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

Bullet Points
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.”

U.S. Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan speaks at the annual Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany February 15, 2019. REUTERS/Andreas Gebert

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