FROM Leo Shane, III
Trump directly refutes Gold Star widow On ABC television today, Myeshia Johnson confirmed that — on that infamous condolence call -- President Trump did tell her that her husband "knew what he signed up for" before he was killed last week in West Africa. Johnson added, "I heard him stumbling on trying to remember my husband's name and that's what hurt the most because my husband is out there fighting for this country and he risked his life for our country, why can't you remember his name -- and that made me upset and cry more." Myeshia Johnson's husband, La David, was reportedly killed with three other US soldiers in Niger, when they were attacked by forces of the Islamic State. Leo Shane, Capitol Hill bureau chief for Military Times , has more on the ongoing scandal that has pushed a grieving family into the spotlight.
Trump budget would slash benefits for elderly vets President Trump's proposed budget increases spending on defense and homeland security, but for veterans, it's a mixed bag. The Department of Veterans Affairs will see added dollars, but some benefits for older vets are being targeted. Leo Shane, Capitol Hill bureau chief for the Military Times , joins us for a breakdown.
The attack on Syria: Risky, illegal... or about time? At dinner last night at Mar-a-Lago, President Trump told China's Xi Jinping that he'd ordered a Tomahawk missile strike against Syria. A bit later, Mr. Trump made a public statement , explaining that he'd retaliated against Bashar al-Assad for Monday's chemical attack that killed at least 80 fellow Syrians, including women and children. Last night's surprise missile attack on a Syrian airbase was President Trump's reaction to the reported use of chemical weapons by Bashar al-Assad. Is it a limited message about a new Red Line, or an overnight policy change that reverses Trump's long time promise of "America First?" Both parties in Congress are mostly supportive, while demanding clarification — and a role in future decisions. Russia says it's a "significant blow" to relations. Despite past isolationist rhetoric, the President himself says his views have changed toward his presidency and his role in the world.
Defense secretary halts collection of California guard bonuses Veterans of the California National Guard have been required to pay back enlistment bonuses and student loans given them 10 years ago during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Los Angeles Times broke the story that many served multiple combat tours and didn't realize they were not entitled to payments of $15,000 or more. Today, after expressions of outrage from Congress, Secretary Ash Carter ordered that repayment demands be suspended. Leo Shane, Capitol Hill Bureau Chief for Military Times , says California may not be the only state affected.
Poll Shows Strong Support for Trump among Military Members With the 2016 presidential campaigns heating up, pollsters are looking to the general election, but one voter constituency that doesn't get much attention is military service members. So, how is the campaign rhetoric playing with troops? The Military Times recently conducted a survey to find out. Barbara Bogaev gets details from the Times' Capitol Hill Bureau Chief, Leo Shane.
Virginia to Announce It Has Ended Veteran Homelessness At the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier today at Arlington National Cemetery, President Obama addressed the issue of homelessness among veterans. "We've now slashed the disability claims backlog by nearly 90 percent. We're reducing the outrage of veterans' homelessness, and have helped tens of thousands of our veterans get off the streets. Still, the unacceptable problems that we've seen — like long wait times, and some veterans not getting the timely care that they need — is a challenge for all of us if we are to match our words with deeds." Leo Shane, Congressional reporter for the Military Times , has more on Virginia's efforts to end veteran homelessness.
President Obama Speaks before the VFW President Obama addressed the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Pittsburgh today and made a case for the nuclear deal with Iran. "In the debate over this deal, we're hearing the echoes of some of the same policies and mindset that failed us in the past. Some of the same politicians and pundits that are so quick to reject the possibility of a diplomatic solution to Iran's nuclear program are the same folks who were so quick to go to war in Iraq, and said it would take a few months. And we know the consequences of that choice and what it cost us in blood and treasure." Leo Shane reports on Congress for the Military Times .
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Janesville and the American Dream Janesville, Wisconsin is the hometown of Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. But he couldn’t prevent the closing of the General Motors factory after 100 years. On this Memorial Day rebroadcast of To the Point, we hear what’s happened to what once was a model of American middle-class unity.