Trump Praises Acting Defense Chief, Says Shanahan Might Stay On


Mr Trump and Mr Erdogan spoke by phone on Sunday and "agreed to ensure coordination between their countries' military, diplomatic and other officials to avoid a power vacuum which could result following any abuse of the withdrawal and transition phase in Syria", the Turkish presidency said in a statement.

Instead, Shanahan will immediately take the reins and Shanahan "could be there for a long time" in the acting defense secretary position, Trump said, according to Reuters, during his surprise visit to Iraq yesterday. Yet, a quality frequently overlooked is a compassionate side to nicknamed Secretary of Defense, "Mad Dog Mattis".

Tom Mattis said the language of the resignation letter does not surprise him: "Jim will always give his best advice and speak truth to power - regardless of the consequences".

Mattis announced his resignation after Trump ordered the withdrawal of US forces from Syria against the advice of the retired Marine general.

Aides said the President was relatively relaxed in the aftermath and seemed fine with Mattis' decision to depart.

The stream of praise that followed from Democrats and Republicans alike irked Trump.

A source close to the White House told CNN's Jim Acosta on Friday that Trump was angry about Mattis' resignation letter.

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Defense Secretary Jim Mattis will leave his position on January 1, President Donald Trump announced this week in a tweet.

Trump has not yet named a replacement, but says he will do so "shortly".

Shanahan, 56, is a native of Washington State who holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Washington and two graduate degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Shanahan's portfolio at the Department of Defense has been narrow; he has nearly exclusively handled budget issues, internal reform and the Space Force.

Call him "Mr. Fix-it": Shanahan is a long-time Boeing executive, working for the defense contractor for more than 30 years before moving over to the Defense Department.

South Carolina GOP Sen.

"I think I speak for millions of Americans in thanking Secretary Mattis for a lifetime of exceptional and dedicated service to our nation".