They were, he claimed, from "central casting" and there were three of them: retired Marine Corps General John Kelly, who was first appointed secretary of the Department of Homeland Security and then White House chief of staff; Army Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster, who became the president's national security advisor; and last (but hardly least) retired Marine Corps General James Mattis, whom Trump particularly adored for his nickname "Mad Dog" and appointed as secretary of defense. Of him, the president said, "If I'm doing a movie, I pick you, General Mattis, who's doing really well."
They were referred to in Washington and in the media more generally as "the adults in the room," indicating what most observers (as well as insiders) seemed to think about the president -- that he was, in effect, the impulsive, unpredictable, self-obsessed toddler in that same room. All of them had been commanders in the very conflicts that Donald Trump had labeled "ridiculous Endless Wars" and were distinctly hawkish and uncritical of those same wars (like the rest of the U.S. high command).