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Trump to replace Mattis early

by Lynde Langdon
Posted 12/24/18, 09:57 am

President Donald Trump on Sunday announced he would replace Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Jan. 1, about two months earlier than Mattis planned to leave. Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan will take over for Mattis in an interim capacity. Mattis handed in his resignation letter Thursday but wrote that he would stay in his role until Feb. 28 to ensure a smooth transition and “make sure the department’s interests are properly articulated and protected at upcoming events” such as the NATO Defense Ministerial meeting in February. But Trump decided to usher Mattis out sooner following his criticism of the president’s decision to withdraw American troops from Syria and Afghanistan.

“When President Obama ingloriously fired Jim Mattis, I gave him a second chance. Some thought I shouldn’t, I thought I should,” Trump tweeted Saturday. “Interesting relationship-but I also gave all of the resources that he never really had. Allies are very important-but not when they take advantage of U.S.” Shanahan worked for more than three decades at Boeing Co. and was a senior vice president there before becoming Pentagon deputy in July 2017.


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Lynde Langdon

Lynde is a WORLD Digital’s managing editor and reports on popular and fine arts. She lives in Wichita, Kan., with her husband and two daughters. Follow Lynde on Twitter @lmlangdon.

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Comments

  • CaptTee's picture
    CaptTee
    Posted: Mon, 12/24/2018 12:33 pm

    Makes sense from a policy point of view to not keep around someone who publicly resigned over policy differences!

  • Brendan Bossard's picture
    Brendan Bossard
    Posted: Mon, 12/24/2018 03:05 pm

    Err...how does it make sense to precipitously accelerate the departure of same?  Seems to me that Sec. Mattis very honorably handled his resignation.  He forthrightly yet respectfully stated his reasons for resigning.  He also wanted to cooperate with his successor for a smooth transition.  Now Pres. Trump has sabotaged the transition, not from concern over policy differences, but concern for his own ego.

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