Latest Mark Esper News

FILE - In this Sept. 10, 2019 file photo, government contractors erect a section of Pentagon-funded border wall along the Colorado River in Yuma, Ariz. Defense officials say the Department of Homeland Security has asked the Pentagon to fund the construction of 270 miles of border wall this year as part of a counter-drug effort.  (AP Photo/Matt York)

DHS seeks Pentagon funds for 270 miles of border wall

Jan. 16, 2020 5:33 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Department of Homeland Security has asked the Pentagon to fund the construction of 270 miles of border wall this year as part of a counter-drug effort, defense officials said Thursday. The officials said the request came in Wednesday, and the Pentagon is beginning what will be a...

The Latest: Democratic debate ends with talk of hope for '20

Jan. 14, 2020 11:30 PM EST

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Latest on the January Democratic presidential debate (all times local): 10:25 p.m. Six Democratic presidential candidates have wrapped up their final debate before primary voting begins with talk of hope, defeating President Donald Trump and bringing a divided nation back...

FILE - In this Sept. 18, 2019, file photo, President Donald Trump tours a section of the southern border wall in Otay Mesa, Calif. The Trump administration is weighing whether to shift billions more in military funding for the border wall after moving more than $6 billion, prompting a fresh round of criticism from lawmakers (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

Trump admin weighs shifting billions more for border wall

Jan. 14, 2020 7:04 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is weighing whether to shift billions more in military funding to build the border wall after already moving more than $6 billion, prompting a fresh round of criticism from lawmakers. But senior administration officials cautioned that no final decisions have been...

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gestures while speaking at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, Monday, Jan. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

US officials cite deterrence to defend lethal drone strike

Jan. 14, 2020 4:04 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — For all of the Trump administration’s insistence that the threat of an “imminent” attack led to the American drone strike on Iran’s top general, U.S. officials behind the scenes say the strike was motivated as much, if not more, by a broader effort to rein in a...

A protester waves the national flag while demonstrators set fire to close streets near Tahrir Square during a demonstration against the Iranian missile strike in Baghdad, Iraq, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020. Iran struck back at the United States early Wednesday for killing a top Revolutionary Guard commander, firing a series of ballistic missiles at two military bases in Iraq that house American troops in a major escalation between the two longtime foes. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)

The Latest: Iran says it doesn't want war, but will respond

Jan. 14, 2020 8:50 AM EST

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — The latest on U.S.-Iran tensions after the U.S. airstrike that killed Iran's top general (all times local): 2:10 a.m. Iran is informing the United Nations that it took “a measured and proportionate military response” to the U.S. airstrike that killed its top military...

Attorney General William Barr speaks to reporters at the Justice Department in Washington, Monday, Jan. 13, 2020, to announce results of an investigation of the shootings at the Pensacola Naval Air Station in Florida. On Dec. 6, 2019, 21-year-old Saudi Air Force officer, 2nd Lt. Mohammed Alshamrani, opened fire at the naval base in Pensacola, killing three U.S. sailors and injuring eight other people. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

US sends home nearly two dozen Saudi cadets after shooting

Jan. 13, 2020 9:23 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. sent home 21 Saudi military students following an investigation into a deadly shooting last month by one of their fellow trainees at the Pensacola Naval Air Station, an attack that Attorney General William Barr said was an act of terrorism driven by some of the same motivations...

In this Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020 photo, made available by the Oman News Agency, Oman's new Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al Said, right, receives Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, after his arrival to attend an official mourning ceremony for the late Sultan Qaboos, in Muscat, Oman. A flurry of diplomatic visits and meetings crisscrossing the Persian Gulf are driving urgent efforts to defuse the possibility of all-out war after the U.S. killed Iran's top military commander. Global leaders and top diplomats are repeating in recent days the mantra of “de-escalation” and “dialogue,” yet none have publicly laid out a path to achieving either. (Oman News Agency via AP)

High-gear diplomacy aims to avert U.S., Iran conflict

Jan. 13, 2020 11:21 AM EST

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A flurry of diplomatic visits and meetings crisscrossing the Persian Gulf have driven urgent efforts in recent days to defuse the possibility of all-out war after the U.S. killed Iran's top military commander. Global leaders and top diplomats are repeating the mantra of...

In this image from video, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper talks to the press on Iran and Iraq, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, at the Pentagon in Washington. (divids via AP)

US points to dissent in Iran in wake of deadly drone strike

Jan. 13, 2020 8:15 AM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense Secretary Mark Esper and other administration officials joined President Donald Trump in trying to draw attention to dissent in Iran instead of lingering questions about the scale of the threat used to justify a drone strike on Iran’s top military leader. Esper added to the...

AP FACT CHECK: Trump says Pelosi, Dems defended Iran general

Jan. 13, 2020 12:46 AM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's relentless attacks on the impeachment investigation and Democrats' stance on Iran strained the truth on various fronts, from claiming that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi defended Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani to asserting that even Ukraine's president said Trump did...

In this image from video, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper talks to the press on Iran and Iraq, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, at the Pentagon in Washington. (divids via AP)

Esper says he's seen no hard evidence embassies under threat

Jan. 12, 2020 4:11 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense Secretary Mark Esper explicitly said Sunday that he had seen no hard evidence that four American embassies had been under possible threat when President Donald Trump authorized the targeting of Iran’s top commander, raising questions about the scale of the threat described...