Mattis On Leaving The Pentagon: 'I'm Thinking About Retiring Right Here'

Bullet Points
U.S. Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis reacts while speaking with British Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, after the Sept. 11 Pentagon Memorial Observance Ceremony at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., Sept. 11, 2018
DoD photo/U.S. Army Sgt. James K. McCann

With his typical swagger, Defense Secretary James Mattis has swatted down speculation that his time at the Pentagon is nearing its end.


  • Mattis faced a barrage of questions from reporters on Tuesday about a slew of recent media reports that he is on the way out.  “Those have been pretty good ones, haven’t they?” he said with a broad smile.
  • When a reporter pressed Mattis on whether he was thinking about leaving, he replied: “I’m thinking about doing my job each day.”

  • Mattis cautioned reporters against believing a growing of chorus of stories in the media that he will either resign or be dismissed by President Trump soon.
  • “I wouldn’t take it seriously at all,” he said. “It’s like most of those kind of things in this town: Somebody cooks up a headline; they then call to a normally chatty class of people; they find a couple of other things to put in; they add the rumor; somebody on the other coast starts writing the same thing – the next thing you know, you’ve got a story. It’ll die down just like – how many times have we been through this now, just since I’ve been here?
  • “It will die down soon, and the people who started the rumor will be allowed to write the next rumor too. Just the way the town is. Keep a sense of humor about it.”
  • In a final exchange, a reporter asked Mattis, “You never think about leaving?”

“Of course I don’t think about leaving,” he replied. “I love it here. I’m thinking about retiring right here. I’ll get a little place down on the Potomac.”

T-38 Talon training aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Two airmen from Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma, were killed on Thursday when two T-38 Talon training aircraft crashed during training mission, according to a message posted on the base's Facebook age.

The two airmen's names are being withheld pending next of kin notification.

A total of four airmen were onboard the aircraft at the time of the incident, base officials had previously announced.

The medical conditions for the other two people involved in the crash was not immediately known.

An investigation will be launched to determine the cause of the crash.

Emergency responders from Vance Air Force Base are at the crash scene to treat casualties and help with recovery efforts.

Read the entire message below:

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. – Two Vance Air Force Base Airmen were killed in an aircraft mishap at approximately 9:10 a.m. today.

At the time of the accident, the aircraft were performing a training mission.

Vance emergency response personnel are on scene to treat casualties and assist in recovery efforts.

Names of the deceased will be withheld pending next of kin notification.

A safety investigation team will investigate the incident.

Additional details will be provided as information becomes available. #VanceUpdates.

This is a breaking news story. It will be updated as more information is released.

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