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Jim Mattis says he won't be running for president in 2020 and that he's eager to see 'fresh ideas'
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
Former Defense Secretary and retired four-star Marine Corps general Jim Mattis said he will not be running for president in the 2020 US presidential election and that he was "eager to see the fresh ideas" from the candidates.
"I think we have a lot of great people in America," Mattis said during a Fox News interview on Tuesday evening. "And I think that 40 odd years of serving the country in the military and in the defense establishment, I am eager to see the fresh ideas on people who handle a much broader array of issues than I have."
Asked by Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum for a more definitive answer, Mattis replied, "That's a 'no.'"
"There's not a hesitation," Mattis added. "I'm just trying to think how to say 'no' even stronger."
Although Mattis has been a widely-revered military officer throughout his career, running for political office has been an unlikely possibility. Mattis has not revealed his political affiliation and continues to deflect critical questions about the Trump administration.
In 2018, Mattis said he "never registered for any political party."
"When I was 18, I joined the Marine Corps, and in the US military we are proudly apolitical," Mattis said in response to a question asking if he was a Democrat. "By that, I mean that in our duties, we were brought up to obey the elected commander in chief, whoever that is. And we've seen, over those — since I was in the military longer than some of you have been alive, I have seen Republicans and Democrats come and go."
"Where am I today? I'm a member of the president's administration," he added.
Trump previously theorized Mattis could be "sort of a Democrat," but added he was "a good guy" during an interview with "60 Minutes."
Mattis, who resigned in December 2018 after foreign policy disagreements with President Donald Trump, has been granting interviews in recent days amid the release of his upcoming book, "Call Sign Chaos."
More from Business Insider:
- One striking image shows the Marine Corps generals who will have left the Trump administration, after the president praised their service
- Defense Secretary James Mattis quits, says his views aren't 'aligned' with Trump as the president upends major US policies
- Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt is out — here are all the casualties of the Trump administration so far
Retired Army Master Sgt. Mark Allen has died 10 years after he was shot in the head while searching for deserter Pvt. Bowe Bergdahl in Afghanistan.
Allen died on Saturday at the age of 46, according to funeral information posted online.
For U.S. service members who have fought alongside the Kurds, President Donald Trump's decision to approve repositioning U.S. forces in Syria ahead of Turkey's invasion is a naked betrayal of valued allies.
"I am ashamed for the first time in my career," one unnamed special operator told Fox News Jennifer Griffin.
In a Twitter thread that went viral, Griffin wrote the soldier told her the Kurds were continuing to support the United States by guarding tens of thousands of ISIS prisoners even though Turkey had nullified an arrangement under which U.S. and Turkish troops were conducting joint patrols in northeastern Syria to allow the Kurdish People's Protection Units, or YPG, to withdraw.
"The Kurds are sticking by us," the soldier told Griffin. "No other partner I have ever dealt with would stand by us."
Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Sunday he and the Pentagon will comply with House Democrats' impeachment inquiry subpoena, but it'll be on their own schedule.
"We will do everything we can to cooperate with the Congress," Esper said on CBS' "Face the Nation." "Just in the last week or two, my general counsel sent out a note — as we typically do in these situations — to ensure documents are retained."
Most of the U.S. troops in Syria are being moved out of the country as Turkish forces and their Arab allies push further into Kurdish territory than originally expected, Task & Purpose has learned.
Roughly 1,000 U.S. troops are withdrawing from Syria, leaving a residual force of between 100 and 150 service members at the Al Tanf garrison, a U.S. official said.
"I spoke with the president last night after discussions with the rest of the national security team and he directed that we begin a deliberate withdrawal of forces from northern Syria," Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Sunday's edition of CBS News' "Face the Nation."'
More than 700 women and children affiliated with ISIS escape Kurdish prison camp after Turkish shelling
BEIRUT/ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Women affiliated with Islamic State and their children fled en masse from a camp where they were being held in northern Syria on Sunday after shelling by Turkish forces in a five-day-old offensive, the region's Kurdish-led administration said.
Turkey's cross-border attack in northern Syria against Kurdish forces widened to target the town of Suluk which was hit by Ankara's Syrian rebel allies. There were conflicting accounts on the outcome of the fighting.
Turkey is facing threats of possible sanctions from the United States unless it calls off the incursion. Two of its NATO allies, Germany and France, have said they are halting weapons exports to Turkey. The Arab League has denounced the operation.