Donald Trump branded himself ‘the most honest man in American’ then lied about coming up with his former defense secretary’s famous nickname. The president replied to a tweet about former special counsel Robert Mueller on Thursday morning, writing: ‘Mueller should have never been appointed, although he did prove that I must be the most honest man in America!’
Shortly afterwards, he retweeted a false claim he first made Wednesday night about former defense secretary James Mattis, saying: ‘Probably the only thing Barack Obama & I have in common is that we both had the honor of firing Jim Mattis, the world’s most overrated General. I asked for his letter of resignation, & felt great about it.
‘His nickname was “Chaos”, which I didn’t like, & changed to “Mad Dog” His primary strength was not military, but rather personal public relations. I gave him a new life, things to do, and battles to win, but he seldom “brought home the bacon”. I didn’t like his “leadership” style or much else about him, and many others agree. Glad he is gone!.’
Mattis was given the nickname ‘Mad Dog’ – which he reportedly does not like – years before being appointed by Trump. He quit as defense secretary in January 2019 in protest at Trump’s decision to pull US troops out of Syria, and launched a scathing attack on the president’s leadership in The Atlantic on Wednesday.
Mattis attacked Trump’s plans to deploy the military on US streets to handle unrest sparked by the death of unarmed black man George Floyd at the hands of police. He also accused the president of deliberately seeking to divide the American people, and likened his tactics to those of Adolf Hitler.
Mattis wrote: ‘Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people – does not even pretend to try. Instead, he tries to divide us.
‘Instructions given by the military departments to our troops before the Normandy invasion reminded soldiers that “The Nazi slogan for destroying us … was ‘Divide and Conquer,’”
‘Our American answer is “In Union there is Strength.” We must summon that unity to surmount this crisis – confident that we are better than our politics.’
The Washington Post has a dedicated fact-checking service which keeps count of the president’s lies, and awards them with between one and four ‘Pinocchios’ according to the severity of the fib. He has run up tens of thousands of Pinocchios since beginning his first term as president in January 2017.
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