Morning Joe 9/4/19: Fmr. Defense Sec. Jim Mattis
Good morning and welcome to morning joe. It is won. Stay september fourth with us. We have white house reporter for the associated press. Jonathan lemere season's over china's president of foreign relations could've been array bid. We came back access showed some fight and the yang excuse beginning. Oh my god astros exact talk about read also with the ron advice started things still have a shot at the second wildcard spot but it is not not going to recover from that left former treasury official mourning jug and now make enlistee rattener also with us washington bureau chief for u._s._a. Today and author of the matriarch susan page national susan's you have you all of this morning and we're gonna try and stick to news and politics start with the hurricane hurricane music. That's fine. We could do that but everything in its proper context place hurricane dorian lashed alerts florida's east coast overnight with storm surge and hurricane warnings extending up the eastern seaboard as far as the carolinas. We're also following the humanitarian. Manna -tarian disaster that is unfolding in the bahamas look at the stereo pictures which is unbelievable just absolutely unbelievable and for anybody it's ever been through any hurricane at all. Pat five is everybody's worst nightmare. The fact that a cat five comes over your war community and just stands. There just sits there for several days. Torture is is the worst scenario. We're going to be some gutter. Dave down there later on today. In bringing up some what you see here is parts of the avocado islands decimated major flooding homes businesses infrastructure flatten to at least seven people that we know of have been killed and officials expect that number to rise the country's prime minister says he went on a reconnaissance mission provided by the u._s. and found the airport there underwater and said the area around it looks like a lake the red red cross <hes> sixty two thousand people without clean drinking water and that sixty thousand people will need food. Here's more from the prime minister on m._s._n._b._c. n._b._c. Last night building codes <hes> built to withstand about one hundred fifty miles per hour in the nether expected affected that'd be would one day <hes> encounter in velocity highest run ridden eighty to two hundred miles per hour but we would take yeah. Let's go to bill carrey spill again. You've been doing this for a long time. You and i together been doing this talking about these for a very long time the category four i mean the idea of category for coming our category five coming on. I'm sure it's just absolutely devastating but the cat five just state over there for so long a real nightmare yeah most building codes you <music> as these mentioning he'll kengo like to a certain level but not for the duration they test. It usually would be tested. Maybe for. I don't know a couple of hours a day day or two. You know think of things that can hold together like nails yeah of sooner or later and some of those braces hold the roofs are just they can't hold you know forever so the thing i heard last night joe that that'd be concerning the stories that are coming out today. Is that before the hurricane hits. We tell everyone. Fill your bathtub with water. Fill every container you have with water because that's the first thing you need to survive after the hurricanes over with their starting to burn through their water yeah there are people now that are used used up all their pitchers and now they're looking at their bathtub and that's the only freshwater they have left and these are the structures that are remaining and even some of the better areas in freeport that are doing fine we we had someone on the phone last night here and we were doing the coverage. She said they're using the swimming pool now as the water to clean the dishes and debate themselves in the clean themselves that's the swimming pool complex complex water and then everyone else's rationing the water they have and that's what they're saying. We need water. I mean i know we have navy ships that are capable of desalination nation in providing fresh water. I haven't heard yet that ours is heading there but i certainly hope it is so you can just look at the pictures and you can understand what happened here. This is going to be a humanitarian humanitarian crisis of just the first order a we would win. Katrina was when we were going through katrina aftermath aftermath. I remember going over. We went over every day to mississippi louisiana. They needed water. We would fill up from the pensacola community. Just vans a and pickup trucks of water. We would drive them over in two or three minutes in mississippi. That'd be gone here. Of course there's no quick drive over from anywhere. It's mandatory quarters. We intent they're going to need to stay. I mean it's going to be so let me i. I know we have still have concerns with this storm or not done with it yet. I want to get to the forecast for all of our friends that are still dealing with it in areas from northern florida all through the carolinas. We're at one hundred and five mph our winter. We're still at a category two storm so it's only ninety miles off daytona beach right now. Let me give you the new forecast the overnight path from the hurricane center. It stays off the the florida coast and then the question that rent watch closely in about thirty six to forty eight hours. Is that northeast turn. When does it occur and how sharply does it occur right right now. The hurricane center has it just along. The coast possibly landfill out there on the outer banks. So what does all that mean the number one concern we have is storm surge it. We didn't with a category retu- we still could get a four to seven foot storm surge here along the south carolina coast. That's why they told everyone evacuate. Get out you should already be gone and in areas of north carolina it looks take about two to four feet storms moving a little quicker then so it's not going to be as great of a concern but you still storm surge warnings now all the way up here almost to onslow county in the camp lejeune marine base and then as far as rainfall goes areas of north carolina are very prone to flooding with the sound areas the album mara and the pinnacle sound to the newsroom with the cape fear river basin and we could get ten inches of rain in this area so florida has been brushed more like tropical storm. We could have all the facets of a storm typical hurricane we could have you know there's a lot of pine trees in in this area to of north carolina. If you get ninety to one hundred mph winds. We're going to get power. Outages could last days we're going to get the potential for river flooding and for freshwater flooding and a top komo over the next two days we do have the storm surge concern so florida is going to look back at this and say i can't believe how close that was a huge huge disaster but yeah we still have our friends up here in the carolinas that are crossing their fingers that they can be so lucky all right bill karen. Thanks so much and as you look at that track going up there. Miki obviously you have to worry about the low country between south carolina around charleston then it goes up to north carolina. The outer banks are always in danger of north carolina of just getting absolutely slammed so we've got to keep those people not done yet not thoughts and prayers as we move forward. I just say one more thing to start looking today. If you want to help the bahamas it's it's it's just an absolute nightmare. It's