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Senate Dem calls on Mattis to testify following resignation

Sen. Tammy DuckworthLadda (Tammy) Tammy DuckworthSu's track record make her an excellent pick for Labor Department post Senate passes bipartisan B water infrastructure bill Senate panel advances Biden's Postal Service nominees MORE (D-Ill.), an Army veteran, called on Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisBiden's is not a leaky ship of state — not yet Rejoining the Iran nuclear deal would save lives of US troops, diplomats The soft but unmatched power of US foreign exchange programs MORE to testify before Congress regarding the contents of his resignation letter in which he acknowledged policy differences with the president. 

“Secretary Mattis should testify before Congress and answer questions about the alarming contents of his resignation letter,” Duckworth said on Twitter. “Congress should use its power to check this President, defend our alliances and hold our adversaries accountable when Donald Trump refuses to.”

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It is unclear in what format such a testimony would take place.

President TrumpDonald TrumpDemocrats, activists blast reported Trump DOJ effort to get journalists' phone records Arizona secretary of state gets security detail over death threats surrounding election audit Trump admin got phone records of WaPo reporters covering Russia probe: report MORE said Thursday that Mattis will leave the administration in February. The announcement was met with bipartisan concern on Capitol Hill, as many had seen the former Marine Corps general as a stabilizing force in the White House.

Mattis issued a stunning resignation letter devoid of any praise for Trump and acknowledging multiple policy disagreements they had.

“Because you have the right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours on these and other subjects, I believe it is right for me to step down from my position,” Mattis wrote in the letter.

Trump and Mattis were known to butt heads on a multitude of issues, including Trump’s stances toward NATO and Russia, banning transgender troops from serving in the military, canceling joint U.S.-South Korea military exercises, withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal and deploying troops to the U.S.-Mexico border.

His departure has long been expected after accounts of disagreements with Trump became more widespread and the president suggested a staff shakeup was imminent following November’s midterm elections.

However, his blatant disagreements with the president startled many on Capitol Hill. 

“I was sorry to learn that Secretary Mattis, who shares those clear principles, will soon depart the administration. But I am particularly distressed that he is resigning due to sharp differences with the president on these and other key aspects of America’s global leadership,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBiden to meet with 6 GOP senators next week GOP is consumed by Trump conspiracy theories The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Emergent BioSolutions - Upbeat jobs data, relaxed COVID-19 restrictions offer rosier US picture MORE (R-Ky.) said in a statement.