Secretary of Defense James Mattis had some fun with newly minted White House national security adviser John Bolton Thursday, joking that he was the "devil incarnate."
President Donald Trump tapped Bolton, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, to serve as his national security chief last week. Democrats and other critics have expressed concern over Bolton's appointment, saying Trump is putting together a Cabinet to brace for war.
"I've heard that you're actually the devil incarnate and I wanted to meet you," Mattis told Bolton as the two men entered the Pentagon Thursday, according to Politico and other news reports. Reporters were standing by and heard the remark.
The New York Times reported last weekend that Mattis was unsure whether he could work with Bolton, who advocated for the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 and has expressed a desire for the U.S. to attack Iran and North Korea.
Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster is currently serving as Trump's national security adviser but will step aside April 9.
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