going to be a human crisis. The likes of which we just haven't seen probably since katrina around here so being looking whether it's americares or the red cross or whoever you think can get relief to to these people as quickly as possible with as little bureaucracy as possible and as little overhead as possible help out we're making you're going to be writing a check today to america specifically for this now news walmart forcefully responded to the national national gun debate yesterday when it announced it would stop selling ammunition used in military style assault rifles and high capacity magazines while also discouraging discouraging its customers from openly carrying guns in stores even in states where it is permitted. The announcement came exactly one month. After a gunman killed twenty two people at a walmart store in el paso texas according to a memo by walmart ceo to its associates after selling through the current inventory commitments which could take several weeks the company will stop selling certain short barrel rifle ammunition and all handgun amunition the retail giant also announced it would call on congress to increase background checks and consider a new assault rifle ban the n._r._a. Issued a statement writing in part quote. It is shameful to see walmart. I'm not gonna read. Just take down. I'm not gonna read three lobbyists in washington d._c. Putting a statement out that actually goes against what the majority overwhelming majority of republicans believe what the majority of n._r._a. Members believe the three people up. They're working for hedge funds that own gun companies. They are not going on ours. They're not the rank and file gun owners and you know that's the thing jonathan will mirror when you look at this debate. Yes people that have defended the second amendment their entire life like myself and you know after one fifteen slaughter after another air fifteen slaughter after another a._r. Fifteen slaughter in this case insufficient background checks led to the killing in odessa. There are a lot of conservatives. A lot of republicans eighty nine nine percent in fact the latest who support universal background checks a majority who support banning military style assault weapons of this this semiautomatic weapons and most americans overwhelming and sit enough walmart's hearing that other other companies. We're hearing that enough. The polar reflects it. It's not just americans want but specifically republicans wanted members want you some commonsense the background checks for things that the pulling is overwhelming and would seem to be a fairly obvious political winner receives it certainly democrats on the trail accomplishment of work in particular has been very fiery about this in recent days but others as well whether it's joe biden elizabeth warren and so on the question is whether republicans move on it when congress comes back to session we we've we've been reporting and associated press last couple of days. There is some movement behind the scenes for some sort of measures that the white house working sort of a hodgepodge of ideas that something the thing that they the president can get behind they can present as the white house bill but it's gonna be relatively modest stuff. It'll be improving bingo. The juvenile information gets into existing background checks. We saw the attorney. General is writing legislation that could make speed up capital punishment for mass shooter is of course there's some debate where that's sort of deterrence and so many of these shooters are looking to die anyway anyway in the moment in measures like that where the president can get out there is a sense in the white house can say we've done something that the won't support perhaps won't be so in opposing right are hoping that would be enough to quiet firestorm the politics of this have completely changed and i don't know if republicans all we can have figured it out businesses have figured it out but the overwhelming majority of republicans ninety percent at nine ten support enhanced background aren't checks universal background checks to keep guns out of the hands of terrorists keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers. Keep guns out of the hands of people that are mentally elite the ill suited for guns up but you know in two thousand eighteen n._r._a. Was badly outspent. They were just trounced. They don't have the money they used to have because wayne lapierre's and three lobbyists in washington d._c. Have been it has been according to reports looting the coffers and buying hundreds of thousands of dollars of italian suits and trying to buy six million dollar mansions. There's a guy in south florida brian masse. He supported a ban on military style weapons. He's a guy who you know went to war lost his legs in war. He knows about war and he not only won reelection. He won with a larger <unk> margin. This is not a lose ignite. This is what we would go around in our office and laugh off as a ninety ten issue when somebody get on the floors and <hes> porn is so poor and would laugh go good courage on the ninety ten issue. This is an issue now win. Will republicans figure here it out well. It is a ninety ten issue but if you go back a couple elections the n._r._a.'s you know it was a huge spender. They actually spent more money than all the other c four. 's put together gather on political lobby and they had all this money behind them and as you said at the moment the n._r._a.'s in the middle of its own set of scandals in pierre is in the middle of its own of his own set of scandals. It'll be really interesting to see whether a combination of that and the public pressure can actually emasculate the n._r._a. Once and for all as for walmart they are as you said responding responding to their kind of the way when you say masculine. Let's be very careful the three lobbyists in washington d._c. Who are making themselves rich and who work for hedge funds <music> and themselves and fly around family members on private jets with hairstylists. That's who i'm serious. We're not talking about n._r._a. Members we're talking talking about the scam artists in washington d._c. The three people that have gotten fat rich and happy for members twos but go ahead. I can't quite match. Is that a match and i just wanna make sure when people go through fan yeah because right now they know they've been scam artists and stealing their money well wayne lapierre has had the n._r._a. And hemlock he has had complete and utter control over huge amounts of money and has been able to allocate it to these three hedge fund guys in washington or or whomever and now that may well becoming an end because of the n._r._a. Zone problems as well as the public pressure but as for walmart yeah they are responding to public pressure. They're good guy doug macmillan the c._e._o. <hes> walmart is a good guy but they're trying to find a balance because their customers are real customers and you kind of various walmart sells twenty percent of all the ammunition sold in america arca for all kinds of guns but they did ban assault weapons since two thousand fifteen they did raise the minimum age for gun purchases to twenty one last year so there i think getting on the program thanks to pressure from their customers happening in doors sporting similar. They're taking measures but also she just unlock here. I mean despite you certainly a weakened status. He's still on the president's here. He is still talking to oh. Yes the president trump you routinely and preying on the fear. The president has of losing his base. We know that is the thing