Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), speaking on NBC's Meet The Press, expressed his dismay in Defense Secretary James Mattis' departure from the Trump Administration, saying that he was one of many senators who tried to get the former General to stay.
"I was one of many senators who privately sat down with General Mattis and said, 'Please stay, stay as long as you possibly can,'" Durbin said. "We desperately need your mature voice, your patriotism in the room when this president's making life or death decisions about national security. But it obviously reached a breaking point."
Durbin added that, "It breaks my heart that he’s going to step aside. We counted on him to be there and to stop this president from his worst impulse."
Mattis was often viewed, much like outgoing Chief of Staff John Kelly, as one of the "adults in the room" with President Trump, and a moderating voice in the face of some of the more erratic actions of the administration.
Durbin feels that the loss of Mattis signals chaos to come, saying, "Every day I question whether or not we can endure another two years."
He feels the most important thing for congress to do at this time is to make its presence felt by the administration, reining in some of the actions that are likely to come.
"I think we can, I think this Constitution is strong. The American people are strong. But I'm hoping that my Republican colleagues will step up and join us in a bipartisan effort to put this government back on track."
Durbin feels that, in the wake of the president's snap decision to call troops home from Syrian, it's important for congress to, "reassert our authority and responsibility" over the president, remind people -- even in the midst of a government shutdown, that the senate has "the power of the purse strings" and may hold this President responsible for his actions.
View the complete exchange below.
Images via screen capture from video source.
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