Two Lawmakers Call For Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson To Replace James Mattis

Heather Wilson, Secretary of the U.S. Air Force, testifies during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.
Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Prompting widespread media criticism and shocking official Washington, President Donald Trump announced on December 19 in a Twitter message the withdrawal of United States troops from Syria.

As detailed by a previous Inquisitr report, many have criticized the decision. The withdrawal even prompted now-former Secretary of Defense James Mattis to resign. “I believe it is right for me to step down from my position,” the retired general wrote in his resignation letter, explaining that Donald Trump’s views of foreign policy differ from his.

Parts of Mattis’ letter were interpreted as criticism of Trump’s policies, which is why the president reportedly “hates” it, nearly as much as he hates media coverage of the event and what seems like the public perception that the White House has lost another “adult.”

As soon as Mattis decided to quit — or as President Trump put it in a Twitter message, “retire” — media started speculating, and rumors about the retired general’s successor started circulating.

According to the Hill, two lawmakers are urging Donald Trump to choose Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson to replace Mattis. California Democrat Ted Lieu and Iowa Republican Joni Ernst apparently agree that Wilson would be the best choice and the best possible person to fill the vacancy left by James Mattis.

“I’ve seen firsthand Air Force Sec Heather Wilson’s leadership for our men and women in uniform – she would make a great Secretary of Defense and make our country proud,” Senator Joni Ernst tweeted on Sunday.

Ted Lieu retweeted Ernst’s post, writing that he agrees with the Republican senator and praising Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson. “Wilson embodies the core values of integrity first, service before self and excellence in all we do,” Lieu wrote.

The bipartisan push for Wilson comes as a surprise, given that Donald Trump allegedly threatened to fire the Air Force secretary in October, when, Foreign Policy reported that Trump is considering replacing Wilson over Space Force push-back. According to the report, Wilson angered Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and the president with a “perceived campaign” to undermine the effort.

The White House downplayed the report, stating that “there is no discussion by the President to oust Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson.”

Interestingly, outgoing Secretary of Defense James Mattis opposed the creation of a Space Force as well but later changed his mind. As NBC News reported, in a 2017 letter to Ohio Republican Mike Turner Mattis wrote that he does “not wish to add a separate service that would likely present a narrower and even parochial approach to space operations.”