Yet another member of the Trump administration has quit, with the president announcing on December 20 that Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis will retire at the end of February 2019. We have more details here.
“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,” President Donald Trump tweeted on December 20. “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. A new Secretary of Defense will be named shortly. I greatly thank Jim for his service!”
Mattis’ resignation letter was made public shortly after Trump’s surprise announcement. His departure comes one day after Trump announced that the United States would be withdrawing 2000 troops from Syria, over the objections of senior military officials, and while the letter doesn’t name Syria specifically, it’s clear that he’s leaving the administration over the decision. It reads, in part, “My views on treating allies with respect and also being clear-eyed about both malign actors and strategic competitors are strongly held and informed by over four decades of immersion on these issues… 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.”
Trump and Mattis have butted heads lately, with the president calling the secretary a “Democrat” in October during an interview with 60 Minutes, during which he also predicted Mattis’ departure. “General Mattis is a good guy,” he said. “We get along very well. He may leave. I mean, at some point, everybody leaves. Everybody. People leave. That’s Washington.” It was reported in September that Mattis and former Chief of Staff John Kelly, who also just quit, mocked the president behind his back. They allegedly called him an idiot and said that DC was a “crazytown.”
Letter from Secretary Mattis in the wake of Trump’s announcement of his retiring pic.twitter.com/DggVTPox1c
— Amanda Macias (@amanda_m_macias) December 20, 2018
Obviously, Twitter is losing it over the umpteenth member of the Trump administration splitting. “Seems Mad dog Mattis is`nt mad enough to take the Donald on. retireing [sic] in Feb 19 You see Trump, god bless him, is really Mad. they don’t lose fights. so all you snowflakes out there be more deserning [sic] before you start a fight, you might pick on the wrong madman?” Another critic joked, “Uhhmmm… really? Mattis resignation letter, I’ll break it down for you. Trump you are an a**hole.” And another chimed in with a very good point: “Oh, my, and now I’ve read the Mattis letter. Trump didn’t understand what he read when he first saw it, that’s why his tweet is coherent and sane. Once Fox News explains to him that Mattis called him a traitorous twatwaffle he’s really gonna hit the roof.”