The Trump administration is considering Jim Webb, a former Democratic senator who also served as Navy secretary under Republican President Ronald Reagan, to be the next defense secretary, the New York Times reported on Thursday.
Citing an unnamed official, the Times said Vice President Mike Pence and acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney had reached out to Webb. It said what it described as a senior Defense Department official confirmed Webb’s name had been circulating at the White House.
Jim Mattis stepped down from his job as secretary of defense on Tuesday and President Donald Trump said a day later he had essentially fired Mattis, a retired Marine general whose letter of resignation was seen as a sharp rebuke to the Republican president.
Mattis resigned after Trump’s surprise decisions to withdraw all U.S. troops from Syria and half of the 14,000-strong contingent in Afghanistan. Trump has named Patrick Shanahan, a former Boeing Co executive who was Mattis’s deputy, as acting defense secretary.
The Times said Webb could potentially allow Trump to bypass “more hawkish Republicans whose names have been floated to replace Jim Mattis.”
It said Republican senators Tom Cotton and Lindsey Graham and former Republican Senator Jim Talent had also been mentioned as possible replacements for Mattis.
The White House declined to comment on the Times report.
The Times said Webb did not respond to a request for comment.
Webb, 72, is a decorated war veteran who served in the Vietnam War, the author of 10 books and an Emmy award-making journalist and filmmaker.
A former U.S. senator from Virginia, Webb ran a long-shot campaign for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.
“Americans don’t like the extremes to which both parties have moved in recent years and, quite frankly, neither do I,” he said in October 2015 when announcing he was dropping his bid.
Reporting by Mohammad Zargham; Editing by Phil Berlowitz and James Dalgleish
Has anything changed since Burning Man’s sex assault and labor issues were exposed?
The last weekend in August marks the start of Burning Man, a week-long, festival in the Nevada desert consisting of freewheeling performance art, fanciful costumes, and a lot of drugs. The anarchic party with more than 50,000 attendees constitutes a pilgrimage for many attendees, lured by the promise of leaving the “default world” behind in exchange for a transformative or even spiritual experience.
Truckers are facing a ‘bloodbath’ in their industry — and it’s turning many in the pro-Trump group against him: report
Truckers are numerous, conservative, and hurting. And despite their widespread support for Donald Trump’s candidacy in 2016, a new report from Business Insider suggests the pain in the industry might be turning these workers away from the president.
The political trends in trucking are not insignificant. According to the American Trucking Associations, there were an estimated 3.5 million truck drivers in 2018. RTS Financial has found that there are 7.4 million jobs total “tied to the trucking industry.” And Business Insider reported that nearly 90 percent of truckers are registered voters, higher than the general population.
WATCH: Trump’s collusion with Russia is now a topic for impeachment — along with obstruction and racism
President Donald Trump's interactions with Russia are now a topic of the impeachment investigation.
"There was an important development in support for impeachment proceedings in the House of Representatives today," MSNBC anchor Lawrence O'Donnell reported Tuesday. "Important both in who the new support comes from and what that support is based on."
"Congresswoman Lauren Underwood of Illinois is one of the freshmen Democrats who flipped a Republican district last year in winning her election. She brings the total number of House Democrats supporting impeachment now to 126 -- a majority of the Democrats' 235 members of the House," he explained.