Blumenthal Meets with Secretary of Defense Nominee General James Mattis

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) met today with President-Elect Donald Trump’s nominee to be Secretary of Defense, General James Mattis. Blumenthal serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee, which will consider the nomination.

“I appreciated my candid and wide-ranging conversation today with General Mattis – a military leader with a lifetime of distinguished and courageous service to our nation. I was impressed by General Mattis’ comments on a number of specific issues that I raised with him – including cybersecurity, Russian aggression, veterans' healthcare and other benefits, and sexual assault in the military. I was encouraged by his clear commitment to American air superiority and the important role of the F-35 program in sustaining and enhancing it. I was also heartened by his understanding of the strategic advantage our submarines provide to our national defense and vital security interests. General Mattis has a deep and insightful appreciation of the need for care and caution in the use of military power – a perspective that could provide a sense of balance and stability in a Trump Administration,” Blumenthal said.

“While General Mattis is a highly qualified nominee, preserving civilian control of our military is a bedrock principle critical to our democracy. I will carefully weigh whether a statutory waiver is warranted with this nomination.”

Today, Blumenthal published an op-ed in the Hartford Courant detailing the importance of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program in response to recent tweets from Trump threatening the program.