(MEMO) — The Trump administration is considering Jim Webb, a former Democratic senator who also served as Navy secretary under Republican President Ronald Reagan, to be the next defense secretary, the New York Times reported on Thursday, Reuters reports.
Citing an unnamed official, the Times said Vice President Mike Pence and acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney had reached out to Webb. It said what it described as a senior Defense Department official confirmed Webb’s name had been circulating at the White House.
Jim Mattis stepped down from his job as secretary of defense on Tuesday and President Donald Trump said a day later he had essentially fired Mattis, a retired Marine general whose letter of resignation was seen as a sharp rebuke to the Republican president.
Mattis resigned after Trump’s surprise decisions to withdraw all US troops from Syria and half of the 14,000-strong contingent in Afghanistan. Trump has named Patrick Shanahan, a former Boeing Co executive who was Mattis’s deputy, as acting defense secretary.
The Times said Webb could potentially allow Trump to bypass “more hawkish Republicans whose names have been floated to replace Jim Mattis.”
It said Republican senators Tom Cotton and Lindsey Graham and former Republican Senator Jim Talent had also been mentioned as possible replacements for Mattis.
Webb, 72, is a decorated war veteran who served in the Vietnam War, the author of 10 books and an Emmy award-making journalist and filmmaker.
A former US senator from Virginia, Webb ran a long-shot campaign for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.
“Americans don’t like the extremes to which both parties have moved in recent years and, quite frankly, neither do I,” he said in October 2015 when announcing he was dropping his bid.
This article was chosen for republication based on the interest of our readers. Anti-Media republishes stories from a number of other independent news sources. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect Anti-Media editorial policy.
Since you’re here…
…We have a small favor to ask. Fewer and fewer people are seeing Anti-Media articles as social media sites crack down on us, and advertising revenues across the board are quickly declining. However, unlike many news organizations, we haven’t put up a paywall because we value open and accessible journalism over profit — but at this point, we’re barely even breaking even. Hopefully, you can see why we need to ask for your help. Anti-Media’s independent journalism and analysis takes substantial time, resources, and effort to produce, but we do it because we believe in our message and hope you do, too.
If everyone who reads our reporting and finds value in it helps fund it, our future can be much more secure. For as little as $1 and a minute of your time, you can support Anti-Media. Thank you. Click here to support us