The Pentagon revealed Wednesday that roughly 11,000 U.S. troops are currently deployed in Afghanistan, 2,600 more than the U.S. military had previously disclosed to the public.
Pentagon spokeswoman Dana W. White and Lt. Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., director of the U.S. military’s Joint Staff, blamed the significant undercount on head-counting rules the Obama administration had devised.
The Obama-era policies did not include troops deployed for less than six-months -- a stint the military considers a "temporary basis" -- as part of the military's total for Afghanistan. Because the Obama administration had set caps on the number of troops allowed to be deployed to active war zones in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, U.S. commanders found ways to supplement their forces by “temporarily” adding additional troops who would not be counted.
Defense Secretary James N. Mattis says the Pentagon won't change its policy of allowing transgender people to serve in the U.S. military until he receives recommendations from a panel that is supposed to report back on the impact of a ban.
The panel will be drawn from the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security, but its members have yet to be named. They will examine how the Pentagon can implement President Trump’s directive banning transgender individuals from entering the armed forces.
Mattis' statement Tuesday night came in response to Trump's memo last Friday that directed Mattis, in consultation with secretary of Homeland Security, to submit a plan to him by Feb. 21. Trump has yet to appoint a new Homeland Security chief to replace John Kelly, who became White House chief of staff.
Hours after President Trump tweeted that “talking is not the answer” in regards to the increasingly tense situation with North Korea, Defense Secretary James N. Mattis emphasized diplomacy as the path forward.
"We're never out of diplomatic solutions,” he told reporters Wednesday while greeting South Korea's defense minister, Song Young-moo, at the Pentagon
“We continue to work together, and the minister and I share responsibility to provide for the protection of our nation, our populations and our interests, which is what we are here to discuss today,” he said.
The Kremlin on Wednesday confirmed it received an email from President Trump’s personal lawyer during the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign in which the lawyer asked for help with a potential skyscraper project in Moscow.
Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, said he did not respond to lawyer Michael Cohen’s email because the Kremlin does not address “such business requests.”
“It is not our job," Peskov told reporters in a conference call Wednesday.
The nation's most powerful labor union chief, still reeling from Democrats' big losses in 2016, has a message for them as they work to win back working people.
“Calling the president names, even if they’re accurate, gets you nowhere,” Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, told reporters Wednesday at a breakfast sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor.
Trumka, reared in one of the Pennsylvania coal towns that Trump swept in the election, said that telling voters who supported him that they were stupid to do so is also a strategy for failure. Instead, he said, Democrats need to make the case to those who gave him the benefit of the doubt that Trump has not done what he promised.
With each crisis of the young Trump administration, reporters and pollsters have documented the steady support he continues to get from his most ardent backers, the roughly one-in-four Americans who consistently tell pollsters that they approve of his performance in office, agree with him on most issues and like his personality.
Tuesday night at a focus group in Pittsburgh, a group of reporters heard from a different slice of Trump voters — ones he's lost for now.
"Outrageous," "disappointed," "not ready" were among the adjectives that focus group members who had voted for Trump tossed out when asked for a single word to describe the president.
The Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency says it has successfully completed a missile defense flight test -- intercepting a medium-range ballistic missile target from a warship off the coast of Hawaii.
The agency said the John Paul Jones detected and tracked a target missile launched from Kauai with its onboard AN/SPY-1 radar. The destroyer fired SM-6 missiles to intercept the test missile.
"We are working closely with the fleet to develop this important new capability, and this was a key milestone in giving our ... ships an enhanced capability to defeat ballistic missiles in their terminal phase," Lt. Gen. Sam Greaves, who heads the missile defense agency, said in a statement. "We will continue developing ballistic missile defense technologies to stay ahead of the threat as it evolves."
The test marks the second time an SM-6 missile has successfully intercepted a medium-range ballistic missile target, the agency said
President Trump will kick off a weeks-long effort to sell Americans on tax cuts with a speech on Wednesday in Missouri that aides said will not contain any details on a Republican plan that is still being drafted.
Trump will use the event at the Loren Cook Co. manufacturing plant in Springfield, Mo., to explain why Congress should cut corporate rates and make other changes to the federal tax code, said senior White House officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to provide a preview of the president’s remarks.