Pentagon chief Mattis quits, citing policy differences with Trump
PHIL STEWART AND STEVE HOLLAND
Dec 20th 2018
Mattis, along with other national security aides, was said to have opposed Trump's decision to remove U.S. troops from Syria. Many U.S. lawmakers have expressed concern about the decision and asked Trump to reconsider.
WASHINGTON, Dec 20 (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, a stabilizing force in President Donald Trump's Cabinet, abruptly announced his resignation on Thursday and said Trump should pick a successor whose views align more with his own.
Mattis' resigned a day after Trump announced that U.S. troops in Syria would be withdrawn, a decision that upended American policy in the region, and on the same day that officials said the president was considering a substantial U.S. pullout from the long-running conflict in Afghanistan.
"Because you have a right to 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 in his resignation letter, released by the Pentagon.
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