Mattis, Kelly sworn in as first Trump cabinet members

John Kelly confirmed as Secretary of Homeland Security and James Mattis cleared as Secretary of Defense.

    Mattis, Kelly sworn in as first Trump cabinet members
    Congress had to pass special legislation to allow Mattis to serve as defense secretary [EPA]

    Vice President Mike Pence has sworn in the first two confirmed members of the new US cabinet, James Mattis as defense secretary and John Kelly as homeland security secretary.

    The two retired Marine generals were approved by the Senate on Friday, just hours after President Donald Trump took the oath of office.

    Republicans pushed for fast approval of Mattis to ensure the post would not be empty even for a brief amount of time after Trump's swearing-in.

    He will replace Ash Carter, who has been former President Barack Obama's defense secretary since February 2015.

    Congress had to pave the way for Mattis to serve. Lawmakers last week passed legislation that Trump signed granting Mattis an exception from the law barring former service members who have been out of uniform for less than seven years from holding the job.

    Mattis retired from the Marine Corps in 2013.

    Kelly will be in charge of overseeing Trump's pledge to crack down on illegal immigration.

    If Trump keeps his campaign promises, Kelly's agency will be responsible for strengthening the screening of immigrants permitted to enter the US. His department also will be charged with finding additional resources to locate and deport people living in the country illegally.

    John Kelly will be in charge of overseeing Trump's pledge to crack down on illegal immigration [EPA]

    SOURCE: News agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We will cut your throats': The anatomy of Greece's lynch mobs

    The brutality of Greece's racist lynch mobs

    With anti-migrant violence hitting a fever pitch, victims ask why Greek authorities have carried out so few arrests.

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    How a homegrown burger joint pioneered a food revolution and decades later gave a young, politicised class its identity.

    From Cameroon to US-Mexico border: 'We saw corpses along the way'

    'We saw corpses along the way'

    Kombo Yannick is one of the many African asylum seekers braving the longer Latin America route to the US.