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U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, center, is greeted by U.S. Ambassador Douglas Silliman as he arrives at Baghdad International Airport on an unannounced trip Monday, Feb. 20, 2017. Mattis said Monday the United States does not intend to seize Iraqi oil, shifting away from an idea proposed by President Donald Trump that has rattled Iraq's leaders. (AP Photo/Lolita Baldor)

James Mattis insisted the US won't take Iraq's oil, despite Trump's claims it should

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All of us in America have generally paid for our gas and oil all along ... We're not in Iraq to seize anyone's oil.
James Mattis, Defense Secretary

Defense Secretary James Mattis said Monday the U.S. had no plans to seize Iraqi oil, despite President Trump's proposal that the U.S. should have done so to cripple ISIS.

Mattis' trip to Iraq was his first as Defense Secretary.

James Mattis insisted the US won't take Iraq's oil, despite Trump's claims it should

WATCH | Here's Mattis speaking to reporters before leaving for Iraq.

So we should have kept the oil. But, OK, maybe you'll have another chance.
President Trump

Trump has said last month to the CIA "to the victor belong the spoils" referring to Iraqi oil. He also argued that it was an effective counterterrorism strategy, since a significant portion of ISIS' income is from oil that it seizes. 

James Mattis insisted the US won't take Iraq's oil, despite Trump's claims it should

WATCH | Here's the moment Trump said the U.S. should have "kept the oil."

It's not the first time Mattis backed off a controversial Trump statement. On Sunday, he also disagreed with Trump's assessment that the news media was the "enemy of the American people," The Washington Post reports

His visit to Iraq was intended to "get current on the situation there." He landed early Monday morning. 

A new offensive to recapture western Mosul from ISIS control launched Sunday. Iraqi forces have held eastern Mosul for weeks. 

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