Trump trying to ‘divide’ America, says ex-Pentagon chief Mattis Jun 05, 2020 0 3775 12345 AFPWashingtonFormer Pentagon chief Jim Mattis issued a stinging rebuke of his erstwhile boss Donald Trump on Wednesday, accusing the president of trying to “divide” America and failing to provide “mature leadership” as the country reels from days of protests.Mattis, who resigned in December 2018 over Trump’s ordering of a full troop withdrawal from Syria, also voiced support for the demonstrators whose anti-racism rallies have roiled the country.“Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people -- does not even pretend to try,” Mattis wrote in a blistering statement posted online by The Atlantic.“Instead, he tries to divide us,” added the retired Marine general, who had previously argued it would be inappropriate for him to criticise a sitting president. “We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership,” he stated.Mattis described himself as “angry and appalled” after witnessing events of the last week, which saw Trump threaten a military crackdown on American citizens as nationwide protests turned violent in some cities.The fury was ignited by the May 25 killing of George Floyd, a black man who suffocated beneath the knee of a white police officer, and whose agonising death was filmed by bystanders.The demonstrations have mostly been peaceful, but some have degenerated into violence and looting as night falls.Mattis wrote that the protesters’ call for equal justice was a “wholesome and unifying demand.” And he slammed the decision to use force to clear peaceful protesters from near the White House on Monday to allow Trump to pose for photographs at a nearby damaged church, calling it an “abuse of executive authority.” The photo op has become a lightning rod for criticism of Trump’s handling of the crisis, with religious leaders, politicians, and onlookers around the country expressing outrage.“When I joined the military, some 50 years ago, I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution,” Mattis stated.“Never did I dream that troops taking that same oath would be ordered under any circumstance to violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens -- much less to provide a bizarre photo op for the elected commander-in-chief, with military leadership standing alongside.” RELATED ARTICLES Brazil, Mexico see record deaths as virus rages across LatAm Jun 05, 2020 0 1804 Russian ecosystem needs decade to recover from massive diesel spill Jun 05, 2020 0 1278 Leaders pledge 8.8 billion dollars to fund global vaccine drive Jun 05, 2020 0 238 France cancels Bastille Day parade, replaces with tribute to health workers AFP Paris France on Thursday cancelled the 2020 Bastille Day military parade due to coronavirus social distancing requirements, replacing it with a tribute to health workers fighting the pandemic. Rather than the .. France to transform surplus wine into hand sanitiser PARIS: French winemakers will transform wine that went unsold during the country’s two-month coronavirus lockdown into hand sanitiser and ethanol to make room for the next harvest, a farming agency said on Thursday. .. Trudeau says Canada winning virus fight, advises caution OTTAWA: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declared on Thursday that Canada is winning the fight against the new coronavirus, with the latest data showing new cases in decline. But he also warned that the battle is not over .. Britain to require face coverings on public transport from June 15 LONDON: Britain will require passengers to wear masks or other face coverings on public transport from June 15 to curb the spread of coronavirus, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said on Thursday, a move that a trade .. Bill Gates ‘disappointed’ by US withdrawal from WHO DPA New York Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates has said he is “disappointed” by the United States’ withdrawal from the World Health Organization (WHO) amid the coronavirus pandemic. Gates would .. Twitter refuses to rule out suspending Trump’s account LONDON: A top Twitter executive on Thursday refused to rule out suspending Donald Trump’s account if the US president continued posting incendiary messages such as those about the George Floyd protests. Trump has .. Pompeo presses allies to fund Islamic State fight despite budget crunch AFP Washington US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday urged allies to make up a shortfall in funding to defeat the Islamic State movement despite a budget crunch after the devastation of the coronavirus pandemic. .. Protesters welcome new charges in Floyd killing but remain in streets AFP Minneapolis US protesters welcomed new charges brought on Wednesday against Minneapolis officers in the killing of African American man George Floyd -- but thousands still marched in cities across the country for a ..