Senate Confirms James Mattis as Defense Secretary
President Trump’s national security team begins taking shape just hours after inauguration.
The U.S. Senate on Friday confirmed retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis as the secretary of defense, approving a central member of President Donald Trump’s national security team just hours after the new president was sworn into office. Mr. Mattis, who drew early support from both sides of the aisle, was confirmed in a 98-1 vote. Both chambers of Congress enabled Mr. Mattis’s confirmation by approving last week a one-time exception to a law that stipulates a person must be out of uniform for seven years before he or she is eligible to become secretary of defense. Mr. Trump signed the waiver Friday in one of his first acts as president. The rule is meant to enforce the tradition that the U.S. military remain under civilian leadership. The exemption for Gen. Mattis, who retired in 2013, doesn’t abrogate the seven-year stipulation on the books.
More From The Wall Street Journal (subscription required):