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Pentagon Holds 1st News Briefing Under New Chief

James Mattis and Capitol building background
Posted at 3:59 PM, Jan 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-23 15:59:00-05

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Pentagon has held its first news briefing since Defense Secretary James Mattis was sworn in on Friday.

A spokesman, Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, on Monday described several of Mattis' first activities as Pentagon chief but declined to discuss any policy issues. That includes potential changes in the U.S. approach to fighting the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq, which President Donald Trump has singled out as a priority.

Davis said Mattis has made retired Navy Rear Adm. Kevin M. Sweeney his chief of staff and Rear Adm. Craig S. Faller his senior military assistant.

The spokesman said Mattis would be meeting with the military service chiefs and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Gen. Joseph Dunford, on Tuesday, and had conducted a phone conversation with his Canadian counterpart.