People across the United States were unsettled when President Donald Trump announced via Twitter the "retirement" of Jim Mattis, Trump's Defense Secretary who was seen by many as a levelheaded safeguard against some of the President's more reckless foreign policy actions. Mattis's resignation letter indicated to many that the departure wasn't a retirement nor did it seem amiable.
Now, another letter from Mattis to Department of Defense employees is making waves for a similar reason.
Mattis farewell message: “Our Department is proven to be at its best when the times are most difficult. So keep the… https://t.co/XGTJTOheOE— Jake Tapper (@Jake Tapper) 1546266998.0
In the letter, Mattis implies that the Defense Department is facing a climate in which "times are most difficult." He goes on to instruct them to
"keep the faith in our country and hold fast, alongside our allies, aligned against our foes."
The final command echoes sentiments he expressed in his resignation letter to Donald Trump:
"One core belief I have always held is that our strength as a nation is inextricably linked to the strength of our unique and comprehensive system of alliances and partnerships...Similarly, I believe that we must be resolute and unambiguous in our approach to those countries whose strategic interests are increasingly in tension with ours. It is clear that China and Russia for example, want to...promote their own interests at the expense of their neighbors, America and our allies."
Mattis's departure seemed related to Trump's sudden decision to pull United States troops out of Syria—a decision Russia commended.
Many thought Mattis's farewell letter to the Department of Defense was one last warning against Donald Trump.
@kylegriffin1 @NBCPolitics Hidden Meaning: Trump is Foe #1— Prudence Deare (@Prudence Deare) 1546267923.0
@DefenseBaron @73SNAngel Jesus! It’s written like the US is at war. I guess that it’s Mattis’ feeling. USA is at war from within.— Marc Fortier (@Marc Fortier) 1546266977.0
@kylegriffin1 @NBCPolitics The biggest foe being the occupant in 1600 Pennsylvania Ave— MountainMomma (@MountainMomma) 1546267935.0
@DefenseBaron @sommervilletv A Military Man’s departure message. Some (not so) subtle subtext.— John dunthorne (@John dunthorne) 1546269269.0
The middle paragraph is a gut-punch: Mattis reminds the military of its sworn role to “support and defend the Const… https://t.co/ougLepQeBP— Leah McElrath 🏳️🌈 (@Leah McElrath 🏳️🌈) 1546282952.0
@kylegriffin1 @nestorduprey @NBCPolitics That means USA first, do not follow Trump.— Andy Normandía (@Andy Normandía) 1546277049.0
However, a few have grown weary of subtle rebukes from departing Trump officials.
@BillKristol Well said, but aren't we due some public rebukes at this point?— 🍢Eric🍢 (@🍢Eric🍢) 1546276329.0
@BillKristol I’m sick of the silent rebuke from the right of the madman in the White House. I want a full throated… https://t.co/0aoiccQmKY— 𝗣𝗶𝘁ó 𝗰𝗵𝗮𝗺𝗽𝗶ñó𝗻 🍄🍑 (@𝗣𝗶𝘁ó 𝗰𝗵𝗮𝗺𝗽𝗶ñó𝗻 🍄🍑) 1546269545.0
The reactions were far from over.
Many are nervous that the last adult has left the room.
@jaketapper @gtconway3d Mattis...the “last” adult in the room...Look out 2019.😳— P.Salvati Norris (@P.Salvati Norris) 1546278485.0
@kylegriffin1 @NBCPolitics #GenMattis was the last vestige of legitimacy that the administration had. Show is over… https://t.co/wmVevlZ87P— @JCB (@@JCB) 1546272755.0
@EdKrassen The last adult has left the room.— Thomas Rosenstand ☜ (@Thomas Rosenstand ☜) 1546269501.0
And though many disagreed with Mattis, most were thankful for what he did to keep the President at bay.
@EdKrassen I hope he can rest. He deserves it.— Alabama Jane Brown♛ (@Alabama Jane Brown♛) 1546269489.0
@ABC Thanks for everything! You are a great leader!— Karli Kelk (@Karli Kelk) 1546271436.0
@washingtonpost Secretary Mattis deserved to be thanked for his service. Contrast with President Obama’s treatment… https://t.co/BQFw1AZr3c— Janet Palmer (@Janet Palmer) 1546283840.0
@ABC Class act sir thank you for your service— mario ranson (@mario ranson) 1546271426.0
@ABC A good man consumed by dirty politics— Emeka Orajaka (@Emeka Orajaka) 1546271854.0
Mattis has yet to be fully replaced.