Gen. James Mattis speaks out against Trump

President Trump’s first defense secretary attacked Trump’s leadership and mocked him for his lack of service during a speech at the annual Al Smith Dinner.
2:40 | 10/18/19

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Transcript for Gen. James Mattis speaks out against Trump
In the wake of the crisis, general Jim Mattis spoke out against trump for the first time last night here in New York. This comes one day after the president denigrated Mattis. Our chief global affairs correspondent Martha Raddatz is here with us. Reporter: Mattis had warned of an ISIS resurgence after he began removing U.S. Troops from Syria, but he has been reluctant to directly criticize trump even in jest until last night. The event, a roast. An annual white tie fundraiser for catholic charities. The humor direct, the target clearly Donald Trump and his lack of military service. I had earned my spurs on the battlefield, and Donald Trump earned his in a letter from a doctor. Reporter: Trump had called the retired four-star general who he named secretary of defense overrated. I'm not just an overrated general. I am the greatest, the world's most overrated. Reporter: But Mattis who resigned last December after trump who then just threatened to pull American forces out of Syria turned serious. I tried to bring some peace and order to places with no organized government, chaotic factions, irrational fears and toxic hatred. Reporter: The decision to now pull American troops out of Syria, abandoning the kurds who fought alongside them against ISIS on Mattis' mind. We owe a debt to all who have fought for liberty, including those who tonight serve in the far corners of our planet. Among them, the American men and women supporting our kurdish allies. Reporter: And Mattis, not the only four-star speaking his mind. The highly respected Navy S.E.A.L., admiral bill Mcraven who oversaw the mission to kill Osama bin laden writing in "The New York Times," if this president doesn't demonstrate the leadership that America needs both domestically and abroad, then it is time for a new person in the oval office, Republican, Democrat or independent. The sooner the better. The fate of our republic depends on it. The U.S. Military prides itself on being nonpartisan, but more and more former senior military leaders are coming out against Donald Trump saying that it is not about politics, but character and leadership. George? And honor and standing by those who sacrifice with us. Thanks very much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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