Trump trashes Mattis after exit: 'What's he done for me?'

Trump trashes Mattis after exit: 'What's he done for me?'

Trump trashes Mattis after exit: 'What's he done for me?'

Mattis said he would stay until the end of February, but on December 23 Trump announced that Shanahan would take over January 1, speeding up Mattis' departure.

It said Republican senators Tom Cotton and Lindsey Graham and former Republican Senator Jim Talent had also been mentioned as possible replacements for Mattis.

China's Foreign Ministry spokesman, Lu Kang tried to smooth over relations at a press conference Thursday, in response to Shanahan reportedly making efforts to counter Beijing as his top priority. The 2018 National Defense Strategy, which Shanahan helped develop, branded China as a strategic competitor.

Shanahan, who took the top spot January 1 after Jim Mattis resigned amid disagreements with President Donald Trump, must oversee the pace at which the USA pulls 2,200 or so troops out of Syria, following the president's decision last month to exit the war-torn country.

Currently, Patrick Shanahan, a former Boeing executive has been overlooking operations at the Pentagon as the acting US Secretary of Defence. The two have worked closely on the fiscal 2020 budget submission, which Shanahan has repeatedly pledged will be a "masterpiece" that puts the National Defense Strategy into motion.

The remarks put Shanahan in a hard position from the start of what could be a long tenure at the Pentagon, where many staff were loyal to Mattis.

The formal handover of control took place in a conference call between Mr. Mattis and Mr. Shanahan at 11:59 p.m. Monday and was required because the secretary position is second in the chain of command after the president, and thus it was important to make clear who is in charge of American military forces.

The Trump administration has had a troubled relationship with China.

"We all hear about how our competitiveness has eroded", Shanahan said. It's unclear whether Trump will nominate Shanahan as Mattis' successor or will chose someone else. In December, Trump announced that the United States military would begin its withdrawal from Syria. This included naming David Norquist, the Pentagon's comptroller, to perform deputy defence secretary duties provisionally as well as retaining his current title.

Shanahan, best known for his focus on internal Pentagon reform and his private-sector experience, had spent three decades at Boeing and was general manager for the 787 Dreamliner passenger jet before he joined the Pentagon. During his Senate confirmation hearing in June 2017, Shanahan drew the ire of Sen.

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