Trump: Mattis out as of Jan. 1; deputy to be acting chief

US defence minister James Mattis delivers a speech during a press conference at the Nato Defense Council meeting at the NATO Headquarters in Brussels on June 29, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / JOHN THYS (Photo credit should read JOHN THYS/AFP/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON  — President Donald Trump says Defense Secretary Jim Mattis will leave his post on Jan. 1. Trump announced Mattis’ new departure date in a tweet, and said he’s naming deputy defense chief Patrick Shanahan as acting secretary.

The move comes just three days after Mattis resigned in protest over Trump’s decision to pull all U.S. troops out of Syria. Mattis originally said he would stay through February to ensure an orderly transition.

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