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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Pullman native, former defense secretary Gen. James Mattis releases statement to Atlantic denouncing outgoing President Donald Trump

Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis listens to a question in 2019 during his appearance at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.  (Associated Press)
From staff and wire reports

From staff and wire reports

Pullman native Gen. James Mattis, who resigned as secretary of defense in December 2018 to protest Donald Trump’s Syria policy, released a statement Wednesday to the Atlantic describing Trump as a threat to the Constitution.

It read as follows: “Today’s violent assault on our Capitol, an effort to subjugate American democracy by mob rule, was fomented by Mr. Trump,” Jim Mattis said in a statement provided to “His use of the Presidency to destroy trust in our election and to poison our respect for fellow citizens has been enabled by pseudo political leaders whose names will live in infamy as profiles in cowardice.”

”Our Constitution and our Republic will overcome this stain and We the People will come together again in our never-ending effort to form a more perfect Union, while Mr. Trump will deservedly be left a man without a country.”

Mattis also joined the other nine living former U.S. secretaries of defense in writing an op-ed Sunday in the Washington Post calling for a smooth transfer of power and warning against involving the military in election disputes.

The op-ed described elections and peaceful transitions between officeholders as “hallmarks” of American democracy and urged acceptance of the results of the 2020 presidential race.

“Our elections have occurred. Recounts and audits have been conducted,” the letter reads. “Appropriate challenges have been addressed by the courts. Governors have certified the results. And the electoral college has voted. The time for questioning the results has passed; the time for the formal counting of the electoral college votes, as prescribed in the Constitution and statute, has arrived.”

The letter was signed by Mattis and Mark Esper – both of whom served under President Donald Trump – as well as Ashton Carter, Dick Cheney, William Cohen, Robert Gates, Chuck Hagel, Leon Panetta, William Perry and Donald Rumsfeld.