1. Former U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis on stage at the Council on Foreign Relations
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Jim Mattis, Former U.S. Secretary of Defense:
"I don't believe that if you leave an administration over a matter of policy and I made that clear in the letter that you then get out and start talking in what we commonly call a kiss and tell now. I don't think it's the right thing to do. We've got a president and a secretary of state and a secretary defense trying to protect this great big experiment that you and I call America. And I'm not going to make their job more difficult by a former secretary of defense speaking now from what I would call the cheap seats. Not responsible for anything up there talking about it. But this is also consistent for those who have a responsibility to speak out. I've led a responsible life. I know what responsibility is but from George Washington to George Marshall to Secretary Ash Carter the secretary of defense under President Obama. He said he would not speak out on political issues. It's not the right place for the defense establishment to be dictating or somehow influencing I think, the political associations. The political qualifications of people. That's for the American people. I've got a lot of trust in the American people. I don't I don't lose sleep over the American people."
3. Mattis on stage
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Jim Mattis, Former U.S. Secretary of Defense:
"And so when the time comes I'll know it when it's right. I can't tell you I can't tell myself. I'm not keeping a secret. When the time is right to speak out about policy or strategy I'll speak out. But as General Bradley put it and as Dr. Carter the former secretary of defense reinforced even about civilians. Bradley put it this way after World War II when a general retires his uniform he should retire his tongue about political assessment. OK. Leave that to the American people if you trust them and I do. I've got a love affair with the Constitution and I believe in this country."
5. Mattis on stage at the Council on Foreign Relations