The inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States was a day of firsts. Outgoing President Barack Obama used his old Twitter account to tell his first dad joke in a while, the new president signed his first bill waving the seven-year military retirement requirement for his Defense secretary pick Gen. James “Mad Dog” Mattis, and Mattis was subsequently confirmed 98-1 as Trump’s first cabinet member.
Mattis’ confirmation came as a result of what CBS News called an “overwhelming vote,” as the retired commander of U.S. Central Command garnered support from both Republican and Democratic senators before, during and after his confirmation hearings. CNN added that Mattis “easily cleared the 50-vote majority threshold” during Friday afternoon’s vote, which was only contested by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York) by the time the cable news network’s write-up was published to its website.
During his confirmation hearing last week, Mattis differed from President Trump on several pertinent topics — including whether or not Russia poses a credible threat to the United States, and future relations with Israel. Despite the 66-year-old retiree’s evident disagreements with his president’s own positions, however, Trump has hailed Mattis as “the closest thing to General George Patton that we have” in modern America.
Following Mattis’ confirmation, the Senate was scheduled to vote on whether or not to confirm retired Gen. John Kelly as Trump’s Homeland Security secretary. Judging by Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-New York) criticism of the new president and the Republican-controlled Congress’ attempts to fast-track the “swamp cabinet” into their positions, however, Democrats may try and do whatever they can to stall some of the administration’s more controversial appointments.
UPDATE: The Senate confirmed Kelly’s Homeland Security secretary appointment 88-11 on Friday, thereby bringing the first official votes on Trump’s cabinet appointees to a close.