Category Archives: Military

Stories about the US or other militaries and their soldiers, civilians and equipment or policies

Trump Pentagon signals support for the A-10 Warhog…


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Once on the brink of forced retirement, the A-10 attack plane with the ungainly shape and odd nickname has been given new life, spared by Air Force leaders who have reversed the Obama administration’s view of the plane as an unaffordable extra in what had been a time of tight budgets.

In the 2018 Pentagon budget plan sent to Congress this week, the Air Force proposed to keep all 283 A-10s flying for the foreseeable future.

Three years ago, the Pentagon proposed scrapping the fleet for what it estimated would be $3.5 billion in savings over five years. Congress said no.

The following year, the military tried again but said the retirement would not be final until 2019. Congress again said no.

Last year, officials backed away a bit further, indicating retirement was still the best option but that it could be put off until 2022.

Now the retirement push is over, and the Warthog’s future appears secure.

“The world has changed,” said Maj. Gen. James F. Martin Jr., the Air Force budget deputy, in explaining decisions to keep aircraft once deemed expendable….



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Trump to NATO Maybe…Depends on if you guys bring the check….

While White House aides peddled the line that President Trump would echo the pledge of EVERY President since the North American Treaty Organization was born ….To back the organization regardless….

Donald Trump has gone back on his campaign feeling that the America wants the countries to shoulder more of the money ….(At least 2% of their GDP which would give the organization more than $100 Billion more in spending)

Image result for Trump at NATO

Several countries  have spent more…Most have not…

Trump’s failure to strongly back NATO can only be looked at with smiles by the Russians and worry by the Europeans who are NOT happy with Trump’s position…

Mr. Trump’s refusal to say he supports NATO’s common defense provision, known as Article 5, left European diplomats dismayed. Mr. Trump spoke Thursday at the dedication of a NATO memorial devoted to Article 5. He previously raised questions about the U.S. commitment to the provision during his campaign.

Mr. Trump Thursday said allies “owed massive amounts of money” for past years and they have failed to live up to the alliance spending guideline of 2% of gross domestic product.

“We have to make up for many years lost,” Mr. Trump said. ”If NATO countries made their full and complete contributions, then NATO would be even stronger than it is today.”

Had all NATO members spent 2% on defense last year, the alliance would have another $119 billion…..

While European allies regard the NATO guideline as a rough goal to move toward, the U.S. under Mr. Trump has considered it a much firmer requirement.

“2% is the bare minimum for confronting today’s very real and very vicious threats,” Mr. Trump said.

He said 23 of NATO’s 28 members are below the 2% level.

While Mr. Trump didn’t voice unequivocal support for NATO’s common defense provision, he did say the U.S. wouldn’t forsake its allies….


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The Senate gets nervous about Trump’s possible going back to war in the Middle East…

The Generals running Trump’s Defense side have presented a more muscular America in the Middle East…

That would be a ramping up of American men and women going BACK to Iraq, Afghanistan and other place’s like Africa…

Lawmakers aren’t happy to give a President who doesn’t sweat the details unlimited power in military action and will try to set some limits on his actions until comes to them…(And cost the country Billions)

Such votes tend have HUGE political ramifications for US Senators futures….

As President Donald Trump increasingly flexes the might of the military he now controls, the Senate is reviving efforts to claw back some of that authority from the White House.

Sens. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Tim Kaine (D-Va.) are joining forces to reintroduce an Authorization of the Use of Military Force against the Islamic State and other terror groups, aiming to assert more congressional power over the post-9/11 war on terror. Elsewhere in the Capitol, Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) are unveiling legislation Thursday that would halt some of the arms sales to Saudi Arabia in what Trump’s White House has touted as a $110 billion deal.

The bipartisan efforts aren’t new. Flake and Kaine pushed for an AUMF debate two years ago after President Barack Obama sent lawmakers his own draft of military authorization amid the conflict in Syria. And last fall, Paul forced a vote on a separate arms sale to the Saudis in Obama’s final months in office.

But the renewed efforts show real appetite among Democrats and Republicans to rein in some of the new president’s authority on matters of war, which came into focus with Trump’s missile strikes in Syria last month after a chemical weapons attack that killed dozens, including children.

