Pentagon chief Mattis quits, citing policy differences with Trump
admin • December 21, 2018 • 2283
FILE PHOTO: Jim Mattis | REUTERS
U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, a retired Marine Corps general who was known as a stabilizing force in President Donald Trump’s Cabinet, will leave his job at the end of February, Trump said in a tweet on Thursday (December 20).
His departure had been anticipated since Trump announced on Wednesday that he was withdrawing U.S. troops from Syria despite opposition from U.S. allies and top U.S. military officials.
Mattis said in his resignation letter that he was stepping down so Trump could have a defense chief whose views align more closely with his own.
Trump said he would nominate a successor to Mattis shortly.
Mattis joins a long list of former Trump administration senior figures who have either quit or been removed, some unceremoniously like Secretary of State Rex Tillerson who Trump fired via Twitter in March.
Trump’s White House has had the highest turnover of senior-level staff of the past five presidents, according to the Brookings Institution think tank.
Speculation that Mattis might not last long in his post grew in October when Trump said in a CBS interview that the general was “sort of a Democrat” and might be leaving. — Reuters
MANILA, Philippines – The United States on Friday donated 100 ventilators and associated supplies to the Philippines in support of its fight against the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, its embassy in Manila said.
US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, and Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III led the turnover of the medical supplies at the Malacañang on Friday.
“These ventilators are part of the continued partnership between the American people and our Philippine friends, partners, and allies. We will continue to work together to overcome COVID-19,” Ambassador Kim said in a statement.
In addition to the ventilators, the embassy said the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) will provide clinical training and technical assistance to support health facilities to operate ventilators.
This donation brings the total U.S. contribution to the Philippines’ COVID-19 response to more than Php1 billion ($22.6 million), provided through the U.S. State Department, USAID, and the U.S. Department of Defense.
The embassy said the DOH will facilitate the delivery of the ventilators to hospitals located across the Philippines in coordination with USAID and the Office of Civil Defense.
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Sunday (August 16) expressed its heartfelt sympathies to US President Donald Trump and Anne Marie Pallan on the passing of Trump’s younger brother Robert.
“It is with heavy heart that I share that my wonderful brother, Robert, peacefully passed away tonight. He was not just my brother, he was my best friend. He will be greatly missed, but we will meet again. His memory will live on in my heart forever. Robert, I love you. Rest in peace,” Trump said in the statement.
Robert Trump was three years younger than the 74-year-old president.
Unlike his celebrity older brother, Donald, Robert silently prospered as a business executive and real estate developer.
He died a day after President Trump paid an emotional visit on Friday (August 14) at a New York hospital before leaving for New Jersey.
There was no information about the cause of Robert’s passing but speaking before the press on Friday, Trump said his brother was “having a hard time” with an undisclosed illness.
U.S. President Donald Trump has agreed to give China’s ByteDance 45 days to negotiate a sale of popular short-video app TikTok to Microsoft Corp, two people familiar with the matter said on Sunday (August 2).
U.S. officials have said TikTok under its Chinese parent poses a national risk because of the personal data it handles. Trump said on Friday (July 31) he was planning to ban TikTok in the United States after dismissing the idea of a sale to Microsoft.
But following a discussion between Trump and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, the Redwood, Washington-based company said in a statement on Sunday that it would continue negotiations to acquire TikTok from ByteDance, and that it aimed to reach a deal by Sept. 15.
It was not immediately clear what changed Trump’s mind. Banning TikTok would alienate many of its young users ahead of the U.S. presidential election in November, and would likely trigger a wave of legal challenges. Several prominent Republican lawmakers put out statements in the last two days urging Trump to back a sale of TikTok to Microsoft.
The negotiations between ByteDance and Microsoft will be overseen by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), a U.S. government panel that has the right to block any agreement, according to the sources, who requested anonymity ahead of a White House announcement. Microsoft cautioned in its statement that there is no certainty a deal will be reached. (Reuters)
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