James Mattis out Jan. 1; deputy to be acting chief, President Trump says

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Sunday, December 23, 2018
President Donald Trump and Defense Secretary James Mattis are shown in file photos.

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.