Senator voted 98-1 to confirm retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis, 66, hours after Donald Trump took the oath of office of the President of the U.S.
At his confirmations hearings last week, Mattis was as variance with Trump when he said Russia was a threat to the U.S. and he defended the existence of NATO.
Mattis retired in 2013 after 44 years of service in the Marines. He most recently served as head of U.S. Central Command overseeing forces in the Middle East, north Africa and central Asia. He also served as head of Joint Forces Command and NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander of Transformations
He needed a congressional waiver to assume the post as the law prevents any military member who had served in the last seven years from taking the civilian Cabinet position.
Trump signed the waiver as his first act as president after he was inaugurated.
Revered Gen. George C. Marshall is the only other defense secretary to have received the exemption when Congress granted it in 1950.
Mattis fell out of favor with President Barack Obama's administration because of his hawkish views on Iran.