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Trump Makes Announcement About General Jim Mattis’ Future With Administration

President Donald Trump announced on Thursday that General Jim Mattis will retire from his role as Secretary of Defense in February after serving two years in the administration.

“General Jim Mattis will be retiring, with distinction, at the end of February, after having served my Administration as Secretary of Defense for the past two years,” Trump tweeted. “During Jim’s tenure, tremendous progress has been made, especially with respect to the purchase of new fighting equipment.”

“General Mattis was a great help to me in getting allies and other countries to pay their share of military obligations,” Trump continued. “A new Secretary of Defense will be named shortly. I greatly thank Jim for his service!”

“Because you have the right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours on these and other subjects, I believe it is right for me to step down from my position,” Mattis said his a resignation letter. The New York Times reports:

Officials said Mr. Mattis went to the White House on Thursday afternoon in a last attempt to convince Mr. Trump to keep American troops in Syria. He was rebuffed, and told the president that he was resigning as a result.

“One core belief I have always held is that our strength as a nation is inextricably linked to the strength of our unique and comprehensive system of alliances and partnerships,” Mattis added.

The Washington Post reported on Wednesday that “Trump’s decision to abruptly withdraw troops from Syria is a clear rebuke to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, the last remaining member of a retinue of military men Trump once fondly called ‘my generals.'”

The Post notes that Mattis had been repeatedly overruled by Trump in recent months as he apparently lost influence with the president.

“Mattis had argued that the counterterrorism mission in Syria is not over and that the small U.S. presence in Syria should remain, said current and former U.S. officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to share internal policy discussions,” the Post added. “The Pentagon chief also had tried to explain to Trump that there would be more chaos in the region and future problems for the United States if the troops leave, they said.”

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