that donald donald trump nightmares and somehow some of his base would be eroded others or other forces are trying to tell the president. Look your base stays with you through everything. This is zabol where you can support some stuff. They'll stay with you and you could provide cover for republicans who are nervous about this boat. You might get something done so as joe mentioned law enforcement officials tell on a._b._c. the news that the gunman who killed seven people and injured nearly two dozen in that shooting rampage in west texas on saturday purchases weapon from a private live at seller a transaction that does not require a background check officials say the gunman had previously failed a background check in two thousand fourteen because of a disqualifying qualifying mental health issue and that investigators are now looking into who sold him the gun. The seller could face criminal charges if they are aware era of the shooter's mental health issues senate minority leader chuck schumer released a statement yesterday blaming the shooting on republicans in the senate forestalling on a house house-passed bill that would require background checks for nearly all private sales. Senator schumer writes quote. If the house passed background <hes> background checks bill would have been signed into law. This tragedy would have been avoided leader mcconnell. You have no excuse. The senate must vote on the house bill. Oh next week not a diluted bill not a bill and other matters. We must take a vote on the house passed bill to close these loopholes without delay delay and the washington post is also calling on mitch mcconnell with a full-page editorial this morning entitled do something mr mcconnell when the senate returns from its labor day recess. It must act on guns. The editorial includes the name of mass shooting victims from incidents such as columbine combined sandy hook last month shooting in dayton and el paso and many many more the editorial board writes part. What if there was a mass shooting in the united states dates not once or twice or four or six times monthly but every single day a big one the kind that electrifies social media and squat sport a days on page one would that be enough to move senate majority leader mitch mcconnell from his insistent inertia on gun safety would any evolve of bloodshed convinced the kentucky republican that congress faces a moral imperative to act thirty eight people were slain in three such shootings in august in dayton ohio and el paso as well as west texas and still senate republicans and president trump trump refuse to act mitch mcconnell says he is open to do something but is waiting for the white house. We're in a discussion about what <hes> to to do on the gun issue in the wake of these horrendous shootings. I said several weeks ago if the president took a position on a bill that so we knew we would actually be making a law and not just having surreal real votes. I'd be happy to put it on the floor and the administration is in the process of studying what they're prepared to support if anything and expect to get an answer that next week while i mean that's what moscow mitch okay. This guy's legacy and it's going to be two things i think right now richard is she's gonna the legacy of of basically doing the work of flat amir putina next k._g._b. Agent and <hes> and russia who mitch mcconnell has been told by the f._b._i. The c._i._a. The director of national intelligence united states military. It's been told oh by everybody that russia is trying to interfere and disrupt our democratic process that we are under attack so mitch mcconnell is killing republican bills like marco rubio's and democratic bills that would protect the homeland from this attack from russia and moscow mitch is doing nothing about it but he's killing every bill including marco rubio's bill that simply says if we get somebody interfering with american democracy we will put sanctions on moscow mitch kill that bill to moscow mitch is killed every single bill that the intel community you said we'll protect america so that's his legacy not protecting us from enemies foreign and what about his legacy protecting us from domestic enemies people that would shoot children first graders the friday before they go home for christmas holiday where they are fifteen or people that would shoot wildly from their car and odessa texas and she seventeen month old babies in the back seat of their cars or would shoot up people going to worship jesus in texas churches churches the do nothing about it or shoot up people going to walmart for back back to school shopping but mitch mcconnell just like moscow mitch won't do anything to protecting us from foreign enemies. He's he has been the one person that has killed every one of these bills to protect us from our domestic enemies that are gunning down our children every every day. What's what's his in game. What's his legacy. Where does it end who supports moscow mitch doing vladimir putin's bidding and killing republican bills to you secure the homeland against russian interference at donald trump's f._b._i. Director c._i._a. Director director of national intelligence and military intel if all told moscow mitch russia is invading this country and we need to protect the homeland even cures to nilsson milton when she was a head of the department of homeland security said this is a threat to american democracy does nothing against our foreign born enemies. He does nothing against domestic enemies. What is his legacy. I think the legacy is pretty clear. It's unilateral surrender in terms of protecting american democracy by the way not just against russia but conceivably against north koreans iranians chinese and others who are not taking the steps apps we should we're not fighting back on gun control. We're not doing anything and background. Checks are necessary but not sufficient other countries have mental simple illness roughly equal levels of prevalence so mental illness cannot be the only factor that shaping american gun violence. Obviously availability of certain weapons is is part of it. His legacy will also be. I think undermining the functioning of the senate when it came to supreme court nominations the garland nomination the nation whatever you think about carlin versus cavanaugh the idea that the united states senate would not act for you're basically arbitrarily saying we interpret the constitution russian to me that the president can appoint a supreme court justice in the last year year and a half of his term where did where did that. Come from conservatives are meant to believe in process us in institutions and what we have conservatives who no longer believe in processes are institutions. We'll get to later expert but the contrast between so called conservatives served in the united states and those in britain is really on display and we saw i actually think and we'll get we'll get to destroy but the difference between people who really embraced conservatism as opposed to if you will party them and the difference between both sides of the atlantic right now is clinton. President trump is it's. It's not it's not conservative but but i think to richard's point what happened in the u._k. Was the equivalent of marco rubio ted cruz chuck grassley and whole bunch of senior senior republicans basically basically saying no boss. We're not going to do this anymore. So you have these twenty-one tories in britain including the grandson winston churchill in tune including former quotas the secretary of the treasury here basically basically breaking with the prime minister