"Journal Editorial Report" host Paul Gigot and Wall Street Journal columnist Dan Henninger reacted Saturday to Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis's criticism of President Trump in the wake of George Floyd's death, with their discussion about a powerful new Wall Street Journal editorial.
"I don't think he's motivated by any personal revenge per se. I think there was genuine concern about the use of active-duty troops in the streets of American cities," Gigot said on "America's News HQ." "It's concern of the military about that, as the defense secretary made clear this week. I think Jim Mattis went too far in saying that deploying those troops would be unconstitutional since the Insurrection Act is perfectly legal under the Constitution and has been used by other presidents."
Mattis released a statement to The Atlantic Wednesday evening saying he was "angry and appalled" over the death of Floyd, supporting protesters and speaking out against utilizing the military to quell demonstrations.
Gigot, the Wall Street Journal's opinion editor, theorized that Trump's leadership style may be "catching up" to him.
"But I think the president's governing style, his manner of leadership, may be catching up to him a bit because you know, he's gone through an awful lot of defense secretaries, chiefs of staff, national security advisers, and he always hasn't been gracious when they've left," Gigot said. "He sometimes gives them a kick as they're going out the door and that catches up to you after a while. And maybe some of that is what we're starting to hear from, with Jim Mattis, maybe some others coming ahead."
Henninger told anchor Eric Shawn that former National Security Adviser John Bolton's book is expected to be critical of Trump and that the president needs to focus on "expanding the electorate," not "contracting" it.
"And I don't think it helps him a lot to be getting into a fight with prominent figures like Jim Mattis, " Henninger said. "This election's going to be decided by a lot of independent voters in very important swing states. And I think what you want is more of those independents deciding they can live with Donald Trump's tumultuous governing style rather than being repelled by it, because that is precisely the argument Joe Biden and the Democrats are going to make between now and November."