"We are never out of diplomatic solutions," Mattis told reporters.
A number of high-ranking officials have found themselves scrambling to temper Trump's statements since he took office, Reuters reports. Recently, many broke with Trump's statements about violence on "both sides" in Charlottesville, including economic adviser Gary Cohn, who specified that "citizens standing up for equality and freedom can never be equated with white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and the KKK."
"I think the problem is that [advisers] are now dealing with a president who tweets his thoughts to the country," said former defense secretary and CIA director Leon Panetta.
But when asked about Mattis contradicting Trump on North Korea, Pentagon spokesperson Dana White did some clarifying of her own. "Secretary Mattis provides the president with his best advice," she said. "It is the president who makes the ultimate decisions."