here. You have a bunch of sheep who are following donald trump right off the cliff when susan page that's exactly what happened last last night. In britain you had twenty four conservative saying boris johnson. We are not going to follow you off the cliff and yet time and again. We're seeing republicans in washington d._c. Just being silent despite the fact ninety percent of americans want them mm to pass universe ninety four percent of americans. I'm sorry let me be exact want to see them. Pass universal background checks and you know there's no issue who on which congressional republicans are more at odds with public opinion than the issue of some of these gun measures including the measures that the house already has passed and and and since the senate i did think we saw a slightly different tone on the part of of <hes> senate majority lea leader mcconnell yesterday in that he was openly saying we're gonna do what trump is willing to support and if president trump is not does not give us confidence that he'll actually support and then follow through and sign again measure. We're not going to bring it up but he did indicate bring up the white house. If the white house went there i is not the traditional role of co equal branch of government but <hes> but it is the approach that this <hes> republican controlled senate has has taken this president just one other point going back to walmart. You know one thing that strikes me about walmart's decision at this point in their previous decisions limiting some sales of guns ammunition. This is not exactly been in jerry's aries taking a political stance. This is a company that is the largest employer in the private employer in the state's biggest retailer in the united states grounded in red america in rural and conservative parts of our country saying that they're willing to take these steps and calling on congress do that that strikes me as as important important to note when you look at the elements of american society beyond the government saying enough is enough when it comes to this gun violence it is it is pretty remarkable in richard. I mean it is i mean. Can you believe would get to a point where you'd have a senate majority leader later saying i can't do anything unless the president allows me to do something into unless he gives me permission here. A the man is granted by the constitution of the united states and the people of this country all the power of article one and yet he meet glee says. I can't do anything unless donald trump gives me permission to do anything we we can. We can call him the majority follower rather than the majority leader but this is not a one off in issue after she whether it's new sanctions the use of tariffs and so forth the congress congress has transferred all sorts of authority to the executive. We've created a degree of an imperial presidency that we've never had over one hundred pieces of president is is using law that was never intended to be used to allow himself to unilaterally make foreign policy economic policy and the rest and congress is not not pulling back these authorities so this is exceptional and again the hypocrisy of it me after what they said about barack obama and his use of executive orders here. They're going to sit back and let donald trump go in and raid pentagon funding to build. We have some questions attention to build his wall. Yeah he tried emergency funding now. He's going to still it from our pentagon. Budget believable bowl to fulfill a campaign promise that he hasn't been able to fulfill because republicans haven't given him that money we're going that'd be asking <hes> jim madison about that and some other things later on in the show hi. It's katie ter- want to keep up with m._s._n._b._c. while you're on the go subscribe to the m._s._n._b._c. n._s. N._b._c. daily newsletter. You'll get the best of what you've missed. During this unprecedented era of news text m._s._n._b._c. two six six eight six six to subscribe. I think that the republicans are going to be great and leave the judge. If the president took a position <hes> uh on a bill so that we knew we would actually be making a law president. Trump says congress will take the lead lead on gun reform. Mitch mcconnell says it's up to the president to act. I is it any wonder why nothing gets done. Meanwhile america reels from one mass shooting after another after another welcome back to morning joe. It is wednesday september fourth with us. We have the president of the council on foreign relations nations richard haass m._s._n._b._c. contributor mike barnicle white house reporter for the associated press jonathan lanier and proud to welcome to the table former defense hence secretary retired four-star marine general james mattis and former assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs under president reagan ebbing west. They are co authors of the new book entitled. Call sign chaos learning to lead and we welcome you both this show here here by the way barnacle if mr west does sorts mr haas if you could salary history here i know that terrible robin we surely of among some her coming in so why don't we just we'll. We'll aw paul to you first. Why did you book. I would very fortunate tell you the truth. Go i was able to lead forty sailors and marines as a second lieutenant and at twenty one years old and have n._c._o.'s teach me leadership principles and eventually. I commanded a quarter million u._s. Allied troops across the middle east and i learned a lot about leadership from direct leadership two strategic and when you get to my color hair you wanna pass on the lessons learned so interesting interesting is reading your book civilian sink the marines very button-down you follow waters kept talking time and time again about initiative should've ingenuity you kept talking about about actually breaking out of the mold and one of the most important leadership 'cause you can have is not stifling creativity creativity explain how that fits in a pretty tough buttoned-down culture well i would say the marines are very disciplined supplier but they're not very regimented. Some of the most un regimented thinkers i've ever been around and leaders job is is the ultimate vision. Make certain you say what you want to accomplish and then when you define it in very very clear terms you back off. Take your hands off the steering wheel and let young people that you've trained and use their initiative use their aggressiveness to carry it out and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. They will grab opportunities that you could not possibly have seen from your remote location so it. It's a wonderful way to get ownership for any mission. I don't care if you're in business or on the battlefield or on the football field you want initiative issued by your young people. You don't wanna stateful it november. We're not gonna get answer from the general and this one so all say to you you all wrote down the three cs for shop and it was competence right be really good and the basics now at the nuclear triad is understand the part i mean we could go down the lear but be hood in the basic secondly caring teddy roosevelt. I love the quote people. They don't care which you know until they know with debt. You care exactly now. That doesn't sound like a lot of leaders. We have in washington d._c. Well then you come to the third one conviction. You have to know what that leader stands for and the reason i want to write. This book is because i spent a couple of decades on the battlefields with jim and he was always at the front but the troops knew that he was