Dem senator comes out against waiver for Mattis to be Defense head

Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump digs in ahead of House vote to condemn tweet 'Game of Thrones' scores record-breaking 32 Emmy nominations The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by JUUL Labs - House to vote to condemn Trump tweet MORE (D-N.Y.) came out against Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpPompeo changes staff for Russia meeting after concerns raised about top negotiator's ties: report House unravels with rise of 'Les Enfants Terrible' Ben Carson: Trump is not a racist and his comments were not racist MORE’s selection of retired Marine Gen. James Mattis for secretary of Defense, saying she would not support a necessary congressional waiver to allow him to take on the role.

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Gillibrand is the first lawmaker to oppose waiving the prohibition on former military officers heading the Pentagon less than seven years after retiring.

“While I deeply respect General Mattis’s service, I will oppose a waiver,” she said in a statement. “Civilian control of our military is a fundamental principle of American democracy, and I will not vote for an exception to this rule.”

Mattis retired in 2013. George Marshall was the only Defense secretary to need a waiver, having been picked by President Truman in 1950, five years after the five-star general stepped down as Army chief of staff.