Published: Wed, January 02, 2019
Global Media | By Garry Long

Mattis' final words from Pentagon: 'Hold fast' with allies

Mattis' final words from Pentagon: 'Hold fast' with allies

"You have the right to have a secretary of defense whose views are better aligned with yours", Mattis wrote in his resignation letter. 'Let nothing which is transpiring, change, hinder, or delay your Military movements, or plans, ' Lincoln Wrote grant, in a message that was transmitted in a cipher on February 1, 1865.

"It is with a heavy heart that I have submitted my letter of resignation to Secretary Mattis", White said in a farewell message shared with Pentagon public affairs personnel, according to CNN.

President Trump moved up Mattis' departure to January 1 after his slashing resignation letter was revealed. Mattis also disagreed with Trump's withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal.

Retired Gen. David Petraeus, the former Central Intelligence Agency director and commander of USA forces in Afghanistan, poured cold water on Monday on rumors he would come out of retirement to become President Trump's new Secretary of Defense. "I DO, and it is being fixed!"

Pentagon chief spokeswoman Dana White stepped down from her role on Monday amid recent allegations of misconduct and reports that she made multiple staffers act as her personal errand runners. Shanahan, a former Boeing executive, will be acting defense secretary until someone is nominated for the post. In another ceremony at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Obama said he asked Panetta to be his defense secretary several times and believed the defense secretary helped protect the American dream.

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Outgoing U.S. Defence Secretary James Mattis urged his employees to avoid distraction in a farewell memo Monday, adding that the department "remains in the best possible hands".

A defense official said the call is meant "to ensure all members within the government know who is in command" and is "a courtesy and a mark of respect for the incoming Secretary of Defense".

The Defense Department confirmed Tuesday that White had resigned and will be replaced by Charles E. Summers, Jr., the "acting" assistant to the defense secretary.

Shanahan, who has been the Pentagon's No. 2 official since July 19, 2017, had worked for Boeing since 1986. In that time, he has managed many day-to-day operations in the Pentagon and occasionally filled in for Mattis in meetings with allies.

When he announced Mattis as his choice to lead the Pentagon shortly after his November 2016 election victory, Trump referred to him by his nickname, "Mad Dog", suggesting he valued an unpredictable, intimidating approach to defense policy.

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