President Trump reportedly approves $750BN defense budget after telling departments to cut spending


A week after calling a $716 billion defense budget “crazy,” President Trump is reportedly posed to approve one almost 5% higher.

The President gave the go-ahead to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to submit a $750 billion budget proposal for fiscal year 2020, Politico reported Sunday, a stark reversal from plans to cut spending.

“It’s 750. Secretary Mattis secured that over lunch with the President,” an administration official told the outlet. “That’s the top line.”

In October, Trump floated a $700 billion defense budget, which was in line with government-wide belt-tightening, and ordered all department heads to slash their budgets by 5% for 2020.

Instead, Mattis appears to be getting a raise.

The $750 billion figure covers “all national defense spending, including the Pentagon and Department of Energy funding for the nuclear arsenal,” according to Politico.

Last week, in the context of meetings between he, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin, Trump seemed to imply that Mattis’ spending was out of control.

“I am certain that, at some time in the future, President Xi and I, together with President Putin of Russia, will start talking about a meaningful halt to what has become a major and uncontrollable Arms Race,” Trump tweeted last week. “The U.S. spent 716 Billion Dollars this year. Crazy!”

Originally published