December 23, 2018 1:25 pm
Updated: December 23, 2018 3:01 pm

Trump says Patrick Shanahan will replace Jim Mattis as acting defence secretary

WATCH: Trump appoints Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan to replace Jim Mattis


U.S. President Donald Trump announced Sunday morning on Twitter that Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan will temporarily step into the role of defence secretary on Jan. 1 following Jim Mattis’ resignation.

“I am pleased to announce that our very talented Deputy Secretary of Defense, Patrick Shanahan, will assume the title of Acting Secretary of Defense starting January 1, 2019. Patrick has a long list of accomplishments while serving as Deputy, & previously Boeing. He will be great!” the tweet read.

Before becoming the 33rd deputy secretary of defence, Shanahan served as the senior vice-president of the supply chain and operations division of Boeing, where he had spent three decades.

Mattis resigned last week amid the president’s abrupt decision to pull American forces out of Syria. In his resignation letter, he cited several policy disagreements with the president including the alienation of allies and the pursuit of positive relations with controversial powers such as China and Russia.

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“One core belief I have always held is that our strength as a nation is inextricably linked to the strength of our unique and comprehensive system of alliances and partnerships. While the U.S. remains the indispensable nation in the free world, we cannot protect our interests or serve that role effectively without maintaining strong alliances and showing respect to those allies,” Mattis wrote in his letter.

READ MORE: Trump defence secretary Jim Mattis resigns after clashing with the president over Syria

According to a Reuters report, Trump wasn’t pleased with the attention attracted by Mattis’ resignation letter, which prompted the president to push Mattis out two months earlier than originally expected.

Mattis’ departure follows several other high-profile resignations including Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, Chief of Staff John Kelly and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Shanahan will assume the role beginning on Jan. 1, 2019, and it’s unclear how long he will remain in the position.

–With a file from Reuters

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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