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NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Donald Trump spoke Monday about his administration's Afghanistan strategy for the first time since taking office, and while there were some clear pronouncements, a number of details remain unknown to the public.

Trump has repeatedly criticized the Obama administration for publicly revealing its plans in a number of different areas, including Afghanistan, so his decision to keep certain details under wraps comes as little surprise.

Here is a rundown of the five biggest takeaways from Monday night's speech.

1. The U.S. military will maintain its presence in Afghanistan

Trump has previously been a vocal critic of the war in Afghanistan but he reiterated Monday that there are no immediate plans to withdraw.

"Our nation must seek an honorable and enduring outcome worthy of the tremendous sacrifices that have been made, especially the sacrifices of lives,” he said. “The men and women who serve our nation in combat deserve a plan for victory. They deserve the tools they need and the trust they have earned to fight and to win.”

2. We don't know how many more troops will be sent

Trump suggested that more resources will be sent to Afghanistan but did not disclose any specifics on how many troops that could involve.

"We will not talk about numbers of troops or our plans for further military activities,” he said. “Conditions on the ground, not arbitrary timetables, will guide our strategy from now on.”

3. There is no set timeline, at least not publicly

In keeping with his prior criticisms of the Obama administration's preference for revealing specific timetables for troop withdrawal, Trump did not shed any light on possible schedules for further troop deployment or any scaling back of operations.

"America’s enemies must never know our plans or believe they can wait us out,” he said. “I will not say when we are going to attack but attack we will.”

4. A reversal from Trump's earlier stance

Prior to running for office, Trump repeatedly called for the U.S. military to withdraw from Afghanistan, and he acknowledged the about-face Monday during the speech.

"My original instinct was to pull out. And historically, I like following my instincts,” he said. “But all my life I’ve heard that decisions are much different when you sit behind the desk in the Oval Office, in other words, when you’re president of the United States.”

He noted that he "studied Afghanistan in great detail and from every conceivable angle" and met with his Cabinet and the generals who are a part of his administration before making a decision.

"The consequences of a rapid exit are both predictable and unacceptable," he said.

"A hasty withdrawal would create a vacuum for terrorists, including ISIS and Al Qaeda, would instantly fill just as happened before Sept. 11."

5. A focus on Pakistan

One aspect of what Trump called "our new strategy is to change the approach in how to deal with Pakistan."

"We can no longer be silent about Pakistan’s safe havens for terrorist organizations, the Taliban and other groups that pose a threat to the region and beyond," he said, though giving no specifics on what would happen if Pakistan fails to comply.

"Pakistan has much to gain from partnering with our effort in Afghanistan. It has much to lose by continuing to harbor criminals and terrorists," he said.

Trump said Pakistan "has been a valued partner," but also noted that it "has also sheltered the same organizations that try every single day to kill our people. We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars at the same time they are housing the very terrorists that we are fighting. But that will have to change. And that will change immediately."

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Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call(WASHINGTON) -- After causing an uproar over a photo post on her now-private Instagram account, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin's actress-producer wife, Louise Linton, apologized on Tuesday for making a controversial comment at a user on the social media platform.

“I apologize for my post on social media yesterday as well as my response," Linton said in a statement Tuesday. "It was inappropriate and highly insensitive.”

The apology was regarding a controversial comment in response to a user comment on a photo she posted showing her stepping off a government plane with her husband.

She wrote in the photo's caption, "Great #daytrip to #Kentucky! #nicest #people #beautiful #countryside, and went on to include hashtags of various luxury designers she was wearing: "#rolandmouret pants #tomford sunnies, #hermesscarf #valentinorockstudheels #valentino #usa."

The user wrote in response to her photo, "Glad we could pay for your little getaway. #deplorable" -- a comment that Linton didn’t seem to appreciate.

“Have you given more to the economy than me and my husband? Either as an individual earner in taxes OR in self sacrifice to your country?" she asked. "I'm pretty sure we paid more taxes toward our day 'trip' than you did. Pretty sure the amount we sacrifice per year is a lot more than you'd be willing to sacrifice if the choice was yours."

Though Linton has been in the public eye for some time, many are unfamiliar with who she is. Here are a few things to know:

1. The Scottish-born actress had a privileged upbringing:
In 2015, Linton told Flavour magazine that she spent her weekends at Scotland's Melville Castle, which her family's trust acquired in 1993, according to the castle's website.

"It was an idyllic childhood spent mostly outdoors with all the animals. My siblings and I zoomed around on little motorbikes, kayaked, fished, spent time racing through the woods shooting each other with B.B. guns. It was a very normal life," she said. "The castle is magical and filled with so much history."

2. She's no stranger to controversy: In 2016, Linton came under fire after publishing a memoir about her gap year in Zambia, which critics said contained falsehoods about the country and conflicts in the region. Others also took issue with the general tone of the book, saying that Linton portrayed herself as a "white savior."

"I know that the skinny white girl once so incongruous in Africa still lives on inside me," she wrote in the book, according to the Washington Post. "Even in this world where I’m supposed to belong, I still sometimes feel out of place. Whenever that happens, though, I try to remember a smiling gap-toothed child with HIV whose greatest joy was to sit on my lap and drink from a bottle of Coca-Cola.”

