Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis was caught on camera making a joke to newly appointed National Security Advisor John Bolton during their first meeting at the Pentagon on Thursday.
“It’s good to finally meet you,” Mattis said upon Bolton’s arrival. “I heard you’re actually the devil incarnate, and I wanted to meet you.”
The two men can be heard laughing while entering the building.
Following the removal of H.R. McMaster from his position as national security advisor and President Donald Trump’s appointment of Bolton, Mattis has been working to stave off notions that he would not be able to work with the former United Nations ambassador over issues such as Iran and North Korea.
Following the reports, Mattis said that he had “no reservations, no concerns at all” with Bolton.
“Last time I checked he’s an American. I can work with an American, OK? So I’m not the least bit concerned with that sort of thing,” Mattis said.
Mattis said Tuesday that he hopes they hold “different world views” to avoid “group think.”
“It’s going to be a partnership, we are going to go forward,” he added.