Jim Mattis will be retiring at the end of next February
21 December, 2018, 02:30
President Donald Trump was harshly criticized for his Twitter announcement of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis retiring from the Pentagon on MSNBC's "Meet the Press Daily" on Thursday.
"As if the day didn't get weirder or nuttier, the president just tweeted that Jim Mattis - Secretary of Defense - is retiring". "I greatly thank Jim for his service", Trump said over two tweets.
In a letter released by the Defense Department, Mattis expressed his support for the 74-country coalition allied to defeat the Islamic State and the U.S.' leadership role in the world. Last week was the news that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and Chief of Staff John Kelly were out.
According to the Washington Post, Mattis was among those with whom Trump met before making up his mind about the troop withdrawal. The Defeat-ISIS coalition of 74 nations is further proof.
"I believe we must be resolute and unambiguous in our approach to those countries whose strategy interests are increasingly in tension with ours", he added. "We must do everything possible to advance an global order that is most conducive to our security, prosperity and values, and we are strengthened in this effort by the solidarity of our alliances".
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He becomes the latest in a long list of high ranking Trump administration figures who have either quit or been fired.
The news of Mattis' departure follows Trump's Wednesday decision to withdraw all U.S. forces from Syria starting immediately.
"A new Secretary of Defense will be named shortly", he concluded.
The Post notes that Mattis had been repeatedly overruled by Trump in recent months as he apparently lost influence with the president. Furthermore, there are now reports that the president is actively considering withdrawing as many as 3,000 of the 14,000 troops in Afghanistan.
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