Defense Secretary James Mattis quit after making one final effort to convince President Donald Trump to reverse the decision to withdraw American troops from Syria, The New York Times is reporting.
According to the newspaper, Mattis went to the White House on Thursday, with his resignation letter already written, hoping to get Trump to change his mind. But he failed to do so.
The Daily Mail said the two men argued over the planned American withdrawal from Syria. When Mattis realized Trump was not going to change his position, the secretary handed him the letter of resignation.
Mattis returned to the Pentagon and instructed aides to distribute 50 copies of his resignation letter around the building, the Times noted.
And the Daily Mail said reporters received the letter at the same time senior general did. It came just minutes after Trump had announced on Twitter that Mattis was stepping down.
In his letter to Trump, Mattis wrote: “We must do everything possible to advance an international order that is most conducive to our security, prosperity and values, and we are strengthened in this effort by the solidarity of our alliances.
“Because you have the right to a secretary of defense whose views are better aligned with yours on these and other subjects, I believe it is right for me to step down from my position.”
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