Kerry approved as new US secretary of state

Updated 29 January 2013
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Kerry approved as new US secretary of state

WASHINGTON: US Senator John Kerry on Tuesday won the unanimous support of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday to replace Hillary Clinton as President Barack Obama’s new secretary of state.
The full Senate was expected to confirm Kerry later on Tuesday.
The five-term senator and 2004 failed presidential candidate has broad support from fellow Democrats as well as Republicans in the Senate.
In a signal of the strong support for Kerry, the committee members signed a resolution praising Kerry’s work in the Senate before they voted to support his confirmation.
“It is a lengthy recitation of an incredible career here in the Senate, some tremendous accomplishments on behalf of the nation and a recognition of how you are going to be an incredible secretary of state,” said Senator Robert Menendez, of New Jersey, who will replace Kerry as committee chairman.
Florida Senator Marco Rubio, a Republican, did not attend the session.
Kerry came into the room shortly after the vote, to loud applause from the committee members. Moved by their support, he said, “I’m honored beyond words,” before making brief remarks about the importance of the committee going forward on issues like Middle East peace.
“What a privilege to work with you and now to work with you in a different way. I thank you, very, very much,” Kerry said.


Bolton, Mattis meet at Pentagon

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis (L) talks with National Security Adviser John Bolton. (Reuters)
Updated 26 April 2018
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Bolton, Mattis meet at Pentagon

  • When Mattis first met Bolton at the Pentagon last month, the defense secretary jokingly said: “I’ve heard that you’re absolutely the devil incarnate and I wanted to meet you.”
  • The two men decided to have “regular” meetings

WASHINGTON: US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis met with John Bolton, the new national security adviser to President Donald Trump, at the Pentagon on Wednesday, a spokeswoman said.
The breakfast meeting came amid US media reports that Mattis risks being isolated by Trump’s more bellicose coterie of advisers, including Bolton, an Iraq War-era hawk who has advocated for military action in both Iran and North Korea.
Bolton “was here this morning,” Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said.
The two men decided to have “regular” meetings, she added, noting that CIA Director Mike Pompeo, Trump’s pick to run the State Department, could join them.
When Mattis first met Bolton at the Pentagon last month, the defense secretary jokingly said: “I’ve heard that you’re absolutely the devil incarnate and I wanted to meet you.”
Mattis, a retired four-star Marine general, is one of a dwindling pool of original Trump picks not to have drawn negative attention from his mercurial boss.
According to multiple reports, after a suspected chemical attack in Syria this month, he successfully pushed Trump to only taking limited action in response, while Bolton wanted a larger operation.
Mattis used to meet regularly with Rex Tillerson, who was fired last month from his position as secretary of state.
Pompeo is seen as being more hawkish than Mattis, further raising the possibility of the Pentagon chief’s influence waning.