defense

Trump Budget a Shock to Farmers, Needy and Environment
The Week Ahead, Episode 55

Senators Make Another Bid to Authorize War Against ISIS
Flake and Kaine have tried before

Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake is introducing another proposal for authorizing the use of military force against ISIS. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

“When I voted in 2001 to authorize military force against the perpetrators of the September 11th attacks, I had no idea I would be authorizing armed conflict for more than fifteen years, and counting.”

That’s what Sen. Jeff Flake said Thursday. The Arizona Republican was announcing yet another effort with Sen. Tim Kaine, a Virginia Democrat, to get Congress to go on record to authorize the use of military force against the Islamic State and other terror groups.

White House Middle East Victory Lap Draws Skepticism
Aides pushing a win, but headaches await return from region

President Donald Trump delivers a statement with Israeli President Reuven Rivlinon on Monday in Jerusalem. The White House says its first Middle East visit was a big success, but some Democrats are skeptical. (Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

The White House is describing President Donald Trump’s first dose of Middle East diplomacy as a “historic” success, but some lawmakers are skeptical that the optimistic rhetoric will become policy, and at least one is looking to block a major announcement from the trip. 

Trump spent all or parts of four days huddling with Muslim and Israeli leaders before heading to Europe on Tuesday afternoon. So confident was the White House that the first leg of Trump’s overseas diplomatic debut had gone well that they did not wait to land in Italy to declare victory.

By the Numbers: Trump’s First Full Fiscal Year Budget Cuts Deep and Wide
Only Defense, Homeland Security and Veterans Affairs departments would be spared

President Donald Trump's first full budget, released Tuesday, proposes big cuts to nearly every department and agency in fiscal 2018, even though they've been tightly constrained by budget caps for the past six years. Here's how the budget compares to estimates of what's currently enacted and to President Barack Obama's final full budget request:

East Jerusalem Should Be Palestinian Capital, Abbas Insists
Israelis reject that notion showing Trump how tough a peace pact will be

Demonstrators hold posters during a protest against U.S. President Donald Trump next to the American consulate on Monday night in Jerusalem. (Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

Updated at 7:44 a.m. President Donald Trump continued to press for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal during a stop in Bethlehem, but comments by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas showed just how difficult such a pact will be.

As Trump said Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu have assured him they want to “work towards that goal in good faith,” the Palestinian leader laid down a key marker for potential talks that his Israeli counterparts have rejected in the past.

No Apology for Israel Over Trump’s Disclosure to Russians
Tillerson: ‘I don’t know that there’s anything to apologize for’

President Donald Trump (L) speaks during a joint statement with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin in Jerusalem on Monday. (Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump does not plan to apologize to Israeli leaders for disclosing sensitive intelligence provided by the Jewish country to senior Russian diplomats.

Asked by reporters Monday on Air Force One if Trump will apologize to Israeli leaders for sharing password-only classified intelligence about an Islamic State plot to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson replied: “I don’t know that there’s anything to apologize for.”

ISIS Strategy Gets an Update
National security officials outline Trump administration changes

Defense Secretary James Mattis and other officials outlined new tactics in the fight against ISIS. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senior national security officials Friday outlined what they claim is a new approach to addressing the Islamic State, the same day President Donald Trump left for an extended overseas trip with the first leg of the journey touching down in the Middle East, in Saudi Arabia and Israel.

Secretary of Defense James Mattis said Trump has authorized a change in tactics in the fight against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. The tactical shift moves to a campaign aimed at surrounding and then seizing ISIS’ urban strongholds in order to prevent the escape of fighters.

Senators Warn FCC, Trump Administration About Freedom of the Press
Comes after CQ Roll Call reporter was pinned against a wall while covering the commission

Iowa Sen. Charles E. Grassley says it is customary for reporters to question public officials after meetings, as he is seen doing here. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senators, including Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley, are warning the Federal Communications Commission about its treatment of reporters after a CQ Roll Call reporter was manhandled Thursday.

“The Federal Communications Commission needs to take a hard look at why this happened and make sure it doesn’t happen again. As The Washington Post pointed out, it’s standard operating procedure for reporters to ask questions of public officials after meetings and news conferences,” the Iowa Republican said. “It happens all day, every day. There’s no good reason to put hands on a reporter who’s doing his or her job.”  

Cloud of Scandals Follow Trump Overseas
Lawmakers warn of stalled domestic agenda

President Donald Trump exits Air Force One on Feb. 6 at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla. On Friday, he leaves on a five-country swing amid several domestic scandals. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ned T. Johnston via Wikimedia Commons)

A cloud of scandal and uncertainty will follow Donald Trump to five countries on his first overseas trip as president beginning this weekend. And it could only grow more ominous by the time he returns.

When Trump boards Air Force One on Friday, he will leave behind a growing pile of smoldering scandals, mostly of his own creation.

White House Shifts Talking Points Again on Russia Disclosure
National security adviser fits reaction to Trump tweets

Sen. Todd Young is among the Republicans who say the latest news puts a premium on the Intelligence Committee getting to the bottom of its Russia investigation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The White House on Tuesday injected yet another twist into its efforts to defend President Donald Trump after he admitted to disclosing highly classified information with senior Russian diplomats.

One of Trump’s top aides on Tuesday defended Trump’s sharing classified information about an Islamic State plot with Russian diplomats, saying it was “wholly appropriate” given the conversation. Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, the president’s national security adviser, also contended Trump was unaware about the source of the information.