At the time of its publication, the hashtag #LintonLies began trending on Twitter, and according to the Scotsman newspaper, the Zambian High Commission in London slammed Linton for her "falsified" account and accused her of "tarnishing the image of a very friendly and peaceful country." Abigail Chaponda, the first press secretary for the organization, also criticized Linton's descriptions of children with HIV and her decision to publish their photos.

“Those who work in the area of HIV and AIDS understand the need to respect the confidentiality of the people they work with," she said. "Clearly Ms. Linton does not seem to take this into consideration nor does she seem to understand that freedom of expression comes with responsibility."

Ultimately, Linton issued a mea culpa, which the Times of Zambia reported was accepted by the government.

"My goal was to convey what a remarkable country it was, and how I was personally moved by my experiences there. It was about being a naïve teenager on a big adventure who was reeling from the loss of her mother. I never imagined the book would insult anyone," she wrote on her website. "I have great warmth and admiration for Zambia and her people, and was deeply dismayed and saddened that I had caused them any offense. Realizing my mistake, I immediately apologized and retracted the book."

According to Amazon, "In Congo's Shadow: One Girl's Perilous Journey to the Heart of Africa" is out of print.

3. She has expensive taste: In her now-famous Instagram post, Linton tagged her outfit's high-end designers, including Roland Mouret, Valentino and Hermes. However, wearing luxury items is nothing new for Linton, who said in 2011 that her dog was named "De Beers," after the diamond company. For her June 24 wedding to Mnuchin, Linton wore a custom Ines Di Santo gown, according to the New York Times, and diamond jewelry. In the days leading up to her nuptials Linton gave Town & Country magazine a sneak peek into her jewelry box, which features a diamond necklace, Asscher-cut diamond studs that Mnuchin gave her as a Valentine's gift, and an art deco bracelet featuring a variety of stones by jeweler Martin Katz. As for her home, Redfin reported this past April that Mnuchin paid $12.6 million for the couple's 9-bedroom, 14-bathroom estate in Washington D.C.

4. She's held several jobs in the film industry: "Linton" is actually a stage name that the actress adopted after entering show business; her real last name is "Hay."

"I'm aware I'm stepping into an industry which can be glowing but also challenging, so it was a measure to protect those who share my last name," she said in a 2011 profile. "Linton is my brother's middle name, and one of my father's names. There is a famous author called Louise Hay too, so I wanted to avoid confusion."

Since becoming an actress, Linton, who also went to law school, has appeared in films including "Rules Don't Apply" and "Cabin Fever," as well as the TV movie, "William & Kate." She also started her own production company, Stormchaser Films, and earlier this year, briefly became the interim CEO of Dune Entertainment -- a position previously held by the treasury secretary -- though she stepped down a few weeks later, according to a June Bloomberg report. In a statement, Linton said that she “stepped aside to avoid any conflicts after Steven and I are married."

5. Philanthropy is important to her: On her website, Linton noted that she's worked with an animal non-profit, Mutt Match L.A., and previously served as an ambassador for Erskine, a military charity supported by Sir Sean Connery. She also told Locale magazine in 2014 that she also supports the Butterfly Trust, a Scottish charity for Cystic Fibrosis, and a Scottish animal rescue, Any Dog'il Do Rescue. She also serves on the 2017 UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital Board. "My mother was a genuine altruist. She was down to earth, extremely generous and involved in the Murrayfield Parish Church. Her death [when Linton was a teen] shaped me," Linton told the Herald magazine in 2011. "It has made me more empathetic and taught me to appreciate life is short. You have to live it to the fullest, not just in personal endeavors, but also in being a kind and humane person and by helping as many helping as you can."

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ABC News(PHOENIX) -- President Donald Trump greeted Marines and border patrol agents in Yuma, Arizona Tuesday afternoon ahead of a campaign rally that comes amid lingering fallout from his reaction to violent clashes between white supremacists and counterprotesters in Charlottesville, Virginia earlier this month.

The president viewed equipment used in border protection, shook hands and posed for pictures at Air Station Yuma, just before leaving for Phoenix, where he'll speak at the city's convention center at 7 p.m.

Trump's response to Charlottesville, specifically that "both sides" contributed to the deadly violence, was criticized for seeming to equate white supremacists and the counterprotesters. This has led to plans by several groups to protest outside of the rally Tuesday evening.

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton appealed to Trump to postpone the rally, which is being organized by his presidential campaign committee.

"I am disappointed that President Trump has chosen to hold a campaign rally as our nation is still healing from the tragic events in Charlottesville," Stanton said in a statement on Wednesday. "It is my hope that more sound judgment prevails and that he delays his visit."

There was speculation that Trump might announce a presidential pardon of the state's former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was found guilty of criminal contempt in July, but such a possibility was rejected by White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, who spoke to reporters aboard Air Force One on the way to Arizona.

"There will no discussion of that today and no action will be taken on that at any point today," said Sanders. Arpaio told ABC News that he had not been invited to the rally, which he said he doesn’t view as a sign he’s no longer being considered for a pardon, but rather that tonight's venue is not the right setting.

Trump's visit to Arizona puts attention on his relationships with the two Republican senators from that state, John McCain and Jeff Flake. Flake is facing re-election next year.

On Twitter on Thursday, Trump bashed Flake as "toxic" and a "non-factor in the Senate." He also tweeted that it's "great to see" GOP Senate candidate Kelli Ward running against Flake — an unusual move, since a president typically does not side against an incumbent of his own party in a primary contest.

