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Pentagon Reporters Asked Mattis About Immigration, And It Didn't Go Well
Shortly before President Trump signed an executive order ending the separation of migrant children from their parents Wednesday afternoon, reporters peppered Defense Secretary James Mattis with questions about whether the children would be lodged at U.S. military bases.
The following is a partial transcript of Mattis’ remarks to reporters before his meeting with German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen, edited for length and clarity.
Q: Could we ask a few questions about the border …
A: The borders?
A: I think you need to talk to another department about that. I handle the stuff beyond the border.
Q: HHS [Department of Health & Human Services] is looking at four U.S. military bases in terms of housing the migrants …
A: We’ll see what they come in with. We support DHS [Department of Homeland Security] and right now this is their lead and we’ll respond if requested.
Q: But would you allow the U.S. military to house families or children in U.S. military bases?
A: We have housed refugees. We have housed people thrown out of their homes by earthquakes and hurricanes. We do whatever is in the best interest of the country.
Q: There are a lot of questions about children being separated from their parents…
A: You’re going to have to ask about the border and the situation [inaudible] the people responsible for it. I’m not going to chime in from the outside. There’s people responsible for it. Secretary Nielson, obviously, maintains close collaboration with us. You saw that when we deployed certain National Guard units there, so she’s in charge …
Q: With all due respect, sir, they have identified four U.S. military bases that they say…
A: I’ve been working on other things today.
Q: This has been going on for several weeks. So they have identified four bases…
A: We support whatever they need.
Q: Governors are withdrawing troops from the national border due to the zero-tolerance policy. Is that something that is impacting the border security mission?
A: Not right now, no.
‘We constantly have them on our minds’ — A little-known agency searches all over for the remains of MIA service members
The 80-minute ride each day to the site in Lang Son Province, Vietnam, through mostly unspoiled forestland and fields, reminded Air Force Master Sgt. Aliah Reyes a little of her hometown back in Maine.
The Eliot native recently returned from a 45-day mission to the Southeast Asian country, where she was part of a team conducting a search for a Vietnam War service member who went missing more than 45 years ago and is presumed dead.
Reyes, 38, enlisted in the Air Force out of high school and has spent more than half her life in military service. But she had never been a part of anything like this.
A U.S. Army Stryker armored vehicle burst into flames on the side of a Polish roadway on Saturday, the Army confirmed on Monday.
A memo circulating over the weekend warning of a "possible imminent attack" against U.S. soldiers in Germany was investigated by Army officials, who found there to not be a serious threat after all.
The U.S. Navy will name its fourth Ford-class aircraft carrier after Doris Miller, an iconic World War II sailor recognized for his heroism during the Pearl Harbor attack, according to reports in The Honolulu Star-Advertiser and U.S. Naval Institute News.
Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly is expected to announce the naming of CVN-81 during a ceremony on Monday in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, according to USNI. Two of Miller's nieces are expected to be there, according to the Star-Advertiser.
Comedian Jon Stewart has joined forces with veterans groups to make sure service members who have been sickened by toxins from burn pits get the medical care they need, according to the Military Officers Association of America.
"Quite frankly, this is not just about burn pits — it's about the way we go to war as a country," Stewart said during his Jan. 17 visit to Washington, D.C. "We always have money to make war. We need to always have money to take care of what happens to people who are selfless enough, patriotic enough, to wage those wars on our behalf."