Defense Secretary James Mattis just finished up an on-the-record gaggle with reporters to discuss President Trump’s lack of visits to troops in war zones, U.S. military personnel on the southern border and the murder of Saudi journalist James Khashoggi.

First up on why the president hasn’t visited the troops in places like Afghanistan and Iraq, Mattis suggested that he told Trump not to go:

Here’s the full exchange, although Mattis would not elaborate as to when or where he told Trump not to go:

Regarding troops at the border, Mattis pushed back on a report that the White House had authorized the use of deadly force which would possibly “run afoul” of Posse Comitatus:

Mattis explained that the White House order allows troops to come to the aid of a border patrol agent or other DHS employee who is under attack:

Mattis insisted this wouldn’t violate U.S. law:

Mattis went on to say that his mission nor the use of force rules have changed:

Mattis pointed out that the troops aren’t armed anyway but only have shields and batons:

And the secretary got a little salty with reporters over it when asked how troops would avoid a repeat of 1997 incident where U.S. Marines shot an American teenager thought to be a drug runner.

“I’m not going to dignify that, they’re not even carrying guns, for Chrissake,” Mattis said:

Regarding the murder of Saudi journalist James Khashoggi, Mattis sounds like he’s not 100% convinced of the CIA’s version of events;

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