Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis had planned to stay on until the end of February to give time for a replacement to be nominated and confirmed.
Washington — Irritated with the criticism and fallout from Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’ resignation, President Donald Trump on Sunday pushed the Pentagon chief out the door two months earlier than planned, an acrimonious end to a tense relationship that had been eroding in recent months.
In a series of tweets, Trump appeared to question why he had put Mattis in his Cabinet in the first place, and said deputy defense secretary Patrick Shanahan will take over as acting secretary on Jan. 1 to cover the accelerated departure.
UPDATE: Tennessee’s Sen. Frank Niceley is unperturbed:
ANOTHER UPDATE: From the comments: “Reminder: 151 House Dems voted against the waiver that was required to make Mattis the SECDEF in the first place. Now Dems pretend the military can’t run without him.”