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Trump Says Defense Secretary James Mattis is Retiring

President Donald Trump said that Defense Secretary James Mattis will be retiring at the end of February, in shock announcement made Thursday.

“General Jim Mattis will be retiring, with distinction, at the end of February, after having served my Administration as Secretary of Defense for the past two years,” Trump wrote on Twitter of the four-star Marine general.

He added that a new defense secretary will be named shortly.

“During Jim’s tenure, tremendous progress has been made, especially with respect to the purchase of new fighting…equipment,” he continued. “General Mattis was a great help to me in getting allies and other countries to pay their share of military obligations. A new Secretary of Defense will be named shortly. I greatly thank Jim for his service!”

The departure of Mattis — who Trump derisively called a “Democrat” in October — comes a day after the Trump administration said it would be withdrawing troops from Syria.

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[Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images]

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