Trump Goes to Pentagon for Talks on Potential Government Shutdown

President Donald Trump walks from the Oval Office as he leaves the White House in Washington, Dec. 21, 2017, to visit Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
President Donald Trump walks from the Oval Office as he leaves the White House in Washington, Dec. 21, 2017, to visit Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

President Donald Trump is headed to the Pentagon on Thursday after warning of the "devastating" impacts on the military of a possible government shutdown at midnight Friday over the failure of Congress to reach a budget deal.

Trump, joined by Vice President Mike Pence, is to have closed meetings in the highly secure "tank" at the Pentagon with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford.

The meeting comes on the eve of Mattis' expected unveiling of the military's National Security Strategy for the services going forward.

Trump met with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at the White House on the North Korea crisis and a range of other issues before heading to the Pentagon.

Before leaving the White House, Trump sent out a Tweet saying, "A government shutdown will be devastating to our military … something the Dems care very little about!"

The message is a variation on a theme the president has repeated for the past week as Congress struggles to reach agreement on yet another Continuing Resolution that would put off to Feb. 16 final agreement on a budget deal to fund the military and keep the government in operation.

Trump has insisted that immigration policy and funding of a wall on the Mexican border must be included in any deal to keep the government open.

-- Richard Sisk can be reached at Richard.Sisk@Military.com.

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