Ward will attend the rally, but her campaign declined to say whether an endorsement from Trump is expected.

"We'll see what happens," Ward's campaign press secretary Jennifer Lawrence told ABC News.

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Scott Olson/Getty Images(PHOENIX) -- President Donald Trump will not issue a pardon of controversial Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio during a campaign rally in Phoenix set for Tuesday evening, the White House said Tuesday.

"There will no discussion of that today and no action will be taken on that at any point today," said White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders during a gaggle with reporters aboard Air Force One on the way to Arizona with Trump on Tuesday.

Arpaio faces up to six months in prison after being found guilty of criminal contempt in July, stemming from his disregard of an order that he cease detaining suspected illegal immigrants. The former sheriff became a national figure for his hardline approach to combatting undocumented persons living and moving within his jurisdiction.

Speculation that the president would use the occasion of the rally -- which will take place in Maricopa County where Arpaio served as sheriff -- arose from comments Trump made in an interview with Fox News earlier in August.

"I am seriously considering a pardon for Sheriff Arpaio," Trump said on August 13.

Arpaio and Trump maintained a relationship throughout the presidential campaign, during which Arpaio appeared at rallies on the Republican nominee's behalf, and ultimately spoke at the Republican National Convention. He lost reelection to his post as sheriff the same day in November that Trump captured Arizona's 11 electoral votes on his way to an electoral college victory over Hillary Clinton.

Trump has yet to exercise his pardon power as president. Any move to do so soon would come far earlier than former presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, who each waited almost two years into their terms before granting an initial pardon.

Sanders did not rule out that Arpaio could be pardoned at a later date.

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United States Department of Treasury (NEW YORK) -- The wife of Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has apologized after lashing out at a critic on Instagram before making her account private on Tuesday.

Louise Linton, a Scottish actress-producer, married Mnuchin in late June, and has been by his side for a number of work-related trips.

A photo Linton posted where she highlighted her designer fashions and then went on to criticize a commenter caused uproar online on Tuesday, and she has since apologized.

“I apologize for my post on social media yesterday as well as my response. It was inappropriate and highly insensitive," Linton said in a statement on Tuesday through her spokesperson.

In the photo posted Monday, she is leaving a government plane with Mnuchin close behind. She wrote in the photo's caption, "Great #daytrip to #Kentucky! #nicest #people #beautiful #countryside."

She went on to include hashtags of various luxury designers she was wearing: "#rolandmouret pants #tomford sunnies, #hermesscarf #valentinorockstudheels #valentino #usa."

One user wrote in response to her photo, "Glad we could pay for your little getaway. #deplorable."

The comment apparently didn't sit well with Linton, who wrote back that she and her husband are making sacrifices for his government job.

"Aw!! Did you think this was a personal trip?! Adorable! Did you think the US govt paid for our honeymoon or personal travel?! Lololol. Have you given more to the economy than me and my husband? Either as an individual earner in taxes OR in self sacrifice to your country?" she shot back.

Linton continued, "I'm pretty sure we paid more taxes toward our day 'trip' than you did. Pretty sure the amount we sacrifice per year is a lot more than you'd be willing to sacrifice if the choice was yours."

Linton called the user "adorably out of touch."

"Thanks for the passive aggressive nasty comment. Your kids look very cute. Your life looks cute," Linton wrote.

Her Instagram account has since been set to private, but a number of news sites, including The New York Times and CNN, were able to capture a screen-grab of the post and others, including The Washington Post and CNBC, quoted the post.

"The Mnuchins are reimbursing the government for her travel, and she receives no compensation for products she mentions," a spokesperson for the Treasury Department said in a statement to ABC News.

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Office of the President(NEW YORK) --  Nikki Haley, the former South Carolina governor who is now U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said that she talked privately with President Trump after the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

"I picked up the phone and I had a private conversation with the president about Charlottesville, and it was taken very well," Haley told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on "Good Morning America" today.

Haley, as the Republican governor of South Carolina, called for the Confederate flag to be removed from the state capitol in 2015 in the wake of the racially charged killing of nine African-Americans at their church in Charleston.

Haley also during the 2016 Republican presidential primaries supported candidate Marco Rubio and implicitly criticized Trump when he did not immediately disavow former KKK leader David Duke.

Stephanopoulos asked her on "GMA" about Trump's remark following the violence in Charlottesville that there were “very fine” people on both sides -- in the white nationalist gathering on Aug. 12 and the counterprotests.

Haley said the president has since "clarified" his remarks "so that no one can question that he's opposed to bigotry and hate in this country."

Trump appeared to allude to the Charlottesville violence during his speech Monday night on Afghanistan.

"Loyalty to our nation demands loyalty to one another. Love for America requires love for all of its people," Trump said. "When we open our hearts to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice, no place for bigotry, and no tolerance for hate."


In regard to the president's announcement Monday night on Afghanistan policy, Haley said Americans are "not going to hear ... the details," of U.S. military tactics in the South Asian country.

She said the U.S. military operation in Afghanistan will be different than in the past 16 years.

"What you’re not going to hear are the details" about U.S. tactics there, she said. "In the past we’ve had administrations that have given out everything we’re doing, when we’re doing it and how we’re doing it. You’re not going to hear that now."

Another difference in America's engagement in the country under the Trump administration is: "It’s not going to be based on time; it’s going to be based on results," she said.

