Overnight Defense: White House hammers Corker over Iran deal | Trump briefed on 'range of options' for N. Korea | Dems want proof Trump consulted Pentagon on transgender ban

Overnight Defense: White House hammers Corker over Iran deal | Trump briefed on 'range of options' for N. Korea | Dems want proof Trump consulted Pentagon on transgender ban

THE TOPLINE: The feud between President Trump and Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerFormer Dem Tenn. gov to launch Senate bid: report McConnell 'almost certain' GOP will pass tax reform Former New Mexico gov: Trump's foreign policy is getting 'criticized by everybody' MORE (R-Tenn.), escalated Tuesday, with the White House saying the senator was partly responsible for the Iran nuclear deal.

"Sen. Corker worked with Nancy Pelosi and the Obama administration to pave the way for that and rolled out the red carpet for the Iran deal," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said at a briefing.

Corker's office said the claim is "not true" and that the Tennessee Republican opposed the Iran deal and worked with lawmakers to craft a bill ensuring Congress could review the deal, against the Obama White House's wishes.

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"He worked with them on the legislation that rolled that out," Sanders responded. "That's what helped I think put things in motion. He may have voted against the deal ultimately, but he not only allowed the deal to happen, he gave it credibility. I stand by my statement."

 The Hill's Jonathan Easley has more here.

 

AIR FORCE SECRETARY SAYS MOST AMERICANS AREN'T FOLLOWING FEUD : Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson believes the current feud between Trump and Corker is something largely unwatched outside of Washington. 

"Really, most Americas are going on with their daily lives and they don't really much care about the rhetoric that swirls around this city," Wilson said Tuesday at Fortune's Most Powerful Women Summit in Washington.

Corker since announcing his retirement, has frequently criticized Trump, and said in a New York Times interview Sunday that the White House is like an adult daycare center and that Trump could lead the country into World War III. Those remarks came after Trump said the senator had begged him to endorse him for reelection and then decided to resign after the president refused.

Corker also last week told reporters that Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisOvernight Defense: Trump recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital | Mattis, Tillerson reportedly opposed move | Pentagon admits 2,000 US troops are in Syria | Trump calls on Saudis to 'immediately' lift Yemen blockade Trump has yet to name ambassadors to key nations in Mideast Mattis, Tillerson warned Trump of security concerns in Israel embassy move MORE, Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonOvernight Defense: Trump recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital | Mattis, Tillerson reportedly opposed move | Pentagon admits 2,000 US troops are in Syria | Trump calls on Saudis to 'immediately' lift Yemen blockade Trump has yet to name ambassadors to key nations in Mideast Mattis, Tillerson warned Trump of security concerns in Israel embassy move MORE, and Trump's chief of staff Gen. John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE "separate our country from chaos."

When asked what she thought about Corker's comments, Wilson said "everyone has their own perspective."

Read the rest here.

 

DEMS SEEK PROOF TRUMP CONSULTED WITH PENTAGON ON TRANSGENDER BAN: More than 100 Democrats are demanding proof that President Trump consulted with the Pentagon before deciding that he would ban transgender people from the military.

In a letter to Defense Secretary James Mattis on Tuesday, 115 Democrats request any communication between the Pentagon and the White House that led Trump to claim that he was "doing the military a great favor" by announcing on Twitter that transgender people would not be allowed "to serve in any capacity in the U.S. military."

"If senior military or Department of Defense personnel asked that the president ban transgender individuals from military service, we request access to any letters, e-mails, telephone transcripts, meeting logs and minutes, or other materials that document such requests," the Democrats wrote in the letter. "If the department has records of any other discussions that might have justified the president's claim, we request to see those materials, as well."

Trump in July announced the transgender ban in tweets in which he also claimed that he arrived at the decision after consultation with "my generals and military experts."

The Hill's Rebecca Kheel has more here.

 

TRUMP BRIEFED ON 'RANGE OF OPTIONS' FOR NORTH KOREA: President Trump met with his national security team on Tuesday to discuss "a range of options" on North Korea in response to its increasing nuclear ambitions, the White House said.

Trump and military officials met to discuss "a range of options to respond to any form of North Korean aggression or, if necessary, to prevent North Korea from threatening the United States and its allies with nuclear weapons," the White House said in a statement.

The president received a briefing from Defense Secretary James Mattis and Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford as part of the meeting. Trump was also scheduled to have lunch on Tuesday with Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Trump has been alluding to possible military action against North Korea for weeks, while criticizing past administrations for their approach to the isolated nation.

The president continued to dismiss a diplomatic approach to North Korea over the weekend, tweeting that "only one thing will work."

The Hill's Jesse Byrnes has more here.

 

ON TAP FOR TOMORROW:

The Association of the United States Army's annual meeting continues all day with speeches from top Army officials. http://bit.ly/2xtvNTJ

Reps. Rick Larson (D-Wash.) and Don Bacon (R-Neb.) will speak about U.S. defense needs at a Brookings Institution-hosted discussion 8:30 a.m. Wednesday at Johns Hopkins University. http://brook.gs/2kt6PxH

The House Foreign Affairs Committee will hear from outside experts on Iran at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Rayburn House Office Building, room 2172. http://bit.ly/2ksoBkp

A House Foreign Affairs subcommittee will hold a hearing on U.S. policy toward Lebanon with testimony from State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development officials at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Rayburn 2172. http://bit.ly/2y4RUyy

Another Foreign Affairs subcommittee will hold a hearing on the administration's budget request for Africa at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Rayburn 2200. http://bit.ly/2xn4R7U

 

ICYMI:

-- The Hill: Mattis heading to Florida to visit with US Central Command

-- The Hill: Russia accuses US of 'pretending' to fight ISIS

-- The Hill: Tensions with Turkey have not affected US military operations

-- The Hill: Mattis tells top generals to talk to reporters more

-- The Hill: White House: 'Indisputable' Trump has done more to defeat ISIS than Obama

--The Hill: North Korean hackers suspected of stealing US-South Korea war plans

--The Hill: Condi urges Trump: 'Watch your rhetoric' on North Korea

--Heritage Foundation report: Creating a "Space Corps" is not the solution to U.S. Space Problems

 

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