Lt. Gen. James Mattis

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Man Who Cracked Primary Colors Thinks He Knows 'Anonymous'

Kusnet believes author is Mattis speechwriter

(Newser) - David Kusnet, the former Bill Clinton speechwriter who deduced that Joe Klein wrote Primary Colors, believes he has figured out the identity of another anonymous author. Kusnet writes in the New Republic that he strongly suspects, based on a "close reading of the text," that the author of... More »

After Reported Insult From Trump, Mattis Pushes Back

'I'm the Meryl Streep of generals,' he joked at Alfred E. Smith dinner

(Newser) - In an interview published in August, James Mattis promised that his silence on all things Trump wouldn't be "eternal." CNN reports that on Thursday evening, the former defense secretary lifted the veil just a bit, making joke s about the president at the annual Alfred E. Smith... More »

Only 150 Troops Involved, but Stakes Are Much Bigger

Trump defends a Syrian withdrawal, while critics warn of the dangers

(Newser) - The US isn't withdrawing all of its troops from Syria, but it is withdrawing the 150 or so soldiers stationed at two posts near the Syrian border with Turkey. However, the small numbers involved belie the major foreign policy implications at stake. The move will allow Turkey to stage... More »

Ex-Defense Chief: 'I Had No Choice but to Leave'

James Mattis says his silence will not be 'eternal'

(Newser) - In an interview with the Atlantic , former defense chief James Mattis makes clear he is not ready to start bad-mouthing President Trump or his policies. But he also suggested that may change. “There is a period in which I owe my silence," he tells Jeffrey Goldberg. "It’... More »

Mattis: There's a Marine Saying That America Should Follow

'When you're going to a gunfight, bring all your friends with guns'

(Newser) - In an excerpt from his upcoming book that appears in the Wall Street Journal , former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis shares the two times then-president-elect Donald Trump surprised him: First in requesting he come to New Jersey to discuss the position at all (he had never met Trump and knew Congress... More »

Days After Mattis Leaves, Another Resignation at the Pentagon

'Time to return to private sector:' Rear Adm. Kevin Sweeney is out as chief of staff

(Newser) - Just days after Jim Mattis' last day as Defense secretary, another member of the Pentagon's top brass has abruptly stepped down, reports CNN . Defense Department chief of staff Kevin Sweeney, a retired rear admiral who has served in his current role since January 2017, is stepping down. "I'... More »

In Mattis' Farewell Message to Staff, an 1865 Quotation

He urges defense employees to stay focused on their mission

(Newser) - Outgoing Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is quoting President Abraham Lincoln in a farewell message to defense employees, urging them to stay focused on their mission. Mattis quoted from a letter Lincoln wrote in 1865 to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant. It said: "Let nothing which is transpiring, change, hinder, or... More »

Trump Takes Parting Shot at Mattis

Says outgoing defense chief doesn't see that other nations 'take total advantage' of US

(Newser) - President Trump is showing defense chief James Mattis to the door on Jan. 1, earlier than expected , and on Monday the president got in a parting shot. The US, wrote Trump, is subsidizing the militaries of rich nations who are taking "total advantage" of America in the process, reports... More »

Mattis Not Leaving in February

The defense secretary is leaving Jan. 1, Trump says

(Newser) - President Trump announced on Sunday that Defense Secretary Jim Mattis will now leave his post on Jan. 1, tweeting that deputy Pentagon chief Patrick Shanahan will take over as acting secretary to cover the accelerated departure, the AP reports. The move comes just three days after Mattis resigned in protest... More »

Trump Tweets That He Gave Mattis a 'Second Chance'

President gives his reaction to the resignation

(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... More »

Why Mattis' Resignation 'Puts Trump's Presidency in Peril'

Pundits weigh in

(Newser) - Defense Secretary Jim Mattis will step down from his post by the end of February, and his resignation letter made clear that his lack of alignment with President Trump drove the decision. Here's how the news is being received by pundits:
  • Fred Kaplan, Slate : Kaplan takes issue with Trump'
... More »

Report: Trump Plans to Pull Troops From Afghanistan

Sources say this played a big role in Mattis resignation

(Newser) - President Trump's Syria decision wasn't the only reason behind the abrupt resignation of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, insiders say. The New York Times reports that defense officials say Trump has ordered the military to begin pulling 7,000 troops from Afghanistan, about half the current US forces there.... More »

Mattis Stepping Down as Defense Secretary

Resignation letter implies criticism of Trump's Syria decision

(Newser) - Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is stepping down from his post, President Trump announced Thursday, after the retired Marine general clashed with the president over a troop drawdown in Syria and Trump's go-it-alone stance in world affairs. Mattis, perhaps the most respected foreign policy official in Trump's administration, will... More »

Trump's Old Chief of Staff Plans to Join the Military

Reince Priebus submits his application

(Newser) - Reince Priebus is trying to join the US Navy. The former White House chief of staff—who resigned the post after six months —has a letter of recommendation from Defense Secretary James Mattis to help him become a reserve officer, the Washington Post reports. "Reince's experience, education,... More »

Pentagon Plans to Send Hundreds of Troops to Border

Defense chief Mattis expected to sign order as migrants approach

(Newser) - President Trump on Thursday again declared the situation at the US-Mexico border a "national emergency" and promised to get the military involved. Now it appears the Pentagon is preparing to do just that. Defense chief James Mattis is expected to sign an order authorizing at least 800 troops to... More »

Trump Fires Back at 'Discredited' Woodward

He accuses journalist of being 'Dem operative'

(Newser) - Bob Woodward might be feeling a sense of deja vu today: An angry Republican president is attacking his credibility and accusing him of being a Democratic operative. President Trump laid into Woodward in a series of tweets Tuesday night after the publication of explosive details from Fear , Woodward's new... More »

Mattis: Risk of North Korean Nuclear Attack Accelerating

Pentagon chief accuses North Korea of 'outlaw' behavior

(Newser) - The threat of nuclear missile attack by North Korea is accelerating, US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Saturday, accusing the North of illegal and unnecessary missile and nuclear programs and pledging to repel any strike, the AP reports. In remarks in Seoul with South Korean Defense Minister Song Young-moo at... More »

McCain May Turn to Subpoena to Get Info on Niger Ambush

Meanwhile, the Pentagon has sent team to Niger to investigate deadly attack

(Newser) - The Pentagon has dispatched a team to Niger to figure out exactly what happened in an attack two weeks ago that left four US soldiers dead and two others injured, the New York Daily News reports. Despite the deadly attack happening Oct. 4, officials tell NBC News they still have... More »

Trump 'Calm Before the Storm' Remark Causes Confusion

What does he mean? 'You'll find out'

(Newser) - President Trump made an ominous remark after meeting with his top military commanders—and declined to explain what he was talking about. "You guys know what this represents?" Trump told reporters as he posed for a photo with First Lady Melania Trump, military officials, and their spouses before a... More »

Mattis Contradicts Trump on Iran in Senate Hearing

Says sticking with deal is in America's interest

(Newser) - The deal with Iran that President Trump calls a "disaster" serves the interests of American national security and is "something that the president should consider staying with," Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says. Mattis contradicted Trump's position on the deal to restrict Iran's nuclear program after... More »

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