Trump picks retired Gen. James Mattis for Pentagon chief -Washington Post

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President-elect Donald Trump will nominate retired General James Mattis to lead the Pentagon, The Washington Post reported on Thursday, choosing a revered figure in the Marine Corps known for his tough talk, distrust of Iran and battlefield experience in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The newspaper said the announcement was likely to be made early next week. Reuters could not immediately confirm the planned nomination.

The choice of a seasoned military strategist could be another indication that Trump, a Republican, intends to steer U.S. foreign policy away from Democratic President Barack Obama's increased reliance on U.S. allies to fight Islamist militants and to help deter Russian and Chinese aggression in Europe and Asia.

While the nomination of the 66-year-old Mattis will likely be popular among U.S. forces, many of whom know him by his colorful nickname "Mad Dog," it will have to clear a bureaucratic hurdle.

2 PHOTOS
Here's who Trump has appointed to senior leadership positions
See Gallery
Here's who Trump has appointed to senior leadership positions

Reince Priebus, chief of staff

Obama administration counterparts: Rahm Emanuel, Pete Rouse, Bill Daley, Jack Lew, Denis McDonough (current)

Duties: oversee the Executive Office of the President, serve as the president's right-hand man

Priebus' former job: Chairman of the Republican National Committee

Bio: Priebus, 44, got his law degree from the University of Miami in 1998. He worked his way up through the ranks of the Republican Party, becoming the Wisconsin Party Chairman in 2007, then general counsel to the National Committee in 2009, and finally its chairman in 2011. Priebus helped launch Wisconsinites House Speaker Paul Ryan and Gov. Scott Walker to national prominence over the last several years. He has two young children with his wife, Sally.

Reactions: While Priebus' hire may comfort the Republican establishment, it may aggravate some of Trump's supporters who expect him to fulfill his promise to "drain the swamp" of Washington insiders in government.

HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Because he retired only in 2013, Mattis would need Congress to waive a requirement that a defense secretary be a civilian for at least seven years before taking the top job at the Pentagon. His impressive combat record, however, may deter some Senate Democrats from trying to block his nomination.

Trump has described Mattis as "a true general's general."

The New York real estate magnate famously claimed last year that, "I know more about ISIS than the generals do."

(Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by David Alexander)

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners