During a July 19 meeting with his top advisers on U.S. strategy in Afghanistan, President Trump suggested multiple times to Defense Secretary James Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford that he might fire Gen. John Nicholson, commander of U.S. Forces in Afghanistan, because he is not winning the war, senior administration officials told NBC News Wednesday.
Trump, who has never met with Nicholson, also directed his anger at Mattis, saying the U.S. was losing ground in Afghanistan. During the two-hour meeting in the White House Situation Room, a frustrated Trump complained about China making money off of Afghanistan's rare minerals, charging advisers with finding a way to get American businesses in there quickly to get rights to the minerals, and had harsh words about NATO allies.
Trump left the meeting without signing off on a strategy, the senior officials told NBC News, and Mattis was "visibly upset" when he returned to the Pentagon. The meeting was also attended by Trump's chief strategist Stephen Bannon, son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, then-Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Vice President Mike Pence, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Read the entire report at NBC News.