"It’s not going to be like the last 16 years," she said.

Asked what would constitute a victory in Afghanistan, Haley said it is to "defeat terrorism.

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ABC News(NEW YORK) -- U.S. lawmakers were divided today on President Trump’s plans to increase the presence of the U.S. military in Afghanistan, with the House speaker lauding “a new Trump strategy,” for instance, while a fellow Republican in the Senate called it a “terrible idea.”

Trump’s announcement tonight was a reversal of the position he held prior to his bid for the presidency, but the addition of U.S. troops in Afghanistan comes as he has demonstrated a willingness to engage militarily in the region.

"My original instinct was to pull out, and historically I like following my instincts," Trump said this evening. "But all of my life I heard that decisions are much different when you sit behind the desk in the Oval Office."

Here’s what some lawmakers and others had to say:

Supportive of Trump

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis, joining several GOP lawmakers, expressed his support at the CNN Town Hall, noting he was “pleased with the decision.”

“I think I heard a new Trump strategy, or a doctrine so to speak,” he said. “Principled realism is how I think he described it. So I think it's important when it comes to our blood and our treasure and our soldiers and our safety, that we actually have a comprehensive doctrine that we apply.”

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., applauded Trump’s decision for “refocusing military efforts” to produce a “more secure, stable and sovereign Afghanistan.”

“I am confident of the path ahead, and will work with my colleagues to ensure our troops have the resources they need to succeed in their mission. This the right thing to do for Afghanistan, the United States and the world.”

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., called Trump’s new strategy a “big step in the right direction,” warning that it was “long overdue.” He said it is important that “the newly announced strategy gives no timeline for withdrawal” and that it is based “on conditions on the ground.”

“At the same time, Congress must meet its responsibilities for overseeing the war in Afghanistan and providing the necessary resources for it. The Senate Armed Services Committee will continue to meet its special obligations in this regard, beginning with a hearing on September,” McCain said in a statement.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., commended the president and his national security team for a thoughtful review of Afghanistan.

“Despite all of our efforts, and the unmistakable sacrifice and valor of our forces, we remain threatened by terrorists, as last week’s attacks in Spain reminded us all. Maintaining forces in Iraq and Afghanistan protects America's national security interests,” McConnell said in a statement.

McConnell added, “Our overseas presence should not be guided by arbitrary withdrawal deadlines. The Taliban will never agree to a political settlement in Afghanistan if a date for our drawdown has been handed to them.”

Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel tweeted that it was a “bold step” to assert “America’s strength worldwide.”


.@POTUS took a bold step forward by asserting America’s strength worldwide and making crystal clear that we will no longer lead from behind.

— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) August 22, 2017

Hamdullah Mohib, Afghanistan's ambassador to the United States, welcomed Trump’s decision for a strong Afghanistan-U.S. partnership, noting the hope that it would lead to a “peaceful and enduring outcome.”



We welcome @realDonaldTrump decision for a strong Afghan-US partnership in the fight against terrorism towards a peaceful & eduring outcome

— Hamdullah Mohib (@hmohib) August 22, 2017

Marco Rubio, R- Fla., who has criticized Trump previously, tweeted that the strategy was “very good," saying it was “put together the right way” with “careful review and consideration of multiple views and ideas.” Rubio also denounced those whom attacked Trump for changing his stance since his campaign.



#AfghanStrategy laid out by @POTUS was put together the right way. Careful review & consideration of multiple views & ideas. Very good.

— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) August 22, 2017


Sen. Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, R-Tenn., said that he believed Trump’s “more focused plan” lends flexibility to the U.S. military and that the new approach would result in “better diplomatic outcomes” with regional partners, particularly India and Pakistan.

Corker also noted that there remains still substantial questions on whether Afghanistan has the “capacity over time to provide stable governance” to its people.

Critical of Trump

"The mission in Afghanistan has lost its purpose, and I think it is a terrible idea to send any more troops into that war," said Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., whose office intends to introduce a measure in September to repeal the laws that authorize military forces against ISIS.

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., slammed Trump’s agenda, saying the lack of details on troop numbers and no timeline represents an “open-ended commitment of American lives with no accountability to the American people.”

“The American people need to know more about the President’s plans and conditions. To what extent is there a comprehensive strategy including an exit strategy for finally bringing America’s heroes home?” Pelosi said in a statement.

Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, tweeted:


Republicans and Democrats must step into the foreign policy void created by this administration.

— Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) August 22, 2017

Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn, tweeted:



You can't announce a strategy that relies on complicated diplomacy with Pakistan/India/Afghanistan when you're firing all the diplomats.

— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) August 22, 2017

Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., tweeted:



There's nothing hasty about ending America's longest war. @POTUS bowed to military-industrial establishment; doubled down on perpetual war.

— Justin Amash (@justinamash) August 22, 2017

Tommy Vietor, National Security Council spokesman for former President Obama, tweeted:



So Trump is promising to keep US service members in Afghanistan in perpetuity? How else do you interpret that political solution line?

— Tommy Vietor (@TVietor08) August 22, 2017

Ranking member of the Senate Armed Services, Sen. Jack Reed said Trump’s mixed messages “have harmed [U.S.] credibility with Afghan partners, NATO coalition members, and other countries” and called for “diplomatic efforts.”

