Former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer told the "Special Report" All-Star panel that former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis' scathing rebuke of President Trump shows that his "divisive" persona is costing him potential allies in an election year.
In a statement released exclusively to The Atlantic Wednesday evening, Mattis described Trump as " the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people—does not even pretend to try. Instead, he tries to divide us. We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort."
Mattis took particular issue with the decision to clear a group of protesters away from Lafayette Park Monday night to allow Trump to visit St. John's Church, which had been set on fire by demonstraters the previous night.
“When I joined the military, some 50 years ago,” Mattis wrote, “I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution. Never did I dream that troops taking that same oath would be ordered under any circumstance to violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens—much less to provide a bizarre photo op for the elected commander-in-chief, with military leadership standing alongside.”
Fleischer said Mattis' words "got right to the fault line in our society: How divisive the president can be, how divisive the times we live in are ...
"Clearly, for General Mattis, he reached his breaking point," Fleischer added. "It's extraordinary that a former member of the Cabinet would criticize the man who gave him that position in such blunt terms."
"It's a sign of the trouble of the president is in," Fleischer continued. "You don't want to be a president when you have such great division where you are losing former allies, especially in an election year."
Fox News' Gregg Re contributed to this report.