Losing Mattis would be costly for Trump

The big picture: A former aide who can read Trump like a book told me: “His tone on Mattis is really striking. … Will be worth watching whether he’s just brushing him back and moving on, or if he launches a sustained effort to get him to quit.” And if Mattis departs on anything other than the most cordial terms, confirming a successor will be fraught.

But here’s something aides may not have told the president: People who know Mattis tell me that he won’t stay around to be abused and humiliated like Attorney General Jeff Sessions has.

If “Mad Dog” Mattis, as Trump calls him, is convinced that the president is shorting his stock, the retired four-star Marine general could leave abruptly.