Overnight Defense: Trump says he may cancel G-20 meeting with Putin | Three service members killed in Afghanistan | Active-shooter drill sparks panic at Walter Reed

Overnight Defense: Trump says he may cancel G-20 meeting with Putin | Three service members killed in Afghanistan | Active-shooter drill sparks panic at Walter Reed
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Happy Tuesday 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. If you don't receive it, CLICK HERE to subscribe to the newsletter.


THE TOPLINE: President TrumpDonald John TrumpTed Cruz knocks New York Times for 'stunning' correction on Kavanaugh report US service member killed in Afghanistan Pro-Trump website edited British reality star's picture to show him wearing Trump hat MORE has no plans to formally meet with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at an upcoming global summit, national security adviser John Bolton said Tuesday.

Bolton told reporters at the White House that Trump's meeting schedule at the Group of 20 summit "is full to overflowing at this point," citing sit-downs with the leaders of Germany, Japan, Argentina, India and South Korea.

Trump also plans to meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who has faced criticism for human-rights abuses, and Chinese President Xi Jinping for a highly anticipated trade discussion. 

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders later said it is possible that Trump and Crown Prince Mohammed could speak informally on the sidelines of the summit, which starts Friday in Argentina.

The background: The summit comes amid heightened scrutiny of the U.S.-Saudi relationship following the killing last month of journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul.

Tuesday's briefing grew contentious when Bolton said he has not listened to the tape of Khashoggi's murder that has been shared with the CIA, asking a reporter, "What do you think I'll learn from it?"

He also claimed he would learn little from the tape because he doesn't speak Arabic.

"How many in this room speak Arabic?" he responded to the reporter. "I'm just trying to make the point that everybody who says, 'Why don't you listen to the tape' -- unless you speak Arabic, what are you going to get from it?"

And Trump angered lawmakers and U.S. allies last week when he released a controversial statement indicating he has no plans to punish Crown Prince Mohammed for the killing. He also disputed reports that the CIA concluded that the crown prince was responsible for ordering the operation to kill Khashoggi.


Meeting with Putin still on? A meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin was planned during the summit, but Trump on Tuesday suggested he may call off his meeting over Russia's aggression toward the Ukrainian Navy.

In an interview with The Washington Post, Trump said he was waiting for a "full report" on Tuesday evening about the clash in the Kerch Strait off Crimea that took place on Sunday.

"That will be very determinative," Trump said. "Maybe I won't have the meeting. Maybe I won't even have the meeting ... I don't like that aggression. I don't want that aggression at all."

The president's comments were an escalation from his initial response on Monday, when he told reporters he did not like "what's happening either way."


LATEST ON BORDER WALL FIGHT: Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSchumer, Pelosi push Trump to back universal background check bill Sinema says she would back Kennedy in race against Markey Democrats threaten to withhold defense votes over wall MORE (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday said Democrats don't want to include more than $1.6 billion on border security in a year-end spending deal, putting them at odds with Republicans who are floating a plan to spend $5 billion to fund President Trump's border wall over two years.

Schumer told reporters at the Capitol that the Trump administration has yet to spend "a penny" of the $1.3 billion Congress appropriated for border security for fiscal 2018, which ended on Sept. 30.

He said Democratic and Republican leaders in Congress could reach a deal on government funding if they're allowed to negotiate the must-pass spending package without interference from Trump. Congress is facing a Dec. 7 deadline to pass legislation that would avoid a partial government shutdown.

Asked if Democrats could support spending more than $1.6 billion on border security as part of a deal with Trump, Schumer said he did not want to negotiate through the press.

The background: The Senate passed $1.6 billion in wall funding in its Homeland Security appropriations bill, in line with the White House's original request. But Trump has since upped the ante to $5 billion, an amount the House included in its version of the spending bill.

The president has threatened to veto any funding package that does not fund the wall at an amount to his liking.

Before Thanksgiving, Trump said that $5 billion is his preferred amount, according to Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbySenators struggle to get spending bills off ground as shutdown looms Congress set to ignore Trump's wall request in stopgap measure Overnight Defense: Dems grill Trump Army, Air Force picks | House chair subpoenas Trump Afghanistan negotiator | Trump officials release military aid to Ukraine MORE (R-Ala.).

"He said he would veto at $1.6 [billion], so I take him at his word," Shelby said Tuesday, adding that Congress would not override a presidential veto.

What Senate Republicans want: Senate Republicans are proposing a compromise that would provide $5 billion for President Trump's southern border wall over two years.

Here are more stories on the border debate at The Hill:

-- Trump defends use of tear gas at the border

-- Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanMeadows to be replaced by Biggs as Freedom Caucus leader House Republicans want details on Democrats' trips to Mexico GOP lawmakers, states back gunmaker in Sandy Hook appeal MORE'We've got five weeks' to get border wall funding

-- Kellyanne Conway on tear-gassing: 'I have great compassion for any mother who wants a better life for her children'

-- Border melee ups ante on shutdown


THREE SERVICE MEMBERS KILLED IN AFGHANISTAN: Three U.S. service members were killed and three others were wounded on Tuesday when an improvised explosive device exploded near the city of Ghazni in Afghanistan, officials said.

The NATO-led Resolute Support mission said in a statement that a U.S. contractor was also wounded in the blast.

The wounded service members and contractor were evacuated and are being treated, the mission added.

Questions remain: No other details about the attack were immediately available.

The three service members killed in the attack were not immediately identified, as the Department of Defense typically waits 24 hours to make such information public.

