The Senate has confirmed retired General James Mattis to become the Secretary of Defense, the first confirmation of President Trump’s Cabinet.
He won confirmation with a 98-1. WOW. But who doesn’t like or approve of Mad Dog Mattis?
Trump took the oath of office at 12:00PM, after which he signed “a waiver approved by Congress that allows Mattis to serve as the Pentagon’s chief, exempting him from a current law that limits the appointment of a defense secretary within seven years of relief from duty.”
Even though the senate confirmed him unanimously, three Democrats voted against the waiver during his confirmation hearing. They had concerns about “eroding the principle of civilian control of the military.” Sen. Richard Blumenthal expressed worry “by the precedent” of Mattis “assuming this office would set.”
The confirmation makes Mattis only the second military officer to lead the Pentagon “since President Truman nominate Army Gen. George C. Marshall for the job in 1950.”
During his hearing he praised NATO, which he served as Supreme Allied Commander of Transformation from 2007-2009, and said America must prepare for possible confrontations with Russia:
“Since Yalta, we have a long list of times we’ve tried to engage positively with Russia. We have a relatively short list of successes in that regard,” Mattis said, referring to the Yalta conference at the close of World War II. “The most important thing is that we recognize the reality of what we deal with Mr. Putin and we recognize that he is trying to break the North Atlantic alliance, and that we take the steps . . . to defend ourselves where we must.”
Asked during a confirmation hearing how he viewed the strains facing the post-war world order, Mattis replied: “I think it’s under the biggest attack since World War II sir, and that’s from Russia, from terrorist groups and with what China is doing in the South China Sea.”
“Russia is raising grave concerns on several fronts and China is shredding trust along its periphery,” Mattis told the Senate Armed Services Committee.
*I updated with the correct outcome. Can you tell it’s been a long week? As Leslie pointed out to me, I’m drunk on liberal tears.DONATE
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