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Trump forces out Mattis on Jan. 1, two months earlier than expected

shanahan
US President Donald Trump and deputy defense secretary Patrick Shanahan
US President Donald Trump on Sunday said he was replacing Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Jan. 1 with deputy defense secretary Patrick Shanahan in an acting capacity after Mattis resigned over policy differences and offered to stay in his post for two more months.

Trump was irked by the attention given to Mattis' resignation letter, which implicitly criticized Trump's foreign policies and his treatment of military allies after the president's decision to pull troops out of Syria, Reuters reported citing a source familiar with the situation.

Trump announced Shanahan's appointment in a tweet, calling the former Boeing Co executive "very talented".

In a shock announcement on Wednesday, Trump said he was withdrawing US troops from Syria, a decision that upended American policy in the region.
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