General 'Rudely' Fired by Obama Makes Trump's Short List for Secretary of Defense

John Schindler, formerly with the NSA and currently a national security columnist for the New York Observer, joined Buck Sexton on The Glenn Beck Program to talk about administrative posts currently under review by the Trump transition team. On the topic of national defense, Schindler had glowing comments to make about retired United States Marine Corps General James Mattis.

"Mattis is the real thing. We have a lot of general officers in the military who sort of pose as tough as nails but able to think big thoughts at the same time, and Mattis actually is that. I can vouch for that personally. And he has a fabulous reputation as our boss of Central Command, our Middle Eastern command. He legendarily commanded the first Marine division into Iraq, in 2003," Schindler said.

Gen. Mattis was unceremoniously fired by the Obama administration as the Central Command boss over the issue of Iran. According to Schindler, Gen. Mattis strenuously objected the Iran deal and felt empowering the mullahs in Tehran was a huge mistake. The general has never spoken publicly about the firing.

John Schindler is the author of Fall of the Double Eagle: The Battle for Galicia and the Demise of Austria-Hungary.

Listen to this segment from The Glenn Beck Program:

Below is a rush transcript of this segment, it might contain errors:

BUCK: Buck Sexton here in for Glenn Beck today on the Glenn Beck Program. Thank you so much for joining. 877-727-BECK, on those phone lines.

Got our friend John Schindler joining us now as our guest. He is the national security columnist for the New York Observer. You can read his latest at observer.com.

Also, you can follow him at Twitter @20committee.

Mr. Schindler, good to have you, sir.

JOHN: It is a pleasure as always, Buck.

BUCK: All right. So let's talk about it. This cabinet is coming together.

JOHN: Yeah.

BUCK: Some very -- certainly very interesting and dynamic picks.

Jim Mattis, General Mattis, he is possibly the next Secretary of Defense. You are formerly of the NSA. I'm formerly of the CIA. And we have Mike Flynn, perhaps as the next NSA. We'll talk about that in a second.

JOHN: Yeah.

BUCK: But let's talk about Mattis first. What do you think about this pick, assuming it goes through?

JOHN: Assuming it goes through, and Mr. Trump, our president-elect -- General Mattis -- has him on a short list for Secretary of State. If that goes through, this is the best news we could possibly get from a national security perspective.

Mattis is a -- notice, mad dog -- is a revered figure in national security circles. He's arguably the best general of his generation, a career marine.

I know Mattis slightly personally. And I think the world of him. I think he's a rare mix of a real warrior and a real scholar at the time. He's never married. He's made a little bit of jokes about being a monk. Not literally a monk. But he's devoted himself to his military profession his whole life. And he's a deep thinker. He's a genuinely deep thinker.

And DOD, Pentagon is a bureaucratic mess. It needs to be shaken hard and fixed particularly on the budgeting side and strategy side. And if Jim Mattis can't do it, no one -- no human being can't.

BUCK: He also is attributed with a quote so cool that I think anybody wishes that they had come up with it: Be polite. Be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet.

JOHN: Right.

BUCK: That leaves -- yeah.

JOHN: That's Mattis. Mattis is the real thing. We have a lot of general officers in the military who sort of pose as tough as nails but able to think big thoughts at the same time -- and Mattis actually is that. I can vouch for that personally. And he has a fabulous reputation as our boss of Central Command, our Middle Eastern command. He legendarily commanded the first Marine division into Iraq, in 2003.

And also, he was fired, quite unceremoniously by the Obama administration a couple years back as the Central Command boss over the issue of Iran. And the really revealing thing about Jim Mattis, Jim Mattis has never spoken about this. He's a class act. He doesn't -- unlike Mike Flynn who makes up stories about why he was fired, Mattis was fired over principle. Mattis strenuously objected to the deal with Iran and felt that empowering the mullahs in Tehran was a huge mistake. And he got fired for that. He was fired very unceremoniously, rudely by the White House, and he's never out of the White House for that.

Him coming back to set some of this right would be a great thing for us and our allies.

BUCK: Now, John, you're a veteran. From friends of yours who are either still inside in the Armed Services or who have served, I've never heard from people I know in the Intel community, my side of things, anything but good things about Mattis. The support from inside the military, from the rank-and-file, all the way up to the top, my understanding is pretty strong. Pretty strong to very strong.

JOHN: Honestly, I can't believe I can say this: I don't know that I've ever heard somebody criticize Mattis in a serious way, on a really substantive issue. No -- no general officer makes all correct decisions, but he's a generally, you know, widely universally admired guy who knows how to make the trains run on time.

And as I said, the Pentagon needs someone who can break some China at this point. The budgeting process, the acquisition process, as evidenced by disasters like the F-35, the drone strike fighter, is really seriously broken. And we need someone who understands this, to go in, grab it with both hands, and effect some real change.

