Trump considering former Democratic Senator Webb for defense secretary

Protesters near the White House hold letters spelling Save Mueller after President Trump replaced Attorney General Jeff Sessions with Mathew Whitaker who has expressed hostility to the Russia probe

On Wednesday, Trump proclaimed to Cabinet members and the assembled press that "as you know, President Obama fired [Mattis], and essentially, so did I".

"In 2019, the National Defence Strategy remains our guide".

"While we are focused on ongoing operations, Acting Secretary Shanahan told the team to remember: China, China, China", a Pentagon official said.

At a Cabinet meeting Wednesday, Trump said Mattis "couldn't believe" how much federal money Trump had helped secure for the military.

Trump stunned observers by declaring victory over the Islamic State group in Syria and claiming the jihadists had been beaten "badly", even though they still number in the thousands.

"We have some great allies, but a lot of our allies were taking advantage of our taxpayers and our country", Trump said.

He has since backpedaled and suggested more of a phased timeline for the withdrawal.

"Acting Secretary Shanahan told the team to focus on the national defense strategy and to keep this effort moving forward", the USA defense official told reporters.

Golden Globes Hosts Andy Samberg & Sandra Oh Roll Out the Red Carpet!
The Golden Globes led NBC to the nightlong win in total viewers, despite National Football League playoff competition. He is nominated again this year for playing George W Bush in political biopic Vice alongside Christian Bale.

Webb, largely viewed as a moderate Democrat with Republican presidential administration credentials under his belt, said that resolving issues with the U.S.

He balked in particular at Mattis' record in Afghanistan, where Trump has reportedly pushed to significantly cut the troop presence.

Little known outside business and Washington circles, Shanahan takes the world stage at a time of tumultuous changes and unpredictable foreign policy moves under Trump.

Shanahan had worked in the private sector and had no military or diplomatic experience when Trump appointed him deputy defense secretary in 2017.

But Mr. Shanahan sat quietly later as Mr. Trump belittled key US allies as freeloaders and laid into Mr. Mattis, who officially resigned December 31, during a subsequent Q&A session with reporters.

But some critics have questioned whether a man with deep industry ties should be running the Pentagon.

David Norquist, the Pentagon's comptroller, will perform the duties of the deputy as well as retain his current title.

Expressing happiness over Shanahan's appointment, acting assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Charles E. Summers, Jr. tweeted, "It was a great day leading the highly talented team at the Office of Secretary of Defense-Public Affairs".

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