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Pentagon, State officials opposed Trump's decision to include Chad in travel ban: report

Pentagon, State officials opposed Trump's decision to include Chad in travel ban: report
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Pentagon and State Department officials opposed President Trump's decision to include Chad on the latest revised travel ban, concerned that such a move risks alienating a reliable counterterrorism ally in Africa, The New York Times reported on Tuesday.

The president included the country at the recommendation of Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke, who wrote a classified report saying Chad had not done enough to combat Islamic extremists, according to the paper.

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Trump had asked other federal agencies to weigh in on the decision, State Department and Pentagon officials told The Times. Many at these agencies reportedly felt worried that such a move could have negative consequences for American interests in the country and the fight against terror groups in the region.

Stephen Miller, senior policy adviser to the president, encouraged Trump to listen to Duke's deliberation, according to the report.

Embassy officials expressed confusion over the decision, other administration officials who deal with the Africa portfolio felt frustrated and several Defense officials at the Pentagon also appeared angry that the decision could hurt relationships and long-term interests in the region, The Times reported. 

Trump's proclamation limits travelers from the state and says Chad “does not adequately share public safety and terrorism-related information and fails to satisfy at least one key risk criterion.” 

Senior administration officials say the states on the list failed to comply with the U.S. information-sharing requirements that aim to make vetting processes stronger and advance the nation's national security interests.

Administration officials declined to provide the newspaper with additional details.

“We laid out a very clear baseline of the information we needed from all countries, and all countries were measured equally to determine whether they met that baseline,” Homeland Security spokesman David Lapan told The Times.

White House National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster acknowledged the "real debate" about adding Chad to the list, while adding that the list is "not fixed" at a Washington conference on Monday.

Chad has been a helpful ally fighting against terror groups in Africa, even helping its neighbor Nigeria in its fight against Boko Haram.