President-elect Donald Trump announced he’s picking a four-star general to join his cabinet at the first stop of his “Thank You Tour.” On Thursday, Trump kicked off his tour at the Carrier plant in Indiana after successful negotiations helped save more than 1,000 jobs from being shipped to Mexico. Trump then traveled to Ohio, where he announced that James N. Mattis would be his secretary of defense in his cabinet.
“We’re not announcing it until Monday so don’t tell anybody,” Trump joked.
Mattis is a highly respected former Marine who served 44 years before retiring in 2013. According to a report by the L.A. Times, Mattis oversaw the U.S. Central Command in his final years in the military. He supervised the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and several other military operations throughout the Middle East.
“Mattis clashed with White House aides before he retired over the Obama administration’s outreach to Iran, which he considered unwise. He was openly critical of the Iran nuclear deal that was signed after he left the military.”
Mattis will need a to face a Senate confirmation hearing before taking control of the Pentagon, but it’s unlikely there will be much resistance to this cabinet pick. Senator John McCain issued a statement within hours of Trump’s cabinet announcement by praising Mattis for his impressive credentials.
“He is without a doubt one of the finest military officers of his generation and an extraordinary leader who inspires a rare and special admiration of his troops.”
“General Mattis has a clear understanding of the many challenges facing the Department of Defense, the U.S. military, and our national security,” McCain said. “America will be fortunate to have General Mattis in its service once again.”
The finalists for Secretary of State:
In an interview on Fox News, Trump said that nearly all of his cabinet picks would be announced next week. Trump’s campaign manager Kellyanne Conway also appeared on Fox News on Friday announcing the four finalists for the most coveted job in Trump’s cabinet, which is, of course, Secretary of State.
Romney and Trump have had a tumultuous relationship, to put it lightly, but the two men have put their differences aside and appear to be getting along. Trump picking Todd Ricketts, who reportedly spent money on negative ads against Trump during the campaign, to be in his cabinet as deputy commerce secretary sent a clear signal that the past is in the past and previous statements would not have a major impact on Trump’s ultimate decision.
Gen. David Petraeus
Trump slammed Hillary Clinton for mishandling classified information throughout the campaign, but Petraeus is currently on probation after pleading guilty to it. Petraeus gave information to his biographer and mistress, which is clearly not the same thing as allegations of having classified information on an insecure email server, but the fact remains that Petraeus would, no doubt, meet some resistance in his confirmation hearing if picked to join Trump’s cabinet.
“There would be several problems with his confirmation,” Fox News‘ Andrew Napolitano said Tuesday. “At the time of his guilty plea, he admitted to taking federal government property. That would bar him from holding a federal office.”
Just met with General Petraeus–was very impressed!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 28, 2016
Sen. Bob Corker
Politico reports that Corker would be praised by several Democrats and Republicans if Trump picks him to be in his cabinet. If the Foreign Relations Committee chairman is picked to serve in Trump’s cabinet as secretary of state, it would be a bold move by Trump offering a chance of bipartisanship when it comes to foreign policy.
“I don’t like to predict what happens in the Senate, but I would tell you: He would be very well-received by the Senate,” Sen. Ben Cardin, the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, said. “I believe he’s been an outstanding chairman.”
Trump is known for rewarding loyalty, and no one was more loyal to Trump throughout the entirety of his campaign than Giuliani. There have been numerous reports suggesting infighting within Trump’s inner circle about who should be picked for one of the most important cabinet positions. Does Trump continue his tradition of rewarding loyalty by picking the former New York City mayor as his secretary of state, or does he pick someone like Romney, who opposed his candidacy and said that Trump is not very smart when it comes to foreign policy? We’ll know the answer to that question in just a few days.
[Featured Image by Ty Wright/ Getty Images]