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2-min read

Trump Considering 'Mad Dog' Mattis for Defence Secretary Post

James Mattis, a retired 4-star Marine Corps general who has long voiced concerns about the threat posed by Iran, is being considered to become Secretary of Defence, US president-elect Donald Trump confirmed on Sunday.

Press Trust Of India

Updated:November 20, 2016, 11:16 PM IST
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Trump Considering 'Mad Dog' Mattis for Defence Secretary Post
U.S. President Donald Trump stands with . James Mattis following their meeting at the main clubhouse at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, U.S. (REUTERS)
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Los Angeles: James Mattis, a retired 4-star Marine Corps general who has long voiced concerns about the threat posed by Iran, is being considered to become Secretary of Defence, US president-elect Donald Trump confirmed on Sunday.

"General James "Mad Dog" Mattis, who is being considered for Secretary of Defence, was very impressive yesterday. A true General's General!" Trump said in a tweet.

Mattis, former Central Command leader, was one of several people who have met Trump and Vice president-elect Mike Pence.

The 66-year-old Marine Corps general, who memorably said "it's fun to shoot some people", would add to a cabinet of national security super-hawks and signal a return to a more aggressive defence of American interests abroad.

"To have someone like General Mattis to sit before us yesterday, someone with a legendary military career and to be able to talk to him about the challenges facing America and our national security - and I can tell you that the president-elect was very grateful," Pence said.

In Mattis, Trump has a candidate who was held in high regard throughout the ranks of the Marine Corps during his 44 years of service. A seasoned combat commander, he led a task force into southern Afghanistan in 2001 and a Marine division at the time of the Iraq invasion in 2003, according to CNN.

The retired four-star general, who was known as "Mad Dog," was lauded for his leadership of Marines in the 2004 Battle of Falluja in Iraq - one of the bloodiest of the war. But he also attracted controversy in 2005 when he said "it's fun to shoot some people" while addressing service members in San Diego.

Mattis would require a waiver from Congress to be eligible for the post, since a retired officer is needed to be out of uniform for at least seven years before taking control of the Pentagon responsibilities.

With Republicans in control on Capitol Hill and the general praise for the general's career, the waiver would likely be a formality to obtain.

Trump also met Mitt Romney, a moderate Republican who had branded him a "con man, phony and fraud" during the election campaign.

Appearing on Fox News, Pence said Romney, 69, is being considered for the position of Secretary of State.

Governor "Mitt Romney came in. They had a good meeting. It was a warm and substantive exchange. I know he's under active consideration to be the secretary of state of the United States along with other distinguished Americans," Pence said.

"We spent about an hour together with the team, the president-elect and I on one side of the table and some of the team on the other side with Governor Romney. And we talked through a lot of substantive issues," he said.

Pence said he met the top Congressional leadership this week. "We had a substantive conversation. We're working with the majorities in the House and Senate to move forward an aggressive agenda," he said.

"From there, we'll work on issues ranging from ending illegal immigration, reviving our economy through tax reform, rebuilding the military, restoring the infrastructure of this country," the vice president-elect said.

| Edited by: Ashutosh Tripathi
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