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First Read's Morning Clips: Mattis' departure leaves Washington rattled

A roundup of the most important political news stories of the day
U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis (file photo).BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI / AFP - Getty Images

TRUMP AGENDA: Mattis’ resignation rattles Washington

Jim Mattis’ resignation is causing grave concern among both Republicans and Democrats.

Allies abroad are also dreading a world without Mattis, the Washington Post writes.

Here’s the full Mattis letter.

Who might replace the outgoing Defense secretary?

NBC’s Jonathan Allen writes that Trump has caved to both the Establishment and to his own base.

The House has passed a stopgap bill that includes Trump’s $5 billion border wall request, but it appears destined for defeat in the Senate.

More than 380,000 federal employees are facing a furlough.

POLITICO looks at how Mark Meadows pushed Trump to make a stand on the wall.

The Washington Post calls this “perhaps the most fragile moment of [Trump’s] presidency.”

The Trump administration has ordered that the Pentagon draw up plans for a troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.

The U.S. move to pull out of Syria is widely seen as an abandonment of the Kurds in the region.

Robert Mueller may submit his report as early as mid-February.

A senior Justice Department ethics official concluded that Matthew Whitaker should recuse from overseeing the Mueller probe, but he has no plans to step aside.

The Washington Post writes that the drop in the stock market is causing Trump to become more and more alarmed about his reelection.

2020: DNC unveils its presidential primary debate plans

Here’s one of us(!) on the DNC’s plan for debates in the presidential primary.

Pat Roberts is considering retirement in 2020.

If Sherrod Brown runs for president, his wife will redefine the role of campaign spouse.

Jeff Merkley says his family is on board with a 2020 run.