Trump won't wait till February, will push Mattis out 2 months before time
Washington, Dec 24: US President Donald Trump apparently does not want Jim Mattis, who resigned as the US Defence Secretary on Thursday (Dec 20), to continue till February and may replace him two months earlier than expected, said reports.
Trump is reportedly angry at Mattis' resignation letter in which the latter has stated that there's a growing divide between them. Mattis also rebuked Trump's foreign policy and said the President should have a defense secretary more aligned with his views.
A Reuters report while quoting a senior White House official said that Trump was irked by the attention given to Mattis' resignation letter.
In his resignation letter sent on Thursday, Mattis told Trump it was the "right time" for him to step down because the US president deserved a defence secretary "whose views are better aligned with yours on these and other subjects."
"The end date for my tenure is February 28, 2019, a date that should allow sufficient time for a successor to be nominated and confirmed as well as to make sure the Department's interests are properly articulated and protected at upcoming events to include Congressional posture hearings and the NATO Defense Ministerial meeting in February," he said in the resignation letter.
Mattis' decision came a day after Trump ordered American troops to rapidly withdraw from war-torn Syria in an abrupt decision that was criticised by many as premature.
Trump said that Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan would take over for Mattis on an acting basis on January 1. In a tweet, Trump called the former Boeing Co executive "very talented."
Mattis and Trump reportedly have had differences on several foreign policy matters, including Syria and Afghanistan.
Mattis is the latest in long list of senior Trump administration officials to leave or be removed. In March, Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in a Twitter announcement.
OneIndia News with PTI inputs