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 McCainDemocratic super PAC targets McSally over coronavirus response GOP senator suspending campaign fundraising, donating paycheck amid coronavirus pandemic Biden's pick for vice president doesn't matter much 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 TrumpPelosi eyes end of April to bring a fourth coronavirus relief bill to the floor NBA to contribute 1 million surgical masks to NY essential workers Private equity firm with ties to Kushner asks Trump administration to relax rules on loan program: report 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 McConnellPelosi eyes end of April to bring a fourth coronavirus relief bill to the floor Progressive group knocks McConnell for talking judicial picks during coronavirus Overnight Health Care: CDC recommends face coverings in public | Resistance to social distancing sparks new worries | Controversy over change of national stockpile definition | McConnell signals fourth coronavirus bill 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 GrahamGraham asks colleagues to support call for China to close wet markets Justice IG pours fuel on looming fight over FISA court Trump says he's considering restricting travel to coronavirus 'hot spots' 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 Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Guidance on masks is coming The Hill's Campaign Report: Coronavirus forces Democrats to postpone convention Roy Moore to advise Louisiana pastor arrested for allegedly defying ban on large gatherings MORE, Secretary of Defense James MattisJames Norman MattisIs coronavirus the final Trump crisis? Pentagon seeks to reconsider parts of B cloud contract given to Microsoft over Amazon Democrats press FEC pick to recuse himself from Trump matters MORE, White House chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE, national security adviser John Bolton, former Sen. Carl LevinCarl Milton LevinSenator Tom Coburn's government oversight legacy The Trumpification of the federal courts Global health is the last bastion of bipartisan foreign policy MORE (D-Mich.), former Sen. Max BaucusMax Sieben BaucusBaucus backing Biden's 2020 bid Bottom line Overnight Defense: McCain honored in Capitol ceremony | Mattis extends border deployment | Trump to embark on four-country trip after midterms MORE (D-Mont.) and Utah Senate candidate Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyTrump selects White House lawyer for coronavirus inspector general Overnight Health Care: CDC recommends face coverings in public | Resistance to social distancing sparks new worries | Controversy over change of national stockpile definition | McConnell signals fourth coronavirus bill On The Money: Economy sheds 701K jobs in March | Why unemployment checks could take weeks | Confusion surrounds 9B in small-business loans MORE (R).

A few of the most prominent congressional conservatives were missing, such as Sens. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzOvernight Energy: Oil giants meet with Trump at White House | Interior extends tenure of controversial land management chief | Oil prices tick up on hopes of Russia-Saudi deal Oil giants meet at White House amid talk of buying strategic reserves Florida sheriff asks for new leads in disappearance of Carole Baskin's former husband after Netflix's 'Tiger King' drops MORE (R-Texas) and Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulGeorgia governor says he didn't know asymptomatic people could spread coronavirus McConnell: Impeachment distracted government from coronavirus threat Warren knocks McConnell for forcing in-person Senate vote amid coronavirus pandemic 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.

 

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