Trump Reportedly Calls Ex-Pentagon Boss Mattis 'Overrated'

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President Trump speaks during a news conference with Italian President Sergio Mattarella in the East Room of the White House on Oct. 16, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Trump speaks during a news conference with Italian President Sergio Mattarella in the East Room of the White House on Oct. 16, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Donald Trump described former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis as "the world's most overrated general" during a meeting with congressional leaders Wednesday to discuss Turkey's incursion into Syria.

That's according to a Democrat familiar with the meeting who offered a readout of the contentious meeting on condition of anonymity.

Trump, according to the person, was presented at one point with a quote from Mattis warning of an Islamic State group resurgence if the U.S. does not continue to apply pressure. But the president responded with the insult, criticizing Mattis for not being "tough enough."

Trump also said during the meeting that 100 Islamic State prisoners had escaped following the U.S. withdrawal from the region, but insisted they were the "least dangerous" ones.

Asked whether that was true, current Defense Secretary Mark Esper said he didn't know.

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