Trump Team Confident Mattis Can Get Waiver to Serve as Defense Secretary

Trump spokesman Jason Miller told reporters on a call today that the transition team recognized that Mattis would need a waiver due to the 1947 law. "Almost immediately after passing the law, Congress granted an exception for General George Marshall," he said, adding that the team has been assured McCain "is committed to marking up legislation to grant General Mattis a waiver as soon as possible."

Asked about Gillibrand's opposition, Miller only reiterated McCain's comments.

The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee also praised the Mattis pick as "an excellent selection."

"I will work with my colleagues in the coming days to clear the way for his confirmation by the Senate," Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) said. "I can think of no better partner for Congress to work with to support the men and women who serve and protect our nation's security."