President Donald Trump is thinking about firing Defense Secretary James Mattis following the midterm elections, insiders have revealed.
Citing information from several anonymous Department of Defense officials, the New York Times on Saturday described the deteriorating relationship between Trump and the former Marine general.
The officials claimed that the president is frustrated by the fact that Mattis has frequently been described as the Trump administration’s ‘adult in the room’.
They also said Trump has expressed fears that Mattis is a Democrat ‘at heart’ and noted how he recently changed the defense secretary’s nickname from ‘Mad Dog’ – which Mattis despises – to ‘Moderate Dog’.
According to the report, Mattis’ days in the White House are numbered as Trump looks to replace him with a more vocal supporter.
Possible replacements include Republican senators Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina – both of whom have signaled they have no interest in the job.
The Times paints a picture of the cordial relationship Trump and Mattis shared toward the beginning of the president’s term, writing about the hamburger dinners they used to share when taking a break from White House business.
Officials say the discontinuation of those dinners is just one sign of a growing rift.