NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — In a one-on-one sit-down interview on “60 Minutes,” President Donald Trump said he’s entitled to change things around in terms of White House staffing.
And he talked about his relationship with Secretary of Defense James Mattis, CBS2’s Meg Oliver reported Sunday night.
President Trump told correspondent Leslie Stahl that more top aides could be leaving his administration.
“There are some people that I’m not happy with. I have some people that I’m not thrilled with. And I have other people that I’m beyond thrilled with,” the president said.
Trump suggested Mattis could be part of the first group.
“I think he’s sort of a Democrat, if you want to know the truth,” Trump said. “But Gen. Mattis is a good guy. We get along very well. He may leave. I mean, at some point, everybody leaves,” Trump said.
The president also discussed Jamal Khashoggi, the Washington Post journalist last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Trump has promised “severe punishment” if Saudi Arabia is found to be responsible for his disappearance. However, Trump said he isn’t eager to upset an ally that’s ordered $110 billion worth of U.S. weapons.
“Well, I’ll tell you what I don’t want to do. Boeing, Lockheed, Raytheon, I don’t want to hurt jobs. I don’t want to lose an order like that. And you know what? There are other ways of punishing, to use a word that’s a pretty harsh word, but it’s true.”
Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida said the allegation could devastate the U.S.’s relationship with Saudi Arabia.
“There’s news reports out there that there is some sort of audio-video evidence of what occurred,” Rubio said. “If that were to emerge, or any other facts were to emerge, or, frankly, if questions here aren’t answered — there’s no video of him leaving that facility — there’s going to be a big problem.”
The Saudis have denied any involvement with Khashoggi’s disappearance.
On Sunday night, the Saudi government vowed to retaliate for any sanctions are imposed against it.