going to win those battles that he was sent in for and he was going to do the best he could for them and and they got that he was gonna take care of them but he was going to get that mission done time and time again i saw him at the front and i thought this can make an kind of an interesting brooke about how he led and even when you had policy chaos he went through three presidents. It wasn't just president trump. I mean president bush president obama. All three of them took on more than they should. Just stop right there. Let me open this up to the all because it's not a because as you say the and we live in such a tribalize culture culture talk badly about talk badly about president trump my relatives. Don't talk to me if i talk badly about barack obama. I got other people who don't talk look if i talk badly about george w bush's for me. It's just we're so tribal. Nobody seems to be able to step back. I wanna talk about the last nineteen years because in two thousand we were really at the height of our power probably in our history we stood alone in two thousand the last nineteen years we had one foreign policy disaster after another all either overreach after nine eleven or overreaction reaction to the overreach. Let's talk about the past nineteen years 'cause you all are critical rightly of the last three presidents. I think joe what your point now. Now i would agree with as far as the definition of the problem but for one word where you said we stood alone. Our alliances were a a big part of why we stood astride the world a model for others to follow and i have been on many battlefields. I was privileged to fight many times for this. This great big experiment. We call america and i would just tell you that i was never on a crowded battlefield. I would never out there without allies. When i went into afghanistan aghanistan a couple of months after this town was hit after maniacs attack this town and killed three thousand innocent people from ninety one countries we were in fighting in the dust bowl afghanistan and right alongside us joining us for troops from canada and the united kingdom ordway so let let's let me restate that because obviously it's something we talk about every every day that we're only strong as alliance but united states. It's was extraordinarily powerful. We've gone from his bipolar world world where we were. We were first among equals. That's changed over the past nineteen years and i mean we can start with what happened in two thousand and two when they were telling you a war was going to start up in iraq and we can talk about what happened after we supposedly won that war and you know and we had bremmer do what he did right. We'll go ahead being yeah well. I was going to say that it struck me because after he spent years in vietnam we got into this thing in afghanistan in iraq. I fought richard and jim and mike in kind of a sloppy manner. Jim used to spend days on rehearsals ensuring everyone. Everyone knew what we were doing and why we were doing it and it seemed to me that if the top policy was made willy nilly by people not taking the time to be able to explain that policy to that corporal who is going to go out on that battlefield and rescues life that i didn't think the people at the policy level taking the time to get them message right jim well. This is a problem not just with anyone administration it. I think it's a problem problem. Crosses the western democracies right now they have trouble believing that their values are worth defending and if you actually have to go into a fight yet to choose <music> how to fight and you'd have to determine to win the fight. You can't go in and say whoa that this was a mistake something like that when you take that grave decision it's it's gotta be for a sound reason you have to have a strategic purpose of policy and like being said we did not rigorously look at the problem we did not not define the problem sufficiently and we didn't find a number of plumbed. I think it starts in the nineteen nineties when we expand nato and i'm not sure sure that we've really examined the second order consequences of expanding nato in the way we did. I'm not against expanding it but i think if you were to go back to the root cause take a look at how we teach history on university campuses today. I don't think we're preparing young men and women for leadership historically auricle informed leadership because history may not be perfect but it's the only guide we have. It'll light the path ahead and at least tell you two things how did people before you deal with something successfully and unsuccessfully. Now you know the right questions to ask when you hit these inflection points you're referring to if you can't read mike. You can't leave general mattis history element of this. We've been talking about it for decades almost a decade now but the lack of history being taught children in grandma's american history our history in yeah in nevermind college grammar school high school but in this theme before we get into the redundancy of you saying you're not going to speak about trump. I don't kill hamlet into i a lot of people i can't wait to hear from off of the discussion. The joe was having with the two of you. Ambassador khalilzad is now in the process basis of coming up with some sort of withdrawal formula for the united states troops remained in afghanistan. How concerned are you about annella moment that people don't understand co force protection in terms of the troops over there now withdrawing those troops. Do you agree with what's being done right now. Well mike mike. I don't know enough about the specifics in the back chatter. That's going on the negotiations comment about that force protection the military will take career force protection. It'll be as good as they can. Make it under the circumstances. They're dealt but i think to in this town in one thousand nine hundred eighty four secretary of state george scholz gave a talk about terrorism and that's what's got to inform us today and he said <hes> terrorism is going to be with us. It's going to cost us innocent. People in our croup lives. It's an ambient threat today. Seventeen years after george shultz said that nine eleven happens right here in this town now we can wanna war over. We can declare the war over but the enemy gets vote and the bottom line. Is you negotiation mike. This has got to accommodate and take take into account the enemies vote. What is the enemy going to. That's just the reality we live in. I'd like to bring more positive message to you and say well. You know it's all going to be over and we're gonna live happily ever after and we saw what happened when the intelligence community warned president obama that if you pull all the troops out of iraq iraq you'll have to go back in for our interests and that's exactly what happened so that's the concern i have again. We're not even being informed by recent history in some of what we're doing but i i can't comment on the specific to this one. I don't want to pretend to know details that i don't generally one of the stories today but it's not a new story is the use of military construction funds being transferred and being used along the southern border where u._s. forces are being detailed and being deployed loyd. It happened when you were in the pentagon. It's happening again now. How can we justify the transfer of american troops to southern border given all the things were coping with in the middle east asia and europe. How can we make an argument. That's a legitimate use of american military forces given mall the demands on these