“The State Department is understaffed and underutilized and President Trump wants to slash its budget and foreign aid further…It is imperative for the U.S. to work with our partners to boost diplomacy…and take a comprehensive, regional approach in Afghanistan.”

Reed also said Trump’s criticism of Pakistan “seemed to ratchet up tensions between Pakistan and India” which could play a negative role in stabilizing the region.

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Mark Wilson/Getty Images(FORT MYER, Va.) -- President Donald Trump announced on Monday night his administration’s plans to continue the engagement of the United States military in Afghanistan, a strategy meant to combat the influence of the Taliban and the ISIS affiliate in the country that will forgo a formal timetable and instead rely upon "conditions on the ground" to guide U.S. activities.

"We must acknowledge the reality I'm here to talk about tonight, that nearly 16 years after the September 11 attacks, after the extraordinary sacrifice of blood and treasure, the American people are weary of war without victory," said Trump in an address from Virginia’s Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall.

The president's announcement follows meetings with military advisers and his national security team at Camp David on Saturday. In June, he gave Secretary of Defense James Mattis the authority to set troops levels in Afghanistan, after providing the defense chief with similar authority in Iraq and Syria.

Though Trump avoided specific reference to an increase in the number of service members in his remarks, Mattis indicated that the U.S. would be heightening its involvement.

"I have directed the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to make preparations to carry out the president’s strategy," Mattis said Monday in a statement from Jordan, where he is traveling this week.

"I will be in consultation with the Secretary General of NATO and our allies -- several of which have also committed to increasing their troop numbers," he added. "Together, we will assist the Afghan Security Forces to destroy the terrorist hub."

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said he was "grateful" for Trump's "affirmation of support for our efforts to achieve self-reliance and for our joint struggle to rid the region of the threat of terrorism.

"The U.S. Afghan partnership is stronger than ever in overcoming the threat of terrorism that threatens us all," he said.

Though the deepening of U.S. participation would amount to a reversal of the position he held prior to his bid for the presidency, Trump has also demonstrated a willingness to engage militarily in the region through the first seven months of his presidency.

"My original instinct was to pull out, and historically I like following my instincts," said Trump Monday night. "But all of my life I heard that decisions are much different when you sit behind the desk in the Oval Office."

Despite official combat operations ceasing in 2014, the U.S. continues to guide and train the Afghan military, and in April dropped a 22,000 pound "mother of all bombs" on ISIS-occupied caves there.

Currently, about 8,400 American troops are stationed in Afghanistan in an advisory capacity. Several thousand U.S. personnel are also engaged in counterterror operations against al Qaeda and ISIS-Khorasan, the group’s affiliate in Afghanistan.

Top U.S. military officials, including Mattis, support sending as many as 4,000 additional soldiers as part of a broader revamp of regional strategy, though Trump continued to tout the advantages of secrecy -- a position he took during last year's presidential campaign.

"We will not talk about numbers of troops, or our plans for further military activities," said the president, later adding, "America's enemies must never know our plans, or believe they can wait us out."

"I will not say when we are going to attack, but attack we will," he said.

In February, Army Gen. John Nicholson, the top U.S. official leading the international coalition in Afghanistan, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the mission had a “shortfall of a few thousand” troops.

In his first formal address since his speech in February to a joint session of Congress, Trump commented upon the role he expects nations in the region surrounding Afghanistan to play, placing particular emphasis on the actions of Pakistan, which he accused of "harbor[ing] terrorists."

"We can no longer be silent about Pakistan’s safe havens for terrorist organizations, the Taliban, and other groups that pose a threat to the region and beyond," he said. "Pakistan has much to gain from partnering with our effort in Afghanistan."

But while Trump promised Monday to support the armed forces with "every weapon to apply swift, decisive and overwhelming force," he also said that the U.S. commitment was "not a blank check."

"The government of Afghanistan must carry their share of the military, political, and economic burden," said the president. "The American people expect to see real reforms, real progress, and real results. Our patience is not unlimited."

"Afghans will secure and build their own nation and define their own future," he added on Monday night. "We want them to succeed but we will no longer use American military might to construct democracies in faraway lands, or try to rebuild other countries in our own image. Those days are over."

In a statement released Monday night, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the new strategy signals clear support for the Afghan people and government.

"We will continue to support the Afghan government and security forces in their fight against terrorists and prevent the reestablishment of safe havens in the country," he said. "Our new strategy breaks from previous approaches that set artificial calendar-based deadlines. We are making clear to the Taliban that they will not win on the battlefield. The Taliban has a path to peace and political legitimacy through a negotiated political settlement to end the war."

The Taliban issued a statement responding to President Trumps's remarks, saying "It looks like the US still doesn’t want to put an end to its longest war... If American leaders keep following their war strategy, we will keep fighting them with high spirit and commitment until one American soldier is left in our country."

The president's decision to increase the U.S. military posture in Afghanistan contrasts sharply with his position from as early as 2012, four years prior to his election, when he said with frequency on social media that the U.S. should "get out of Afghanistan" and that it has "wasted an enormous amount of blood and treasure."

How many more of our soldiers have to be shot by the Afghanis they are training? Let's get the hell out of there and focus on U.S.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 2, 2012

We have wasted an enormous amount of blood and treasure in Afghanistan. Their government has zero appreciation. Let's get out!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 21, 2013

As a presidential candidate, Trump repeatedly criticized past administrations’ handling of the Afghanistan conflict, but said it would be a mistake for the U.S. to pull all troops out of the country.

