The New York Times reports:
President Trump, angry over days of news coverage characterizing the resignation of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis as a rebuke of the president, has told administration officials that he is considering removing Mr. Mattis from his job by Jan. 1, two months before he had planned to depart.
The president, a notoriously mercurial leader, has been known to float ideas among his aides only to then change his mind. But aides said he was furious that Mr. Mattis’s resignation letter — in which he rebuked the president’s rejection of international allies and his failure to check authoritarian governments — had led to days of negative news coverage.
And as you see below, it’s already done.
I am pleased to announce that our very talented Deputy Secretary of Defense, Patrick Shanahan, will assume the title of Acting Secretary of Defense starting January 1, 2019. Patrick has a long list of accomplishments while serving as Deputy, & previously Boeing. He will be great!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 23, 2018