courses around the world colonel commanding a regiment in the nineteen ninety. S one of my task was to deploy battalions of infantry this course under president edging clinton to the southwest border to help set up listening outpost in order to warn the border patrol where people are coming across. I think we've forgotten gotten under president bush. We deployed troops to the border. President obama had troops on the border armed troops on the border as well per for seven of eight years so it's how we are doing it today where we're increasingly in an adversarial relationship between the executive branch and the legislative and i think we have to look at it in this way. I think it was einstein. He said you know if given an hour to save the world. How would he composes thoughts. He said it's been fifty five minutes defining the problem and i'd save the world and five minutes i think our executive branch and legislative have to sit down and define the problem to mutual <hes> all satisfaction otherwise every solution either one proposes the other one's going to say that that doesn't address the problem as i see it. We're not defining the problem sufficiently to come up with a collaborative stance out of washington d._c. Between the congress and the executive print reminds me of an albanian friend of mine says measure nine times yeah hammer wants our saw once and <hes> back with problem awesome so i wanna ask you about some of the news that we've been reporting this morning. The pentagon is cancelling three point six billion dollars in military. I projects funding instead to fund for trump's border wall. The move has been authorized by defense secretary mark asper it will affect one hundred twenty seven different construction projects officials said half the money would come from planned international projects the other half if needed would come from domestic projects details on which projects would be put on hold. We're not released but your reaction sir to this shift in funding toward the wall. You know i i left the administration under policy disagreement. I put it in a letter <hes> the president and i had our usual straightforward discussion <hes> the a discussion with open <hes> between us and i i disagree with this idea that you can leave office and immediately become a critic right <hes> the secretary of defense right now. <hes> is a fine man. He's doing the best he can. The president secretary of state they have great response but this is a very very very dangerous world and i do not wanna sit in one i now consider to be my cheap seats right and without full information like you like you said we don't know what the projects are. I can't really calculate this. My concern is the breakdown of trust because in leading as i point out repeatedly in the book but that being an i wrote trust is the coin of the realm when you're in a leadership position and so are we building trust among the decision makers in washington again and i think that starts with defining a problem quantifying the problem to the degree you can so that at least you have some known facts that everyone agrees on and then deciding what what to do about it. I'm not in a position. I think to walk out of the administration over a policy disagreement and then become a critic. I believe in what the french call duty of quiet divide reserve and the reason is. I don't want to add what simply right now l. the corrosive political debates. I don't think it's helpful. I don't think it's necessary so to that point earlier in the conversation. We talked about our values. Oh you speaking worth defending and with all due respect to obviously national security secrets and issues you can't speak on but there's so much just to say about the damage being done to our alliances the breakdown of our core values the respect for the basics of our constitution at what point when is it time to stand up and speak to what is happening and you may call it the cheap seats but you have a lot more insight and credibility than anybody who's ever been at this table <hes> and at what point to say something or orascom part of the problem because we know what has how we see what is happening and yet nobody speaks to it with the with the insight that perhaps someone you would have like. I don't know how i could spoken more loudly to where i stand than what i put in my letter of resignation and and quitting a job when i had not completed bladed two years in i think to this goes back several administrations. This didn't start overnight this about one man and the solutions not going to be about one person speaking out. It's going to be about the majority of americans and that's enough. We owe better to the next generation than what we're doing right now and we he goes up in the luckiest generation all of us at this table. The greatest generation raised us. We're not turning that over to the neck during right once you help nope. I'm sorry weren't you helped by reading robert gates book where he talked about. The shortcomings of the president's he worked for wasn't it. It wasn't that helpful to you. As you prepare for your own <hes> it was very helpful and each of the former secretary of defense from both republican and democrat administrations immediately made themselves available would come and have lunch with me that the point i would make is that what the right-wing senator vandenberg from michigan said when challenged l. and why do you work with that terrible democrat president truman and he said the defense of the country is a non partisan issue basically said politics and enjoy the water's edge. What is the institution that is most admired the american because the most confidence in in polls year after year. It's the military why is that because we're apolitical. We stay out of the politics. We defend the experiment that you and i call america. Those are a statute of limitations imitations probably on policy and strategy yes <hes> there will come a time not right now when competence and character to i i believe the political assessments should be left to the wisdom of the american people. Let me ask you this much. Well let me just make a point general bradley after world war two with the chairman joint chiefs of staff and he said when a general retired their uniform they should retire their tongue on these kinds of issues issues and the reason is when i walked into your studios this morning people greeted general mattis. Now i consider myself jim medicine. I'm from the west and and i'm jim but i will be forever in some people's eyes ah general and i think we have a tradition that goes back over two hundred years george washington george marshall that military people do not dictate or pass evaluations on political leaders or tell the american people people. This is the way you should be thinking or maybe some people would misinterpret and say he's telling the uniform military now how they should be voting. I don't think this is helpful at all and i remind my wife honey the doctor present ski. I'll who dr presents. I don't know if you all knew this or not yet opinions lots of opinions and he always shared those opinions but in the ten fifteen years that i knew him. I'm in the most private conversations. He never once said anything negative about jimmy carter his his commander in chief. It was always positive and if you try to ever move him there took a wall went up so i always respected admired him for that. We we think that you should make an exception before the twenty twenty election. Let's get back because i don't want to be. What's fascinating about this. Book is is it's <music> a