The Atlantic

Mattis Always Understood Trump’s Severe Defects

And his resignation means he knows that the president will never change.
Source: Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

In the spring of 2016, not long after The Atlantic published an article I had written about President Barack Obama’s foreign-policy record, I visited the Hoover Institution, a think tank on the campus of Stanford University, where James Mattis had sequestered himself in exceedingly comfortable exile. He was writing a book, teaching a bit, and trying to suppress, with intermittent success, the resentment he felt toward President Obama and his national-security team.

Obama had removed Mattis, a four-star Marine general, as head of U.S. Central Command three years earlier. The

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