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Mattis resigned after Trump rebuffed his advice on Syria

Secretary Mattis and President Trump. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis' announced departure came hours after a last-ditch effort to keep President Trump from pulling troops in Syria, the New York Times reports.

The big picture: The Times reports that when Mattis spoke with Trump about staying in Syria, he "was rebuffed, and told the president that he was resigning as a result." In his resignation letter, Mattis wrote that Trump has "the right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned" with his, and stressed his belief in the importance of "showing respect" to American allies.

Go deeper: Mattis resignation letter lists ways he was "not aligned" with Trump