Afghanistan

Former Hillary Clinton Aide Blasts Gillibrand Over Bill Clinton Comments
Former president should have resigned over Lewinsky episode, NY senator said

New York Sen. Kristin Gillibrand said Thursday she thought it would have been "appropriate" for President Bill Clinton to step down after the Monica Lewinsky scandal. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A former Hillary Clinton State Department aide had harsh words for Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who said Thursday that President Bill Clinton should have resigned after an inappropriate sexual relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

Philippe Reines, Hillary Clinton’s deputy assistant secretary of state for strategic communications, called Gillibrand a “hypocrite” for the comments.

Word on the Hill: Valor in D.C.
A distinguished Nebraskan, and your social calendar for the week

Screen shot of “Valor” trailer. (Courtesy CW)

Pairing a look at life in the military with an exploration of the opioid crisis, CW’s “Valor” is coming to D.C.

The cast will be at the Milken Institute School of Public Health this evening for a screening for veterans, active duty members and reservists.

New York Attacker Won’t Be Sent to Guantanamo, Trump Says
President’s decision to use criminal courts breaks with Graham, McCain

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., wants President Donald Trump to send the New York truck attacker to Guantanamo Bay. Trump signaled Wednesday the suspect will head to the criminal justice system. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump broke with congressional Republican hawks Thursday morning, signaling the Islamic State-inspired New York truck attacker will not be sent to the military’s terrorist detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

As top GOP Senate Armed Services members like Chairman John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina call for Sayfullo Saipov to be held by the military as an “enemy combatant,” Trump used morning tweets to signal he will be prosecuted via the criminal court system.

Word on the Hill: Darkest Hour
Free lunch, Bison day, Hirono’s health update, new D.C. book and Christopher Nolan at LOC

(Screen shot of “Darkest Hour” trailer)

The new movie “Darkest Hour” will be screened in D.C. this evening, followed by a panel that includes House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and Rep. Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y.

NBC’s Chuck Todd will moderate the panel at the United States Navy Memorial (701 Pennsylvania Ave. NW) at 7:15 p.m. The movie’s star, actor Gary Oldman, is also scheduled to attend.

Opinion: When the Price Is Too High to Be an American
While military families grieve, Trump and Kelly disparage and disrespect

White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly speaks during an Oct. 19 press briefing during which he called only on reporters who had personal connections to fallen soldiers. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

 

If I had been in that briefing room when White House Chief of Staff and retired Gen. John Kelly stated that only journalists who had a personal connection to a fallen soldier were allowed to ask a question, I could have raised my hand. But that would have cheapened the memory of a Marine, my beloved nephew, treating his life and death as currency in an unholy transaction.

Trump Told the Senate About Niger Actions in June
Is Congress reading what they’re sent?

Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey is among the lawmakers who were not familiar with U.S. action in Niger. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As senators say they didn’t know about the presence of U.S. troops (or the number of them) in Niger, some are calling for a review of how Congress gets notified of such actions.

Pennsylvania Democratic Sen. Bob Casey is among the lawmakers who in recent days have said on television they were unaware of the activity in Niger, despite a formal letter about U.S. forces in the region that went to Capitol Hill months ago.

Opinion: Six Presidential Lessons Trump Missed
Mistakes — and moments of glory — could instruct

President Donald Trump could learn a thing or two from major events in his lifetime, Walter Shapiro writes. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Judging from his comments and tweets, Donald Trump is a leader who divides the sweep of human history into two simple categories: BT (Before Trump) and AT (After Trump).

Before Trump, there was mostly a void populated by a few military heroes like Andrew Jackson and George Patton.

White House Shifts Stance on Kelly Criticism of Wilson
Press secretary: 'Many people' heard 2015 remarks not captured on video

Rep. Frederica S. Wilson, D-Fla., admires the high school projects hanging in the Cannon House Office Building tunnel. She is locked in a feud with President Donald Trump and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly that she says has turned  “personal.“  (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The White House shifted its stance again Friday in its latest feud, this one with a Florida Democratic congresswoman stemming from her criticism of President Donald Trump’s words to a military widow.

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly on Thursday sharply criticized Rep. Frederica S. Wilson, who says she overheard a Tuesday call from Trump to the widow of Sgt. La David T. Johnson, who was killed in an ambush in Niger. Wilson and Johnson family members contend Trump said the late soldier “knew what he signed up for.”

Trump’s Generals Had a Very Emotive Day
White House isn't denying account of president's words to military widow

White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly speaks during a briefing Thursday. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

The generals with whom President Donald Trump has surrounded himself have seen combat and are known for public personas one part stoic and two parts tough. But on Thursday, Trump’s generals had a very emotive day.

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, the retired Marine Corps four-star general who once commanded troops in Iraq, appeared in the White House briefing room and delivered a passionate rebuke of Rep. Frederica S. Wilson, D-Fla., who this week slammed Trump for his alleged remarks to the widow of a fallen U.S. soldier.

Contrary to Rhetoric, Military Mishaps Have Been Declining
The Pentagon’s deadly accident-filled summer bucked a larger trend

The destroyer USS John S. McCain collided with a chemical tanker in August, one of several deadly military accidents this year. Such incidents are on the decline, according to a Roll Call analysis. (Courtesy U.S. Navy)

Hawks in Congress have said military mishaps are up because the defense budget is down, but the data says otherwise.

The summer of 2017 saw a rash of fatal military accidents — ships colliding at sea, planes crashing and vehicles catching fire — that were deadlier than attacks from America’s enemies.