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Student Scores 45-Minute Interview After Mattis' Number Exposed by WaPo

Student Scores 45-Minute Interview After Mattis' Number Exposed by WaPo

Secretary of Defense James Mattis issued rare criticism of former President Barack Obama and his national security team in an interview with a Washington State high school newspaper. Fischer said Mattis deserves more credit than they do.

Mattis's cellphone number was visible in a photo run by The Washington Post in May.

Although the Post removed the photo with the information from its website quickly, Fischer saved the number, called it seeking an interview, and Mattis replied several days later, agreeing to speak with him. "But the general called him back on his personal line and left a message for Teddy".

"I never really thought it would work", he admitted.

And you keep asking these kind of questions Teddy. Mattis' response set the tone for the rest of the interview.

"The real question was, 'What would the general say to teenagers?' " Chris Twombley, journalism teacher at Mercer Island High School said.

Why did Mattis take a call with a high school student?

The conversation then shifted to a subject that high schoolers either know and love, or know and hate. For one thing it's scary as all get out at times, but whether it be the Peace Corps or the Marine Corps, whether it be serving on your local school board when you're still not even 30-years-old, by running for office and trying to get a good education for the kids in your community, just try to put others first and it will pay back in so many ways that you'd be a lot happier in life. He's absent from news shows and only answers one or two questions during news conferences. Unsurprisingly, when asked for a solution to this problem, history again came to the forefront.

Mattis said he called Fischer back because he tries to maintain his connection with students.

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"You and I, we don't compromise with insane people or evil people", he said. "Generally speaking, just because someone disagrees with you doesn't make them insane or evil", responded Mattis. Mattis recommends "sitting down and talking with them, and after having a good strong argument, going out and having a root beer".

"If you study history, you realize that our country has been through worse", Mattis said.

"You lose your paralysis, your unproductive worry", he said, "and you replace it with productive action".

U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis generally avoids the press.

"I think we owe it to you young folks to pass on what we learned going down the road so that you can make your own mistakes, not the same ones we made", he told Fischer.

Mattis is a history buff enshrining himself in history. "It's like those people just want to stop thinking", Mattis said. "You'll gain courage when you get involved".

A full transcript of the pair's chat reveals Mattis' belief that future wars may be fought in "outer space and in the cyber domain".

Asked how the United States can best overcome the terrorist ideologies of groups like Islamic State, Mattis proposed a massive program to bring foreign students to the United States for extended stays.