https://www.google.com/amp/s/thehil...mp-white-house-on-north-korea-iran-report?amp The president thinks out loud. Do you treat it like an order? Or do you treat it as part of a longer conversation? We treated it as part of a longer conversation," a former senior national security official told The New Yorker. "We prevented a lot of bad things from happening." In 2017, following a series of North Korean ballistic missile tests, Trump ordered the Pentagon to begin removing the spouses and children of military personnel from South Korea, where the U.S. military has a base. An administration official told the magazine that "Mattis just ignored" the order. As Iraq was preparing for parliamentary elections in late 2017, McMaster was worried about any meddling from Iran and asked the Pentagon to give options to counter such a move. A former McMaster aide said Mattis later sent a Pentagon official to the White House without any options in hand. Mattis also reportedly prevented Gen. John Nicholson, then head of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, from meeting Trump. After Bolton replaced McMaster, he asked the Pentagon for multiple options in April 2018, after Syrian President Bashar Assad dropped chemical weapons on civilians in a suburb of Damascus. Mattis gave only one option, a limited strike with cruise missiles, which angered Bolton. Administration officials told the magazine that Mattis was likely attempting to limit information to Trump so he could not make ill-advised decisions. "There are a lot of people in the administration who want to limit the president's options because they don't want the president to get anything done," a former senior administration official said.