Trump’s In A Fight With Defense Secretary Mattis--And Trump Is Right.
The Trump administration is pushing back on Secretary of Defense James Mattis' pick for undersecretary of defense for policy, Anne Patterson. As the former U.S. ambassador to Egypt under President Obama, Patterson was a supporter of Mohammed Morsi, and the Muslim Brotherhood.
According to Politico:
As ambassador to Egypt between 2011 and 2013, Patterson worked closely with former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi and his Islamist government. She came under fire for cultivating too close a relationship with the regime and for discouraging protests against it—and White House officials are voicing concerns about those decisions now.
This is deeply concerning because the Muslim Brotherhood, of which Morsi was a member, is an extremist organization, with ties to Hamas and other violent jihadists.
In a 2014 review ordered by the UK's prime minister, Sir John Jenkins and Charles Farr wrote in part:
The Muslim Brotherhood at all levels have repeatedly defended Hamas attacks against Israel, including the use of suicide bombers and the killing of civilians. The Muslim Brotherhood facilitate funding for Hamas. The leadership of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, its Jordanian counterpart and Hamas are closely connected. There are wider links with Muslim Brotherhood affiliates throughout the region and senior Muslim Brotherhood figures and associates have justified attacks against coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Despite projecting a moderate attitude during his campaign for president, once elected, Mohammed Morsi turned. In a piece about Morsi's short-lived presidency and ultimate downfall, The Guardian writes:
...rather than keeping everyone onside, Morsi was seen as increasingly divisive, open only to Islamist ideas, and loyal only to the Brotherhood. In October, at celebrations to mark one of the Egyptian army’s most mythical victories, he invited a man convicted of assassinating his predecessor, Anwar Sadat. It was a highly provocative gesture that did nothing to assuage fears that Morsi’s election marked the gateway to a more extremist Egypt.
But the event that may have sealed his fate came a month later, in November 2012. Seeking to fast-track a controversial, Islamist-slanted constitution, Morsi awarded himself total executive control, allowing himself to bypass judicial procedures to ensure the text was put to a public vote without further debate.
Finally, Tamar Pileggi of The Times of Israel wrote in 2013 that Patterson apparently asked Pope Tawadros to encourage Coptic Christians to not participate in rallies against then-President Morsi, who was allegedly turning a blind eye to their extraordinary persecution.
The reason Secretary of Defense Mattis wants Patterson for undersecretary of defense for policy is unknown. However, from all appearances, someone like the former ambassador shouldn't hold such a prominent position in the Pentagon, given her checkered past as it relates to the Muslim Brotherhood.