Mattis Calls Deployment to the Border ‘Great Training’ as He Visits Troops in Texas by Paul Sonne – Washington Post
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis described the deployment to the border as “great training” and told active-duty soldiers in Texas not to pay attention to the news coverage of the operation because they would “go nuts.”
Mattis and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen visited troops near the U.S.-Mexico border on Wednesday, a little over two weeks after President Trump dispatched thousands of active-duty forces in anticipation of a Central American migrant caravan.
Critics assailed Trump for sending such a large contingent of troops to the border ahead of the midterm elections, accusing him of mounting an unnecessary stunt designed to fire up anti-immigration sentiment among his political base.
But Mattis has defended the operation to support U.S. Customs and Border Protection, saying the American military “doesn’t do stunts.” His trip on Wednesday escalated that defense into a public relations foray that presented the operation as legal, necessary and run-of-the-mill…