Trump's Defense Secretary Is 'Mad Dog,' 'Warrior Monk'

Sources say Trump has named James Mattis to the position
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 1, 2016 6:35 PM CST
James 'Mad Dog' Mattis Is Trump's Defense Sec: Sources
President-elect Donald Trump talks to the media as he stands with retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis at the Trump National Golf Club Bedminster clubhouse in Bedminster, N.J., Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Sources tell the Washington Post that Donald Trump has picked a "Mad Dog" for secretary of defense. That's just one of the nicknames held by retired Marine Gen. James Mattis, who CNN notes is also known as the "Warrior Monk." Apart from spending four decades with the Marines, Mattis was recently the chief of US Central Command—a role in which he clashed with President Obama over Iran—and spent time as the supreme allied commander of transformation for NATO. John McCain has called Mattis "one of the finest military officers of his generation and an extraordinary leader." He has a "cult-like following" among infantry Marines and soldiers, the Military Times reports.

"He speaks truth to everyone and would certainly speak truth to this new commander in chief,” a former Pentagon official tells the Post. Mattis has raised eyebrows—to say the least—in the past with quotes such as "It's fun to shoot some people" and, "Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet." Trump has called him the "real deal." Mattis would require a special waiver from Congress before being confirmed because he's been a civilian for less than seven years. Despite a Trump transition spokesperson saying no decision has been made, Donald Trump Jr. tweeted that Mattis was offered the gig and an official announcement is expected next week. (Read more Lt. Gen. James Mattis stories.)

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