>> Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on his first official trip to Iraq Monday, telling reporters the US Military is quote, not in Iraq to seize anybody's oil. With that declaration, Mattis distancing himself from President Donald Trump, who told CIA staff in January, quote, we should have kept the oil.
But okay, maybe you'll have another chance as we look into the future. Instead, Mattis pledging continued support to the Iraqi army.>> Dash will not be over with. We all know that, there will be more fights ahead. We'll stick together. And as we look at the future, we're gonna continue to stand by the Iraqi army, the Iraqi people.
>> Mattis has been critical of his boss on several key policy issues. A retired Marine general who led American troops in Iraq, Mattis sought an exemption from Trump's travel ban for Iraqis who served with US troops, including translators. Trump also acknowledged that Mattis did not agree with him on torture as a useful interrogation tactic.
Trump has labelled the media as quote, the enemy of the American people.>> The dishonest media.>> Mattis has said he has no problems with the press.>> I don't have any issues with the press.>> And while Trump has called Vladimir Putin a strong leader, Mattis has called Russia dangerous and Putin delusional.
On this trip Mattis is hoping to assess the war effort as US backed Iraqi forces launch a new push to remove Islamic State militants from their remaining stronghold in Mosul. The defense secretary's review could lead to additional deployment of US forces beyond the less than 6,000 American troops currently deployed to both Iraq and Syria.