Rep. Adam Schiff (Calif.), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, praised President-elect Donald Trump's nomination of retired Marine Corp General James "Mad Dog" Mattis for secretary of defense on Thursday.
CNN's Jim Sciutto asked Schiff for his reaction to breaking reports of Mattis' nomination.
"Well, it's largely positive," Schiff said before going into his history with Mattis.
"I've certainly been impressed with what I've seen and read about him and his reputation," Schiff continued. "So I think he's a very good choice, and I think he'll be very well received."
Schiff went on to say that he was impressed with the pick of Mattis compared to some of Trump's other nominations, adding that he hopes the retired general would be an influence on the president-elect that Democrats also would approve of.
Schiff has been a vocal critic of Trump on national security matters.
Sciutto asked Schiff about the legal requirement that a military officer must be retired for at least seven years before becoming secretary of defense.
The California lawmaker said he believes that any necessary waiver would be granted by Congress due to bipartisan support for Mattis' nomination.
"My guess is because his reputation is so strong and, frankly, because there is enough concern among Democrats about some of the president-elect's other choices, there will be a desire to amend the statute if that's what's necessary. And I think it would be necessary," Schiff said.