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Trump Tells ‘60 Minutes’ That Mattis ‘May Leave’ The Pentagon
President Donald Trump has stoked fresh speculation that Defense Secretary James Mattis could be leaving his administration.
During an interview with “60 Minutes” that will air on Sunday night, the president said he is unhappy with some members of his cabinet and he has “people on standby that will be phenomenal.”
Trump was noncommittal when host Leslie Stahl asked him directly if Mattis will depart as defense secretary.
“Well, I don’t know,” the president replied. “He hasn’t told me that.”
“Do you want him to leave?” Stahl pressed?
“I have a very good relationship with him,” Trump continued, speaking over her. “I had lunch with him two days ago. I have a very good relationship with him. It could be that he is. I think that he is sort of a Democrat, if you want to know the truth. But Gen. Mattis is a good guy. We get along very well. He may leave – I mean, at some point, everybody leaves. Everybody. People leave. That’s Washington.”
When asked about Trump’s comments, a Pentagon spokesman sent Task & Purpose a statement that did not address how much longer Mattis might be defense secretary.
“Secretary Mattis is laser-focused on doing his job — ensuring the US military remains the most lethal force on the planet,” said Army Col. Robert Manning.
Spokespeople for the White House did not immediately return Task & Purpose’s requests for comment on Sunday.
For months, Mattis has been dogged by persistent stories in the press that he will leave the Pentagon soon, which he has dismissed as rumors. He also unequivocally denied that he ever disparaged Trump, as Bob Woodward wrote in his book “Fear,” about the Trump administration.
"In serving in this administration, the idea that I would show contempt for the elected commander-in-chief, President Trump, or tolerate disrespect to the office of the President from within our Department of Defense, is a product of someone’s rich imagination,” Mattis said in a Sept. 4 statement.
UPDATE: This story was updated at 12:05 p.m. on Oct. 14 with a statement from Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Robert Manning.
She's photographed every major war of the last 20 years. Marine Corps boot camp was something else entirely
Conflict photographer Lynsey Addario's seen a hell of a lot of combat over the past twenty years. She patrolled Afghanistan's Helmand Province with the Marines, accompanied the Army on night raids in Baghdad, took artillery fire with rebel fighters in Libya and has taken photos in countless other wars and humanitarian disasters around the world.
Along the way, Addario captured images of plenty of women serving with pride in uniform, not only in the U.S. armed forces, but also on the battlefields of Syria, Colombia, South Sudan and Israel. Her photographs are the subject of a new article in the November 2019 special issue of National Geographic, "Women: A Century of Change," the magazine's first-ever edition written and photographed exclusively by women.
The photos showcase the wide range of goals and ideals for which these women took up arms. Addario's work includes captivating vignettes of a seasoned guerrilla fighter in the jungles of Colombia; a team of Israeli military police patrolling the streets of Jerusalem; and a unit of Kurdish women guarding ISIS refugees in Syria. Some fight to prove themselves, others seek to ignite social change in their home country, and others do it to liberate other women from the grip of ISIS.
Addario visited several active war zones for the piece, but she found herself shaken by something much closer to home: the Marine Corps Recruit Depot at Parris Island, South Carolina.
Addario discussed her visit to boot camp and her other travels in an interview with Task & Purpose, which has been lightly edited for length and clarity.
An Army staff sergeant who "represents the very best of the 101st Airborne Division" has finally received a Silver Star for his heroic actions during the Battle of the Bulge after a 75-year delay.
On Sunday, Staff Sgt. Edmund "Eddie" Sternot was posthumously awarded with a Silver Star for his heroics while leading a machine gun team in the Ardennes Forest. The award, along with Sternot's Bronze Star and Purple Heart, was presented to his only living relative, Sternot's first cousin, 80-year-old Delores Sternot.
U.S. special operations forces are currently field testing a lightweight combat armor designed to cover more of an operator's body than previous protective gear, an official told Task & Purpose.
The armor, called the Lightweight Polyethylene (PE) Armor for Extremity Protection, is one of a handful of subsystems to come out of U.S. Special Operations Command's Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) effort that media outlets dubbed the "Iron Man suit," Navy Lieutenant Cmdr. Tim Hawkins, a SOCOM spokesman, told Task & Purpose on Wednesday.