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Trump orders Pentagon to remove thousands of troops from Germany: report

President TrumpDonald TrumpGiuliani used provisional ballot to vote in 2020 election, same method he disparaged in fighting to overturn results Trump gets lowest job approval rating in final days as president Fox News' DC managing editor Bill Sammon to retire MORE has directed the Department of Defense to send 9,500 troops home from Germany, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, which would bring the total stationed there down to 25,000.

A defense official told the Journal the plan, which was ordered by national security adviser Robert O'Brien, has been underway since September and is not related to rising tensions between Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Former acting Director of National Intelligence Richard GrenellRichard GrenellEdward Snowden, the media, and the Espionage Act Kentucky governor calls vandalism to McConnell's home 'unacceptable' Pelosi's, McConnell's homes vandalized as K stimulus check bill fails to pass MORE, who also served as Trump's ambassador to Germany, has advocated for the reduction of troops in Germany and pushed for Berlin to spend more on its own defense.

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When asked, National Security Council spokesman John Ullyot did not confirm the move to The Hill, but said Trump “continually reassesses the best posture for the United States military forces and our presence overseas.”

“The United States remains committed to working with our strong ally Germany to ensure our mutual defense, as well as on many other important issues,” Ullyot said.

The Hill has reached out to the Department of Defense and the White House for further comment.

The Journal noted under current conditions, there can be up to 52,000 U.S. troops in Germany at a time as units rotate in and out or take part in training exercises.

The troop reduction will reportedly take place by September.

Trump has pushed for fewer U.S. service members to be deployed overseas, including in Afghanistan, the site of America's longest military conflict.