Trump to Oust Mattis Two Months Early

Deputy Patrick Shanahan to take interim role

Just days after Defense Secretary James Mattis announced his planned resignation at the end of February, President Trump tweeted on Sunday that he will be ousting Mattis at the end of the month, two months earlier than planned.

Trump bragged of having given Mattis a “second chance” after he was fired by President Obama, and announced that Patrick Shanahan will be taking the role of acting Defense Secretary until a permanent replacement is found.

Trump praised Shanahan, the current deputy defense secretary, as “very talented.” Shanahan spent most of his career working for Boeing, and this is the first administration he has served under. There is no indication he is under consideration as a permanent replacement for Mattis.

Trump’s decision to speed up Mattis’ departure is believed to have been the result of criticism of Trump’s policy in the letter that went public after the resignation. Trump added in his announcement that he also supports alliances, but not when they take advantage of the US.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.