Politics

Mattis Retires From Trump Administration

(Photo by Olivier Douliery - Pool/Getty Images)

Saagar Enjeti White House Correspondent

Secretary of Defense James Mattis will retire at the end of February after two years in the job, President Donald Trump revealed on Twitter Thursday evening.

“Because you have the right to have a secretary of defense whose views better align with yours….I believe it is right for me to step down from my position,” Mattis wrote in his resignation letter to Trump. Mattis outlined his view that “a nation is inextricably linked to the strength of our unique and comprehensive system of alliances and partnerships.”

“We must do everything possible to advance an international order that is most conducive to our security, prosperity, values, and we are strengthened in this effort by the solidarity of our alliances,” he continued. (RELATED: Here’s How Mattis Will Implement Trump’s Transgender Troop Ban For Now)

Mattis was one of the first cabinet secretaries announced by Trump during the presidential transition in 2016, cherishing his wartime nickname of “Mad Dog.” Mattis has served as a quiet and effective advocate of the president’s agenda at the Pentagon since taking its helm two years ago.

U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis waits to welcome Chinese Minister of National Defense Gen. Wei Fenghe to the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., November 9, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripa

U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis waits to welcome Chinese Minister of National Defense Gen. Wei Fenghe to the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., November 9, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripa

The defense secretary frequently stayed out of the limelight during his tenure, preferring to save any advice or criticism for the president in private. Mattis at times disagreed with Trump’s foreign policy instincts and fought to have the U.S. remain engaged in foreign conflicts like Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria.

Trump’s decision to announce Mattis’s retirement comes as he has decided to withdraw all U.S. forces from Syria in the next 30 days. Mattis is said to have advised Trump against the decision.

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