Donald Trump’s first official action: Clearing the way for defense pick

View Caption Hide Caption
President Donald Trump pumps his fist. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s first action as Commander-in-Chief was a practical one: clearing the way for  James Mattis to serve as his secretary of defense.

The retired U.S. Marine Corps general needed a waiver to serve in the Cabinet due to rules designed to maintain civilian control of the military. Both chambers of Congress voted to give him a one-time exception waiver last week. Now Trump, within 90 minutes of being sworn-in, has signed that legislation.

The Senate is expected to vote to confirm Mattis and retired Gen. John Kelly as homeland security secretary later this afternoon.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Trump will also soon take two other official actions: formally sending his Cabinet nominations to the U.S. Senate and calling for a national day of patriotism.

Read more about today’s agenda here. 

Check out more inauguration coverage at

Complete inauguration coverage:

Live: Updates from Washington and beyond

Photos: Donald Trump’s inauguration

Your guide to all things Inauguration Day

Georgians head to Washington for jam-packed Inauguration Day

Donald Trump expects Sonny Perdue to produce ‘big results’ as ag chief

What to expect from Donald Trump on his first day in office

Follow the AJC’s Donald Trump inauguration coverage

Led by John Lewis, at least 65 House Democrats boycott inauguration

View Comments 1