White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said today that General James Mattis did "the right thing" by presenting his resignation this Thursday as US Secretary of Defense, after months of differences with President Donald Trump.
"If Secretary Mattis feels he's not the right person to fill that position, I think the right thing and the honorable is what he did, step aside," Sanders said in an interview with conservative Fox.
Mattis announced his resignation on Thursday, a day after the White House reported the withdrawal of US troops from Syria, after proclaiming the defeat of the terrorist group Islamic State (IS) in that country.
In the letter of his resignation, Mattis considered that the "strength" of the US It is "indissolubly" linked to the strength of a "complete and unique" system with its allies, in statements that contrast with the thinking of Trump, who believes that other countries "take advantage" of the American leadership.
Mattis, who will remain in office until February 28, 2019, said Trump "has a right" to a secretary of defense with views more "aligned" with his vision.
In the coming weeks, Trump will begin the process to select a new defense secretary, a position chosen by Senator Lindsey Graham, who has shown himself increasingly close to the president, as well as ultraconservative senator Tom Cotton, according to local media.
The candidate that Trump chooses must pass the Senate exam and be approved by that chamber, in republican hands.