Acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan’s first full day at the Pentagon’s helm was overshadowed Wednesday when President Donald Trump attacked his predecessor Jim Mattis. Shanahan, who took the Pentagon’s top spot January 1 after serving as deputy defense secretary, was thrust onto the world stage when Mattis quit last month amid long-running disagreements with President Donald Trump. During televised remarks ahead of his first cabinet meeting of 2019, Trump claimed he had “essentially fired” Mattis, even though the former Pentagon chief had pointedly quit his post over multiple disagreements.
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