The Daily(ish) Review: Mattis and Trump
I was looking for an article in the Daily News about primary elections and instead dug into an article claiming that Secretary of Defense Mattis might be losing influence with or access to President Trump. I don't want to mischaracterize what the article claims, so here's the headline:
Trump no longer listening to Mattis on key decisions: report (Christopher Brennan, 25 June 2018)
"Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is on the defensive, and reportedly has not been included in President Trump’s recent major decisions."
- Let's see if the article explains how Mattis is on the defensive, or whether this was an attempt at subtle humor.
"Mattis was not aware beforehand of Trump’s plans to leave the internationally agreed Iran nuclear deal, end military drills in South Korea or start a space-focused branch of the armed forces, according to NBC."
- ...internationally agreed...That seems like strange wording, but I also think that phrase is commonly used. I'd reword it or simply drop "internationally agreed". I think most people would read Iran nuclear deal and, if they weren't familiar with it, would assume from contextual clues that it was an international agreement.
"Current and former officials told NBC, however, that the commander-in-chief believes his cabinet member — whom he used to affectionately refer to as “Mad Dog” — looks down on him. They were also reportedly split over the appointment of hard-line National Security Adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Pompeo."
- ...split over...I'd suggest keeping it simple. Say that they disagreed.
- ...National Security Adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Pompeo...Consistency. Use last names only or full names, not both.
"It is not clear if they lack of closeness has impacted recent decision as Mattis had been seen, along with former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, as persuading Trump to stay in the Iran deal."
- ...if they lack of closeness...I'd switch "they" to the or their.
- ...recent decision...Change to decisions, plural.
Verdict: Functional. It conveys the possibility that Mattis' role in shaping U.S. policies has decreased. Some of the wording is odd, and I don't think the article supports the assertion in the opening that Mattis is on the defensive. After reading that I expected to read that Mattis was fighting to hold on to his influence or position.
Note: I had to fix several mistakes in my initial post. It was frustrating because it was one of those situations where you fix one thing but accidentally create several other problems. If you spot any lingering mistakes I've made, don't hesitate to mention them in the comments. This is just for fun, I'm not taking anyone to task for having typos and mistakes in online writing. Cutting and pasting, typing on phones, emailing, incompatible software programs...mistakes are going to happen.