Trump earned broad praise for the strikes from Capitol Hill, but lawmakers also warned against escalating military action abroad without first getting the approval of Congress. The White House has operated under war resolutions passed by Congress in 2001 and 2002….


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On Trump…Remember..It’s what he does…NOT what he says…Saudi Arabia

This is from the same guy who is doing business today IN Saudi Arabia

To hear Donald Trump tell it, the United States is not getting its money’s worth in Saudi Arabia.

Trump, who has repeatedly portrayed Mexico, Japan, and China as “ripping us off,” shifted his focus to Saudi Arabia in an interview that aired Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press.

“They should pay us,” Trump said of the oil rich nation. “Like it or don’t like it, people have backed Saudi Arabia. What I really mind, though, is we back it at tremendous expense. We get nothing for it.”

Trump portrayed the U.S. financial relationship with Saudi Arabia as outdated.

“The primary reason we’re with Saudi Arabia is because we need the oil,” Trump said. “Now we don’t need the oil so much, and if we let our people really go, we wouldn’t need the oil at all and we could let everybody else fight it out.”…


Todays Reality….

The Latest on President Donald Trump’s first trip abroad (all times local):

5:12 p.m.

President Donald Trump and Saudi King Salman signed a series of agreements cementing their countries’ military and economic partnerships.

The two leaders signed a joint vision agreement Saturday at the Saudi Royal Court and sealed it with a handshake.

The agreements also include a military sales deal of about $110 billion, effective immediately, plus another $350 billion over the next 10 years.

The two countries also announced a defense cooperation agreement and private sector agreements Saturday that are intended to create tens of thousands of new jobs in the U.S. defense industry.

Trump has been tending to official business on his first day overseas as president.


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Israeli Intel people take to ‘shouting’ at their American contacts after Trump’s ‘secret’ leak to the Russians…

Donald Trump being who he is REALLY couldn’t care less….

He will do what’s in his best interest…

And his feeling of kinship with the Russian hierarchy ‘trumps’ everything else as we have seen continually…

Trump doesn’t like or care for intelligence people anyways…

His attention span is such that detailed briefs of stuff are out of the question…

So the Israeli’s maybe pissed…But things ain’t gonna change…

The Russian’s in the Oval office is probably a signal to American National Security staff’s to be CAREFUL in what they convey to their boss Trump….

And other countries will have to be careful what they tell Americans and where they allow it to go…

Just days before President Donald Trump’s arrival in Tel Aviv, Israeli intelligence officials were shouting at their American counterparts in meetings, furious over news that the U.S. commander in chief may have compromised a vital source of information on the Islamic State and possibly Iran, according to a U.S. defense official in military planning.

“To them, it’s horrifying,” the official, who attended the meetings, told Foreign Policy. “Their first question was: ‘What is going on? What is this?’”

White House officials are touting Trump’s visit to Israel next week as a chance to show U.S. solidarity with its closest Middle East ally after eight years of friction between former President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

But behind the public display of harmony, Israeli intelligence officers are angry and alarmed over the U.S. president revealing sensitive informationin a May 10 meeting in the White House with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and the Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak.

Trump divulged classified information gathered by Israel about specific terrorist plotting by the Islamic State. The information reportedly revealedIslamic State advances in bomb-making that could be used to mask an explosive device inside a laptop, and also referenced the city where the unfolding plot was being hatched….


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Trump National Security Council reportedly want’s to send up to 50,000 troops BACK to Afghanistan…

The General ‘s(Led by National Security Advisor McMaster)  running the Defense side for Donald Trump have seen the work they did in uniform slip back to the Taliban because the Afghan’s simply cannot hold ground….

Others have followed the Russian and  Obama actions of packing up and leaving the place….Fighting in Afghanistan is an unforgiving endeavor ….

The word is Trump isn’t happy with the idea….

Image result for the war in Afghanistan

U.S. intelligence and national security officials familiar with the assessment tell me that it was drafted in April, and that it provided estimates of necessary troop strengths for various strategic options. But it found that if an ambitious war plan approved by the National Security Council’s principals committee got a green light from the president — a big if — more than 50,000 U.S. troops would be needed.

