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Trump To Soldiers: It's A New Day For The US Military
President Donald Trump promised a new day for the U.S. military on Monday, telling soldiers from the Army's 10th Mountain Division that they deserve better pay and equipment as he signed a bill authorizing $716 billion in defense spending.
"Every day the Army is fighting for us, and now we are fighting for you 100 percent," Trump told about 500 soldiers gathered in a hangar at Fort Drum. "Nobody understands how stretched our military has become better than the soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division."
Trump made his comments before signing the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act, a bill that boosts pay for military personnel by 2.6 percent and provides big increases in spending on military equipment.
"The National Defense Authorization Act is the most significant investment in our military and our war fighters in modern history, and I'm very proud to be a big, big part of it," Trump told the soldiers in his first trip to Upstate New York as president.
"I want to say, very strongly, there is no better place than right here at Fort Drum to celebrate its passage," the president said. "After years of devastating cuts, we're now rebuilding our military like we never have before."
President Donald Trump signs the John McCain National Defense Authorization Act for the Fiscal Year 2019, during a signing ceremony Monday, Aug. 13, 2018, in Fort Drum, N.Y.Associated Press/Hans Pennink
Trump did not mention Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., during his speech, even though Congress honored the 81-year-old senator by putting his name on the annual bill authorizing military spending.
Trump has openly mocked and criticized McCain in a feud that began in 2015 when the president said McCain was not a war hero.
The president did single out Rep. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., for praise. McSally, who was in the audience, is running for the Arizona Senate seat that will open with the retirement of GOP Sen. Jeff Flake.
Trump mostly stuck to his script, reading from a teleprompter during a speech that lasted a little more than 30 minutes. But he did take one swipe at the media when he pointed out reporters covering his speech. He congratulated himself for not using the term "fake news."
"I'm so proud of myself," Trump said. "I didn't call them the fake news media...We know the real truth, but I won't say it today."
Trump was greeted when he arrived at Fort Drum by Vice President Mike Pence, who arrived at the Army post about 30 minutes before the president.
Pence was joined on the tarmac by Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-Willsboro, and Maj. Gen. Walt Piatt, commanding general of the Army's 10th Mountain Division, which is based at Fort Drum.
Trump received a 21-gun salute as a military band played Hail to the Chief on the tarmac at Fort Drum's Wheeler-Sack Army Airfield.
Stefanik, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, invited Trump in March to visit Fort Drum. Stefanik has advocated for the Army post to receive increased funding, and has asked the Pentagon to build an East Coast missile interceptor site at Fort Drum.
Trump later introduced Stefanik to the Army soldiers, mispronouncing her name, but praising her persistence in asking him to visit Fort Drum.
Fort Drum is the largest single-site employer in New York state, and its 10th Mountain Division has been the most deployed unit in the Army since 2001.
Before his speech, Trump stood on the tarmac at the airfield to watch a previously unannounced air assault exercise with 10th Mountain Division Combat Aviation Brigade soldiers and Black Hawk helicopters.
The president also took some time to chat with three Army soldiers, their faces covered in camouflage paint, who took part in the exercise.
Trump planned to fly after his speech to Griffiss International Airport in Rome on his way to a private fundraiser in Utica for Rep. Claudia Tenney.
Tickets to the fundraiser at the Hotel Utica cost up to $15,000 for donors who want to join Trump in a roundtable discussion and have their photo taken with the president.
©2018 Syracuse Media Group, N.Y. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
The FBI is treating the recent shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, as a terrorist attack, several media outlets reported on Sunday.
"We work with the presumption that this was an act of terrorism," USA Today quoted FBI Agent Rachel Rojas as saying at a news conference.
WASHINGTON/SEOUL (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un risks losing "everything" if he resumes hostility and his country must denuclearize, after the North said it had carried out a "successful test of great significance."
"Kim Jong Un is too smart and has far too much to lose, everything actually, if he acts in a hostile way. He signed a strong Denuclearization Agreement with me in Singapore," Trump said on Twitter, referring to his first summit with Kim in Singapore in 2018.
"He does not want to void his special relationship with the President of the United States or interfere with the U.S. Presidential Election in November," he said.
The three sailors whose lives were cut short by a gunman at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, on Friday "showed exceptional heroism and bravery in the face of evil," said base commander Navy Capt. Tim Kinsella.
Ensign Joshua Kaleb Watson, Airman Mohammed Sameh Haitham, and Airman Apprentice Cameron Scott Walters were killed in the shooting, the Navy has announced.
The Pentagon’s troop deployment denials means nothing when the White House screams ‘fake news’ all the time
The Pentagon has a credibility problem that is the result of the White House's scorched earth policy against any criticism. As a result, all statements from senior leaders are suspect.
We're beyond the point of defense officials being unable to say for certain whether a dog is a good boy or girl. Now we're at the point where the Pentagon has spent three days trying to knock down a Wall Street Journal story about possible deployments to the Middle East, and they've failed to persuade either the press or Congress.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that the United States was considering deploying up to 14,000 troops to the Middle East to thwart any potential Iranian attacks. The story made clear that President Trump could ultimately decide to send a smaller number of service members, but defense officials have become fixated on the number 14,000 as if it were the only option on the table.
This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
SIMI VALLEY, Calif. – Gen. David Berger, the US Marine Corps commandant, suggested the concerns surrounding a service members' use of questionable Chinese-owned apps like TikTok should be directed against the military's leadership, rather than the individual troops.
Speaking at the Reagan National Defense Forum in Simi Valley, California, on Saturday morning, Berger said the younger generation of troops had a "clearer view" of the technology "than most people give them credit for."
"That said, I'd give us a 'C-minus' or a 'D' in educating the force on the threat of even technology," Berger said. "Because they view it as two pieces of gear, 'I don't see what the big deal is.'"