Because of Trump’s lack of leadership, and because of his bombastic statements and dangerously anti-democratic antics during these difficult times, there has been a growing backlash even among conservatives and right-wing evangelical leaders who normally support him.
Today, Jim Mattis, a former defense secretary who quit the Trump administration in 2018, offered a withering criticism of his former boss, saying, “Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people — does not even pretend to try.”
Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Wednesday he opposes using the U.S. military to quiet domestic unrest in a break with Donald Trump who threatened to deploy federal troops to “dominate the streets.”
“I say this not only as secretary of defense, but also as a former soldier, and a former member of the National Guard: The option to use active-duty forces in a law enforcement role should only be used as a matter of last resort and only in the most urgent and dire of situations. We are not in one of those situations now,” Esper said. “I do not support invoking the Insurrection Act.”
Two administration officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Trump was angry over Esper’s comments and felt like the defense secretary left the impression it was his decision on whether to invoke the Insurrection Act.
And televangelist Pat Robertson scolded President Donald Trump on Tuesday over his threat to send the U.S. military into American cities to control civil unrest. “You just don’t do that, Mr. President,” Robertson said on his “700 Club” TV show, then he raised his voice: “It isn’t cool.”
In comments posted online by Right Wing Watch, Robertson also called out Trump for getting the tone all wrong in dealing with the people protesting against racial injustice in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd, a Black man in Minneapolis, last week.
“You know, there’s a purpose to everything under heaven, you read in the Bible, and there’s a time,” he said. “And I think like now is the time to say, ’I understand your pain, I want to comfort you, I think it’s time we love each other.”