The U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to recommend President-elect Donald Trump's pick for Secretary of Defense, retired Marine General James Mattis. The committee voted 26-1 to back Mattis' nomination when it is received by the full Senate from Trump after he is sworn in as president. As a result, Mattis' nomination will be sent directly to the Senate for a vote without referral to the committee.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama firmly defended his decision to cut nearly three decades off convicted leaker Chelsea Manning's prison term Wednesday, arguing in his final White House news conference that the former Army intelligence analyst had served a "tough prison sentence" already.
President Barack Obama Wednesday defended his decision to commute the sentence of transgender army private Chelsea Manning, who was jailed for 35 years for handing classified US documents to WikiLeaks. Obama was addressing his final presidential news conference a day after he pardoned 64 people and commuted the sentences of 209 others -- including Manning, who will now be released in May -- in one of his last acts in office. "With respect to Chelsea Manning I looked at the particulars in this case the same way I have with the other commutations I have done and pardons I have done and felt in light of all the circumstances that commuting her sentence was entirely appropriate," Obama said.