Defense Secretary James Mattis was at his Pentagon office on Christmas Day working, CNN reported Tuesday.
President Donald Trump will replace Mattis on Jan. 1, after the defense secretary said he would resign at the end of February due to the president's abrupt decision to withdraw American troops from Syria, according to The Hill.
Mattis also sent out Christmas greetings to the troops, saying "To those in the field or at sea, 'keeping watch by night' this holiday season, you should recognize that you carry on the proud legacy of those who stood the watch in decades past. In this world awash in change, you hold the line. Storm clouds loom, yet because of you, your fellow citizens live safe at home."
The secretary's brother, Tom Mattis, told The Seattle Times his sibling was not upset at being forced out early and the secretary's loyalty is to the Constitution, meaning he will "always give his best advice and speak truth to power – regardless of the consequences."
Tom Mattis added "No one should assume that his service to his country will end. And the manner of his departure is yet another service to the nation. It is the very definition of patriotism and integrity."
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