A senior United States naval official visited Taiwan Sunday, as the outgoing Trump administration continued to strengthen ties with the self-ruled island in its last weeks, further riling Beijing and potentially helping to shape how Joe Biden deals with this issue as president.
President Trump tweeted late Wednesday that all American troops should be out of Afghanistan by Christmas, a new goal post for ending the long-running conflict that caught his own Pentagon flat-footed.
Stars and Stripes, the Pentagon’s independent newspaper, has been ordered by Pentagon officials to prepare to shut down as soon as the end of this month, a move that would end a history dating to the Civil War.
The White House is not planning an immediate response to intelligence reports of Russian bounties given to Taliban-linked militants to kill U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan because President Trump does not believe the reports are true or “actionable,” according to two senior administration officials.
President Trump called reports of alleged Russian bounties on U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan a “hoax,” noting he was never verbally briefed on the supposed plot. National security adviser Robert O’Brien said the raw intelligence was worrisome enough to share with the military.
President Trump is increasingly isolated over his staunch defense of Confederate symbols on military bases, as uneasy congressional Republicans signal to the White House that now is not the time to hold the Pentagon hostage to this one issue.