Senate opens hearing for confirmation of Mattis as US defense secretary

The US Senate on Thursday opened its hearing for the confirmation of Ret. Gen. James Mattis as defense secretary. Mattis is the only nominee for a major post in President-elect Donald Trump's cabinet who is supported by Republicans as well as many Democrats. He served as the head of US Central Command, also known as CENTCOM, before stepping down.
Few cabinet nominees received as much praise as Mattis did at the start of his hearing. Former Defense Secretary William Cohen said the retired general's nickname of "mad dog" is a misnomer, and that it should be "brave heart" instead. Cohen added that Mattis has 6,000 books in his library and has read every one, and frequently quotes from them.   

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