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*-- Trump 'considering' Gen. James 'Mad Dog' Mattis for defense secretary --*

WASHINGTON - President-elect Donald Trump said retired Marine Gen. James "Mad Dog" Mattis is being considered to serve as secretary of defense.

"General James 'Mad Dog' Mattis, who is being considered for Secretary of Defense, was very impressive yesterday. A true General's General!" Trump tweeted on Sunday.

Mattis, 66, met with Trump for a little over an hour in Bedminster, N.J., on Saturday.

"All I can say is he is the real deal. He is the real deal," Trump said of Mattis when reporters asked if he would be his pick for defense secretary.

Mattis is a four-star general who retired in 2013 after serving in the military for 44 years. He is widely known for his leadership role during the 2004 Battle of Fallujah in the Iraq War. In recent years since retirement, he has been a sharp critic of President Barack Obama's nuclear deal with Iran and the Obama administration's hesitance to enter military conflict.

Congress would need to provide Mattis a waiver to pursue the position due to Title 10 of the U.S. Code that mandates the president must nominate someone "from civilian life." The same rule says a person "may not be appointed as Secretary of Defense within seven years after relief from active duty as a commissioned officer of a regular component of an armed force."

Mattis generated controversy in 2005 during a panel discussion by apparently promoting violence.

"It's fun to shoot some people. I'll be right up there with you. I like brawling," Mattis said when referring to Afghan men "who slap women around for five years because they didn't wear a veil."


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