Mattis blames Trump for violence at Capitol, says his actions ‘poison our respect for fellow citizens’

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis (R) listens to US President Donald J. Trump (L) deliver remarks during a meeting with members of his Cabinet, in the Cabinet Room of the White House March 8, 2018 in Washington, DC.

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WASHINGTON – Former Secretary of Defense James Mattis on Wednesday evening placed the blame squarely on President Donald Trump for the riot that ensued on the U.S. Capitol.

“Today’s violent assault on our Capitol, an effort to subjugate American democracy by mob rule, was fomented by Mr. Trump,” Mattis wrote in a statement.

Mattis, who served as Trump’s first Defense secretary, said the president has used the nation’s highest role in government to “destroy trust in our election and to poison our respect for fellow citizens.”

“Our Constitution and our Republic will overcome this stain and We the People will come together again in our never-ending effort to form a more perfect Union, while Mr. Trump will deservedly be left a man without a country,” Mattis wrote.

The stinging statement from the revered Marine with a military career spanning four decades is the second time Mattis has broken his silence since leaving the Trump administration.

President Donald Trump welcomes James Mattis as they pose for a photo before their meeting at Trump International Golf Club, in Bedminster Township, New Jersey.

Drew Angerer | Getty Images

On Sunday, the nation’s 10 living secretaries of Defense penned an ominous warning that the U.S. military should have no role in determining the outcome of a U.S. election.

“Each of us swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. We did not swear it to an individual or a party,” penned Defense secretaries Mark Esper, James Mattis, Ash Carter, Chuck Hagel, Leon Panetta, Dick Cheney, William Cohen, Robert Gates, William Perry and Donald Rumsfeld in an op-ed published Sunday in The Washington Post.

The former Defense secretaries, who have collectively overseen America’s military forces for nearly 50 years, argued that “the time for questioning the results” of the U.S. presidential election has passed.

“Our elections have occurred. Recounts and audits have been conducted. Appropriate challenges have been addressed by the courts. Governors have certified the results. And the electoral college has voted. The time for questioning the results has passed; the time for the formal counting of the electoral college votes, as prescribed in the Constitution and statute, has arrived,” wrote the former Defense secretaries, including two that served under Trump.

The secretaries called on Trump’s acting Defense Secretary Miller as well as political appointees and civil servants to “refrain from any political actions that undermine the results of the election or hinder the success of the new team.”

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