Senate’s military panel set to take on Trump presidency

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Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., Chairman Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Ranking Member Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing in January, 2017.  Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes
From Stripes.com
Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., Chairman Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Ranking Member Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing in January, 2017. Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes

Senate’s military panel set to take on Trump presidency

by: Travis J. Tritten | .
Stars and Stripes | .
published: January 13, 2017

WASHINGTON — The political fireworks over Donald Trump’s defense agenda came quickly and early to this year’s Senate Armed Services Committee – and could stick around.

As the new Republican-controlled Congress was getting itself in order during the first days of its new session, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and his committee wasted no time last week calling in top intelligence chiefs who disputed Trump by confirming Russia hacked the presidential election.

Experts who testified Tuesday backed Trump’s secretary of defense pick, Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis, but only after lobbing some harsh criticism at the president-elect.

“There is no question in my mind that a Secretary Mattis would be a stabilizing and moderating force preventing wildly stupid, dangerous or illegal things from happening,” Eliot A. Cohen, a noted Trump critic and a professor at Johns Hopkins University, told the committee.

The Armed Services Committee holds powerful sway over the military, helping to craft its budget and policies. And under McCain’s leadership, it is moving into an unusual position – a Republican-led committee already gearing up to take on a first-term Republican president.

Read more at: http://www.stripes.com/1.448649