great book on leadership and it reminds some things you say. He reminds me of another book. That's really changed the way i think about recruiting talent in the book called range but but you say in here early on you recruit for attitude you're trained for skill skill sets. I mean they change range at ten years from now. So many skills are just going to be obsolete talk about for both you talk about recruiting attitude attitude because that you said that's a weapon in and of itself out. I'm glad you asked that question because we started this spoke in two thousand thirteen because i spent so much time on the battlefields with jim later he's become the statesman you wanna talk about the lodge level things in the key state capitals in the capital of our country etc but much of this book is about story story story about leading when jim i had a platoon and then forty men and then four hundred men than four thousand men and what he had to learn about leadership as you wanna long it story after story being what you just said gets to you and your life and you said to me that you don't want to be speaking speaking from the cheap seats you almost more than anyone i know paid for your chiefs paid for it and blood and treasure in the leadership of men who lost in so a year ago tomorrow someone i don't know who who wrote an anonymous op ed in the new york times in part. They wrote this to be clear. Ours is not the popular resistance of the left. We want the administration to succeed and think that many of its policies already made america safer and more prosperous but we believe our first duty is to this country in the president continues to act in a manner that is detrimental to the health of our republic. The root of the problem is the president's amorality anyone who works with him knows he is not moored to any discernible frisk chris principles that guide his decision making you agree with that. I wouldn't comment on it other than to say that <hes>. I've never believed in cowardice. <hes> if i felt that strongly about something i would have signed it. I would have been right up front about it. I think you would old. Oh that that degree of candor but i think to we have to look at this as a as a cast of everyone's character in america again. I don't think that we i have a problem today. That suddenly suddenly mushroomed into <hes> into our observation and what we're seeing here in the last <hes> six months last two years or last five years. I think this is a growing problem inside america. We've lost a fundamental friendliness with one another. We've we've lost a sense of fairness. We really believe in some cases. There are people believe i'm right about everything and that guide wrong about everything and if we don't wake up to the idea that the people we disagree with our fellow americans if we don't understand that once in a while the people disagree with are actually right and if we don't roll apart sleeves and start working together then we're going to have a problem in this experiment because this was set up so it would not work without cooperation collaboration collaborations and compromise it would set up that way with three coequal branch of government and just to add more problems to it. There's a bicameral legislature so we're going to have to address this in less personal terms than whether or not we agree with a condemnation of any single political leader because i'm sure i can find a letter just as damning about people on the left this this is the very problem we face right now. Instead of being hard on the issues we're hard on each other and we actually left the issues go. When you're talking about issues here this morning that we've not yet even defined the problem. We're trying to solve to mutual agreement and you you talk doc actually at the end of the book the very end of the book you talk about out of many one and you talk about the tribe tune that abraham lincoln man who gained his life and along with about six hundred seventy thousand other americans gave their lives uniting the union and here we are you said lincoln the great emancipator would be very very distressed by just how divided we are yeah. You know foreign lady one night january cold rainy in washington d._c. Called a called me and said she wanted to see that she was in town. I'd known her previously first time to washington wanted to see the lincoln monument the lincoln memorial memorial and i'd rather grudgingly got up and got dressed and went over and got her tucker down and she's walking around inside their this cold night taking pictures of everything including the words on the wall. I'm sitting slumped up against the wall reading with malice for none and charity for all at a time when we were killing one another in this country killing each other on the industrial scale in a civil war he could already see we would have to find a way to find charity for each other with malice for none. How many of us wake up in the morning now with malice per none that we disagree with that's the problem i could not have run that atm marine division. I could not have led that marine division. There's no businessman who could run a business with that degree of dissension inside we need to understand how to run in school districts and run perish and run towns and cities and governed that sort of thing with a sense of common purpose again and that's one of the reasons i wrote the book because we could not across that bridge into baghdad right. If i had people inside argue once a decision was made. Here's how we're going to do what you couldn't do it right now. The democracy is not a military organisation but the sense of high spirits and selflessness in the military certainly is something that we could look at our country yeah now extraordinary that lincoln that was lincoln's second inaugural address at that time if lincoln could say with malice toward none then <hes>. We need to figure out a way to get together. Charles lemaire with the associated press has a question secretary mattis. I just wanted to if you tell us a little bit about your relationship with with the president. He's someone you've written. You did not know <hes> prior to your first interview with him before he took the position position talk to you about how how you communicate with him. How did he absorb information. What was the best way for you to talk to him. How did that relationship evolve and have you spoken to him since you've resigned right well. I've not spoken to him since since i resigned but he's busy. I assume you've got probably the toughest job in the world. We i'd never met the president. I took no part in the in the campaign i don't believe general should get involved and in in elections and speaking out so when i got the phone call from vice president pence vice president-elect pence to come back for the interview i went back to the interview and the communication. The president guided discussion about forty thirty minutes long. We talked about several things. I disagreed with him. On on three of the primary point she brought up so i thought well that takes care of that. I'm on on my way back to the west coast and my good life and we walked out on the steps and <hes> and wouldn't you know it. I got surprised the second time that week when he said that i was the real deal and he he would be nominated. He likes her nickname. Perhaps he did. I didn't like it and i didn't tell to their own opinion. It's great big america yeah so over over the months that almost two years two years that i was secretary of defense i would talk on the phone occasionally. I didn't like that as