BUCK: All right. Now, before we get on to the issue of Flynn, of Mike Flynn as possible national security adviser, let's just -- Romney, meeting with Trump over the weekend. People are saying Secretary of State. Seems like a political move. But on the merits, what do you think of a Romney SecState?

JOHN: I think he would be great. I was never a big fan of Mitt Romney as a presidential candidate, but he has a lot of the skill set you need to be Secretary of State, someone who understands how the world actually works. As we know, to the embarrassment of President Obama, Mitt Romney's instincts on Russia in 2012 were exactly right, and the president was wrong.

I think a Romney appointment would be greeted in DC among professional bureaucrats as a really good thing, because he's a balanced guy. He's a smart guy. And he's not particularly ideological, and he will focus on getting American diplomacy back into earth's orbit and focused on reality. No more James Taylor concerts. No more John Kerry. No more Hillary pay-for-play. We know Romney, whatever his negatives are, he's not corrupt, and he understands how the world actually works. I think he would be a great Secretary of State.

BUCK: Yeah, very honest guy. Very capable guy.

JOHN: Absolutely.

BUCK: And also, I feel like with the Democrats, among their main criticisms of him from the election, including that he would give people cancer -- but we'll put that aside because that was just unfair and insane -- but that he was sort of a vulture capitalist. Maybe it would be a good thing for America to have a guy who understands how to use leverage and squeeze as much as possible.

JOHN: Oh, that's crazy talk. Stop it.

(chuckling)

BUCK: I think he would bring some pretty interesting things to the table, in that regard. He would do it with a smile and a firm handshake. But if you want somebody negotiating for your side in international trade deal, I think Mitt Romney would do a darn good job.

JOHN: Yeah. I don't think any of his negatives as presidential candidate remotely apply, you know, including that he causes cancer, right? Remotely have anything to do with how he would be Secretary of State. And I would welcome his appointment, as would a lot of people in DC, and not just the Republican Party.

BUCK: Speaking to John Schindler. He's the national security columnist for the New York Observer. Observer.com is where you'll find his pieces. I highly recommend you check him out. He's former NSA.

John, now let's talk about -- former NSA John Schindler, let's talk about the possible NSA Mike Flynn.

JOHN: Yeah.

BUCK: You do not hold back on this one. I want you to tell me and everybody else listening -- make the case, please, why is General Flynn, in your estimation, not the guy for this job?

JOHN: Well, let's leave aside his strange ties to Russia, the very pro-Kremlin things he says, that he's taken money from Russia Today, which is the state propaganda network. Let's leave that aside.

The problem is Mike Flynn is a smart guy who is -- doesn't play well with others. He rose to be a three-star general in the army. Was fired as director of the defense administration agency by Obama.

And as a strong critic of Obama and foreign policy, let me say that Obama was absolutely right to fire Mike Flynn as the director of DIA. Mike Flynn wanted to reform DIA, which is all well and good. It's a really stodgy intelligence community bureaucracy. But he did it in a way that was, frankly, you know, abusive of the workforce, and he was quickly hated by the workforce. And you don't change an administration by making everyone hate you.

As a Democrat just found out, you know, in the election, the white working class is not going to vote for you if you hate them. By the same token, the DIA workforce is not going to help you reform, if you make clear they're all fools and idiots and lazy.

Mike Flynn turfed out. And my fear is he will bring that same management style, which is aggressive, where it doesn't need to be, into the National Security Council.

BUCK: Now, let me ask you -- to be fair to the other side of this, which I don't pretend to be on. But I'm assuming that if we had a Trump spokesperson or somebody attached to the transition team here, they would say -- or they could say -- and I wanted to pose this to you, John, but he's going to be in an adviser role to the president, so it's really more about his knowledge, background, and understanding of issues, like dealing with jihadism. Radical Islamic terrorism. And not -- all the things you talked about may well be true. And I've heard similar things.

And my understanding is that bureaucratically there was an ineptitude on display at the top of DIA, in terms of how he handled that.

JOHN: Oh, yeah.

BUCK: Which is also a very difficult job, to manage these enormous Intel bureaucracies.

JOHN: Oh, yeah.

BUCK: But that wouldn't be his role. His role would be to be there, close to Donald Trump, and advising him, as national security adviser. What about on that side of things? When it comes to his judgment, knowledge, and understanding of the threats we face?

JOHN: I think the problem you have there is Trump is a very impulsive, high-strung individual. You want a national security adviser who can moderate that. And Flynn is exactly the same kind of shoot-from-the-hip, say hard things without thinking about them. And when you're in that job, that's going to have real consequences.

