Mattis, Trump on Path to Showdown Over Requested Budget Cuts

James “Maddog” Mattis and Donald “President” Trump are headed for a budget showdown. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and, well, President Trump are at odds over White House instructions to start cutting budgets bigly. The DOD began looking for places to cut after the Trump administration demanded budget plans to be drawn up that include multibillion dollar cuts, a reversal from the current fiscal year budget that added to defense spending. Military leaders claim to have been blinded by the cuts, but have come up with $33 billion in cuts in just a couple weeks. Insiders say the cuts threaten Mattis’s long range plan for the country’s military readiness, and that could lead to an epic clash between Mattis and President Trump, which supposedly could end in Mattis’s resignation.

—QUOTABLE: “Mattis will come in with his two budgets — the higher one they had been working on and the lower one they’re now building…And he’s going to say, ‘Mr. President, I cannot execute the strategy we published last year and do the things you’ve asked me to do with the lower budget amount.’ And then Trump can do what he wants. My guess is he will backtrack, at least some.” –Mark Cancian, senior adviser with the International Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies

Report: Mattis To Deploy Troops To Border

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis will deploy hundreds of U.S. troops to the border as a caravan of Central American immigrants makes its way north through Mexico. That’s according to a CNN report, which noted the troops “are expected to provide fencing, wall materials and other technical support at several key points along the border where it is believed the migrants may try to cross.” The caravan has swelled to around 6,000 aspiring illegal immigrants since it got into Mexico en route from Honduras. President Trump has promised to keep the caravan out.

Ricin Delivered to WH, Pentagon

Pieces of mail delivered to the White House and the Pentagon tested positive for Ricin. A Defense Department official says two suspicious envelopes addressed to President Trump, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson initially tested positive for the deadly compound, but never cleared security or made it past the White House’s or Pentagon’s off-site mail processing facilities. The suspicious packages were taken into possession by the FBI for further testing.