Overnight Defense: McCain honored in Capitol ceremony | Mattis extends border deployment | Trump to embark on four-country trip after midterms

Overnight Defense: McCain honored in Capitol ceremony | Mattis extends border deployment | Trump to embark on four-country trip after midterms
© Anna Moneymaker

Happy Friday and welcome to Overnight Defense. I'm Ellen Mitchell, and here's your nightly guide to the latest developments at the Pentagon, on Capitol Hill and beyond. CLICK HERE to subscribe to the newsletter.

 

THE TOPLINE: Congress gave the late Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainBill Maher delivers mock eulogy for Trump Hillary Clinton roasts NYT's Maureen Dowd over column CNN's Ana Navarro to host Biden roundtable on making 'Trump a one-term president' MORE (R-Ariz.) its highest honor Friday, assembling under the Capitol Rotunda to pay final respects in front of his flag-draped casket as it lay in state, an occasion usually reserved for presidents.

McCain was often described as a maverick and defense hawk and bucked his party’s leadership many times, most notably last year when he sunk their proposal to repeal ObamaCare. But in their final remembrances, GOP leaders praised his devotion to public service and his principles.

The ceremony: The solemn pomp of the ceremony and the political luminaries who attended left no doubt that McCain, a harsh critic of President TrumpDonald John TrumpTeachers union launches 0K ad buy calling for education funding in relief bill FDA head pledges 'we will not cut corners' on coronavirus vaccine Let our values drive COVID-19 liability protection MORE, was one of the brightest stars of the Republican Party and a lawmaker who earned the deep respect of its leaders and rank-and-file members.

McCain’s casket was carried into the Capitol by an honor guard of soldiers, sailors and Marines, and a cordon of Capitol Police in ceremonial dress stood guard throughout the prayers and remarks.

“He treated every issue with the intensity the people’s business deserves,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTeachers union launches 0K ad buy calling for education funding in relief bill No signs of breakthrough for stalemated coronavirus talks State aid emerges as major hurdle to reviving COVID-19 talks MORE (R-Ky.) told the gathering, which included former President Nixon's Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Hollywood stars Warren Beatty and Annette Bening, and former senators such as John Warner (R-Va.) and Connie Mack III (R-Fla.).

Who attended: McCain’s family, including his 106-year-old mother Roberta McCain and his daughter Meghan McCain, sat in the front row.

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSeveral GOP lawmakers express concern over Trump executive orders Graham says he appreciates Trump orders, but 'would much prefer a congressional agreement' Sunday shows preview: White House, congressional Democrats unable to breach stalemate over coronavirus relief MORE (R-S.C.), McCain’s best friend in Congress, sat with McCain’s family directly behind the podium, instead of in the section reserved for current and former senators. Former Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), who was a member of the self-described “three amigos” along with McCain and Graham, also sat with friends and family.

A who's who of other past and present political luminaries also attended, including Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsThe 'pitcher of warm spit' — Veepstakes and the fate of Mike Pence FBI officials hid copies of Russia probe documents fearing Trump interference: book Tuberville breaks DC self-quarantine policy to campaign MORE, Secretary of Defense James MattisJames Norman MattisOvernight Defense: Most VA workers find racism 'moderate to serious problem' at facilities l Trump advisers were wary of talking military options over fears he'd accidentally start war Trump advisers were wary of talking military options over fears he'd accidentally start war: report Trump prizes loyalty over competence — we are seeing the results MORE, White House chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE, national security adviser John Bolton, former Sen. Carl LevinCarl Milton LevinInspector general independence must be a bipartisan priority in 2020 Democrats: A moment in history, use it wisely America's divide widens: Ignore it no longer MORE (D-Mich.), former Sen. Max BaucusMax Sieben BaucusBottom line Bottom line The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - George Floyd's death sparks protests, National Guard activation MORE (D-Mont.) and Utah Senate candidate Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyTrump slams 'rogue' Sasse after criticism of executive actions From a Republican donor to Senate GOP: Remove marriage penalty or risk alienating voters Tennessee primary battle turns nasty for Republicans MORE (R).

A few of the most prominent congressional conservatives were missing, such as Sens. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSens. Markey, Cruz clash over coronavirus relief: 'It's not a goddamn joke Ted' China sanctioning Rubio, Cruz in retaliatory move over Hong Kong The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Negotiators signal relief bill stuck, not dead MORE (R-Texas) and Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulTrump-backed Hagerty wins Tennessee GOP Senate primary Senators introduce bill to block Trump armed drone sale measure The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump's visit to battleground Ohio overshadowed by coronavirus MORE (R-Ky.), whom McCain famously called "wacko birds" in 2013.

Here are more stories on the ceremony from The Hill:

-- Pence: ‘John McCain served his country honorably’

-- McCain's 106-year-old mother attends son's memorial services at US Capitol

-- Dave Chappelle pays respects to McCain at Capitol

-- Top aides from McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign not invited to funeral: report

 

MATTIS EXTENDS TROOP BORDER DEPLOYMENT: Defense Secretary James Mattis has authorized up to 4,000 National Guard troops to remain deployed along the U.S.-Mexico border until next fall, according to the Pentagon.

Mattis earlier this week gave a 12-month extension of the current deployment order, set to expire at the end of the fiscal year, Sept. 30, said Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Jamie Davis.

The guardsmen are authorized to support U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) through Sept. 30, 2019.

“Nothing changes. It’s going to be the same amount of people in the same places,” Davis told The Hill.

The original order: President Trump in April signed an executive memorandum directing Mattis to bolster the Department of Homeland Security’s effort to combat a spike in border crossings. Trump said the troops would remain at the border until his proposed wall is built.

“Until we can have a wall and proper security, we are going to be guarding our border with the military,” he said.

Mattis approved as many as 4,000 troops to be deployed.

How many there are now: Currently, there are roughly 2,100 guardsmen deployed to the southern border in Arizona, Texas, New Mexico and California. 

The Pentagon’s April memo stipulates that the guardsmen not perform law enforcement activities or interact with migrants or other individuals detained by Homeland Security without approval. Reports in June suggested that most troops were doing support work away from the border, such as fixing flat tires or shoveling manure at horse stables.

 

TRUMP PLANS POST-MIDTERM TRIP ABROAD: President Trump is set to embark on a series of overseas trips immediately following the November midterm elections, including stops in Paris and in Buenos Aires for the Group of 20 (G-20) summit.

Trump will travel to France for an event Nov. 11 marking the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended fighting in World War I, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced Friday.

The White House has previously signaled that Trump would travel to Paris for the event in lieu of holding a military parade in Washington, which Trump had blasted local officials for over its price tag.

The White House said Friday that Trump will also pay a visit to Ireland in November "to renew the deep and historic ties between our two nations" and travel to Argentina to attend the G-20 economic summit.

Trump will then travel to Colombia, "where he looks forward to discussing with the [Iván] Duque administration opportunities for even greater collaboration on security, counter narcotics, and regional affairs," she said.

The trips will come immediately after the fall midterm elections.

 

ICMYI

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