Why Trump is so obsessed with generals
The president-elect is infatuated with martial swagger and Hollywood’s Patton — which is why he's filling his Cabinet with top military brass. By SHANE GOLDMACHER
As President-elect Donald Trump began building the top tier of his administration, he has turned to friends and advisers to ask just how many generals would be too many — suggesting he may want to tap as many as five — to fill his Cabinet and the highest rungs of the White House.
He’s already up to three, with retired generals in crucial national security posts: secretary of defense (James Mattis), secretary of homeland security (John Kelly) and national security adviser (Michael Flynn). On Thursday, Trump interviewed retired Navy Adm. James Stavridis for secretary of state, one of two military men among the finalists to become the nation’s top diplomat along with former Gen. David Petraeus.
Even before all his picks are finalized, Trump is on pace to assemble the most military-heavy White House and civilian administration since at least World War II.
Military leaders have long held a special allure for Trump, according to people who have spoken to the president-elect both during the formation of his Cabinet and in the years before, including some Hollywood portrayals.
“Frankly, he’s way too impressed in the generals,” said one confidant of Trump, who attended a military academy in high school but never joined in the armed services, instead receiving draft deferments during the Vietnam War. “The more braid you have on your shoulders and the more laurels that you have on your visor, the more impressed he is.”
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