Donald Trump made one of the most entertaining announcements of a cabinet secretary in history when he appointed General Mad Dog Mattis as his Secretary of Defense.
Watch it here:
President-Elect Trump: “We are going to appoint ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis as our Secretary of Defense” https://t.co/jBmjz7j46N
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) December 2, 2016
The Washington Post reports:
To take the job, Mattis will need Congress to pass new legislation to bypass a federal law that states secretaries of defense must not have been on active duty in the previous seven years. Congress has granted a similar exception just once, when Gen. George C. Marshall was appointed to the job in 1950.
An announcement is likely by early next week, according to the people familiar with the decision. Mattis declined to comment. Spokespersons for Trump’s transition team did not respond to requests for comment.
Mattis, 66, retired as the chief of U.S. Central Command in spring 2013 after serving more than four decades in the Marine Corps. He is known as one of the most influential military leaders of his generation, serving as a strategic thinker while occasionally drawing rebukes for his aggressive talk. Since retiring, he has served as a consultant and as a visiting fellow with the Hoover Institution, a think tank at Stanford University.
Like Trump, Mattis favors a tougher stance against U.S. adversaries abroad, especially Iran. The general, speaking at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in April, said that while security discussions often focus on terrorist groups like the Islamic State or al-Qaeda, the Iranian regime is “the single most enduring threat to stability and peace in the Middle East.”
Mattis said the next president “is going to inherit a mess,” and argued that the nuclear deal signed by the Obama administration last year may slow Iran’s ambitions to get a nuclear weapon, but won’t stop them.
“In terms of strengthening America’s global standing among European and Mid-Eastern nations alike, the sense is that the America has become somewhat irrelevant in the Middle East, and we certainly have the least influence in 40 years,” Mattis said.