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James Mattis confirmed by Senate as defense secretary

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NewsHubJan. 20 (UPI) — The U. S. Senate on Friday confirmed former Gen. James Mattis as President Donald Trump ‘s Pentagon chief — clearing the final obstacle to what was seen as an iffy appointment.
The Senate easily approved the former Marine Corps general during a full vote Friday, which required only a simple majority.
The vote wrapped a nomination that some Republicans worried might not succeed — particularly because Mattis needed a waiver from Congress to serve in the post, because he retired from active duty only three years ago instead of the seven years mandated by federal law.
Both chambers of Congress passed the waiver last week and it was the very first thing Trump signed after his inauguration Friday.
Mattis, 66, a 44-year USMC veteran, will dictate Pentagon policy and serve as a key adviser to Trump on matters of national security. Last week, he testified on a number of issues before the Senate Armed Services Committee, which subsequently approved his appointment.
Another key defense figure, homeland security nominee John Kelly , was also expected to be confirmed by the full Senate Friday.

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