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President Donald Trump is doubling down on his claim that he fired former Defense Secretary James Mattis, who resigned in protest over the president's decision to withdraw all U.S. troops from Syria.
On Dec. 20, Trump initially tweeted that Mattis had retired. That evening, the Pentagon gave reporters copies of Mattis' resignation letter, which made clear the retired Marine general could no longer serve under Trump, citing irreconcilable differences.
But during a Feb. 1 interview with the New York Times, the president said he demanded and received Mattis' resignation.
"I wasn't happy with Mattis," Trump said. "I told Mattis to give me a letter. He didn't just give me that letter. I told him."
In his resignation letter, Mattis wrote the United States needs to be "resolute and unambiguous" towards adversaries such as Russia and China while showing respect to allies.
"Because you have the right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours on these and other subjects, I believe it is right for me to step down from my position," Mattis wrote.
Trump told the New York Times that Mattis' choice of words shows he was ordered to quit.
"That's why in the letter he wrote, 'You have to have your own choice,'" Trump said. "The reason he said that was because I said, 'You're just not my choice.'"
This is the second time the president has claimed that Mattis' departure was not voluntary. At a Jan. 2 cabinet meeting, Trump told reporters that he "essentially fired" Mattis for U.S. military's lack of progress in Afghanistan.
"What's he done for me?" Trump said. "How has he done in Afghanistan? Not too good. Not too good. I'm not happy with what he's done in Afghanistan. And I shouldn't be happy.
"So, I mean, I wish him well. I hope he does well. But as you know, President Obama fired him, and essentially so did I. I want results."
SEE ALSO: Trump Finally Goes After Mattis, Days After Defense Secretary Drops Bombshell Resignation Letter
WATCH NEXT: Our Top 5 Mattis Quotes
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hinted on Thursday of possible Israeli involvement in attacks against Iranian-linked targets in Iraq.
A series of blasts in the past few weeks have hit weapon depots and bases belonging to paramilitary groups in Iraq, many of them backed by Israel's regional foe Iran. The groups blamed the United States and Israel for the blasts on Wednesday.
President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday that will make it easier for permanently disabled veterans to have their student loan debt forgiven.
Physical fitness tests were briefly suspended earlier this week and outdoor cardio testing will be curtailed for the remainder of the summer at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, after an airman died Saturday. She had completed her PT test on Friday.
Navy Secretary Richard Spencer has expanded a review of the Judge Advocate General Corps to include the Marine Corps, a Navy spokesman said on Thursday.
"There is value in applying this review and its subsequent recommendations across the Department of the Navy," Cmdr. Jereal Dorsey told Task & Purpose. "The review's purpose is to confirm the uniformed legal community is structurally and organizationally sound and best supporting the good order and discipline our integrated naval force."
Marine vet Adam Driver is starring in a new film about the CIA's controversial post-9/11 interrogation program
Marine veteran, professional mumbler, temper-tantrum prone Sith Lord, and A-list actor, Adam Driver, is taking on the CIA in a new teaser trailer for the feature-length political thriller The Report.