Trump Makes Time For Kanye West, But Not Veterans Groups

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United States President-elect Donald J. Trump and Musician Kanye West pose for photographers in the lobby of Trump Tower Donald Trump transition meetings, New York.
Rex Features via AP Images

Rapper and fashion designer Kanye West was seen entering Trump Tower in New York City on Dec. 13 for a meeting with President-elect Donald Trump. After a 15-minute encounter, the pair posed for a photo and West went on his way while Trump wished him well. The reason for the visit is unclear, and they did not take questions from reporters.


Meanwhile, Trump has yet to indicate who he intends to nominate as his Veterans Affairs secretary or take the time to personally meet with any veteran service organizations since he was elected.

Related: Trump Vows to let veterans see private doctors »

Regarding his campaign promise to overhaul the VA, Trump instead passed the VSOs off to his transition team, which held a “listening session” on Dec. 1. In all, more than 30 veterans groups attended the meeting at the headquarters of the American Legion in Washington, D.C., and no conclusive plans have resulted.

Paul Rieckhoff, the executive director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, took to Twitter to voice his concern about Trump’s lack of attention to veterans issues.

He’s not the only one. Veterans across the country are waiting for news about who might fill the role of VA secretary once Trump takes office. Rumors continue to circulate about the possible nomination of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown, and Pete Hegseth, who was, until recently, the chief executive of Concerned Veterans for America, a group funded by the Koch brothers.

“If Trump picks Hegseth, it’s going to be war,” Rieckhoff recently told the New York Times. “He would be a radical departure from what the V.A. has been for generations.”

Those involved with veterans organizations seemingly don’t want to see a Trump nominee at all. Thus far, leaders of the American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Vietnam Veterans of America and Amvets told Trump’s transition team that they would not support any of the candidates that have been mentioned. They would rather see current VA Secretary Robert McDonald retain the post.

“We all want McDonald,” said Joe Chenelly, the executive director of Amvets. “He has a good business mind, he is experienced and we feel we can trust him.”

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.

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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.

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(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Vaughan Dill/Released)

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.

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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.

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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.'"

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