“At this point, you probably have to stay because that thing will collapse about two seconds after they leave," Trump said in a CNN interview in 2015.

Less than two weeks ago, addressing the possibility of sending additional troops to the country, Trump expressed confidence in the eventual outcome, though did not yet reveal his ultimate determination on what his administration will do there.

"It's a very big decision for me," he said on August 10. "I took over a mess, and we're going to make it a lot less messy."

So far this year, 11 U.S. service members have been killed in Afghanistan. More than 2,250 Americans have died in the country since 2001.

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Mark Wilson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- House Speaker Paul Ryan spoke up forcefully in a Facebook post on Monday against the recent violence in Charlottesville and the death of Heather Heyer, the woman killed when a car plowed into a group of counter protestors.

“There are no sides,” Ryan wrote in an implicit critique of President Donald Trump, who was rebuked by Democrats and Republicans last week for blaming “both sides” for the violence between white supremacists and counterprotesters in Charlottesville.

“There is no other argument,” Ryan said in the post, which made no mention of Trump. “We will not tolerate this hateful ideology in our society.”

Ryan -- who called white supremacy “repulsive” in a statement after Trump’s freewheeling and contentious press conference last Tuesday at Trump Tower -- went on to decry neo-Nazis and their ideology.

“We all need to make clear there is no moral relativism when it comes to neo-Nazis,” Ryan said. “The notion that anyone is intrinsically superior to anyone else runs completely counter to our founding principles.”

Ryan said he was camping with his family last week during the protests in Charlottesville. “Our annual camping trip is the kind of time away we really cherish these days,” he said. “Of course, the escape was short-lived, jolted back to reality by what happened in Charlottesville.”

Ryan posted his reflection Monday morning ahead of a televised town hall with CNN in Racine, Wisconsin.

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ABC News.(WASHINGTON) -- President Donald Trump moves out of his difficult Charlottesville week and into his national address on Afghanistan policy tonight with a poor but stable job performance rating and still-weaker grades for his handling of the neo-Nazi-fueled unrest – with vast gaps across groups.

Additionally, 9 percent in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll call it acceptable to hold neo-Nazi or white supremacist views, equivalent to about 22 million Americans. A similar number, 10 percent, say they support the so-called alt-right movement, while 50 percent oppose it.

Trump’s overall job rating in the national survey, 37-58 percent, approve-disapprove, is virtually identical to its level in an ABC/Post poll July 13 (the lowest on record for a president at six months). Approval of his response to Charlottesville, Virginia, drops to 28 percent in this poll, produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates, with similar disapproval (56 percent).

Intensity is against Trump by 2-1: Forty-five percent of Americans strongly disapprove of his job performance, vs. 22 percent who strongly approve. That’s a career low for Trump in strong approval, down 5 points since April, with sizable declines in some of his core groups: among strong conservatives (-11 percentage points), Republicans (-11) and whites (-9).

Trump’s overall job rating is 6 to 14 points lower than Barack Obama’s in polls by Gallup just ahead of his six televised addresses on Afghanistan, in 2009, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2016.


Strength of sentiment is similarly negative for Trump on Charlottesville and, notably, his lower approval rating for handling this issue occurs in his base. Compared with his overall job performance, approval of his response to Charlottesville is 18 points lower among Republicans and 13 points lower among conservatives.

Only about one-third of Americans reject the suggestion that Trump has been equating neo-Nazis and white supremacists with those who oppose them. That said, there’s division and uncertainty on the question: Forty-two percent say he’s been doing this, while 35 percent think not and 23 percent have no opinion.

Additionally, those most familiar with Charlottesville (those who’ve seen, read or heard a great deal about it, 43 percent of all adults) are most critical of Trump. Disapproval of his response spikes to 66 percent in this group, and 53 percent say he’s been equating neo-Nazis and white supremacists with their opponents. That said, its members of groups more critical of Trump who’ve been paying the closest attention to the controversy.

As noted, 9 percent overall call it acceptable to hold neo-Nazi or white supremacist views, while 83 percent call this unacceptable, leaving 8 percent with no opinion. Seventy-two percent feel strongly that it’s unacceptable.

Also related to the Charlottesville controversy, 10 percent say they support the “alt-right” movement, while 50 percent oppose it; indicating wide unfamiliarity, four in 10 have no opinion. Further, about four in 10 think the “alt-right” holds neo-Nazi or white supremacist views, nearly twice as many who say it does not (39 vs. 21 percent); again, four in 10 can’t say. (Fifty-seven percent of Democrats think this is so, vs. 19 percent of Republicans.)


Divisions among groups are profound. Perhaps most notable is the gender gap in Trump’s overall approval rating, 46 percent among men vs. 28 percent among women. At 18 percentage points this is not only the widest of his presidency, but wider than the largest gender gaps recorded for either of his two predecessors. The gender gap in terms of his response to Charlottesville is similar.

Trump has 44 percent overall approval among whites vs. 22 percent among nonwhites, including just 11 percent among blacks. On Charlottesville the pattern also is similar – 35 percent approval from whites, 14 percent among nonwhites and a single-digit 8 percent among blacks.

Age gaps are broad, with Trump’s approval overall ranging from 47 percent among adults age 50 and up to 22 percent among those younger than 30. On Charlottesville, it’s 37 vs. 15 percent in these two age brackets.

