Mattis Shares Christmas Message Taped One Day Before Resignation

Mattis Shares Christmas Message Taped One Day Before Resignation

Mattis Shares Christmas Message Taped One Day Before Resignation

"If anybody but your favorite President, Donald J. Trump, announced that, after decimating ISIS in Syria, we were going to bring our troops back home (happy & healthy), that person would be the most popular hero in America", he continued in a follow-up tweet.

It was unclear whether Trump immediately read the letter, but after days of coverage praising the Marine general for rebuking the president's defense and foreign policies, a piqued Trump announced that Mattis would leave the Pentagon on January 1, two months earlier than planned. Although Mattis planned to step down at the end of February, the president announced Sunday that Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan would be taking over the top spot starting on the first of the year.

On Christmas Eve, Mattis sent an official memo to all American service members - possibly his last official memo as secretary of defense.

But Tom Mattis said his brother is not ready to fade into retirement.

Dunford, speaking to US troops during a holiday visit Monday, had a almost identical message.

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"We in the USA military are privileged to defend America, especially at this time of year, for we ensure we ensure our fellow Americans celebrate this season of hope in peace and safety", Mattis said in a video Monday.

"Since Washington crossed the DE at Christmas 1776, American troops have missed holidays at home to defend our experiment and democracy. In this world awash with change, you hold the line".

"Storm clouds loom, yet because of you, your fellow citizens live safe at home", Mattis continued. "Most don't know your names but all are confident their freedoms and families will be kept safe".

In his letter of resignation, whose news coverage angered Trump and was the factor in pushing him out two months early, James Mattis wrote he "views on treating allies with respect and also being clear-eyed about both malign actors and strategic competitors are strongly held and informed by over four decades of immersion in these issues". Speculation on his meaning may reverberate.

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