much. I like going face to face as i get to know my boss and i'm from out west where we say you ride for the brand and i swore an oath to uphold the constitution so i road for the brand i would see him weekly. We would have lunch together sometime. Just he is sometimes the chief of staff often secretary state <hes> but we i would brief him on what we were doing. We had very straightforward discussions. There was no <hes> dissembling. You know the kind of man he is. He's right up front and i i'm. I'm pretty i'm pretty blunt in my communication style so there was nothing going on there. I often chafed against the idea that i would have the adult in the room as if i was doing doing something off in the corner that he wasn't aware of that's the way i i deal with any boss. I've had i've always been right up front and once in a while. It's got me and hot water. At least my gosh always knew whatever the message was. I would bring it to the now. One of my favorite stories in the transition was when somebody wrote that he thought that he was getting george patton with that nickname ended up getting george marshall so being what is the gimenez joe and i'm no george mar. Just tell no. You're right up front. You know one of my heroes. A lot of people would disagree with that <hes> so let's talk about the book and and have if their c._e._o.'s out there watching or they're small business owners that are watching right there somebody that wants to start a business or our football coach. It's trying trying to figure out who to recruit for their college football team. You just go down the list. What what for you what's the most important leadership ships skill that comes out of this book because you all give us a great story about what leadership can do where you had the the commander in vietnam that said nobody can predict when they're going to die but they can control how they're going to face death and how that inspired aspired those young men in vietnam. How do you inspire people today the workforce. How do you find the leaders of tomorrow for your business for your organization for your church search well one of the reasons i wanted to write. This book with jim is that he had a leadership style that really resonated as he kept going up and rank. I realized that it was because he had two basic principles in the first laws. Whatever the task was he spent an enormous amount of time getting the vision and the goals straight as the leader. He'd say this is what i think we have to do any you would make sure he had the back defining the problem time and time again. Who is it somebody one. One leader one said ninety. The presenting problem is defining what it is once. Jim had done that so that every corporal understood everyone then he took his hands off and he didn't believe in command and control what i really liked about and we try to get into the stories. This isn't about command and control troll. Get rid of that word control. When you are the leaders jim was you set the vision and then you empower your subordinates trust them and and encourage their initiative jim now you reward the initiative. I think and what you want to make sure you're doing too is you're selecting who ooh going to be representing you. Subordinate leaders generally speaking when growing up in the naval service the navy and marines gave me first rate leaders they. We're well trained for whatever we knew they would have to do. They were well educated to take in stride the things they couldn't anticipate for you knew how to solve things you could. We're unpredictable mcdougal but i wanted humility out of those people. I wanted people humble enough to know. They didn't know what all the reason. You have. People call commander or c._e._o. Oh or leader it because they cannot do. The job on their own can't do it on their own that they're given all these other people and assets. So how do you enlist down to the youngest. Sailors marines mm arrange enlist their ownership about mission in general you have the unique gift of being able to say follow me because it's a nas not a youth thing <hes> your life and your family has been the united united states marine corps. You've written letters to mother's parents of young men who served under you who have been killed in battle. What does that do to some. What does that do to you. Well that's <hes>. I'm not sure i'm articulate. Take you let enough to explain that. It humbles you. It humbles you to know that <hes> from the twenty year old corporal who pointed a nineteen eighteen year old and points toward the enemy the guy nods and gets up and starts moving against them to the the admirals and generals that stole so much rides on when i when i gave them their orders and saying here's and you need to get out in the waters of the persian gulf. I need to keep those sea lanes open but i can't. I can't support you getting into a war. We've got to avoid war at all costs. You know you eventually. It really drove home. Appoint mike that comes to mind here. You'll know what my primary job was. The commander of us central command. I coordinated all the military activities in the united states across that tumultuous middle east my real job was how do you keep the peace for one more year or what passes pro-peace apiece in the middle east one more month one more week one more day one more hour to give the diplomats time to work their magic and try to make this a little bit better world so you write fewer of those letters home to be ov want the diplomats always speaking from a position of strength and that that was why we have a military out there to ensure that they do you might mention jim what you kept under your desk onto the butter of your desk. Yeah being knows kosovo well. He knows that i still keep this this question. I used to stand at a stand up desk where all the deployment orders come in <hes> sending young troops young young men and women young patriot volunteered defend this experiment overseas and the question i wrote down to myself was will this commitment contributes tributes sufficiently to the well being of the american people to justify putting our troops in a position to die not in harm's way do not possibly get injured in a position to die and i would look at i sat right there on my desk. I hand wrote. It and i put a taped it to my desk for that. I would never overlook it and then the deployment orders would come in twice a week generally and i would be signing off on them and they're very a sensitive in many cases now. The cases are very straightforward. You read about the casualty lists later on this very new show but it's very sobering sobering. It's very humbling and it also brings a sense of gravity and responsibility that changes everything about how you look at the world mister secretary secretary general mattis. Thank you so much for being with us being west. Thank you so much for being with us to call sign chaos learning to lean we thank you both both for being with us this morning for such an extended period of time and we'll be right back with much more warning chat. Hey it's chris as from m._s._n._b._c. it every day. I come to the office and we make television. Show an everyday. I think to myself there's so much more. I want to talk about and so this is our podcast. It's called. Why is this happening and the whole idea behind it is to get to the root of the things that we see lee out every day. They're driven by big ideas each week. I sit down with a person uniquely suited you to explain why this is happening new episodes of why is this happening every tuesday. Listen for free wherever you get your podcasts.