Lesley Stahl, who interviewed the U.S. president for CBS 60 minutes, which will air on Sunday night, kept repeatedly pressing her subject on persistent rumors Jim Mattis will leave his post, which have escalated following the announced departure of his colleague, Nicky Haley from her United Nations envoy post.
"It could be that he is". "It could be that he is" leaving, Mr. Trump said, responding to a question about whether he wants Mr. Mattis to leave. "But General Mattis is a good guy". We get along very well.
"I mean, at some point, everybody leaves", Trump said Sunday.
Trump said he had lunch with Mattis two days earlier and the retired Marine four-star general had not told him that he was leaving.
The Guardian: "Trump: Jim Mattis "sort of a Democrat" and could quit as defense secretary soon".
In September, the New York Times reported that Trump and Mattis' relationship had grown increasingly tense in recent months, alleging that the president was mulling replacing Mattis after the November midterm elections. "I love it here".
Trump's comments come ahead of a visit to Vietnam and Singapore this week by Mattis.
He is also seen as less hawkish on Iran than Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and White House National Security Adviser John Bolton.
Bloomberg: "Trump Hints Pentagon Chief Mattis May Be Planning to Quit".
In the "60 Minutes" interview, Trump alluded to upcoming changes in his cabinet. And I'm entitled to. They'll come into the administration.
"I think we have a great cabinet".
"Yeah, other people will go", Trump replied. I have some people that I'm not thrilled with.
"I have some people that I'm not thrilled with", Trump said.