Trump Reportedly Just Reversed His Decision To Cut Defense Spending

news
President Donald J. Trump, Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., host a Memorial Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., May 28, 2018.
DoD photo by Army Sgt. Amber I. Smith

President Donald Trump has reportedly told Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to prepare a $750 billion budget proposal for 2020, according to Politico's Wesley Morgan.


This request comes just months after Trump asked every major cabinet agency to submit proposals cutting their budget by 5% next year, according to The Washington Post. Trump said he wanted to see the defense budget decrease by 2%, from $716 billion to $700 billion.

Politico's sources said that that Trump met Tuesday with Mattis and the Republican chairmen of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees, and decided on the $750 billion number. One source, a former administration official, said Trump suggested this figure as a "negotiating tactic" to make sure Democrats don't push the defense budget below $733 billion, which is what Mattis and the chairman of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees had wanted.

In November 2018, those two chairmen, James Inhofe, and Mac Thornberry, published an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal urging the President not to cut military spending. "Any cut in the defense budget would be a senseless step backward," they wrote. "The Pentagon would be forced to cut in areas where the most money can be saved quickly — troops, new equipment, training, and maintenance—as it did under sequestration in 2013."

Trump has appeared to vacillate between advocating for increasing and decreasing military spending. Bumping up defense spending was a big part of his presidential campaign, CNN reported. When he signed the $716 billion 2019 defense budget, he called it "the most significant investment in our military in our warfighters in modern history."

And according to The Washington Post, Trump has threatened to shut down the government if he doesn't get at least $5 billion for the construction of a border wall.

On Monday, however, Trump tweeted: "I am certain that, at some time in the future, President Xi and I, together with President Putin of Russia, will start talking about a meaningful halt to what has become a major and uncontrollable Arms Race. The U.S. spent 716 Billion Dollars this year. Crazy!"

Politico reported that the $750 billion number isn't official yet, and should be announced this week.

The defense budget includes the Pentagon and Department of Energy funding for the U.S. nuclear arsenal, Politico reported. However, defense funding is still subject to the Budget Control Act spending caps, so this increase wouldn't be put into action until lawmakers agreed to a deal to lift the caps.

More from Business Insider:

WATCH NEXT:

It has been a deadly year for Green Berets, with every active-duty Special Forces Group losing a valued soldier in Afghanistan or Syria.

A total of 12 members of the Army special operations forces community have died in 2019, according to U.S. Army Special Operations Command. All but one of those soldiers were killed in combat.

In Afghanistan, Army special operators account for 10 of the 17 U.S. troops killed so far this year. Eight of the fallen were Green Berets. Of the other two soldiers, one was attached to the 10th Special Forces Group and the other was a Ranger.

Read More Show Less

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Documents from the Pentagon show that "far more taxpayer funds" were spent by the U.S. military on overnight stays at a Trump resort in Scotland than previously known, two Democratic lawmakers said on Wednesday, as they demanded more evidence from the Defense Department as part of their investigation.

In a letter to Defense Secretary Mark Esper, the heads of the House of Representatives Oversight Committee and one of it subcommittees said that while initial reports indicated that only one U.S. military crew had stayed at President Donald Trump's Turnberry resort southeast of Glasgow, the Pentagon had now turned over data indicating "more than three dozen separate stays" since Trump moved into the White House.

Read More Show Less
Sigourney Weaver as Ellen Ripley from 1979's 'Alien' (20th Century Fox)

Editor's Note: This article by Gina Harkins originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

QUANTICO, Va. -- Marines who spend much of their day lifting hefty ammunition or moving pallets full of gear could soon get a helping hand.

The Marine Corps is close to signing a deal to test an exoskeleton prototype that can help a single person move as much as several leathernecks combined.

Read More Show Less
NEC Corp.'s machine with propellers hovers at the company's facility in Abiko near Tokyo, Monday, Aug. 5, 2019. The Japanese electronics maker showed a "flying car," a large drone-like machine with four propellers that hovered steadily for about a minute. (Associated Press/Koji Sasahara

'Agility Prime' sounds like a revolutionary new video streaming service, or a parkour-themed workout regimen, or Transformers-inspired niche porno venture.

But no, it's the name of the Air Force's nascent effort to replace the V-22 Osprey with a militarized flying car — and it's set to take off sooner than you think.

Read More Show Less
In this March 12, 2016, file photo, Marines of the U.S., left, and South Korea, wearing blue headbands on their helmets, take positions after landing on a beach during the joint military combined amphibious exercise, called Ssangyong, part of the Key Resolve and Foal Eagle military exercises, in Pohang, South Korea. (Associated Press/Yonhap/Kim Jun-bum)

Task & Purpose is looking for a dynamic social media editor to join our team.

Our ideal candidate is an enthusiastic self-starter who can handle a variety of tasks without breaking a sweat. He or she will own our brand's social coverage while working full-time alongside our team of journalists and video producers, posting to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (feed, stories, and IGTV), YouTube, and elsewhere.

Read More Show Less