That proposed strategy would place the U.S. on a new war footing and in a deeper partnership with the Afghan government in its current campaign against the Taliban. It would also remove arbitrary timelines for withdrawal set by President Barack Obama.

One reason the new war strategy would require more troops is that it envisions using U.S. forces in a support role that until now has relied on outside contractors. Using contractors for functions like vehicle maintenance and other logistical aid have meant that U.S. forces deployed to Syria and Iraq have largely focused on war fighting and training locals. This has kept the total number of U.S. troops artificially low, while increasing the overall cost of the U.S. presence….

Trump has signaled he is in no mood to escalate America’s longest war. Indeed, he has complained to close aides in the last month about how great powers throughout history — from Alexander’s Macedonians to the British Empire — have failed to pacify the country.


The NATO angle……

NATO’s military leaders are laying the groundwork to send thousands of additional troops to Afghanistan and Iraq to train local forces locked in fierce battles with militants. The move comes as alliance leaders shape and debate a multi-year plan to protect combat gains in those countries and eliminate safe havens where extremist groups might plan attacks against the West.

“I think what we’ll see is that NATO will continue with a fairly modest contribution in the near term and that political leadership in the coming months will discuss the potential for NATOassuming a greater responsibility in Iraq,” Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford told reporters Wednesday after a day of meetings at the alliance’s headquarters.

Dunford said specific troop levels were not discussed during the meetings, which took place one week before NATO heads of state meet here.

“What I just want to do is try to find a way for each country to optimize the contribution they could make,” he said.

NATO leaders hope to know how many additional U.S. troops will be sent to Afghanistan by month’s end, allowing the alliance to deploy troops to meet the uptick in fighting that comes with warmer weather. U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to make a decision after next week’s overseas trip to NATO and the Middle East, National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster said last week.

At the same time, NATO generals appears to have a consensus that the alliance should take on more responsibility in Iraq…..


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Will the Pentagon do it’s required review of its finances ?

The American military budget is up around  $500 Billion…..

But NO one has ever let the bean counters find where ALL the money is spent….

What has prevented the Pentagon from being examined this way before? The answer lies somewhere “between lethargy and complexity,” said Gordon Adams, a distinguished fellow at the Stimson Center who was the top budget official for national security in the Clinton White House. “It hasn’t been done ever,” he told me, “partly because it’s incredibly complicated to do and also because there’s not a great, powerful will in the building to do it.”

The complexity of the project dates back to the Civil War, Adams said, when the Army and the Navy set up their own separate accounting systems. The Air Force also went its own way after its creation following World War II, and the military build-ups of the last four decades scrambled the department’s financial records many times over. The explosion of military contractors since 9/11 has made scrubbing the books harder still. Adams estimated that an audit would have to account for 15 million to 20 million contracting transactions each year. The Pentagon has spent several billion dollars over the last seven years just trying to consolidate its accounting systems in preparation for a potential audit.

Despite the ramp-up costs, the project has never risen to be a top priority; the Pentagon has simply been too busy fighting wars. “The military has repeatedly argued that they need to focus on the war effort and accountability can come later,” said Kori Schake, a fellow at the Hoover Institution who previously served in a variety of national-security positions in the government. That excuse carried more weight with lawmakers in the years when the United States had hundreds of thousands of troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Don’t talk to me about Hillary’s Servers…Trump beats her by miles…

Will Trump care about this?

Will he let the NSA /White House Communications people beef this up?

Gizmodo and ProPublica: “We parked a 17-foot motor boat in a lagoon about 800 feet from the back lawn of the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, and pointed a two-foot wireless antenna that resembled a potato gun toward the club. Within a minute, we spotted three weakly encrypted Wi-Fi networks. We could have hacked them in less than five minutes, but we refrained.”

“A few days later, we drove through the grounds of the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., with the same antenna and aimed it at the clubhouse. We identified two open Wi-Fi networks that anyone could join without a password. We resisted the temptation.”

