U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is not afraid to greet President Donald Trump's new National Security Advisor on Thursday.
After shaking hands with John Bolton and escorting him up the stairs to the Pentagon, Mattis did not waste time
"I heard you were actually the devil incarnate and I wanted to meet you," said Mattis Bolton he laughed as they walked through the doors of the Pentagon.
The eagerly awaited meeting is the first between two men. On Tuesday, Mattis told Pentagon reporters that he had never met Bolton before, but that he expected no difficulties in establishing a working relationship.
"No reservations, no reservations," Mattis said at the time. We will go forward. "
Bolton, Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security from 2001
There were questions about whether Mattis and Bolton could effectively work together in the face of Bolton's reputation as a hawk in defense issues, while Mattis has repeatedly stressed that diplomacy is needed.
"I hope there are different worldviews," Mattis told reporters earlier this week. "That's the normal thing you want, unless you want group discussions."
Early this Thursday, Mattis hosted US Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham. Pompeo was nominated to replace the ousted Foreign Minister Rex Tillerson.
Pentagon spokesperson Dana White described the earlier meeting as a routine and an opportunity for Mattis to discuss the Pentagon's priorities with other government officials and members of the congress.
The meetings will come on Thursday when it is announced that the US Secretary of Defense could visit China in the coming months.
"Defense departments are currently coordinating in both countries," Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Ren Guoqiang said on Thursday
Pentagon officials did not want to comment on the reports.
Reuters information was used in this report.