CNN Military Analyst Hits Mattis for Cracking Trump Jokes: ‘Totally Unprofessional and Uncalled For’

Posted: Oct 18, 2019 3:20 PM

CNN military analyst and retired Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling criticized former Secretary of Defense James Mattis for making jokes about President Trump during the Al Smith Memorial Foundation dinner.

Mattis joked about how Trump called him the "world's most overrated general."

"So I'm honored to be considered that by Donald Trump because he also called Meryl Streep an overrated actress. So I guess I'm the Meryl Streep of generals, and frankly that sounds pretty good to me," he said on Thursday.

Hertling instead praised on Friday the op-ed written by retired Admiral William McRaven, which is titled "Our Republic Is Under Attack From the President," because, "That’s a hard thing to do to step out there and say something like that about the commander in chief, the elected president."

"You know, his speech last night he addressed some good things. He quoted Lincoln. But the clip you just ran I thought was totally unprofessional and uncalled for and it’s not something a professional military member, should do in my view," Hertling said.

CNN anchor Kate Bolduan pointed out Hertling has been very critical of Trump on their network.

"Yeah, my if I compare my criticism it has been based on analysis of his national security or his leadership ability. So, you know, I’m stating from an approach an analytical standpoint of what traits are he exhibiting as a leader or what is he doing from a national security standpoint? I don’t think I’ve ever actually insulted the man as the president," Hertling replied.

It is that difference, Hertling said, is the reason why his criticisms and Mattis' jokes are not comparable.