The sharpest gaps, as ever in the political climate of the past decade or more, are political and ideological. Trump’s approval rating overall drops from 80 percent among Republicans to 34 percent among independents and 12 percent among Democrats; it’s 67-27-16 percent moving from conservatives to moderates to liberals. The range is from 87 percent approval among conservative Republicans to 10 percent among liberal Democrats. Each group represents about one in seven Americans.

On Charlottesville, again, the patterns are similar, while lower across the board. Sixty-two percent of Republicans approve of Trump’s response; this plummets to 28 percent of independents and 6 percent of Democrats. It’s 54-20-8 percent from conservatives to moderates to liberals. And 72 percent of conservative Republicans approve of Trump’s response; across the political chasm, 3 percent of liberal Democrats agree.

There’s far more agreement on whether it’s acceptable or unacceptable to hold neo-Nazi or white supremacist views. Across groups, 4 to 17 percent call this acceptable, with the largest numbers among men, Republicans and strong conservatives, all 13 percent; young adults, 14 percent; and those who strongly approve of the president’s work in office, 17 percent.

An additional 13 percent of strong Trump supporters have no opinion on whether it’s acceptable or not. That leaves 70 percent of his strong supporters who call neo-Nazi or white supremacist views unacceptable, compared with 92 percent of his strong opponents.


This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by landline and cellular telephone Aug. 16-20, 2017, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 1,014 adults. Results have a margin of sampling error of 3.5 points, including the design effect. Partisan divisions are 33-22-42 percent, Democrats-Republicans-independents.

The survey was produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates of New York, N.Y., with sampling, data collection and tabulation by SSRS of Media, Pa. See details on the survey’s methodology here.

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Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Standing on a White House balcony, President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump joined millions of Americans to watch the total solar eclipse Monday.

At first, Trump was seen viewing the rare astronomical event without any special solar filters, which can cause serious damage to the eyes. Someone was heard yelling to the president, "Don't look!"

Someone shouts "don't look" when Pres. Trump glances at the sky without eclipse glasses as the solar eclipse passes over Washington, D.C.

— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) August 21, 2017

Later, both Trump and his wife donned eclipse glasses to watch the moon move between the sun and Earth.

Although the White House was not within the path of totality, where the moon completely blocks the sun and casts a dark shadow on Earth, the president and first lady were able to witness the moon cover about 81 percent of the solar surface.

Monday's total solar eclipse was particularly rare because it's the first time since June 8, 1918, that the path of totality exclusively crossed the continental United States. It was also the first continent-wide eclipse to be visible only from the U.S. since 1776.

The last time the contiguous United States saw a total solar eclipse was Feb. 26, 1979, when the path of totality only crossed the Pacific Northwest.

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ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- President Donald Trump's announcement Monday night on U.S. strategy in Afghanistan may be at odds with prior positions he has taken on a conflict that has become the longest war in U.S. history.

Trump's exact plans have not been released ahead of his comments, but some of his top advisers, including Secretary of Defense James Mattis, are known to favor an approach that involves keeping in line with current policy and adding more American troops on the ground.

Here's a review of what Trump has said about U.S. policy in Afghanistan in the past.

Before his presidential campaign

Trump was active on social media, particularly on Twitter, long before he ran for president.

He posted a number of tweets about the war in Afghanistan in 2011, 2012, and 2013, calling for the U.S. to end its involvement in the country.

In 2011, he suggested it was a matter of priorities, writing, "When will we stop wasting our money on rebuilding Afghanistan? We must rebuild our country first."

In 2012, he called the conflict a "total disaster" said, "we don't know what we are doing," and later criticized the Afghan forces.

"Afghanistan is a total disaster. We don't know what we are doing. They are, in addition to everything else, robbing us blind," he wrote in March 2012.

Five months later, Trump wrote, "Why are we continuing to train these Afghanis who then shoot our soldiers in the back? Afghanistan is a complete waste. Time to come home!"

The following year, he echoed his earlier sentiments.

"Let’s get out of Afghanistan. Our troops are being killed by the Afghanis we train and we waste billions there. Nonsense! Rebuild the USA," he wrote in January 2013.

Later that year, he appeared dismayed about the prospect of keeping 20,000 troops "there for many more years," adding the next day, "We have wasted an enormous amount of blood and treasure in Afghanistan."

"Do not allow our very stupid leaders to sign a deal that keeps us in Afghanistan through 2024-with all costs by U.S.A. MAKE AMERICA GREAT!" he wrote on Nov. 21, 2013.

In late 2014, Trump took issue with then-President Obama's decision to keep American soldiers on the ground in Afghanistan for another year. "He is losing two wars simultaneously," Trump wrote.

During the campaign

A number of articles were written during the presidential race about how Afghanistan policy was not addressed extensively by either of the eventual nominees. When Trump specifically was asked about Afghanistan, he typically responded in the context of his stance on the war in Iraq or used Afghanistan as a point of comparison to the "carnage" he saw in some American cities like Chicago.

One of the most controversial statements Trump made about Afghanistan came during an October 2015 interview with CNN.

"We made a terrible mistake getting involved there in the first place," he said on CNN's "New Day" on Oct. 6, 2015.

"At some point, are they going to be there for the next 200 years? At some point what's going on? It's going to be a long time," he said.

