“WASHINGTON — Nearly all of President Trump’s top national security officials have been the target of his ire, whether it was privately dressing down his attorney general, publicly disagreeing with his top diplomat or musing about exiling his national security adviser to Afghanistan.But not Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.
Eight months into the job, Mr. Mattis has exhibited a political deftness that has eluded other members of Mr. Trump’s cabinet. None has managed to steer a path so different from the president’s without incurring his wrath and while deflecting attention over apparent or genuine splits.”
David Lindsay: Mattis is learning from Rex Tillerson, and vice versa. They are close to each other and with McMasters, but it was Tillerson who started out avoiding reporters and the limelight, to manage successfully a difficult relationship with the president.