Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisTrump's 'Enemies List' — end of year edition The US can't go back to business as usual with Pakistan The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Senate nears surprise deal on short-term debt ceiling hike MORE on Tuesday brushed off reports that he might leave the Trump administration later this year.
"I wouldn't take it seriously at all," Mattis told reporters, advising them to "keep a sense of humor about it."
"How many times have been through this, now, just since I've been here?" Mattis said. "It will die down soon, and the people who started the rumor will be allowed to write the next rumor, too."
"Just the way the town is," he added.
Mattis responds to reports his time at the DoD is short: You shouldn't take the reports seriously.— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) September 18, 2018
Adds how the "rumor" is spread by the news.
"Of course I don't think about leaving, I love it here. I'm thinking about retiring here, getting a little place down on the Potomac." pic.twitter.com/vNZxRvajXN
Mattis's comments came days after The New York Times reported that President TrumpDonald TrumpPredictions of disaster for Democrats aren't guarantees of midterm failure A review of President Biden's first year on border policy Hannity after Jan. 6 texted McEnany 'no more stolen election talk' in five-point plan for Trump MORE was mulling replacing Mattis after the November midterm elections with someone who was most vocally supportive of his policies.
The report, which cited multiple current and former officials, noted that Mattis and Trump have butted heads over a number of issues, including barring transgender Americans from serving in the military and ceasing military exercises in South Korea.
Speculation grew that tensions between the two were worsening after an excerpt from journalist Bob Woodward's book emerged earlier this month, quoting Mattis likening Trump's grasp of the situation on the Korean peninsula to that of a "fifth or sixth grader."
Woodward has said that Mattis was dishonest in denying the remarks he attributed to him.
When asked Tuesday if he ever thought about leaving his position, Mattis responded, "Of course I don't think about leaving, I love it here."
"I'm thinking about retiring here, getting a little place down on the Potomac," he quipped.