The risks: “Sophisticated attackers could take advantage of vulnerabilities in the Wi-Fi networks to take over devices like computers or smart phones and use them to record conversations involving anyone on the premises.”…



Does Trump know how to use a computer?

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Putin offers to provide the Russian version of White House Trump Meeting….

It has come to this?

The Russian President offering to the US Congress  (Investigating its President’s Admin) THEIR copy of a  meeting in the American President’;s office that ONLY his people attended…

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Could anybody have foreseen such a strange occurrence a year ago?

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday he would be willing to provide the U.S. Congress a record of President Trump’s meeting with top Russian envoys, possibly offering new details on the disclosures of reportedly highly classified intelligence information.

The remarkable offer for the Kremlin to share evidence with U.S. oversight committees came with the caveat that the request for the transcript would have to come from the Trump administration.

The Kremlin has denied reports that Trump shared classified secrets last week with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russia’s ambassador to the United States during an Oval Office meeting. But the full extent of Trump’s comments to the Russian envoys has not been made public.

As reported first by The Washington Post, Trump in a meeting with Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak shared classified information about an Islamic State plot to smuggle a bomb disguised as a laptop aboard a passenger plane. Subsequent reports have suggested the intelligence was provided by the Israeli government, and was so sensitive that it was not shared even with the United States’ closest allies….



Would anyone believe the Russian’s version?

Does Trump actually have ‘tapes’ of the Oval Office meeting, or….Is Trump bluffing about the tapes?


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A-29 Super Tucano to fly in US Air Force light attack aircraft demo…

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The U.S. Air Force has selected Sierra Nevada and Embraer’s A-29 Super Tucano to participate a light attack aircraft demonstration this summer, an event that could lead to a procurement of the plane if the companies can prove a business case, the companies announced May 12.

The A-29 is considered by many to be the frontrunner for any potential program of record, as it is the only light air support aircraft in the world with a USAF military type certificate and has been purchased by the United States for the Afghan air force.

While the Embraer plane is the first aircraft announced as part of the demonstration, the Air Force will likely experiment with other options as well. The biggest defense contractors are sitting out of the demo, including Lockheed Martin and Boeing. However, the A-29 could face a challenge from two Textron aircraft, the Scorpion jet and AT-6 turboprop plane, the latter of which lost out to the A-29 during the competition to supply light attack aircraft to Afghanistan. …



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Putin smiles and watches an American President turn on his Own Government and Press…

Donald Trump as President doesn’t trust the Intelligence Community, has turned over the military to retired generals, has a State Dept that isn’t staffed,, doesn’t work with his own staff and just fired his FBI Director and has tried to silence him afterwards….

While the FBI and Intelligence Community working thru the media has keep him in check…

Last week Donald Trump invited the Russian Foreign Minister and US Ambassador to a meeting in the Oval office and had the American media banded…Pictures of the three men laughing and shaking hands came from Russian media…

When asked about the Comey firing?

The Russian Foreign Minister laughed…

Russian President Putin hasn’t gotten ALL he wanted from Trump…

But he HAS to be sitting on the side watching an American President do his best to weaken his OWN government ALL BY HIMSELF….

Russia has yet to collect much of what it hoped for from the Trump administration, including the lifting of U.S. sanctions and recognition of its annexation of Crimea.

But the Kremlin has collected a different return on its effort to help elect Trump in last year’s election: chaos in Washington.

The president’s decision to fire FBI Director James B. Comey last weekwas the latest destabilizing jolt to a core institution of the U.S. government. The nation’s top law enforcement agency joined a list of entities that Trump has targeted, including federal judges, U.S. spy services, news organizations and military alliances.

The instability, although driven by Trump, has in some ways extended and amplified the effect Russia sought to achieve with its unprecedented campaign to undermine the 2016 presidential race.

In a declassified report released this year, U.S. spy agencies described destabilization as one of Russian President Vladi­mir Putin’s objectives.

 “The Kremlin sought to advance its longstanding desire to undermine the U.S.-led liberal democratic order,” it said.

Russia’s “active measures” campaign ended with the election last year. But Comey’s firing on Tuesday triggered a new wave of ­Russia-related turbulence.

