President-elect Donald Trump has chosen General James Mattis to serve in his Cabinet as the Secretary of Defense.
Trump made the announcement Thursday evening during his post-election “thank you tour” in Cincinnati, Ohio. Trump introduced Mattis to the crowd using the General's nickname:
“We are going to appoint 'Mad Dog' Mattis as our Secretary of Defense. But we're not announcing it until Monday so don't tell anybody.”
“Mad Dog” Mattis, a retired United States Marine Corps general, led the invasion into Iraq and Afghanistan in 2003. While he's expected to sail through Senate confirmation, some members of Congress have stated that they will not waive a law that prohibits members of the military who have been on active duty in the past seven years to run the Defense Department.
However, Trump's nomination of Mattis to lead military command has been widely supported, even by some Hillary Clinton supporters, including Michèle Flournoy, who many assumed would be Clinton's pick for Secretary of Defense, had the presidential election gone her way. Last week, when rumors of Mattis' nomination began to surface, Flournoy told NPR:
“General Mattis is a storied and much-respected military leader. He's a student of history, Flournoy said. ”He's a strategic thinker and he also real passion for the care of the men and women in the U.S. military and their families ... I think he would be an outstanding candidate."