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James Mattis bids farewell to DoD: 'Keep the faith in our country'

James Mattis bids farewell to DoD: 'Keep the faith in our country'

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Dec. 31 (UPI) -- Outgoing Defense Secretary James Mattis told department staff to maintain faith in the country in a farewell message on Monday. Mattis' final day as secretary was Monday. He resigned earlier this month, with plans to remain until February, but President Donald Trump asked him to leave as of Dec. 31. Matti's resignation was prompted by Trump's surprise decision on Dec. 19 to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria. Mattis announced his resignation the next day. "You have a right to have a secretary of defense whose views are better aligned with yours," Mattis, a retired four-star general, wrote in his resignation letter to Trump. Monday's farewell letter began with a quote by Abraham Lincoln, and stressed the importance of maintaining good relations with allies. It reads, in full...