His removal was perceived as a blow to the independence of the bureau’s ongoing investigation of possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Current and former U.S. officials said that even if that probe remains on track, Comey’s ouster serves broader Russian interests.

“They feel pretty good overall because that’s a further sign that our political system is in a real crisis,”….



The leaks WILL begin AGAIN with Comey gone…

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House Republicans look to CUT Food stamps, Welfare, Income Assistance for the Disabled, Veterans’ benefits

In order to get a balanced budget and do Trump’s tax cuts and increase money for the Pentagon?

The Republicans are thinking of robbing the poor and Vets…

This piece from Politico just is about getting ahead of the Republicans trying to get away with this…

It will be a political battle with consequences for all involved….

The drama will play out the end of the Summer going into September….

House Republicans just voted to slash hundreds of billions of dollars in health care for the poor as part of their Obamacare replacement. Now, they’re weighing a plan to take the scalpel to programs that provide meals to needy kids and housing and education assistance for low-income families.

President Donald Trump’s refusal to overhaul Social Security and Medicare — and his pricey wish-list for infrastructure, a border wall and tax cuts — is sending House budget writers scouring for pennies in politically-sensitive places: safety-net programs for the most vulnerable.

Under enormous internal pressure to quickly balance the budget, Republicans are considering slashing more than $400 billion in spending through a process to evade Democratic filibusters in the Senate, multiple sources told POLITICO.

The proposal, which would be part of the House Budget Committee’s fiscal 2018 budget, won’t specify which programs will get the ax; instead it will instruct committees to figure out what to cut to reach the savings. But among the programs most likely on the chopping block, the sources say, are food stamps, welfare, income assistance for the disabled and perhaps even veterans’ benefits.

If enacted, such a plan to curb safety-net programs — all while juicing the Pentagon’s budget and slicing corporate tax rates — would amount to the biggest shift in federal spending priorities in decades.

Atop that, GOP budget writers will also likely include Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) proposal to essentially privatize Medicare in their fiscal 2018 budget, despite Trump’s unwavering rejection of the idea. While that proposal is more symbolic and won’t become law under this budget, it’s just another thorny issue that will have Democrats again accusing Republicans of “pushing Granny off the cliff.”

“The Budget Committee is trying to force the entire conference and committees of jurisdiction to focus on ways to bring down this deficit,” said senior Budget panel member Rep. Tom Cole. Republicans have long sought to tackle the nearly $20 trillion debt, but Trump has tied their hands by ruling out cuts to Social Security and Medicare….



In Reality it is HIGHLY UNLIKELY the cuts mentioned above will occur…

This will just be the first hand dealt…

The 2017 stop-gap budget showed that Congress will NOT go to the mat and have a shut-down with the 2018 Midterms around the corner….

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Grand jury subpoenas go out for Mike Flynn’s business records…

While ALL the media focus was on FBI Director Comey getting fired?

A Grand Jury has been impaneled to see if criminal charges should be brought against ex-Obama Defense Intel Agency head and Trump 20 day National Sec Advisor Mike Flynn…..

Federal prosecutors have issued grand jury subpoenas as part of the ongoing probe of Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election, according to a new report.

The subpoenas to associates of former national security adviser Michael Flynn are seeking business records, CNN said Tuesday.

CNN confirmed with people familiar with the matter that the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Alexandria, Va., issued the subpoenas in recent weeks.

The subpoenas are a significant escalation of the FBI’s broader investigation into possible ties between Russia and President Trump’s 2016 campaign.

The news of subpoenas comes on the same night President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey.

The White House said Comey was fired at the recommendation of the Justice Department, but critics of the administration are questioning whether the action is related to the FBI’s probe of Russian election interference and any possible ties between Trump’s campaign and Moscow.

Sources told CNN that the subpoenas went to associates who worked with Flynn on contracts following his firing as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2014…..


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Air Force’s X-37B Spy Space Plane Lands in Florida ….

An earlier post on the spacecraft….

The record-shattering mission of the U.S. Air Force’s robotic X-37B space plane is finally over.

