Analysis by Stephen Collinson, CNN
Updated 5:28 AM ET, Thu June 4, 2020
(CNN)President Donald Trump is facing an unprecedented revolt from the elite corps of ex-military leaders and presidents over his brazen response to mass protests and inflaming of racial divides.
In a true Washington bombshell on Wednesday evening, former Defense Secretary James Mattis, a warrior revered by his troops, told Americans they must come together without the President.
“Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people — does not even pretend to try,” said Mattis, who has kept silent since resigning in 2018.
“Instead he tries to divide us. We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership,” said the retired Marine general in a statement, criticizing Trump for threatening to deploy regular troops to quell unrest in a flagrant threat to US political stability.