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Trump Tweets That He Gave Mattis a 'Second Chance'

President gives his reaction to the resignation
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 23, 2018 5:37 AM CST
President Donald Trump, second from left, is joined by, from left, West Point Superintendent Lt. Gen. Darryl A. Williams, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Naval Academy Superintendent Vice Adm. Ted Carter,...   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

(Newser) – Outgoing Defense Secretary Jim Mattis got a "second chance" from President Trump, or so the president wrote on Twitter Saturday night. Trump didn't mean he himself doled out two chances but rather that he gave that second one after "President Obama ingloriously fired" Mattis. That happened in 2013, when Mattis was relieved of his position as head of US Central Command, largely over his hawkish views on Iran. "I gave him a second chance," Trump continued.

"Some thought I shouldn’t, I thought I should. Interesting relationship-but I also gave all of the resources that he never really had. Allies are very important-but not when they take advantage of US." Politico sees that last sentence as a dig at the substance of Mattis' resignation letter. As for that letter, the New York Times previously reported Mattis had 50 copies of it distributed around the Pentagon after he was unable to convince Trump to change his mind on Syria. (Here are some takes on the impact of Mattis' resignation.)

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