You’re Hired! You’re Fired! Yes, the Turnover at the Top of the Trump Administration Is … “Unprecedented.”
Since President Trump’s inauguration, White House staffers and cabinet officials have left in firings and resignations, one after the other.
The latest top administration official to resign over differences with Trump is Jim Mattis, the four-star Marine general turned defense secretary.
In a blistering letter addressed to Trump, Mattis resigned on Thursday in protest of President Trump’s decision to withdraw 2,000 American troops from Syria, where they have been fighting the Islamic State.
Mattis said that “because you have a right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours” on a number of subjects, “I believe it is right for me to step down from my position.”
In his letter, Mattis cited the importance of US alliances, particularly NATO, and said the US must stand ‘resolute and unambiguous’ in the face of authoritarian countries such as China and Russia.
Trump announced the resignation in two tweets Thursday evening, and said Mattis will leave at the end of February.
Officials said Mattis went to the White House on Thursday afternoon in a last attempt to convince Trump to keep American troops in Syria. He was rebuffed and told the president that he was resigning as a result.
Hours later, the Pentagon released Mattis’s resignation letter, in which he implicitly criticized his commander in chief. Mattis said in the letter that he believes that the president deserves a defense secretary who is more in tune with his worldview.
“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 wrote.
“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,” he wrote.
Read Mr. Mattis’s resignation letter below:
Mattis’ resignation comes on the heels of Trump’s controversial plan to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria.
That announcement on Wednesday will reportedly take more than 2,000 U.S. servicemembers out of the country, ending the ground strategy against the Islamic State. Trump said in a tweet Wednesday morning that “we have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency.”