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Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Tuesday that President Trump has assured him he is “100 percent” safe in his job.
Speaking to reporters on a 20-hour flight from Washington to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Mattis said that Trump, in an in-flight phone call, told him” “I am 100 percent with you.”
There has been intense speculations that the Pentagon chief is exiting, especially after Trump, in an interview with CBS’ “60 Minutes” Sunday said that Mattis “may leave” his administration and that he thinks the retired Marine Corps general is “sort of a Democrat.”
In the interview, he also said that he likes Mattis and that eventually all of his appointees move on.
Asked about the interview, Mattis said he and Trump “have never talked about me leaving.”
Mattis said that Trump expressed his full support for him in the phone call, and suggested Mattis let the press know this.
Asked whether he was a Democrat, Mattis called himself “proudly apolitical” and said he had never registered for any political party.