The former U.S. Central Command leader met with the future commander-in-chief Saturday at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey.
On Sunday, Trump tweeted: "General James "Mad Dog" Mattis, who is being considered for Secretary of Defense, was very impressive yesterday. A true General's General!"
General James "Mad Dog" Mattis, who is being considered for Secretary of Defense, was very impressive yesterday. A true General's General!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 20, 2016
Mattis led the Marines during the notorious bombardment of Fallujah in Iraq. Speaking about fighting in Afghanistan, he told a panel discussion in San Diego in 2005, "Actually, it's a lot of fun to fight. . . . It's fun to shoot some people. I'll be right upfront with you, I like brawling."
"You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years because they didn't wear a veil," he said. "You know, guys like that ain't got no manhood left anyway. So it's a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them."
NBC News adds that
referring to the rules to live by in Iraq, he told a group of soldiers a 2003 speech, "Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet."
And in 2013, he told USA Today, "Those who want to say girls don't go to school, sure I'm all for killing them, or stopping them, and if that means killing them, you do it."
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) told The Daily Beast last week that he is "a great admirer" of the general and that his "recent combat experience" in Iraq and Afghanistan means "he really understands complex situations on the ground."
Appearing on Democracy Now! Monday, Jeremy Scahill, co-founder of The Intercept and author of Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army, said that Mattis "believes in the iron fist of U.S. militarism."
When Trump and others refer to Mattis as "a general's general," Scahill said that what that means is that "there is no real crime when you kill civilians in war. There's just sort of mistakes in the moment, fog of war. And that's kind of disturbing given that the defense secretary is going to be responsible for overseeing all of the armed forces in a world that Trump is committed to unleashing power with no regard to international law or even some U.S. laws."
Trump, whose weekend meetings also involved former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani and former Massachusetts Governor and 2012 Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, said Sunday evening, "We really had some great meetings, and you'll be hearing about them soon."
Mattis would need a congressional waiver to serve as Defense Department secretary because he has not been out of the military for at least seven years.