"We are substantially subsidizing the Militaries of many VERY rich countries all over the world, while at the same time these countries take total advantage of the USA, and our TAXPAYERS, on Trade", Trump tweeted on Monday, one day after he announced Shanahan's appointment. Trump said he had never seen anything like it and that he was more concerned with the safety of those with him than he was for himself, according to the Associated Press.
He will lead plans for United States troops to leave Syria along with a drastic drawdown in Afghanistan, both of which critics worry will leave war-torn regions at risk of continued bloodshed. For example, when Chuck Hagel was told to resign in November 2014, he stayed in office until Ash Carter was confirmed the following February. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, said it was "a sign of American weakness".
"He was very calm about the whole thing", Tom Mattis said in an interview with The Seattle Times.
Trump told aides that he especially resented the narrative of Mattis as a manager of Trump who served as a human guardrail against the president's impulses, the official said.
Tom Mattis, who lives in their hometown of Richland in Washington state, said James Mattis was not angry about the fiasco, which was prompted by Trump's decision to completely withdraw all US forces from Syria.
A number of names have been floated in recent months, as rumors of Mattis' impending departure have been circulating since well before Trump referred to him as "sort of a democrat" in a recent interview.More news: Solskjaer brightens Man United skies but gloom may quickly return
Speaking at the Al Asad Air Base west of Baghdad, where he and first lady Melania Trump spent a few hours on the ground with USA troops, Trump said American military personnel will remain in Iraq, adding, "In fact, we could use this as the base if we wanted to do something in Syria".
"Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who usually loathes to criticize the president publicly, for example, issued a tough statement that said in part, '" It's essential that the United States maintain and strengthen the post-World War II alliances that have been carefully built by leaders in both parties.
Outgoing Defense Secretary James Mattis sent what is likely his final message to the troops stationed around the world.
French President Emmanuel Macron said on Sunday he deeply regretted Trump's decision to withdraw US troops from Syria.
"I think a lot of people are going to come around to my way of thinking". You're seeing the end result now of two years' worth of work.
Just after tweeting the announcement about Shanahan, Trump said he had had "a long and productive call" with Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. "While, Mattis believes that U.S. military operations in Syria and Afghanistan are aimed at fighting terrorism, which is of great significance to USA national security".