And days before…: The attack came just days after an Army sergeant from Washington state was killed by a member of Afghanistan's security forces in an apparent accidental shooting.

Army Sgt. Leandro Jasso, 25, from Washington state, was killed on Saturday when he was "likely accidentally shot" by NATO's Afghan partner force, according to a statement from Resolute Support.

Jasso was killed in Afghanistan's Nimroz province -- in the southwestern part of the country -- while conducting an operation to eliminate al Qaeda militants, the statement notes.

"An initial review indicates Sgt. Jasso was likely accidentally shot by our Afghan partner force. There are no indications he was shot intentionally."

The statement adds that early interviews "indicate the tragic accident occurred when the partnered force became engaged in a close-quarter battle during an assault on one of multiple barricaded al Qaeda shooters."

Gen. Scott Miller, the new head of Resolute Support and U.S. Forces, Afghanistan, said Jasso "was killed defending our nation, fighting al Qaeda alongside our Afghan partners."

Death toll keeps rising: The U.S. combat death toll in Afghanistan this year is now 11, and more than 2,400 U.S. forces have died in the conflict -- the United States's longest-running war -- now in its 17th year.

The number of Afghan forces killed is even higher. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani recently said 28,000 Afghan forces have been killed in the past four years, with 1,000 killed or injured this past August and September.

Most recently, an insider attack from a member of the Afghan security forces killed the mayor of North Ogden, Utah, earlier this month during his deployment with Utah's National Guard regiment.


PANIC AT WALTER REED OVER DRILL: Panic ensued Tuesday at Walter Reed hospital in Bethesda, Md., after an active shooter exercise was thought to be an actual shooting

The U.S. Navy said in a tweet Tuesday that there was no shooter at the hospital and that the incident was an "ad hoc drill by tenant command."

Where the confusion started: Earlier Tuesday afternoon, Montgomery County police said they were responding to the shooting, and all gates at the medical center were closed. 

People inside the hospital wrote on Twitter that they were told there was an active shooter, raising concerns and confusion. That included Rep. Dutch RuppersbergerCharles (Dutch) Albert RuppersbergerMaryland state senator denies sending tweet calling Ilhan Omar 'illegal' Hoekstra emerges as favorite for top intelligence post Congress mobilizes on cyber threats to electric grid MORE (D-Md.), who said he was sheltering inside a conference room with about 40 other people.

But Naval Support Activity Bethesda (NSAB), the base where Walter Reed is located, said amid the reports that there was no indication of an active shooter. 

The base then confirmed shortly before 3:30 p.m. that no shooter had been found and that the all clear had been given. 

Guards not notified of scheduled exercise: A Navy official told The Hill that it was a scheduled active shooter exercise by tenant command of NSAB, in a section of the hospital where there are no patients.

The tenant command did not notify the installation of the exercise ahead of the drill, which took place in Building 19, or the America Building.

The official said the building's security would normally be notified but were not this time. They could not give a reason for why Walter Reed personnel were not informed.

There were no reports of shots and no one was injured, but the command continues to sweep the building "as they would if this was a real event," the official said.

The installation is still on lock down until they complete the sweep.



Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Paul Selva and Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment Ellen Lord will speak at the 55th Annual AOC International Symposium and Convention beginning at 7:30 a.m. at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington D.C.

The Commission on the National Defense Strategy will discuss its report to Congress with Ambassador Eric Edelman and Retired Adm. Gary Roughead at 9 a.m. at the John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C. 

Reps. Francis RooneyLaurence (Francis) Francis RooneyOvernight Energy: House moves to block Trump drilling | House GOP rolls out proposal to counter offshore drilling ban | calls mount for NOAA probe House approves two bills to block Trump drilling This week: Congress returns for first time since mass shootings MORE (R-Fla.) and Don Beyer (D-Va.) will discuss "Soft Power in a Sharp Power World: Countering Coercion and Information Warfare," at 9 a.m. at the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington, D.C. 

Vice Adm. Andrew "Woody" Lewis will speak at the Center For Strategic and International Studies on "The Return of Great Power Competition and the Second Fleet" at 10 a.m. in Washington, D.C.

Secretary of Defense James MattisJames Norman MattisThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump takes 2020 roadshow to New Mexico Trump needs a national security adviser who 'speaks softly' US could deploy 150 troops to Syria: report MORE will host an awards ceremony honoring House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanThree-way clash set to dominate Democratic debate Krystal Ball touts Sanders odds in Texas Republicans pour cold water on Trump's term limit idea MORE for public service and support of the U.S. military at 3:45 p.m. at the Pentagon.



-- The Hill: Bolton on why he hasn't listened to Khashoggi tape: I don't speak Arabic

-- The Hill: Senate GOP discussing vote on Mueller protection bill

-- The Hill: State Department approves $1.2 billion in tank ammunition, helicopter sales to Egypt

-- The Hill: McConnell: Saudi actions 'abhorrent' and warrant 'response'

-- The Hill: Air Force sergeant pens op-ed about decision to pump breastmilk during Ironman race

-- The Hill: Haspel not confirmed for Senate's Saudi briefing 

-- The Hill: Slovenia becomes first NATO country to appoint a woman head of its armed forces

-- The Hill: CIA official in charge of Korean affairs to leave post: report

-- The Hill: Argentina considers criminal charges against Saudi crown prince when he arrives: report

-- Defense News: Commission report emerges as tool for budget hawks in Congress