Thursday, January 12, 2017

Mattis Hearing Cancelled by Trump

I'm taking us to DEFCON 3

I don't like the sound of this.

Mattis was scheduled to appear before the House for a hearing related to his appointment, but now that's been cancelled by the Trump transition team.

Mattis has to get approved by both the House and the Senate for his waiver, but that was largely expected to be a done deal, given that he's the best person Trump has picked for anything yet. Even so, Mattis was going to appear before a House committee as a gesture to the fact that the House needs to vote on him.

The U.S. House of Representatives had been due to hear Mattis testify on Thursday and he had agreed to appear. Mattis, who retired from the Marine Corps in 2013, is technically ineligible to be defense secretary since he has not been a civilian for at least seven years. That means Congress would need to grant a waiver, something it has not done since 1950.

House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer said it was his understanding the Trump transition team had blocked Mattis from testifying. Congressional aides also confirmed that Mattis had agreed to testify but the appearance had been blocked.
I really hope this doesn't have anything to do with the stories that Mattis has been objecting to some of the other military picks, or at least that he wasn't included in the decision making process.

Mattis is a smart, capable guy who knows what's what. He's a man of respect and honor. He doesn't need this job anyway, but he's agreed to be SECDEF out of sense of duty. If Trump tries to push Mattis around into doing things he doesn't want to do, Mattis is going to be heard on the issue, and he might just up and quit if it gets bad.

If Mattis quits or is pushed out of the Trump administration, that's an indicator that things are going south. Mattis is my "canary in the coal" mine for the Trump presidency. If he's out, things are getting bad.

I hope this isn't a big deal, but it does worry me.

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