US defence secretary Jim Mattis has resigned after clashing with President Donald Trump over the abrupt withdrawal of US troops from Syria and two years of deep disagreements over America’s role in the world.
Mr Mattis, perhaps the most respected foreign policy official in Mr Trump’s administration, will leave by the end of February after two tumultuous years struggling to soften and moderate the president’s hardline and sometimes sharply changing policies.
He told Mr Trump in a letter that he was leaving because ‘you have a right to have a secretary of defence whose views are better aligned with yours’.
Mr Mattis went to the White House with his resignation letter in hand to meet with the president and spoke to Mr Trump for about 45 minutes, according to officials.
There was no confrontation between the two men, the official said, and there was no one issue which caused the resignation. However, the official said Syria had likely been the last straw for Mr Mattis. Read more