Teams of lawyers on Capitol Hill wrestled on Friday with how to allow retired 4-star Marine General James “Mad Dog” Mattis, 66, to take up the post, ahead of his scheduled meeting with President Elect Donald Trump in New York on Saturday. Mattis would add to a cabinet of national security super-hawks and signal a return to a more aggressive defense of U.S. interests abroad.
“I’m a great admirer of Gen. Mattis,” said Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain with a grin, refusing to confirm that the blunt-speaking general is in the running, but warmly endorsing the idea.
“I think one of the reasons why it would be good to have him is that he has recent combat experience in both theaters (Iraq and Afghanistan). So he really understands complex situations on the ground,” McCain told The Daily Beast, on the sidelines of the Halifax International Security Forum. McCain’s committee must confirm roughly 50+ defense-related posts for the new administration, chief among them the defense secretary. [Continue reading…]