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Mattis, Top Choice for Defense Secretary, Once Pushed as Independent for President

Mattis, Top Choice for Defense Secretary, Once Pushed as Independent for President

President-elect Donald Trump meets Gen. James Mattis on Saturday. (AP)

By    |   Saturday, 19 November 2016 07:05 PM


Retired U.S. Marine Corps Gen. James N. Mattis, now considered Donald Trump’s leading choice to be secretary of defense, was himself boomed as an independent candidate for president by "never Trump" forces earlier this year.

Both U.S. News and World Report and the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday that Trump’s favorite candidate for secretary of defense was the retired general known as "Mad Dog Mattis."

The most vigorous cheerleader for Mattis for president was Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, whose efforts to find a third-party contender for president led Republican nominee Trump to dub him "Dopey Bill Kristol" in his now-celebrated tweets.

In April, shortly after Kristol began floating the retired four-star general as a presidential hopeful, Mattis told Newsmax he "hasn’t given much thought" to a late-starting candidacy.

Pressed by Newsmax as to whether there was any truth to rumors he might make a run for president against the two major party nominees, Mattis chuckled and replied: "I think people like you know that better than I do."

Along with Kristol, a never-identified group of billionaires urged Mattis to make an independent run. In addition, a group of campaign operatives including former Jeb Bush campaign staffer John Noonan sent the retired Marine officer a memo on how he could win a three-candidate race.

One week after he spoke to Newsmax, Mattis announced he would not be a candidate.

At the time of his retirement in 2013, Mattis was head of U.S. Central Command, which oversees U.S. military operations in the Middle East. Now 64, he is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute at Stanford University.

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Retired U.S. Marine Corps Gen. James N. Mattis, now considered Donald Trump's leading choice to be secretary of defense, was himself boomed as an independent candidate for president by never Trump forces earlier this year. Both U.S. News and World Report and the...
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2016-05-19
Saturday, 19 November 2016 07:05 PM
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