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?
Army and Air Force Exchange Service officials are warning soldiers and military families to be aware of scammers using the Exchange's logo.
In a news release Wednesday, Exchange officials said scammers using the name "Exchange Inc." have "fooled" soldiers and airmen to broker the sale of used cars, trucks, motorcycles, boats and boat engines.
KABUL (Reuters) - The Islamic State (IS) militant group claimed responsibility on Sunday for a suicide blast at a wedding reception in Afghanistan that killed 63 people, underlining the dangers the country faces even if the Taliban agrees a pact with the United States.
The Saturday night attack came as the Taliban and the United States try to negotiate an agreement on the withdrawal of U.S. forces in exchange for a Taliban commitment on security and peace talks with Afghanistan's U.S.-backed government.
Islamic State fighters, who first appeared in Afghanistan in 2014 and have since made inroads in the east and north, are not involved in the talks. They are battling government and U.S.-led international forces and the Taliban.
The group, in a statement on the messaging website Telegram, claimed responsibility for the attack at a west Kabul wedding hall in a minority Shi'ite neighborhood, saying its bomber had been able to infiltrate the reception and detonate his explosives in the crowd of "infidels".
Calling aviation geeks in New York City: The British are coming.
In their first visit to the United States since 2008, the Royal Air Force "Red Arrows" will perform an aerial demonstration next week over the Hudson River, according to an Air Force news release. F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, the Air Force Thunderbirds and Navy Blue Angels demonstration teams will also be part of the show.