WASHINGTON – Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement on the resignation of Secretary of Defense James Mattis:
“Secretary Mattis had a long, distinguished career of service to his nation, and earned the respect of service members and commanders throughout his 44 years of service as a Marine. He came out of retirement to serve the United States once more as Secretary of Defense and we are a grateful nation for his service.
“As this Administration continues to implode, Secretary Mattis’ extraordinary resignation is a significant loss and a real indication that President Trump’s foreign policy agenda has failed and continues to spiral into chaos. Clearly, Secretary Mattis’ resignation was prompted by the President’s flawed and hasty decision to withdraw our troops from Syria. And as Secretary Mattis makes clear in his letter, President Trump’s coziness with authoritarian regimes and his animosity to our closest allies are increasingly indefensible.
“Our government functions because of apolitical leaders like Jim Mattis who dedicate their lives to advancing the interests of their fellow citizens. As we await a nomination for Secretary Mattis’ successor, I am incredibly concerned about President Trump’s dangerous and erratic decision-making. Now more than ever, we need a Secretary of Defense who is willing to build a more prosperous and secure world while speaking truth to power.”