Trump says US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has ‘retired’

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US President Donald Trump announced on Friday that US Defense Secretary James Mattis will be retiring at the end of February.

Trump confirmed that he would soon name Mattis’s successor, expressing his thanks and appreciation to the former defense secretary.

“General Mattis was a great help to me in getting allies and other countries to pay their share of military obligations. A new Secretary of Defense will be named shortly. I greatly thank Jim for his service!” Trump wrote on Twitter.

In his resignation letter, James Mattis stated that he had stepped down so that Trump could appoint a defense secretary that was more in line with his policies.

“Because you have the right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours on these and other issues, I believe it is right for me to step down from my position,” Mattis wrote.

Mattis had previously dismissed rumors suggesting his departure early September.

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