Trump: Mattis out as of Jan. 1; deputy Shanahan to be acting chief

WASHINGTON (AP) — 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 […]

Trump says Defense Secretary Mattis will retire in February

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has announced that Defense Secretary Jim “Mad Dog” Mattis will retire at the end of February. Trump says on Twitter that a new secretary of defense will be named soon. Trump’s announcement comes a day after he surprised U.S. allies and members of Congress by announcing the withdrawal of […]

Mattis says he’ll visit US-Mexico border

WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says he plans to visit the U.S.-Mexico border, where troops are helping erect barriers and performing other tasks in support of border security. Mattis gave no details in a brief comment to reporters Tuesday. About 5,800 active duty troops are assigned to the border mission. Of those, about […]

Mattis dismissive of news reports of tension with Trump

WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Tuesday dismissed recent news reports that tensions between him and President Donald Trump point to his exit soon. Asked by a reporter whether such reports should be taken seriously, he replied, “No. I wouldn’t take it seriously at all. It’s like most of those kind of things […]

Mattis condemns Russia for influence-peddling in Macedonia

SKOPJE, Macedonia (AP) — Defense Secretary Jim Mattis arrived in Macedonia on Monday, condemning Russian efforts to use its money and influence to build opposition to an upcoming vote that could pave the way for the country to join NATO, a move Moscow opposes. Mattis told reporters traveling with him to Skopje that there is […]

Mattis slams China on South China Sea island weaponization

SINGAPORE (AP) — China’s placement of weapons systems on manmade islands in the South China Sea is designed to intimidate and coerce others in the region, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Saturday, laying out a sharp criticism of Beijing at an international security forum and threatening larger consequences if militarization continues. He warned that America’s […]

US reaffirms its ‘ironclad commitment’ to defend South Korea

 WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis spoke on Saturday with their South Korean counterparts after the historic meeting between leaders of the two Koreas, and Trump said “things are going very well” as he prepares for an expected summit with the North’s Kim Jong Un. Mattis and Defense Minister Song […]

Explosions rock Syrian capital as Trump announces strikes

BEIRUT (AP) — Loud explosions rocked Syria’s capital and filled the sky with heavy smoke early Saturday after U.S. President Donald Trump announced airstrikes in retaliation for the country’s alleged use of chemical weapons. Syrian television reported that air defenses responded to the attack.Associated Press reporters saw smoke rising from east Damascus and the sky […]

Mattis says threat of nuclear attack by NKorea accelerating

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Saturday the threat of nuclear missile attack by North Korea is accelerating. In remarks in Seoul with South Korean Defense Minister Song Young-moo at his side, Mattis accused the North of illegal and unnecessary missile and nuclear programs — and vowed to defeat any […]

Military budget would swell under Senate bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has overwhelmingly approved a sweeping defense policy bill that would pump $700 billion into the military, putting the U.S. armed forces on track for a budget greater than at any time during the decade-plus wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Senators passed the legislation by an 89-8 vote Monday. The measure […]