to the aides. "I captured ISIS. Mattis said it would take two years. I captured them in one month."
Democratic leaders later stormed out of the meeting — and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., afterward said Trump had a "meltdown" during the session.
Mattis, 69, a retired four-star Marine Corps general, resigned in December over an earlier decision by the president to withdraw troops from Syria.
"My views on treating allies with respect are strongly held," he said in his resignation letter.
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