It didn’t take long for CNN personalities to use Secretary of Defense James Mattis’ resignation announcement this week to claim that President Donald Trump’s impeachment is more likely now than ever before.

Mattis, a former U.S. Marine Corps general, joined the Trump administration back in January 2017 and is one of the administration’s most widely respected members.

But Mattis offered Trump his resignation on Thursday after disagreeing with the president’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria.

Mattis will leave his post at the end of February.

“General Jim Mattis will be retiring, with distinction, at the end of February, after having served my Administration as Secretary of Defense for the past two years,” Trump tweeted Thursday. “During Jim’s tenure, tremendous progress has been made, especially with respect to the purchase of new fighting … equipment.”

“General Mattis was a great help to me in getting allies and other countries to pay their share of military obligations. A new Secretary of Defense will be named shortly. I greatly thank Jim for his service!” Trump added.

In his resignation letter, Mattis wrote, “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.”

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The resignation shocked the nation and U.S. allies, and it didn’t take long for CNN personalities to speculate that Trump could be impeached because Mattis is leaving while the nation is still awaiting special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russian collusion findings.

“And I have to say, John, to the idea of what the political ramifications are and impact of this, I heard from a Republican staffer on the Hill who said this makes impeachment more likely,” CNN anchor John Berman (pictured above right) said Friday on “New Day” to CNN political analyst John Avlon.

“Now, I don’t need to tie this into the Russian investigation right now. We’ll have time to talk about that over the course of the show. But the ripple effects of this are that Republicans are shaken and their support for the president is shaken and that might be an understatement,” Berman claimed.

Avlon replied, “In a deep, fundamental way — and remember, the so-called axis of adults, of whom Mattis is the last to leave the room — gave a lot of security to folks who could say, ‘Pay no attention to what [Trump] says. Look at what he does.'”

“And so Republicans on the Hill who have been stalwart are going to begin to break,” Avlon predicted.

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CNN commentator Joe Lockhart (above left), a former White House press secretary for Bill Clinton, said, “We may look back on this week and say this is when Republicans turned. This was when impeachment became real.”

“It becomes real if they stop supporting the president, and they go down to the White House and tell the president, ‘You’ve got to go,'” Lockhart added. “They don’t want to get rid of Trump. If Trump needs to go, for their own purposes, they want Mueller to do it for them.”

New York Times reporter and CNN contributor Maggie Haberman also said on “New Day,” “A number of conservatives who worked on the campaign and supported the president now say, you know, ‘I regret doing that, and this was a mistake.'”

Haberman said, “This administration is, you know, off the rails, and all of these investigations that are coming to a head will be a huge problem” for Trump.

“It takes 20 Republican senators to vote in favor of impeachment. This could be a critical moment,” Haberman speculated.

Some Democrats and mainstream media members began theorizing about a Trump impeachment shortly after he was elected — and the impeachment talk and wild speculation have intensified over the past year.

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