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READ IT: Defense Secretary Jim Mattis takes aim at Trump’s Syria pullout in resignation letter

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In his resignation letter, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis made jabs at Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from Syria — and his apparent disagreement with it.

In the letter, the outgoing defense secretary mentioned the American military commitment to its allies — a statement that echoes bipartisan critics of the president’s Syria withdrawal who say it will alienate and endanger America’s Kurdish allies.

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“Our strength as a nation is inextricably linked to the strength of our unique and comprehensive system of alliances and partnerships,” Mattis wrote. “While the US remains the indispensable nation in the free world, we cannot protect our interests or serve that role effectively without maintaining strong alliances and showing respect to those allies.”

“I believe we must be resolute and unambiguous in our approach to those countries whose strategic interests are increasingly in tension with ours,” he added. “It is clear that China and Russia, for example, want to shape a world consistent with their authoritarian model — gaining veto authority over other nations’ economic, diplomatic, and security decisions — to promote their own itnerests at the expense of their neighbors, America and our allies. That is why we must use all the tools of American power to to provide for the common defense.”

“My views on treating allies with respect and also being clear-eyed about both malign actors and strategic competitors are strongly held and informed by over four decades of immersion in these issues,” Mattis noted.

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

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You can read the entire letter below:

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‘Get over it’: Trump’s chief of staff reveals Ukraine quid pro quo — but insists it’s just ‘politics’ as usual

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White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney admitted that President Donald Trump held up Ukraine aid to pressure the country to investigate a conspiracy theory.

Mulvaney, who is also the White House budget director, told reporters Thursday that Trump's desire to investigate his belief that a DNC computer server was hidden in Ukraine was part of the reason congressionally approved military aid was held up.

However, he insisted that did not represent a quid pro quo arrangement.

"We do that all the time, get over it," Mulvaney said. "Politics is going to be involved in foreign policy, elections do have consequences."

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Trump chief of staff announces G7 will be held at Trump’s golf course

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President Donald Trump will have next year's G7 meeting at his own golf course in Doral, Florida, chief of staff Mick Mulvaney announced on Thursday.

In announcing that the G7 meeting will be held at the Trump National Doral Miami, Mulvaney insisted that the president will not personally profit from holding the meeting there and claimed that it was simply the "best" place to hold the summit.

Mulvaney deflected reporters' questions about using the G7 summit to boost the golf resort's brand name by saying that the Trump brand name is already widely known throughout the world and doesn't need a G7 meeting to make it stronger.

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Trump EU ambassador’s testimony was loaded with ‘extra-damning’ omissions: NYU Law professor

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Ryan Goodman, a professor at New York University School of Law, believes that Trump-appointed European Union ambassador Gordon Sondland's prepared testimony before Congress featured several omissions of events that he believes will lead investigators to damaging evidence against President Donald Trump.

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