Trump taps replacement as Mattis set to depart on January 1st

President Trump taps Deputy Defense Secretary Shanahan to serve in Jim Mattis' stead, days before Pentagon chief's departure.

David Rosenberg ,

Patrick Shanahan (left) with Donald Trump at round table discussion
Patrick Shanahan (left) with Donald Trump at round table discussion

President Donald Trump has chosen Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan to serve as acting Defense Secretary ahead of General James Mattis’ resignation.

On Sunday, President Trump announced via Twitter that Mattis would be leaving the Pentagon next Tuesday, on January 1st.

In his stead, the president chose Deputy Secretary Patrick Shanahan as acting secretary, until a nominee can be selected and put before the Senate for confirmation.

“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,” Trump tweeted.

On December 20th, Mattis tendered his resignation, following President Trump’s decision to withdraw American forces from Syria.

The resignation is effective at the end of February, though presiden Sunday that Shanahan will begin serving as acting secretary next Tuesday suggests an accelerated time-table for Mattis’ departure from the Pentagon.