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WATCH: Mattis jokes to Bolton, 'I heard that you're actually the devil incarnate'

Making light over the recent media freakout over former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton's appointment to the national security council, Defense Secretary Gen. James Mattis joked Thursday that he heard Bolton was "the devil incarnate."

Bolton met with Sec. Mattis for the first time today at the Pentagon.

"Mr. Secretary, it's so good to see you. Thank you for inviting me over," Bolton told Mattis as he arrived.

“Thank you for coming. It's good to finally meet you. I heard that you’re actually the devil incarnate, and I wanted to meet you," Mattis joked in reply.

Reporters at the scene captured the brief exchange on video.

Doubtlessly Mattis was referring to the media freakout over Bolton's appointment by President Trump. He has been called everything from "dangerous" to a "warmonger." His credentials as a former U.N. ambassador and as the undersecretary of state for arms control and international affairs were ignored, as he's been dismissed as a "talking head" on Fox News. Many speculated that Bolton's hawkish views on North Korea — he's previously argued for a first strike against the "imminent" threat from the rogue regime — would be a point of contention between him and Mattis, who has ruled out a pre-emptive attack against North Korea. For his part, Mattis has welcomed Bolton's "different world views" and believes they will develop a "partnership" to keep the country safe.

The reason for all the hate is Bolton's conservative conviction that the United States needs a "180 degree" turn from the policies of Barack Obama to defeat ISIS and confront other challenges across the globe.

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