Under cloak of secrecy, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visited two war-zone capitals Monday to reaffirm Washington's desire for stability in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Tillerson traveled first to Kabul, Afghanistan, and later to Baghdad, Iraq. The State Department had not announced either trip in advance, and his visit was bracketed in heavy security out of fear of possible attack.
In the Iraqi capital, where people still celebrated having driven Islamic State militants out of large parts of the country, Tillerson urged the central government and Kurdish-dominated areas to reconcile their differences.
Sen. John McCain never mentioned President Trump in criticizing the Vietnam War-era draft system that allowed the wealthy and connected to avoid military service.
But the Arizona senator didn't have to as he blasted "bone spur" medical deferments, which Trump used to avoid service during the war.
"We drafted the lowest-income level of America, and the highest income level found a doctor that would say that they had a bone spur," McCain said in an interview Sunday on C-SPAN's "American History" program. "That is wrong. That is wrong. If we’re going to ask every American to serve, every American should serve."
In the roughly three months since President Trump chose John F. Kelly as his second chief of staff, observers have puzzled over the retired Marine general’s occasional scowls and downcast gazes, wondering whether he and Trump, with such different styles and backgrounds, perhaps weren’t working well together.
Kelly, the military man trained to respect sharp lines of authority and tradition, uses terms like “information flow” to describe the discipline he tries to bring to a chaotic White House. Trump, the impulsive businessman and reality-show veteran, delights in flouting authority and upending norms of the presidency.
But Kelly’s extraordinary remarks on Thursday from the White House briefing room, in which he segued from defending Trump to speak of loss — both his own, of a son, and the country’s, of old civilities, all while attacking a Florida congresswoman — offered a glimpse of what the two men seem to share. Both hark back to an undefined time in America when some things were “sacred,” as Kelly put it, to a better moment that’s been lost.
President Trump on Monday vowed there would be “no change” to rules for 401(k) plans, seeking to douse speculation that the Republican tax overhaul bill being drafted by Congress would include new limits on retirement savings.
“This has always been a great and popular middle class tax break that works, and it stays!” Trump said on Twitter.
There will be NO change to your 401(k). This has always been a great and popular middle class tax break that works, and it stays!
The outlines of the tax overhaul released by the White House and Republican leaders last month said that “[t]ax reform will aim to maintain or raise retirement plan participation of workers and the resources available for retirement.”
The ACLU asked a federal appeals court Sunday night to reenter the case of a 17-year-old pregnant immigrant in detention whose request for an abortion has been blocked by federal officials.
The woman, identified in court as Jane Doe to protect her privacy, has been held in a federal detention center in south Texas since crossing the border illegally in September.
She is 15 weeks pregnant and has been seeking an abortion for several weeks. She got approval from a Texas state judge, which the state's law requires for minors who don't have a parent's permission for the procedure.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made a surprise trip to Kabul, Afghanistan, on Monday and pledged to engage "moderate" Taliban officials to build peace in the country.
Tillerson said the site of America's longest war was key to denying terrorists refuge and that the Trump administration was committed to forging a democratic, unified Afghanistan through a regional approach.
The U.S. will continue to fight the Taliban, he said, but will also reach out to "moderate voices among the Taliban, voices that do not want to continue to fight forever."
Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is set to appear Monday before a military judge who will determine his punishment for endangering comrades by walking off his post in Afghanistan. Before delivering his sentence, the judge will have to resolve a last-minute defense argument that new comments by President Trump have tainted the case.
Bergdahl faces up to life in prison after pleading guilty last week to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. Prosecutors made no deal to cap his punishment, so the judge has wide leeway to decide his sentence after a hearing expected to take several days.
The judge, Army Col. Jeffery R. Nance, is expected to weigh factors including Bergdahl's willingness to admit guilt, his five years of captivity in the hands of the Taliban and its allies, and the serious wounds that several service members suffered while searching for him.
In a phone call with the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson, President Trump stumbled to remember her husband's name, according to Myeshia Johnson, who spoke to ABC's "Good Morning America" on Monday.
"It made me cry because I was very angry at the tone of his voice and how he said it," Johnson said.
Sgt. Johnson was killed earlier this month along with three other soldiers during an ambush on a special forces patrol in Niger, an attack apparently carried out by militants affiliated with Islamic State.