Latest Mark Esper News

District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser speaks during a news conference, Wednesday, May 27, 2020, in Washington. Bowser announced the start of the Phase 1 response to the coronavirus in Washington is to begin Friday, May 29. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Nation's capital set to begin a gradual reopening on Friday

May. 27, 2020 3:45 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Mayor Muriel Bowser says the nation's capital will begin a gradual reopening Friday, even as she warns that it probably will result in more coronavirus infections. Restaurants will be permitted to seat guests outdoors, barbers and hair salons will open with limited capacity and...

President Donald Trump listens as Vice President Mike Pence speaks during an event on protecting seniors with diabetes in the Rose Garden White House, Tuesday, May 26, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Trump committed to July 4 celebration despite lawmaker alarm

May. 26, 2020 8:42 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House said Tuesday that President Donald Trump remains committed to holding a Fourth of July celebration in the nation’s capital even as Democratic lawmakers from the region -- one of the hardest hit by the coronavirus -- warn that the area will not be ready to hold a...

Defense Secretary Mark Esper listens during a Cabinet Meeting with President Donald Trump in the East Room of the White House, Tuesday, May 19, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Naval Academy holds its first-ever virtual graduation event

May. 22, 2020 4:57 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — In its first-ever virtual graduation and commissioning ceremony, the U.S. Naval Academy on Friday welcomed a new class of officers into the Navy and Marine Corps as the sea services steer through the coronavirus crisis. In remarks recorded earlier in the week, Defense Secretary Mark Esper...

The entrances to the Naval Air Station-Corpus Christi are closed following an active shooter threat, Thursday, May 21, 2020, in Corpus Christi, Texas. Naval Air Station-Corpus Christi says the shooter was

Group: Texas naval base shooter voiced support for clerics

May. 22, 2020 4:34 PM EDT

The suspect killed during what the FBI is calling a “terrorism-related” attack at a Texas naval air base voiced support for hardline clerics, according to a group that monitors online activity of jihadists. The attack Thursday at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi wounded a sailor and left the gunman...

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Wednesday, May 20, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Trump to mark Memorial Day at ceremony at Baltimore monument

May. 20, 2020 7:18 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Many Americans may be staying in this Memorial Day weekend, but President Donald Trump is hitting the road, set to visit Baltimore’s Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine. The White House says the president and first lady will participate in a Memorial Day ceremony at...

FILE - In this Dec. 17, 2019 file photo, Republican Conference chair Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., speaks with reporters at the Capitol in Washington. The United States is on track to withdraw several thousand troops from Afghanistan as agreed in February, even as violence flares and the Taliban and the Afghan government have failed to start peace talks. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

US on track to pull troops from Afghanistan despite turmoil

May. 15, 2020 11:15 AM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States is on track to meet its commitment to the Taliban to withdraw several thousand troops from Afghanistan by summer, even as violence flares, the peace process is stalled, and Kabul struggles in political deadlock. U.S. officials say they will reduce to 8,600 troops by July...

FILE - In this March 18, 2020, file photo, Defense Secretary Mark Esper speaks as President Donald Trump listens during press briefing with the coronavirus task force, at the White House in Washington. The government’s $3 trillion effort to rescue the economy from the coronavirus crisis is stirring worry at the Pentagon. Bulging federal deficits may force a reversal of years of big defense spending gains and threaten prized projects like the rebuilding of the nation’s arsenal of nuclear weapons. Esper says the sudden burst of emergency spending to prop up a stalled economy is bringing the Pentagon closer to a point where it will have to shed older weapons faster and tighten its belt. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

Bulging deficits may threaten prized Pentagon arms projects

May. 12, 2020 12:14 AM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The government's $3 trillion effort to rescue the economy from the coronavirus crisis is stirring worry at the Pentagon. Bulging federal deficits may force a reversal of years of big defense spending gains and threaten prized projects like the rebuilding of the nation's arsenal of nuclear...

Defense Secretary Mark Esper speaks by video teleconference from U.S. Northern Command in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Thursday, May 7, 2020, with military medical specialists at civilian hospitals in New York and Connecticut. (AP Photo/Robert Burns)

Esper: Pentagon ready for any new wave of coronavirus

May. 7, 2020 4:23 PM EDT

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — Venturing beyond Washington for the first time since March, Defense Secretary Mark Esper got updated Thursday on the military’s coronavirus battle plan and declared the Pentagon ready for any new wave of infections. “We are preparing for a second wave and maybe...

People pass by wearing face masks to protect against the spread of the new coronavirus as ride along a street in Beijing, Wednesday, May 6, 2020. China on Wednesday reported just two new cases of the coronavirus and no deaths. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

The Latest: UN ups appeal to fight virus to $6.7 billion

May. 7, 2020 12:56 AM EDT

The Latest on the coronavirus pandemic. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. TOP OF THE HOUR: — UN increases amount of appeal to fight coronavirus to $6.7...

President Donald Trump speaks during a Fox News virtual town hall from the Lincoln Memorial, Sunday, May 3, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Trump's anti-China rhetoric aimed at boosting US leverage

May. 5, 2020 6:09 AM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is making ever louder pronouncements casting blame on China for the COVID-19 pandemic, aiming to sidestep domestic criticism of the president's own response, tarnish China’s global reputation and give the U.S. leverage on trade and other aspects of...