Lawmakers Are Freaking Out Over Mattis' Resignation

news

Defense Secretary James Mattis will step down from his post in February, President Donald Trump announced on Thursday, bringing an end to yet another cabinet official's tenure during the past two years.


Mattis expressed considerable differences with Trump in his resignation letter to the president, writing that he is leaving "because you have a right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours."

The move sent shockwaves around Washington, coming at a time when Republicans have become increasingly frustrated with Trump's military policy decisions, which have ran counter to the advice of many of his top advisors and traditional GOP orthodoxy.

"That's what happens when you ignore sound military advice," Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a Republican, wrote on Twitter in his immediate reaction to Trump's announcement.

Sen. Lindsey Graham said in a statement he felt a "great sadness" upon learning of Mattis' resignation, saying he "is one of the great military leaders in American history" and should be proud of his service.

"General Mattis is a combination of intellect and integrity," Graham added. "He has been in the fight against radical Islam for decades and provided sound and ethical military advice to President Trump. He is a role model for the concept of Duty, Honor, Country."

Democrats characterize Mattis' departure as a crisis.

Democratic Sen. Chris Coons called Mattis' resignation "more bad news for our national security" because he was "one of the most seasoned & capable advisors" Trump has had.

"A Secretary of Defense quitting over a public disagreement with a President whose foreign policy he believes has gone off the rails is a national security crisis," said Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy, a Democrat. "No way around it."

Sen. Mark Warner called the resignation "scary" because "Mattis has been an island of stability amidst the chaos of the Trump administration."

"As we've seen with the President's haphazard approach to Syria, our national defense is too important to be subjected to the President's erratic whims," Warner added.

The consternation over Mattis' resignation comes on the heels of Trump's decision to withdraw all US military personnel from Syria, a move that enraged conservatives and put much of his allies on edge.

Republicans and Democrats both largely agreed that such a decision would embolden American adversaries like Russia and Iran while giving new breathing room for the potential return of brutal terrorist groups like ISIS.

SEE ALSO: Why Mattis Is Leaving The Pentagon, In 3 Sentences

Read more from Business Insider

WATCH NEXT:

(U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Stephane Belcher)

The 2020 National Defense Authorization Act would allow service members to seek compensation when military doctors make mistakes that harm them, but they would still be unable to file medical malpractice lawsuits against the federal government.

On Monday night, Congress announced that it had finalized the NDAA, which must be passed by the House and Senate before going to President Donald Trump. If the president signs the NDAA into law, it would mark the first time in nearly seven decades that U.S. military personnel have had legal recourse to seek payment from the military in cases of medical malpractice.

Read More Show Less
Maj. Jason Michael Musgrove (Lincoln County Sheriff's Office)

A major serving at U.S. Army Cyber Command has been charged with distributing child pornography, according to the Justice Department.

Maj. Jason Michael Musgrove, who is based at Fort Gordon, Georgia, has been remanded to the U.S. Marshals service, a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Georgia says.

Read More Show Less
Sailors from USS George Washington (CVN 73) wear-test the I-Boot 5 at Naval Station Norfolk. (U.S. Navy photo by Courtney Williams)

Navy senior leaders could decide whether or not to approve the new I-Boot 5 early in 2020, said Rob Carroll, director of the uniform matters office at the Chief of Naval Personnel's office.

"The I-Boot 5 is currently wrapping up its actual wear test, its evaluation," Carroll told Task & Purpose on Monday. "We're hoping that within the first quarter of calendar year 2020 that we'll be able to present leadership with the information that they need to make an informed decision."

Read More Show Less
Senator Jim Inhofe speaks with local reporters at a press conference held at the 138th Fighter Wing August 2, 2018. (U.S. National Guard/Staff Sgt. Rebecca R. Imwalle)

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe and U.S. Rep. Kendra Horn leveled harsh criticism last week at the contractor accused of negligence and fraudulent activity while operating private housing at Tinker Air Force Base and other military installations.

Inhofe, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, referred to Balfour Beatty Communities as "notorious." Horn, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, told a company executive she was "incredibly disappointed you have failed to live up to your responsibility for taking care of the people that are living in these houses."

Read More Show Less
U.S. Senator Rick Scott speaks during a press conference at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, April 29, 2019. (U.S. Air Force/Airman 1st Class Monica Roybal)

The Saudi national who killed three students on a U.S. Naval Air station in Pensacola was in the United States on a training exchange program.

On Sunday, Sen. Rick Scott said the United States should suspend that program, which brings foreign nationals to America for military training, pending a "full review."

Read More Show Less