After circling Earth for an unprecedented 718 days, the X-37B touched down Sunday (May 7) at the Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida — the first landing at the SLF since the final space shuttle mission came back to Earth in July 2011. The landing occurred at 7:47 a.m. EDT (1147 GMT).

“Today marks an incredibly exciting day for the 45th Space Wing as we continue to break barriers,” Air Force Brig. Gen. Wayne Monteith, the 45th SW commander, said in a statement. “Our team has been preparing for this event for several years, and I am extremely proud to see our hard work and dedication culminate in today’s safe and successful landing of the X-37B.”

The U.S. Air Force’s X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle mission 4 (OTV-4) is seen after landing at the Shuttle Landing Facility of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida on May 7, 2017. The unpiloted space plane spent a record 718 days in space during its classified mission.

Credit: U.S. Air Force


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Trump Admin dumping the campaign loyalists embedded in agencies….

It is customary for Presidential winner to reward campaign people with government jobs….

Donald Trump THOUGHT he could do that….

But it won’t be l;ike that….

His campaign guys have caused him seveal headaches and little  political progress up to now….

Trump REALLY wasn’t supposed to actually win the election….

So in doing so?….. He had to scramble to put a transition team together….

The first boss of that effort was Chris Christie….

He didn’t last too long….

As the Trump swearing in approached he had LOT os off the wall stuff being leaked by ‘true believers’ who had NOT experience running anything like a White House operation and it showed….

Daily leaks of ‘pie-n’sky’ action for Trump where showcased as ridiculous , impossible and sometimes troublesome…

Trump people spend weeks answering postion paper idea’s that would never see the light of day since they where dreamed up with NO consideration for how the political process works in Congress and the Courts…

At some point saner heads began to get Trump, White House Chief Staff Peribus and Trump son-in-law Kushner and advise that things had settle down and that the campaign rhetoric was just that…

Campaign stuff….

Even sendimng Trump loyalist’s to OVERSEE Department heads began to come apart as the people who had to get Senate confirmation began to chaff at the oversight aspect of people who didn’t even know the political system work double guessing them…

And so the Trump White House has begun to bring in old Bush and even Regan admin hands, holding on to some Obama people, and reaching out non-political big money business types to run things….

Now the White House seems inclined to let Cabinet secretaries decide whether they want their minders to stay. A White House official said the advisers were hired on 120-day assignments that were never intended to be permanent, serving as points of contact for the White House while the administration has staffed up but officially reporting to the Cabinet secretaries or their chiefs of staff. The official pointed out that at some Cabinet departments, the advisers have already been hired for permanent jobs, while other advisers have moved elsewhere in the administration or left altogether.

“Most individuals serving in the temporary positions during the present transition will have the opportunity to move into a more permanent role within the administration – either in the agency they now serve or in another area of the federal government,” the official said.

But sources outside the White House said that many of the senior advisers made it clear that they saw themselves as much more than temporary liaisons, claiming a mandate to ensure that Trump’s wishes were being carried out throughout the government….

The tension between the senior advisers and Cabinet secretaries has put the White House in a tricky spot….


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House and Senate Leaders reach deal on 2017 Budget…

Donald Trump gets little of what HE wanted….

(Congress writes the Budget and votes on it in the end..NOT the President)

No funding for a Wall….

No funding to Repeal the Affordable Healthcare Law….

It’s funding will will continue subject to more review….

Almost none of the hardright conservative wants got added to the final proposed  bill….

The legislation delivers wins to both parties, though the Republicans and Democrats also had to compromise on some key issues. The Trump administration had demanded that the bill include a down payment on a physical barrier along the Southern border, as well as a rider blocking sanctuary cities from getting new grant funding. The White House received neither though did garner significant new investments in border security. Trump insists now he will still get his wall built imminently and will seek money for the structure in the new spending bill this fall.

Democrats were seeking a permanent commitment to funding Obamacare’s subsidies for low-income Americans’ insurance as well as more money to fill Puerto Rico’s Medicaid coffers. Instead the Trump administration is only indefinitely funding the Obamacare subsidies, and Puerto Rico’s Medicaid solution mostly relies on redistributing existing accounts.

Democrats also fended off riders they view as anti-environmental and anti-abortion…..


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