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White House looking at replacements for US defense secretary: Report

The White House is “actively” discussing possible candidates to replace James Mattis as the secretary of defense, a media report has revealed, amid intensified speculations that the Pentagon chief may step down after the disclosure of his criticism of President Donald Trump.
White House looking at replacements for US defense secretary: Report
AVA- Citing a senior White House official, The Washington Post reported on Wednesday that “the speculation about who replaces Mattis is now more real than ever.”
According to the report, many officials close to the Trump administration had already expected that Mattis would leave his position sometime over the next few months.
Trump, however, rejected the report, stressing that Mattis will remain in his job.
“He’ll stay right there. We’re very happy with him. We’re having a lot of victories,” Trump told reporters on Wednesday.
What fueled these speculations were excerpts from a new book by veteran journalist Bob Woodward that claimed Mattis had told associates Trump “acted like — and had the understanding of — ‘a fifth- or sixth-grader’.”
Mattis has denied the remarks attributed to him, describing Woodward’s book as "a fiction."
Officials working to frustrate Trump agenda'
Meanwhile, an anonymous senior official said in an op-ed in The New York Times that top members of Trump's administration are so alarmed by his "erratic" and "amoral" behavior they are actively working to undermine him.
In a Wednesday piece entitled, “I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration,” the anonymous official said the president's own staff see him as a danger to the nation.
“We believe our first duty is to this country, and the president continues to act in a manner that is detrimental to the health of our republic,” the official added in his op-ed.
“Many of the senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations.”
Outraged by the article, Trump called it a “gutless editorial” and blasted the newspaper as “dishonest”. His spokeswoman Sarah Sanders also described it as a “pathetic, reckless, and selfish” piece, and condemned the New York Times for publishing it.

Thursday 6 September 2018 17:15
Story Code: 170213 Copy text available
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