And you want someone there who can think big picture about strategy. And Mike Flynn is right about some of the things he says about jihadism. But he also thinks it's the biggest threat we face. And I don't.

I think it's top three. But the reality is -- you know, Russia and China both have several thousand nuclear weapons that can wipe us off the face of the planet. The jihadists, thank God, don't.

And that means, they're a huge threat to our national security. I disagree with Mike Flynn that this is the preeminent threat we face. We face a lot of threats. And jihadism terrorism is one of them.

He also has a way of alienating the entire Muslim world, which given that we're utterly dependent on Muslim allies to fight jihadism, that's not really a good thing.

BUCK: What do you make of this report, by the way, switching gears to the Obama administration for a second -- everyone is talking so much about the Trump transition that I feel like it gets lost sometimes that there's still a White House that's making decisions, they're trying to bolster the Iran deal, as we speak. So they're saying not to make it harder to unravel for Trump. But it seems like, to hit the accelerator at the very end here on that.

JOHN: Of course. Of course.

BUCK: Yeah, had some consequences.

JOHN: They want to make this irreversible, down to the last minute they're in the White House. And, you know -- because this is their signature thing, right? This is Obama's claim to fame. He got this great deal with Iran, which is not really a great deal. And Trump wants to tear it down. I think actually tearing it down will be harder than Trump and his people realize.

But the Iranians are going to have a much harder -- harder team in Washington now than they've had, where Obama and company have accommodated everything they've wanted and let them get away with crazy stuff.

Back to Jim Mattis. Jim Mattis raised holy hell with the White House several years ago when the Iranian Intelligence Service tried to blow up the Saudi ambassador in the United States in a public restaurant in downtown Washington, DC. This was an unambiguous act of war, and Mattis wanted us to seriously diplomatically retaliate.

You know what the White House did? Hardly anything.

And they told Mattis to calm down. Mattis was right. And this kind of appeasement of the mullahs in Tehran has gotten us worse and worse Iranian behavior. And if that stops, I'll be very pleased.

BUCK: There's also this report that -- that Clapper and Carter have told Obama to fire the head of your former base, the NSA.

JOHN: Yeah.

BUCK: What do you think about that? What's that all coming from?

JOHN: It pains me to say -- I think that would be a wise move. And it is, in fact, overdue. Admiral Mike Rogers, a Navy four-star admiral, you know, came to the NSA with a great reputation. Unfortunately, he's sullied that reputation through some pretty bad mistakes.

He's run through a reorganization in a way that really upset the workforce with cause. He's been distant. He hasn't communicated well with the workforce. He's upset some of our close intelligence allies around the world. And most importantly, we've had more security disasters.

He was brought up to clear up the epic mess left behind by the Snowden theft and defection to Russia. And now he's had another case, another -- the Martin case, very similar to -- in the sense that the NSA affiliate, a contractor who stole huge amounts of classified data and brought it home with them -- this has happened again.

NSA security and counterintelligence have not been reformed as I and others have urged for years, as Congress was told was happening. It has not happened. And Mike Rogers is the captain of the ship here, and he has to go down. Unfortunately, I think relieving him of duty is the only choice the Pentagon and the intelligence community has.

BUCK: Right before you go, John, how would you -- if you had to give a grade to Trump's national security picks and considerations because I know there's a lot that's still up in the air, where would you -- what would you grade it right now?

JOHN: Well, if we're going with Mattis, I'd say it's an A-plus. You know, Flynn -- Flynn brings that down a fair amount. But, honestly, I'm encouraged so far. We don't know a lot so far. It's mostly rumor.

But I think we're going to have -- it's going to break out two ways: A lot of the cabinet appointees and senior appointees in the departments like State, Defense, other, you know, Homeland Security, are going to be really solid people who know what they're doing and are not particularly ideological. They're not Trumpers. They're Republicans, but they were not part of the Trump movement.

The folks inside the White House are going to be clearly Trump loyalists, who perhaps their loyalty matters to the president-elect than their knowledge of, say, national security affairs. That means, you're going to, from day one, have some tension from professionals, you know, career generals, diplomats, whatever, successful business people, who are running cabinet appointments and the folks in the White House who maybe don't understand how all that wonderful stew gets made over there across the river in northern Virginia. So I think there could be some tension right out of the starting date.

BUCK: All right. John Schindler is the author of Fall of the Double Eagle. He is also the columnist at the New York Observer for national security. Go to observer.com. John, great to have you, sir. Talk to you soon.

JOHN: Great to be here.

BUCK: 877-727-BECK. Buck in for Glenn. We'll be right back.

