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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