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President Barack Obama said on Wednesday that former military intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning had served a tough prison term and his decision to commute her 35-year sentence to about seven years served would not signal leniency toward leakers of U.S. government secrets. Obama told his final news conference as president that he felt it made sense to commute Manning's sentence because she went to trial and took responsibility for her crime. "I feel very comfortable that justice has been served," Obama said.
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.