Trump, in reversal, calls for Pentagon to raise budget request to $750B: reports

President TrumpDonald John TrumpVeterans groups demand end to shutdown: 'Get your act together' Brown launches tour in four early nominating states amid 2020 consideration Pence on border wall: Trump won't be ‘deterred’ by Dem ‘obstruction’ MORE is reportedly calling for the Pentagon to raise its budget request for next year to $750 billion, significantly more than he previously wanted and $12 billion more than top military officials have been pushing for. 

Trump in a tweet last week appeared to call the Department of Defense's current budget of $716 billion "crazy," and he has been pushing for a 5 percent cut to its budget as he seeks to trim spending across the federal agencies. 

ADVERTISEMENT

But Trump reportedly changed his mind after a Tuesday meeting at the White House involving Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisGOP reasserts NATO support after report on Trump’s wavering Overnight Defense: Trump faces blowback over report he discussed leaving NATO | Pentagon extends mission on border | Senate advances measure bucking Trump on Russia sanctions Trump suggested withdrawing US from NATO: report MORE and the chairmen of the House and Senate Armed Services committees, Rep. Mac ThornberryWilliam (Mac) McClellan ThornberrySyria too complex to make decisions in 280 characters … even for a president The Hill's Morning Report — Back to the drawing board as shutdown reaches 19 days Congress poised to push back at Trump on Saudi Arabia, Syria MORE (R-Texas) and Sen. James InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeOvernight Defense: Senators say questions remain after Syria briefing | Trump inches closer to declaring emergency to build wall | Air Force accepts Boeing tankers despite flaws Senators say questions remain on Trump strategy in Syria after briefing Emergency declaration option for wall tests GOP MORE (R-Okla.), Politico first reported.

"It’s 750 [billion]," an administration official familiar with the discussions told Politico. "Secretary Mattis secured that over lunch with the president. That’s the top line." CNN confirmed the report.

Mattis and other top defense officials have been seeking a $733 billion budget for fiscal 2020 as the president has floated a $700 billion budget. That number is now substantially higher, Politico and CNN reported.

"The President fully supports the National Defense Strategy and continuing to rebuild the military," an administration official told CNN. "With the help of Sen. Inhofe and Chairman Thornberry, President Trump agreed to $750 billion topline." 

The White House, Pentagon and Inhofe did not immediately respond to The Hill's requests for comment.

The $750 billion figure has not been announced officially yet. The Pentagon is continuing to move forward with a $733 billion proposal, Politico reported.

“There was a discussion with POTUS about how to get $733 billion, and POTUS suggested that if the position is $733 billion, then we should submit a budget at $750 billion as a negotiating tactic,” a source familiar with the discussions told Politico. “That said, the president changes his mind constantly."