Nancy Pelosi shared her concerns about Defense Secretary Mattis' sudden resignation, Donald Trump's lack of leadership, and the possible government shutdown, while hanging it all around Donald Trump's neck.
December 21, 2018

Nancy Pelosi didn't mince words when discussing the chaotic day of news stories, starting with the sudden resignation of Defense Secretary, James Mattis, the possible government shutdown and Donald Trump's disastrous leadership.

She was also visibly shaken by Mattis' resignation, which prompted a question about it from one of the reporters.

"I'm shaken by the news because of the patriot that General -- Secretary Mattis is," she replied. "I think that everybody in the country should read his letter of resignation."

It is a letter of great patriotism, respect for the President, but also a statement of his values, where he talks about the strength of our nation is intrinsically linked to the unique and comprehensive system of alliances that we have. That he talks about we must be resolute and unambiguous in our approach though the countries whose strategic interest are increasingly with intent to -- tensions with ours."

"The list is -- it is a beautiful letter about again our values as a nation in terms of our national security written by a Patriotic American who was a comfort to many of us as a voice of stability in the Trump Administration, " the Democratic leader added.

She went on to review this chaotic week (a word Senator Chuck Schumer used later on in the press conference) and the likelihood that Mattis' resignation was a consequence of Trump's impulsive decision to withdraw troops in Syria before she turned to his sudden reversal and back-stab of Senate Republicans with regard to the government funding bill.

"Maybe he thinks he can golf more comfortably if he shuts the government down," she snarked. That is not how it works. Government must work even if you are golfing for two weeks."

Schumer, not to be outdone, chimed in with his own theory on Mattis' firing: "We all know that Secretary Mattis had real disagreements with the President on Syria and on the wall," he said.

Continuing, he indulged in a little what-iffery. "Some speculated that the President was going to demand that [Mattis] start building a wall, which he knows he can't do by law, and maybe that is one of the reasons [Mattis] stepped down."

NPR explains why the military won't build Trump's wall, why they can't build Trump's wall, and why they won't build Trump's wall:

Here's why he is making such a bold prediction: "For the military to build the wall, that would qualify as a military construction project, and there's not any money currently appropriated for this — certainly not $5 billion," he said.

So, let's say the president decided the military should take money already set aside for something else and use it to build the wall instead — that would require approval from Congress. Harrison says all the relevant committees in both chambers would have to approve shifting, or "reprogramming," the funds. There are also caps on just how much money can be moved that way.

"If any one of those committees says no, you can't do it," Harrison said.

Chaos. An apt term.

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