On Tuesday’s Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 am to 8:00 am – Michael Patrick Leahy spoke with special guest and his former Breitbart colleague, Iraq war veteran and current Army Reserve Sergeant Neil McCabe. Now a Washington-based reporter for One America News Network, McCabe spoke to Michael about his take on James Mattis’s inspiration and motivation for his latest book Call Sign Chaos.
During the show, the men talked about Mattis’s doublespeak as a disgruntled employee who doesn’t want to criticize the President and the potentiality that he may be looking to throw his hat into the ring in hopes of a 2024 Presidential run.
Leahy: We are joined now by my good friend and great analyst, Neil McCabe with One America News Network. He’s a Washington correspondent there. And Neil, good morning. Neil, and can you help us understand what’s going on with former Secretary of Defense, James Mattis who’s written this new book called Call Sign Chaos? Good morning Neil.
Leahy: What’s going on?
McCabe: This is a guy who got so angry. Why does everyone call me a mad dog? Then he writes a book called Call Sign Chaos. He’s a strange bird, Michael. He’s a very strange bird. And for the two years, he was the secretary of defense he relentlessly undermined the President of the United States and his agenda.
Leahy: If you were not trying to undermine the President why would you, right after you got fired, apparently for undermining the President’s agenda, why would you then go out and then put a book out called Call Sign Chaos. Why would you do that? What would the motive be there?
McCabe: The man wants to run for President. And so the way to do that is to sort of put your name out there and you don’t know what’s going to happen. Nobody knows what’s going to happen. In 1962 everyone thought the election was going to be Nelson Rockefeller versus John Kennedy. Nobody thought Barack Obama was going to be the President of the United States in 2006. In 1974 nobody had ever heard of Jimmy Carter.
So you don’t know. So Mattis puts it out here and he’s backed by a lot of people who especially people who associate with the Bush family and establishment Republican clique. Because they basically think all the tough guys that the people liked about Trump but he’s going to support all of our policies that Trump is trying to reverse.
Leahy: Are you suggesting that former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, that his motive is he wants to run for President in 2020? Is that what you’re suggesting?
McCabe: What I’m saying is you put your name out there and you don’t know what’s going to happen.
Leahy: And you see what happens.
McCabe: You see what happens. Because everyone is setting the table for 2024. You see Nikki Haley setting the table for 2024. Obviously Mike Pence. He should get the nomination in a walk if everything goes according to his plan.
But there’s a lot of people that who are like, “Why should he be president. I should be president.” There’s a lot of people in the Republican party who want to harness the anger and the frustration of the voters to change things in Washington.
But they don’t actually want to change things in Washington. (Chuckles) So, this is the MO of the Republican party since the end of WWII.
Leahy: Oh yeah.
McCabe: They’re basically promising everything. Delivering nothing. Then you get a guy like Trump who somehow he screwed up. He didn’t read the script correctly. He’s actually trying to change things. (Leahy chuckles) And the Republicans are going, “What’s up with this nut?”
Leahy: That’s a very interesting analysis. So your guess is Mattis doesn’t want to be a shrinking violet. Doesn’t want to be that citizen-soldier who doesn’t get involved in politics. But this book is really all about politics and potentially setting himself up for a Presidential run. I guess you’re saying in 2024?
McCabe: Well listen. A guy who wants to into retirement doesn’t write a book called, Call Sign Chaos. It’s not like he needs the money because certainly, he was on the board of directors of Theranos. That billion-dollar fire tech scam that he advocated for when he was an active-duty four-star general in the marine corp.
He’s telling guys at the Pentagon, “We need to get these guys a contract.” And when there was push back from scientific medical guys inside the Pentagon saying, “Where are the tests? These seem like a scam to me.” And Mattis is sending emails, “Hey, let’s cut through this red tape.
You and your silly rules.” Right? Mattis is on the board of directors of General Dynamics now? Certainly, his speaking fees are very solid. This is a guy who doesn’t need the money from a book.
Leahy: I look at this and it’s a little confusing of what he is and isn’t saying. But to me, I read a book with the title, Call Sign Chaos and to me, that seems like an implicit criticism of the Trump administration.
McCabe: I think there’s a double meaning there. I think you’re right. I think it’s like he’s almost putting up the bat signal in the sky saying, “Hey there’s a lot of chaos here. And this President is out of control.” Certainly, there are episodes where he describes the President in an unfavorable light. It’s this weird thing about Mattis.
He tries to play it both ways and that’s been his MO ever since he really became a public figure right? Where he says, “I don’t want the publicity.” But he goes and is giving interviews. (Leahy laughs) And he says, “I don’t want to criticize the President but I’m going to write a book about what a nut he is.” (Leahy laughs) He’s always saying and doing two different things at the same time but he gets away with it because he supports the left-wing agenda.
And that’s the thing. That’s like the special sauce that the left always wants. They want people who use the images, the language, and the rhetoric of the people who are frustrated with what’s going on in Washington. But in the end, they want to do nothing about it. In the end, they keep the party going. It’s what we saw with Paul Ryan.
Paul Ryan had 20 more seats in the House of Representatives than Newt Gingrich and he did nothing with it. Where this guy’s whole career for 20 years was, “I’m this intellectual. But if I ever had the power to change Washington, this is what I’d do.” And they gave him the biggest House majority for the Republicans’ in 80 years and he did bupkiss.
Leahy: Well, what’s interesting about this is the way the media is reporting on this. They’re trying to characterize Mattis as oh, nobly and reluctantly not criticizing President Trump. But it seems to me that there are criticisms of President Trump and pretty loud and vocal. I mean, he was fired. When was he fired, just back in January right?
Leahy: December. OK. So, it’s nine months and he’s already got this big book out and already got a big press going on. If you’re fired as Secretary of Defense and you really are a citizen warrior not interested in politics, you don’t say anything at all. You’re a military guy. You’re currently in the Army Reserve. Isn’t that the approach historically?
McCabe: Well, there’s a lot of people, generals and admirals who were pushed out of military service during the Obama administration who just went away. Who just went back to the farm. That’s kind of a tradition. And because you don’t want to say or do anything that would encourage our enemies. You don’t want to show weakness when there are real threats from overseas.
If there are terrorists out there or opponents to the United States who see Trump as a strong figure, then you got this four-star marine general saying that Trump is a nut and that his policies are wrong. Well, why wouldn’t that encourage our people overseas? And military people are especially sensitive to this.
Which is kind of a surprise why Mattis would go all-in in this sort of thing? But remember too, here’s a guy Mattis who supposedly was fired by President Barack Obama because he was so worried about the threat from Iran. Then he testifies in Congress saying that the President should not withdraw from the Iran deal when that was like one of the President’s big promises on the campaign.
Leahy: I don’t know if you saw this interview. So he goes on. He wants to not be critical of President Trump, he chooses to go right on NPR (Laughing) and be interviewed by that very unbiased reporter Judy Woodruff.
Leahy: And the headline of the story is, “James Mattis on why he left the Trump administration but won’t criticize it.” And of course, the story is basically all his criticisms about President Trump.
McCabe: I had no choice. I had no choice.
Leahy: Yeah. So the lead on this is ‘retired marine corp general James Mattis, served as President Trumps First Defense Secretary resigning his post in protest after Trump announced he would pull US forces out of Syria.’ Now Mattis has written a book, Call Sign Chaos. Learning to Lead. He talks to Judy Woodruff about his philosophy of leadership and why he’s reluctant to weigh in on current policy from outside the administration. Oh, I mean he’s just made the criticism in the lead of that story.
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