[Ed. – There seems to be a bit more context here than content, but see what you think.]
Like whisperers in a tempest, conservative-minded officials across the breadth of Donald Trump’s government are letting it be known what they think of him, and some of it isn’t pretty.
But they are speaking oh so softly, in a kind of code, to a country that may only hear shouting.
Jim Mattis is just the latest in a string of leading lights from the conservative establishment to throw shade at Trump. As with others — the chief justice, a special counsel, various Republican lawmakers who hope to have a political future — the ex-Pentagon chief’s words are subtle, filtered through notions of duty, decorum, deference to history, the greater good.
Crack the code and you can sometimes see deep discomfort with Trump, the contours of a searing repudiation.