While Trump’s incoming cabinet nominees seem mostly to be getting along with the transition team, there are reports of growing tension with nominated Defense Secretary Gen. James Mattis, who is said to be resisting a lot of proposed appointments of other Pentagon positions.
Early indications were that Mattis would be given a lot of input on who these appointees would be, but the announcement that billionaire Vincent Viola was to be Secretary of the Army apparently took him totally by surprise, and started a growing battle over other potential appointees.
Since the Viola announcement, Mattis is increasingly resistant to anyone seen as having a close relationship with Trump, wanting to ensure the Pentagon is loyal to him as defense secretary, and isn’t constantly going around him to the White House. He has reportedly rejected a large number of proposals since then.
The eagerness to keep people in his camp has Mattis pushing for some “never Trump” Republicans in the posts, which the Trump team is continuing to resist, and there appears to be a stalemate at this point, and could point to another battle between the White House and Pentagon starting before Trump is even inaugurated.
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