Trump said he was "impressed" by Mattis' answers to his questions on the issue. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Both Republicans (John McCain especially) and Democrats (Rep. Adam Schiff, vice chairman of House Intel) have already expressed support for retired Marine Gen. James Mattis to head Donald Trump’s Department of Defense. That means Congress is very likely to pass the law it must in order for him to take the job. Otherwise he would be barred under a revolving-door law that prescribes a seven-year waiting period for officers leaving active service.

Another important point on Mattis: He has made it clear that he disagrees with Trump on the issue of waterboarding. And Trump seems fine with that. Trump described their conversation on the matter to the New York Times:

I said, ‘What do you think of waterboarding?'” Trump told The New York Times. “He said — I was surprised — he said, ‘I’ve never found it to be useful.’ He said, ‘I’ve always found, give me a pack of cigarettes and a couple of beers and I do better with that than I do with torture.'”
“I’m not saying it changed my mind. Look, we have people that are chopping off heads and drowning people in steel cages and we’re not allowed to waterboard,” Trump said. But I’ll tell you what, I was impressed by that answer.”

Trump confirms 'Mad Dog' Mattis is his pick for secretary of defense

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President-elect Trump will nominate legendary retired Marine Corps Gen. James “Mad Dog” Mattis as his defense secretary, despite a law barring recently retired generals from running the Pentagon, Trump announced Thursday at a rally in Cincinnati.

He said he will officially make the announcement Monday next week.

Mattis, beloved by his troops and widely respected by military and civilian leaders alike, is expected to easily get a waiver from Congress to the federal statute that requires the defense secretary to come from civilian life, or be out of uniform seven years.

12/01/16 8:18 PM

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