15:49 GMT +322 April 2018
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    Gen. James Mattis, the former head of U.S. Central Command

    Trump Confirms Upcoming Appointment of Mattis as Defense Secretary

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    Trump has confirmed that Retired Marine Gen. James Mattis will be appointed as the next US defense secretary.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — US President-elect Donald Trump has confirmed that Retired Marine Gen. James Mattis will be appointed as the next US defense secretary.

    "We are going to appoint Mad Dog Mattis as our secretary of defense. But we're not announcing it until Monday, so don't tell anyone — Mad Dog. He's great. He is great." Trump said at a rally in Ohio on Thursday, as quoted by NBC.

    Earlier on Thursday media reports emerged that Trump had chosen Mattis for the post.

    From 2010 to 2013, Mattis served as US commander in Afghanistan and Iraq. He disagreed with President Barack Obama's policies in the Middle East, and in particular with the Iran nuclear agreement.

    Mattis' stances on Iran are similar to those advocated by Trump during the presidential campaign and supported by his appointee for White House national security adviser, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.


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