Trump Is Forcing Mattis Out Two Months Earlier Than Planned

The president reportedly did not understand Mattis’ resignation letter to be sharply critical of his administration.

Susan Walsh/AP

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Defense Secretary Jim Mattis will be leaving the Trump administration by January 1, President Donald Trump tweeted Sunday morning. His departure from the White House will come more than two months earlier than planned, likely due to the president’s fury over the defense secretary’s resignation letter, which was widely seen as a sharp criticism of the administration’s “America First” foreign policy agenda.

An aide who spoke to the New York Times said Trump initially praised Mattis when he tweeted that the secretary of defense would be resigning because he did not understand Mattis’ resignation letter to be a strongly-worded rebuke of the president’s approach to foreign affairs. As the news coverage of Mattis’ departure grew more negative, Trump reportedly became “increasingly angry” and floated the idea of forcing him out to his aides.

Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan, a former Boeing executive, will take his place as acting secretary of defense.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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