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Trump signs first bill and actions as president

Trump signs first bill and actions as president

AP | SF Gate -- 

President Donald Trump on Friday quickly claimed the mantle of the White House, signing legislation allowing retired Gen. James Mattis to serve as his defense secretary, as well as the nomination papers for his Cabinet choices.

Less than an hour after wrapping up his inaugural address, Trump sat in an ornate room steps from the Senate floor and signed a series of papers formally launching his administration. Flanked by Vice President Mike Pence and congressional leaders, he praised each of his nominees as he signed the papers and handed out the pens he was using, exchanges that allowed him to banter with his new congressional rivals, including Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California.

Trump also signed a proclamation declaring a national day of patriotism, according to a tweet from White House spokesman Sean Spicer.

The bill passed by Congress last week grants Mattis a one-time exception from federal law barring former U.S. service members who have been out of uniform for less than seven years from holding the top Pentagon job. The restriction is meant to preserve civilian control of the military. Mattis, 66, retired from the Marine Corps in 2013.

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