Featured Image: (L to R) President-elect Donald Trump welcomes retired United States Marine Corps general James Mattis as they pose for a photo before their meeting at Trump International Golf Club, November 19, 2016 in Bedminster Township, New Jersey. Trump and his transition team are in the process of filling cabinet and other high level positions for the new administration. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) joined the "Glenn Beck Radio Program" to explain how mail-in ballots are typically disqualified during recounts at a far higher rate than in-person, Election Day ballots, and why this is "good news" for President Donald Trump's legal battle over the election.

"One of the things that gives the greatest cause for optimism is, this election ... there's a pretty marked disparity in terms of how the votes were distributed. On Election Day, with in-person voting, Donald Trump won a significant majority of the votes cast on in-person voting on Election Day. Of mail-in voting, Joe Biden won a significant majority of the votes cast early on mail-in voting," Cruz explained.

"Now, here's the good news: If you look historically to recounts, if you look historically to election litigation, the votes cast in person on Election Day tend to stand. It's sort of hard to screw that up. Those votes are generally legal, and they're not set aside. Mail-in votes historically have a much higher rate of rejection … when they're examined, there are a whole series of legal requirements that vary state by state, but mail-in votes consistently have a higher rate of rejection, which suggests that as these votes begin being examined and subjected to scrutiny, that you're going to see Joe Biden's vote tallies go down. That's a good thing," he added. "The challenge is, for President Trump to prevail, he's got to run the table. He's got to win, not just in one state but in several states. That makes it a lot harder to prevail in the litigation. I hope that he does so, but it is a real challenge and we shouldn't try to convince ourselves otherwise."

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Fox News senior meteorologist Janice Dean is perhaps even more disgusted with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) for his coronavirus response than BlazeTV's Stu Burguiere (read what Stu has to say on the subject here), and for a good reason.

She lost both of her in-laws to COVID-19 in New York's nursing homes after Gov. Cuomo's infamous nursing home mandate, which Cuomo has since had scrubbed from the state's website and blamed everyone from the New York Post to nursing care workers to (every leftist's favorite scapegoat) President Donald Trump.

Janice joined Glenn and Stu on the "Glenn Beck Radio Program" Tuesday to ask why mainstream media is not holding Gov. Cuomo — who recently published a book about his leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic — accountable?

"I'm vocal because I have not seen the mainstream media ask these questions or demand accountability of their leaders. [Cuomo] really has been ruling with an iron fist, and every time he does get asked a question, he blames everybody else except the person that signed that order," Janice said.

"In my mind, he's profiting off the over 30 thousand New Yorkers, including my in-laws, that died by publishing a book on 'leadership' of New York," she added. "His order has helped kill thousands of relatives of New York state. And this is not political, Glenn. This is not about Republican or Democrat. My in-laws were registered Democrats. This is not about politics. This is about accountability for something that went wrong, and it's because of your [Cuomo's] leadership that we're put into this situation."

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As America grows divided and afraid to disagree with the Democrats' woke plan for America, Megyn Kelly is ready to fight back for the truth. For nearly two decades, she navigated the volatile and broken world of the media. But as America leans on independent voices more than ever, she's breaking new ground with "The Megyn Kelly Show."

She joined the latest Glenn Beck Podcast to break down what's coming next after the election: Black Lives Matter is mainstream, leftists are making lists of Trump supporters, and the Hunter Biden scandal is on the back burner.

Megyn and Glenn reminisce about their cable news days (including her infamous run-in with then-presidential candidate Donald Trump) and to look into the chaotic and shady world of journalism and the growing entitlement it's bred. For example, many conservatives have been shocked by how Fox News handled the election.

Megyn defended Fox News, saying she believes Fox News' mission "is a good one," but also didn't hold back on hosts like Neil Cavuto, who cut off a White House briefing to fact check it — something she never would have done, even while covering President Obama.

Megyn also shared this insightful takeaway from her time at NBC: "Jane Fonda was an ass."

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Glenn Beck has had enough of exposing scandal after scandal, just to have everyone look the other way: Benghazi, Hillary Clinton's emails, Joe and Hunter Biden's dealings in Ukraine and China … the list goes on, but no consequences are paid. Now, the media have called the election for Joe Biden and insist no one can question it. But for many of the more than 71 million people who voted for President Trump, our search for the truth isn't over yet.

On his Wednesday night special this week, Glenn called out the left's long list of alleged corruption that has gone unchecked and stressed that Donald Trump's legal team must be allowed to go through the process of investigating the multiple allegations of election fraud to ensure our voting systems are fair.

"I don't know about you, but I'm tired. I am worn out. I am fed up!" Glenn said during his opening monologue. "I've had enough. I am tired of exposing corruption, doing our homework, even going overseas and having documents translated to make sure they're exactly right, [and] presenting the evidence ... except, once we expose it, nothing happens. Nobody goes to jail. Nobody pays for a damn thing any more!"

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