Trump shakes hands with retired Marine Gen. John Kelly after meeting with him in Bedminster Township, N.J., on Nov. 20. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)
When President-elect Donald Trump met last weekend with two retired Marine Corps generals, they each recommended that Trump consider naming the other as secretary of defense, according to a source familiar with the generals’ talks.
James N. Mattis and John F. Kelly are both seen as contenders for a cabinet position in the new administration. Trump has tweeted that he is considering Mattis as a potential secretary of defense, while the president-elect’s senior advisers have indicated that Kelly could serve as secretary of state or homeland security.
Mattis met with Trump on Nov. 19, and Kelly met with him the following day. The retired officers have long been colleagues and friends, with Mattis serving as a two-star general in charge of the 1st Marine Division during the 2003 invasion of Iraq and Kelly serving as his one-star assistant commander. They also have long personal and professional relationships with Marine Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, who commanded the 5th Marine Regiment under Mattis during the invasion and is now chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
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WNU Editor: Call me gullible .... but I do not think this joint recommendation was scripted. On a side note, here is a good James Mattis story and another reason why many soldiers respect him .... A General Mattis Christmas Story (US Naval Institute).
Hat tip to Prairie Pundit for the US Naval Institute story.