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 McCainCohen’s pleas concocted by prosecutors to snare Trump Overnight Defense: Senate Armed Services chair eyes Russia, China threats | Pushes Trump not to cut defense budget | Mattis says US looking for more Khashoggi evidence Dem strategist says Trump should not have attended George H.W. Bush's funeral 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 TrumpThe Memo: Ayers decision casts harsh light on Trump NASA offers to show Stephen Curry evidence from moon landings Freedom Caucus calls on leadership to include wall funding, end to 'catch and release' in funding bill 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 McConnellCornyn opens door to including criminal justice bill in government funding measure The Hill's Morning Report — Trump shakes up staff with eye on 2020, Mueller probe Judd Gregg: The government goes geriatric 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 GrahamCorker to introduce resolution holding Saudi crown prince 'responsible' for Khashoggi's death Cornyn opens door to including criminal justice bill in government funding measure The Hill's Morning Report — Trump shakes up staff with eye on 2020, Mueller probe 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 SessionsPress: Mueller closes in on Trump Mueller's findings don't matter The Hill's Morning Report — Trump shakes up staff with eye on 2020, Mueller probe MORE, Secretary of Defense James MattisJames Norman MattisOvernight Defense: Dunford expected to finish Joint Chiefs term | House lawmakers pushing for Yemen vote | Pentagon says a few hundred troops leaving border Pentagon to begin withdrawing hundreds of active duty troops at border Trump, in reversal, calls for Pentagon to raise budget request to 0B: reports MORE, White House chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE, national security adviser John Bolton, former Sen. Carl LevinCarl Milton LevinThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Sponsored by Delta Air Lines — White House to 'temporarily reinstate' Acosta's press pass after judge issues order | Graham to take over Judiciary panel | Hand recount for Florida Senate race Congress must use bipartisan oversight as the gold standard National security leaders: Trump's Iran strategy could spark war MORE (D-Mich.), former Sen. Max BaucusMax Sieben BaucusOvernight Defense: McCain honored in Capitol ceremony | Mattis extends border deployment | Trump to embark on four-country trip after midterms Congress gives McCain the highest honor Judge boots Green Party from Montana ballot in boost to Tester MORE (D-Mont.) and Utah Senate candidate Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyO’Rourke is fireball, but not all Dems are sold 5 themes to watch for in 2020 fight for House The 2020 presidential race: A 2004 redux? MORE (R).

A few of the most prominent congressional conservatives were missing, such as Sens. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzGillum reached out to O’Rourke amid 2020 speculation: report O'Rourke spoke with Al Sharpton amid 2020 speculation O’Rourke is fireball, but not all Dems are sold MORE (R-Texas) and Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulLimited Senate access to CIA intelligence is not conspiracy Dems have new moniker for Trump: ‘Unindicted co-conspirator' Rand Paul downplays potential Trump campaign finance violations: 'We’ve over-criminalized campaign finance' 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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