NEW YORK – Ex-Trump administration defense secretary and retired Marine Corps general Jim Mattis had kept quiet about his former commander-in-chief — but he couldn’t bear staying silent over President Donald Trump’s comment that he is “the world’s most overrated general.”
“I’m honored to be considered that by Donald Trump because he also called Meryl Streep an overrated actress,” Mattis joked Thursday night at the annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner, hosted by the Archdiocese of New York.
“So I guess I’m the Meryl Streep of generals and frankly that sounds pretty good to me,” Mattis said. “And you do have to admit between me and Meryl, at least we’ve had some victories.”
Mattis also jabbed at Trump for avoiding the military draft in the Vietnam era by presenting a doctor’s finding that bone spurs in his feet barred him from service.
“I earned my spurs on the battlefield … And Donald Trump earned his spurs in a letter from a doctor,” Mattis said.
Mattis was the keynote speaker at the annual dinner, named in honor of late New York Governor Alfred E. Smith and held this year at the New York Hilton. Its proceeds “go directly to benefitting the neediest children of New York, regardless of race, creed, or color,” the dinner’s website says.
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