President-elect Donald Trump’s choice to lead the Department of Defense, retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis, will testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee Thursday at his confirmation hearing.
Mattis, nicknamed “Mad Dog,” once served as commander of U.S. Central Command. He retired in 2013, so he would require a waiver from a law mandating that defense secretaries must be out of uniform for at least seven years before serving in the role.
In Mattis’ prepared remarks provided to CNN, the general will pledge that as defense secretary he will “work to make sure our strategy and military calculus are employed to reinforce traditional tools of diplomacy, ensuring our President and our diplomats negotiate from a position of strength."
ABC reports that Mattis is expected to have a “smooth confirmation hearing.”
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has publicly praised Mattis. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y) has reportedly announced his plan to oppose Mattis’ confirmation.
Watch the hearing live below: