Fox News contributor Deroy Murdock fired back Thursday at former Defense Secretary James Mattis after he ripped President Trump's response to protests following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Murdock told "Fox News @ Night" that Mattis' statement misses the mark on several fronts.

"He begins by saying very nice things about the protesters, that they want equal justice under the law, we all want that," Murdock began. "Then he has this amazing sentence, 'We must not be distracted by a small number of lawbreakers.'

"What? Are you kidding me? We are not just talking about a couple of people [who] broke away from peaceful protests, put a little bit of shaving cream of the windshield of a police car, something like that," he added. "We're talking about massive looting, attacks on everything from Target to Macy's to Rolex."


In response to Mattis' criticism that Trump does not even try to unite the American people, Murdock said the Republican is the first president in his lifetime who tries to unite the American people.

"Mattis, as a member of the Cabinet, was at the State Of The Union -- he was sitting in the front row -- when Donald J. Trump said this [in] 2018: 'I want to talk about what kind of future we are going to have, what kind of nation we are going to be. All of us together as one team, one people and one American family,'" Murdock said. "That seems like an effort to try to unify us.

"Then you look at the policies he supported. For example, supporting historically black colleges and universities, providing federal funding, finding corporate sponsors to help with their apprenticeship programs," he went on. "I think the huge thing he's done is to try to unify the country."

"Criminal justice reform," Murdock added. "This is something Black Lives Matter has screamed for, for years. Obama and Biden didn't deliver that, guess who did? Donald J. Trump. That seems like quite the effort to try and unify the country."


In response to criticisms of Trump's demeanor, Murdock explained that Trump has the right tone for the times he is in.

"Look, these are tough times and the other side is not polite to him. We've seen the other side's behavior out in the streets over the last few days," he said. "So he's supposed to be nice and sweet and gentle like Mr. Rogers while these other people call him names, call him racist, call him Hitler, worse than Hitler, somebody actually called him. I don't see a lot of politeness on that side.

"One important thing also that General Mattis brought up in his very, very flimsy article," Murdock concluded. "He said, 'At home, we should use our military only when requested to do so on very rare occasions by state governors,' as opposed to federal governors, I suppose.

"This is the Insurrection Act of 1807. It's been used by 12 different presidents from Jefferson all the way to George H.W. Bush. One of those occasions was by the Democrat hero Lyndon Baines Johnson. He actually brought in the military -- guess what? -- to put down riots in Washington, D.C," he said.

"So General Mattis really should have picked up a couple of his history books."