James Mattis, Lawmakers Discuss Planned $33B Defense Budget Cut With Trump

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President Donald Trump has met with Defense Secretary James Mattis and chairmen of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees to discuss the administration’s plan to implement a $33B cut to the Pentagon’s fiscal 2020 budget, Defense News reported Tuesday.

“I had a frank and productive conversation about our national security goals with the president," Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), SASC chairman, said in a statement.

"I am confident from the meeting that the president is determined to keep our nation strong and the military adequately funded,” he added.

HASC Chairman Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) joined Inhofe and Mattis during the Tuesday meeting with Trump at the White House.

CNN reported that the meeting was held after the administration called on the Department of Defense to come up with a $700B budget plan for fiscal 2020, which reflects a 5 percent reduction from DoD’s proposed spending request.

“The $733B figure was arrived by the department carefully looking at the requirements of the National Defense Strategy,” Lt. Gen. Frank McKenzie, Trump's nominee to lead Central Command, told the Senate panel Tuesday.

McKenzie added that below that budget would raise risk that would be exhibited across the force.

The Washington Post initially reported news of the White House meeting.