WASHINGTON Defense Secretary
met in-depth national security adviser
on the steps of the Pentagon on Thursday and jokingly said that he had heard that Mr. Bolton was the "incarnated devil".
"And I wanted to get to know you," said Mr. Mattis, as the two men entered the building
It was an unusual start for two men who are alien to each other and the nexus of US strategy to become potential talks with the North Korean leader
Kim Jong Un,
the Iranian nuclear contract and the ongoing war against the Islamic State.
When Messrs. Bolton and Mattis met, President
in a suburb of Cleveland suggested that the US would withdraw its more than 2,000 troops from Syria. The armed forces have worked with local militants to defeat the Islamic State, which lags behind in the eastern half of the country.
"We will be from Syria very soon," said Trump. "Let the other people take care of it now."
Mr. Mattis is one of the last remaining members of Mr. Trump's original national security team, while Mr. Bolton is a veteran Washington veteran for decades who campaigned for the 2003 invasion of Iraq, which Trump criticized. Last week, the President announced that Mr. Bolton had Lieutenant-General Major General H.R. Replace McMaster, becoming the third National Security Advisor within 1
. Bolton and Mattis disagree on important national security issues. Mr Bolton said he supported preventive actions in North Korea and Iran, while Mattis said that a war with North Korea would be "tragically unbelievable". He also supports the US, which remains at the Iran Agreement the US met with that country and five other world powers.
The Pentagon said the purpose of Thursday's meeting was to build a "productive partnership," but there were no details of what the two men were discussing. Bolton spent almost two hours in the Pentagon, first meeting with Mr. Mattis and then with Marine Corps General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Two days earlier, Mr. Mattis was worried that he and Mr. Bolton would not get along.
"I hope there are different worldviews, that's the most normal thing you want, unless you want group thinking," Mattis said. I'm looking forward to working with him The last time I checked, he's American I can work with an American, OK? "
Before Mr. Bolton's arrival, Mr. Mattis with CIA Director and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and
Senator Lindsey Graham
(R., S.C.). The Pentagon said the foursome had met to discuss routine matters, but acknowledged that they would not meet on a regular basis. A US defense official said the Guantanamo Bay US prison was one of several issues they talked about.