WASHINGTON: New US Defense Secretary Mark Esper picked his way through a political minefield in his first public meeting with the media Wednesday, skirting anything that could irritate his irascible boss President Donald Trump. Just hours after predecessor James Mattis wrote that Trump’s policies toward US allies are damaging US security, the new Pentagon chief hewed the official line, undoubtedly aware that the US leader studiously watches and assesses his cabinet members’ televised performances. For most of two years Mattis avoided appearing on camera, knowing that speaking his mind could only worsen a tense White House relationship rooted in fundamental disagreements over US defense policy. Mattis resigned late last year. Esper, a close ally of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo — now Trump’s primary national security advisor — made clear he would not rock the boat, even given the president’s unorthodox policymaking and sharp turns in longstanding US defense principles. ‘All options on the table’ He didn’t blink when asked about Trump’s disturbing assertion that the US military could easily settle the Afghanistan conflict. “We could win that war in a week if we wanted to fight it, but I’m not looking to kill 10 million people,“ Trump said last… Read full this story
- The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Sen. Barrasso says it's too soon to consider more funding for states; White House faces new challenges
- Coronavirus live updates: Fauci says at least 8 vaccine candidates being developed
- Coronavirus live updates: Fauci warns of triggering ‘outbreak you might not be able to control’
- Coronavirus live updates: Alameda County to Tesla — shut down the Fremont plant
- Coronavirus live updates: Pharmacies can conduct COVID-19 testing, Newsom says
In first press brief, Pentagon chief aims to keep Trump happy have 285 words, post on www.thesundaily.my at August 28, 2019. This is cached page on Asean Breaking News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.