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.”