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Andrew Harnik / AP

"Away from the cameras and apart from the nonstop drama of the White House, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has come to play a role unlike any other Cabinet member," the WashPost's Greg Jaffe and Dan Lamothe write on the front page:

  • "The retired Marine general has become a force for calm, order and, in the eyes of the president's critics, quiet resistance to some of President Trump's most combative and divisive instincts."
  • "Mattis has maintained this air of independence without directly provoking a president who demands absolute loyalty."
  • "The latest example came [yesterday] morning when Trump vented his frustrations with North Korea after its latest missile launch. 'Talking is not the answer!' Trump tweeted ... 'We're never out of diplomatic solutions,' Mattis said."
  • "On Tuesday night, Mattis seemed again to be in mitigation mode when he announced that he would be pulling together a 'panel of experts' to provide advice on how to implement Trump's ordered ban on transgender troops."
  • Why it matters: "Mattis's deft political touch has surprised many who watched him fall out of favor with the Obama White House. ... In the Trump administration he has managed to press his differences without provoking a backlash."

Be smart: Mattis is a linchpin of what we call the unofficial Committee to Save America — administration and congressional leaders who see themselves as playing a behind-the-scenes role in protecting Trump and the nation from some of his instincts.

Go deeper

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
4 hours ago - Health

FDA panel endorses shot of J&J booster for adults

Photo: Wolfgang Kumm/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Members of the Food and Drug Administration's vaccine expert panel on Friday unanimously endorsed a booster shot for adult recipients of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine at least two months after the initial dose.

Why it matters: The advisory committee raised concerns about a dearth of data to support their decision but ultimately decided to support an additional shot for those over 18.

Capitol Police officer indicted for obstructing Jan. 6 investigation

Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as people try to storm the Capitol on Jan. 6. Photo: Brent Stirton/Getty Images

A U.S. Capitol Police officer has been indicted on obstruction of justice charges for allegedly helping hide evidence of a participant's involvement in the Jan. 6 riot.

Driving the news: Officer Michael A. Riley, 50, is accused of telling the unidentified participant, referred to as "Person 1," in the Jan. 6 riot to delete posts from Facebook, which showed them in the Capitol during the attack.

7 hours ago - World

British MP dies after being stabbed while meeting constituents

Police outside Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, England, on Oct. 15. Photo: John Keeble/Getty Images

David Amess, a Conservative Party lawmaker in the U.K., was fatally stabbed Friday while meeting with local constituents in a church in eastern England, according to AP.

The big picture: Police said a man, 25, was arrested for the stabbing in Leigh-on-Sea and is being held on suspicion of murder. A knife was also recovered at the scene, authorities said.