Retired Marine general James “Mad Dog” Mattis, who hung up his uniform three years ago, batted away speculation about running for President on Friday—but didn’t rule it out. Mattis—call sign “Chaos”—was fielding questions from the audience at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington following a talk on Iran, but the first query had nothing to do with Tehran.

Instead, a reporter wanted to know if the former head of U.S. Central Command (2010-2013) has given any thoughts to running for the White House, as many of his supporters are arguing he should. “No, I haven’t given any thought to it,” he responded quickly. Well, what about the rumors that he might run? “I think people like you know that better than I do,” he said, before moving on quickly to the friendlier terrain of international relations. After the gathering, the 65-year-old Mattis, also known as the “Warrior Monk” for his ascetic intellect, declined to issue a flat denial that he would run.

Read more at Time

Image courtesy of