President-elect Donald TrumpDonald TrumpHarris stumps for McAuliffe in Virginia On The Money — Sussing out what Sinema wants Hillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — The Facebook Oversight Board is not pleased MORE has asked the Pentagon’s second-highest ranking official to join his administration, according to a new report.
Trump has requested that Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work continue serving under his incoming Defense secretary, retired Gen. James Mattis, Fox News said Monday.
Fox News reporter Jennifer Griffin said Trump’s team has asked Work to remain in his role in part due to concerns that North Korea and other foreign antagonists may test the president-elect after his inauguration.
Concern North Korea, others may test new administration on Jan 20 = one reason Trump team asked Bob Work to stay on as deputy defense sec.— Jennifer Griffin (@JenGriffinFNC) January 9, 2017
Work served on President Obama’s Pentagon transition team, it said, and is a Marine and former Navy undersecretary expected to provide continuity between the two administrations, Griffin added.
.@DepSecDefWork served on Obama's Pentagon transition team, a Marine, served as Navy Undersecretary, will provide continutiy: source.— Jennifer Griffin (@JenGriffinFNC) January 9, 2017
Fox News added that Michele Flournoy, the former undersecretary of Defense for policy, took herself out of the running for the same role before any formal offer was made.
Mattis, Trump’s nominee for secretary of State, is due before the Senate Armed Services Committee for his confirmation hearing this Thursday.
Mattis needs a waiver to exempt him from a current law that requires a general to be out of the military for at least seven years before serving as Pentagon chief.
A potential waiver for Mattis – who has only been out of the military for three years – will need to be passed by both congressional chambers, needing at least 60 votes in the Senate.
Critics say approving a waiver may harm the principle of civilian rule over both the military and the Pentagon.
Work was confirmed by the Senate for the Pentagon’s second-highest role in May 2014, after Obama nominated him.
He served 27 years in the Marine Corps before becoming undersecretary of the Navy. He then left that role to become the CEO of the Center for a New American Security, a Washington, D.C. think tank.