'Peace Through Strength': Trump Vows Military Spending Boost - NBC Bay Area
Decision 2016

Decision 2016

Full coverage of the race for the White House

'Peace Through Strength': Trump Vows Military Spending Boost

Clinton and Trump will be featured at a "commander in chief" forum on NBC Wednesday but will appear at separate times and will not face each other on stage

Donald Trump Makes Visit to Philadelphia

Republican nominee Donald Trump made his way to Philadelphia and plans on using his time in the City of Brotherly Love wisely. NBC10's Lauren Mayk has the details. (Published Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016)

Republican Donald Trump said Wednesday that his foreign policy would aim to achieve "peace through strength" and focus on "diplomacy, not destruction."

Speaking to the Union League of Philadelphia, Trump unveiled a plan to boost military spending by tens of billions of dollars and promised major increases in the number of active troops, Navy ships and submarines, and fighter planes as he works to convince skeptics in both parties that he's ready to lead the world's most powerful military.

"Today, I am here to talk about three crucial words that should be at the center of our foreign policy: peace through strength," Trump said. "We want to achieve a more stable, peaceful world with less conflict and more common ground."

The New York businessman, who has struggled at times to demonstrate a command of foreign policy, also seemed to acknowledge he does not currently have a plan to address cyber security or the Islamic State group. 

Trump Booed Leaving New York Times

[NATL] Trump Booed Leaving New York Times
President Elect Donald Trump is booed as he walks through the lobby of The New York Times Building after a 75-minute meeting with Times journalists. The lobby of the Times building is open to the public, and a large crowd had gathered by the time he departed.
(Published Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016)

If elected, Trump said he would give military leaders 30 days to formulate a plan to defeat the group, commonly known as ISIS. And he would ask the joint chiefs of staff to conduct a review of the nation's cyber defenses to determine all vulnerabilities. 

Trump's address came hours before his national security acumen is set to be tested at a "commander in chief" forum on NBC. 

"We want to defer, avoid and prevent conflict through our unquestioned military strength," Trump declared of his Democratic opponent during his speech to the Union League of Philadelphia, which first allowed women in 1986. 

The appearances mark an intense, two-day focus on national security by Trump, who has offered tough rhetoric on America's challenges abroad but few details. 

The United States currently spends more than $600 billion a year on the military, more than the next seven countries combined. 

Trump's rival, Democrat Hillary Clinton, has tried to paint the billionaire businessman as erratic, making the case that his disposition would be a major liability on the world stage. 

Trump Takes Meetings at His New Jersey Golf Club

[NATL] Trump Takes Meetings at His New Jersey Golf Club
President-elect Trump interviewed more than a dozen candidates for his administration at his New Jersey golf club over the weekend, including Mitt Romney, Rudy Guliani, Chris Christie and Kansas secretary of state Kris Kobach, who has been tough on immigration, and others.
(Published Monday, Nov. 21, 2016)

"They know they can count on me to be the kind of commander in chief who will protect our country and our troops, and they know they cannot count on Donald Trump," Clinton said Tuesday. "They view him as a danger and a risk." 

Trump's team has worked aggressively in recent days to turn deflect such criticism back at Clinton. 

"She's trigger-happy and very unstable," Trump said of Clinton, calling her use of a private email server while secretary of state "reckless." 

While Clinton and Trump will be featured at the Wednesday night forum, they will appear at separate times and will not face each other on stage. The forum could serve as a warm-up to their highly anticipated first presidential debate, scheduled for Sept. 26 in New York. 

Trump will deliver another speech Wednesday evening, at the convention of New York's Conservative Party. 

Trump's Union League address also included his plans to eliminate deep spending cuts, known as the "sequester," enacted when Congress failed to reach a budget compromise in 2011. Republicans and Democrats voted for the automatic, across-the board cuts that affected both military and domestic programs. 

Trump has given mixed signals about whether he wants to increase military spending overall. 

While Trump has often complained that U.S. forces are not large enough or well-equipped, he's also said that he'd save money by cutting waste and ensuring that contractors aren't getting sweetheart deals because of their connections or lobbying efforts. 

His position on the sequester has been even more murky. Trump expressed support for the cuts in interviews in 2013 — even describing them as too small — but seemed to suggest at the time that military spending should be exempt, undermining the sequester premise. 

A senior adviser, speaking on the condition of anonymity to share details ahead of the speech, said Trump would ensure the additional spending is fully paid for. The adviser did not explain how, but suggested there would be no need for structural budget cuts to pay for the billions of additional military spending over 10 years. 

Trump called for the savings to come from "common sense reforms that eliminate government waste and budget gimmicks, and that protect hard-earned benefits for Americans." 

He called for recovery from unpaid taxes and reducing the size of the government bureaucracy through attrition. He also called for trimming military bureaucracy. 

Trump Holds Series of Meetings With Potential Cabinet Candidates

[NATL]Trump Holds Series of Meetings With Potential Cabinet Candidates
President-elect Donald Trump is holding a series of meetings all weekend with potential candidates at his New Jersey golf course as he continues to mull over dozens of positions in his upcoming administration. NBC's Chris Pollone reports.
(Published Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016)

And Trump said all NATO countries should "pay their bills." 

He said he would ask allies Germany, Japan and South Korea to "pay more for the tremendous security that we provide them."

Even before promising a huge boost in military spending, Trump's plans to cut taxes, expand infrastructure spending and leave untouched entitlement programs such as Social Security already threatened to add trillions of dollars to the federal deficit. 

Trying to emphasize his military support, Trump's campaign released a letter on Tuesday from 88 retired generals and admirals citing an urgent need for a "course correction" in America's national security policy. It was aimed at rebutting Clinton's arguments that she would be best positioned to lead the military and reassuring Republicans who have openly worried that his provocative statements might undermine U.S. alliances. 

But questions remain, even in his party. 

Bob Corker, the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, repeatedly refused to say directly whether he had confidence in Trump as commander in chief when questioned on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Wednesday. 

Clinton Reflects on Defeat: 'Never, Ever Give Up'

[NATL] Clinton Reflects on Defeat: 'Never, Ever Give Up'
Hillary Clinton is reflecting on her devastating defeat, acknowledging the difficulty of her loss for her supporters and urging them to persevere through the Donald Trump era. She is encouraging her backers to "never, ever give up."

Making her first public appearance Wednesday evening since her emotional concession speech a week earlier, Clinton said: "It's up to each and every one of us to keep working to make America better and stronger and fairer."
(Published Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016)

"I do believe that Donald Trump is growing in his understanding of these issues and I think that he's beginning to get more and more people around him that have a depth of understanding as to the complexities and I'm watching this evolve," he said. He added that, "we'll all make our assessments," in the candidates' foreign affairs abilities by early November.