James Mattis' last day as defense secretary

Departing Defense Secretary James Mattis bid farewell to the White House after his resignation in late December with a letter saying his views were not aligned with those of President Donald Trump.

Posted: Jan 2, 2019 7:46 AM
Updated: Jan 2, 2019 7:54 AM

Secretary of Defense James Mattis and the State Department's anti-ISIS envoy, Brett McGurk, bid farewell to their respective departments Monday after parting ways with President Donald Trump's administration over his plans to reduce the American presence in Syria.
Mattis told Pentagon employees to "keep the faith in our country" and McGurk wished his former colleagues well "as they work under extremely difficult circumstances to protect the interests of our great country.

"Our Department is proven to be at its best when the times are most difficult," Mattis wrote in a message to Defense Department employees. "So keep the faith in our country and hold fast, alongside our allies, aligned against our foes."

Mattis also expressed confidence in the department's leadership as his deputy defense secretary, Patrick Shanahan, prepares to take over as acting secretary.

"Our Department's leadership, civilian and military, remains in the best possible hands. I am confident that each of you remains undistracted from our sworn mission to support and defend the Constitution while protecting our way of life," his statement read.

Mattis concluded, "It has been my high honor to serve at your side. May God hold you safe in the air, on land, and at sea."

In a tweet, McGurk, who worked in the State Department, said that he wishes his "former civilian and military colleagues well as they work under extremely difficult circumstances to protect the interests of our great country. It was a privilege to serve alongside them."

The former four-star Marine Corps general, whose last day is Monday, announced his resignation in late December with a letter saying his views were not aligned with those of President Donald Trump, who had just announced plans to withdraw US troops from Syria.

"Because you have the right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours on these and other subjects, I believe it is right for me to step down from my position," Mattis wrote in his letter to the President.

McGurk, whose last day was Monday, submitted his resignation a day after Mattis. Two senior officials and several sources familiar with his thinking told CNN he did so in response to Trump's decision to withdraw US troops from Syria.

On Monday, the Pentagon will hold a government-wide call between Mattis and Shanahan to mark the transition of power at the Defense Department.

A defense official said the call is meant "to ensure all members within the government know who is in command" and is "a courtesy and a mark of respect for the incoming Secretary of Defense."

A former corporate executive, Shanahan's portfolio at the Department of Defense has been narrow, with no experience in international affairs or counterterrorism. As Mattis' No. 2 in the Pentagon, Shanahan almost exclusively handled internal reform, budget issues and the Space Force, the new military branch proposed by Trump.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 593622

Reported Deaths: 7379
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1228171731
Ramsey51446875
Dakota45976452
Anoka41782439
Washington26948283
Stearns22266222
St. Louis17787304
Scott17296124
Wright16082140
Olmsted1325598
Sherburne1173087
Carver1050745
Clay816392
Rice8063107
Blue Earth751541
Crow Wing666290
Kandiyohi656283
Chisago601351
Otter Tail575478
Benton571697
Goodhue478572
Douglas468575
Mower466232
Winona455050
Itasca439156
McLeod424559
Isanti422464
Morrison419660
Nobles408048
Beltrami397059
Steele388715
Polk384868
Becker380953
Lyon361051
Carlton345654
Freeborn342029
Pine329022
Nicollet326243
Brown305440
Mille Lacs305053
Le Sueur292423
Todd282432
Cass273428
Meeker256640
Waseca236322
Martin230732
Roseau209419
Wabasha20613
Hubbard190041
Dodge18513
Renville180343
Redwood174337
Houston171916
Cottonwood165823
Fillmore156510
Wadena155922
Pennington153719
Faribault152419
Chippewa152338
Kanabec144726
Sibley143810
Aitkin135036
Watonwan13289
Rock128319
Jackson121812
Pipestone115926
Yellow Medicine114120
Pope11056
Murray10639
Swift105618
Stevens91411
Marshall88117
Clearwater86916
Koochiching83615
Wilkin81612
Lake81120
Lac qui Parle75322
Big Stone6004
Lincoln5813
Grant5788
Mahnomen5539
Norman5399
Unassigned49293
Kittson48622
Red Lake3977
Traverse3705
Lake of the Woods3253
Cook1640

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 367236

Reported Deaths: 5940
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk57666626
Linn20892335
Scott20060241
Black Hawk15824308
Woodbury15138228
Johnson1449183
Dubuque13380208
Dallas1118398
Pottawattamie11132168
Story1062348
Warren577988
Clinton555893
Cerro Gordo540689
Sioux514474
Webster512293
Marshall483075
Muscatine481399
Des Moines458066
Wapello4303122
Buena Vista424840
Jasper419372
Plymouth401280
Lee376055
Marion362875
Jones299057
Henry291937
Carroll285752
Bremer284860
Crawford266240
Boone265034
Benton256655
Washington254050
Dickinson248543
Mahaska230451
Jackson222142
Clay215725
Kossuth215564
Tama209871
Delaware209741
Winneshiek196835
Page192722
Buchanan191432
Cedar190023
Hardin185643
Fayette185141
Wright184737
Hamilton180049
Harrison179673
Clayton169556
Butler165034
Madison162519
Mills162422
Floyd161142
Cherokee158938
Lyon158241
Poweshiek154934
Allamakee151451
Iowa148824
Hancock148434
Winnebago142531
Cass138654
Calhoun138513
Grundy136333
Emmet134240
Jefferson132435
Shelby131137
Sac130419
Union128333
Louisa128149
Appanoose128049
Mitchell126442
Chickasaw124116
Guthrie121530
Franklin120721
Humboldt119126
Palo Alto112823
Howard104622
Montgomery103338
Clarke100224
Unassigned9710
Keokuk96031
Monroe95329
Ida90435
Adair86532
Pocahontas85522
Davis83024
Monona82730
Osceola78716
Greene77710
Lucas77223
Worth7478
Taylor66012
Fremont6229
Decatur6089
Ringgold55824
Van Buren55818
Wayne53923
Audubon51010
Adams3384
Rochester
Partly Cloudy
65° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 65°
Mason City
Cloudy
63° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 63°
Albert Lea
Partly Cloudy
66° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 66°
Austin
Partly Cloudy
66° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 66°
Charles City
Mostly Cloudy
° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: °
Warmer conditions for the weekend
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Community Events