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Mattis: 'I'm Not Paid to Be Optimistic'

Defense Secretary James Mattis could have a career in comedy if he wasn't so good at leading the military. Since assuming the role of Pentagon chief, Mattis has handled the media with an ease and humor rarely seen from a government official.


When asked what keeps him up at night, he responds, "I keep other people awake at night." When asked if he's going to quit his station, well...

He's an equal opportunity giver of mic drops. Most recently Mattis was speaking with Fox News's Bret Baier at the Reagan National Defense Forum in Simi Valley, CA this weekend. Baier asked if Mattis was "optimistic" about the intel he had read on North Korea and once again it was obvious that he knew what his objectives are as defense secretary.

He did, however, say he had a good feeling about the defense budget.


“I’m optimistic at the end of the day, we’ll have what we need to keep our country safe,” Mattis noted.

Mattis also used this weekend's platform to speak his mind about Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

“There is no doubt the relationship has worsened,” Mattis said Saturday. “He tried again to muck around in our elections this last month, and we are seeing a continued effort along those lines.”

You can watch his whole conversation with Baier below.

President Trump canceled his meeting with the Russian leader at the G20 summit after Russia seized Ukrainian ships and sailors in the Kerch Strait.

“I look forward to a meaningful Summit again as soon as this situation is resolved,” Trump said, demanding Russia return both the ships and sailors.


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