President-elect Donald Trump has selected former Marine General James Mattis to be his Secretary of Defense according to reports from the Washington Post’s Dan Lamothe and CNN’s Jamie Gangel.
Trump transition team spokesman Jason Miller quickly reacted to the Washington Post report on Twitter, asserting that the president-elect had not made a decision. He did not deny the report.
No decision has been made yet with regard to Secretary of Defense. #TrumpTransition
— Jason Miller (@JasonMillerinDC) December 1, 2016
“Mad Dog Mattis,” as he is known by soldiers who served under his command, is a popular leader among many who serve in America’s military, largely because of his history of colorful quotes and his no nonsense approach to war.
He resigned during the Obama administration, as some reports suggested that he was pressured out of his job by civilian government bureaucrats.
“Pentagon insiders say that he rubbed civilian officials the wrong way,” reported Foreign Policy reporter Thomas Ricks at the time.
If confirmed, Mattis will now serve as Trump’s chief military strategist, leading the ongoing war against Islamic state terrorists as well as the fight in Afghanistan.
“You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years because they didn’t wear a veil. You know, guys like that ain’t got no manhood left anyway,” he said in 2005. “So it’s a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them. Actually it’s quite fun to fight them, you know. It’s a hell of a hoot. It’s fun to shoot some people. I’ll be right up there with you. I like brawling.”
Trump confirmed the news himself during a victory rally in Cincinnati, Ohio on Thursday. “We are going to appoint Mad Dog Mattis as our secretary of defense,” he said as the crowd cheered. “But we’re not announcing it until Monday … Don’t tell anybody.”