Earlier this week, Kemberlee blogged that Mattis was resigning at the end of February.  You can read his resignation letter here.

The timeline has been changed by President Trump, however, and now Mattis will be leaving his position as Defense Secretary as of January 1, 2019.  The current Deputy Secretary of Defense, Patrick Shanahan, will become Acting Secretary on January 1st.

Fox News reports:

President Trump announced Sunday that Defense Secretary James Mattis will be leaving the administration on January 1, weeks earlier than planned and just days after Mattis’ bombshell resignation letter made clear his policy disagreements with the White House.

“I am pleased to announce that our very talented Deputy Secretary of Defense, Patrick Shanahan, will assume the title of Acting Secretary of Defense starting January 1, 2019,” Trump wrote on Twitter Sunday morning. “Patrick has a long list of accomplishments while serving as Deputy, & previously Boeing. He will be great!”

Here is the president’s tweet:

In another tweet, President Trump made an interesting observation revealing his take on the policy differences between himself and Mattis.

Fox News continues:

It was not immediately clear why Mattis’ departure date was apparently moved up, but tension in the Defense Department and Washington generally has skyrocketed in the days since he suddenly announced his resignation. Shanahan is a former Boeing executive who joined the Pentagon in 2017.

Sources told Fox News this week that Mattis had quit “in protest” over the president’s national security policies and that more resignations could be coming. (In 2013, then-President Obama removed Mattis from his post running U.S. military’s Central Command, reportedly without calling to notify him of the decision.)

U.S. officials said this week that the Trump administration is making plans to pull all 2,000 troops out of Syria, and Trump later tweeted that “we have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency.”

Trump has stood by his Syria decision despite fierce blowback, telling detractors that the pullout should come as “no surprise” given his 2016 campaign promises and arguing that America’s role as “Policeman of the Middle East” is not worth the sacrifice.

Shanahan is a native of Washington state and has enjoyed a long career at Boeing before joining the Department of Defense.

Business Insider accumulated reports on Shanahan’s background and career:

During his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Shanahan said that his father had also instilled a creed of “service before self” in him and his younger brothers as they grew up.
Source: Senate Armed Services Committee

. . . . As deputy defense secretary, Shanahan kept a picture of his father hanging on the wall of his office, just over his father’s Bronze Star.
Source: The Department of Defense

. . . . In 1986, he embarked on a decades-long career at Boeing.
Source: US Department of Defense

There, he led projects like Boeing Missile Defense Systems and Boeing Rotorcraft System.
Susan Walsh/AP Images
Source: US Department of Defense

Over the years, he acquired a reputation as a sort of “Mr. Fix-It” within the company.
Source: The New York Times, Seattle Times, The Los Angeles Times

According to The New York Times, Shanahan was widely credited with saving the company’s troubled 787 Dreamliner project in 2007.
Source: The New York Times

He rose to the rank of Boeing’s senior vice president of supply chain and operations.
Source: US Department of Defense

His political donations appear to have been fairly even-handed between the two major parties. Between 1990 and 2016, Shanahan donated $6,250 to Republican and conservative causes and politicians, and $5,000 to Democratic and liberal causes and politicians.
Source: Center for Responsive Politics

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, he donated nothing to Trump, Trump’s campaign committee, and other Trump allies.
Source: Center for Responsive Politics

. . . . During the proceedings, the late Senate Armed Services Committee chairman John McCain accused Shanahan of dodging questions about supporting Ukraine in their conflict with Russia.
REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

McCain took issue with Shanahan’s lukewarm response to arming Ukraine.
Source: CNN, C-Span

But the Senate ultimately confirmed Shanahan in a 92-7 vote on July 18, 2017.
J. Scott Applewhite/AP Images
Source: CNN

Shanahan’s most recent tweet from his Deputy Secretary of Defense account:


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