"We made a terrible mistake getting involved there in the first place. We had real brilliant thinkers that didn't know what the hell they were doing. And it's a mess. It's a mess. And at this point, you probably have to (stay) because that thing will collapse about two seconds after they leave. Just as I said that Iraq was going to collapse after we leave."

Later that same month, Trump said that he never said that the U.S. should not have gone into Afghanistan in the first place, asserting that he was talking about Iraq. Trump often claimed that he had always been against the invasion of Iraq, which is not supported by evidence.

When asked in a subsequent CNN interview about his calling the U.S. military effort in Afghanistan a mistake Trump said, "I never said that. OK, wouldn't matter, I never said it. Afghanistan is a different kettle. Afghanistan is next to Pakistan, it's an entry in. You have to be careful with the nuclear weapons. It's all about the nuclear weapons. By the way, without the nukes, it's a whole different ballgame," Trump said in the Oct. 20, 2015, interview with CNN.

"We made a mistake going into Iraq. I've never said we made a mistake going into Afghanistan," he said.

The presidential candidate maintained that explanation when asked during a March 3, 2016, Republican debate about a series of flip-flops he had made about Afghanistan.

"Well, on Afghanistan, I did mean Iraq. I think you have to stay in Afghanistan for awhile, because of the fact that you're right next to Pakistan, which has nuclear weapons, and we have to protect that. Nuclear weapons change the game," he told moderator Megyn Kelly.

As president

Just five days after taking office, Trump spoke to ABC News' David Muir at the White House and referenced Afghanistan. But he spoke about the South Asian country not in the context of his foreign policy plans, but in reference to problems in Chicago.

"It is carnage. It's horrible carnage. This is Afghanistan -- is not like what's happening in Chicago. People are being shot left and right," he said, referring back to a point in his inaugural speech when he talked about "American carnage."

Trump and his team have since been developing the administration's policy for Afghanistan.

Defense Secretary Mattis told Congress in June that he believed the administration would formulate its Afghanistan strategy by mid-July. But that deadline came and went because Trump's national security team debated whether the strategy should be broader in scope.

The plan for Afghanistan has evolved into what is now known as the South Asia strategy and includes regional considerations for neighboring countries like Pakistan, India, China and Russia.

Trump is said to have been dissatisfied with the original strategy review and the request for more American troops, which is one reason why his national security team has developed additional options.

Trump most recently met with his national security team on Aug. 18, 2017, and tweeted the following day that there were "many decisions made, including on Afghanistan."

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ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- As President Donald Trump marked his 214th day in office Monday, ABC News looked at how Trump has divided his time between his many private properties and the White House.

As of Sunday, with the president's return to Washington, D.C., from a working vacation at his New Jersey golf club, he has visited at least one of his properties on more than a third, 35.7 percent, of his days as president -- or 76 days out of 213, according to an ABC News' count.

He has spent the night at one of his private properties somewhat less often, on 44 -- or 20.7 percent -- of the nights since his Jan. 20 inauguration. He’s spent 24 nights (11.3 percent) at his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf club; 18 nights (8.5 percent) at his Florida resort, Mar-A-Lago; and two nights (0.9 percent) at Trump Tower.

Sunday night was the president’s 155th night at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, which is nearly 73 percent of the nights since he took office.

The president has also spent the night on Air Force One twice during foreign travel (0.9 percent); once at Camp David on June 17 (0.5 percent); and 11 nights (5.2 percent) in various international cities.

So far, Trump has not spent a night at any domestic location other than one of his own properties, the White House or Camp David. That’s likely to change in Arizona this week – unless he spends Tuesday night at his nearby hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Trump will be in Phoenix on Tuesday for a campaign rally, making Arizona the 18th state he has visited as president. Afterward, he will head to Reno, Nevada, making it the 19th state.

Trump’s most frequent domestic destinations outside of Washington, D.C., are Florida (8 trips), New Jersey (7 trips) and New York (3 trips).

His trip out West this week will mark Air Force One’s 35th mission under President Trump. Air Force One has taken off and landed 82 times with Trump aboard.

The president is likely add four more flights on this week’s trip traveling from Washington to Yuma, Phoenix, and Nevada, then back to the District of Columbia, pushing the total Air Force One flights to 86.

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ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- President Donald Trump left his New Jersey golf club to head back to the White House on Sunday, ending a tumultuous 17-day working vacation.

The president, along with first lady Melania Trump and their son, Barron, arrived via helicopter at the Morristown Airport in New Jersey on Sunday evening to board Air Force One and head back to the nation's capital.

Here are a few highlights of Trump’s unofficial August recess.

Friday, Aug. 4

President Trump lands in Bedminster, New Jersey, to begin a working vacation as the White House was being renovated.

Trump releases a statement in defense of National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster after he comes under attack in Breitbart News.

“General McMaster and I are working very well together. He is a good man and very pro-Israel. I am grateful for the work he continues to do serving our country,” the president said late Friday night.

The New York Times reports that Special Counsel Robert Mueller asked the White House for documents related to the former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and possible business dealings with the Turkish government. Flynn’s attorney declined ABC News’ request for comment on the report at the time.

Saturday, Aug. 5

Vice President Mike Pence hits back at what he calls a "total lie" in The New York Times that he is laying the groundwork for a potential 2020 presidential run.

Sunday, Aug. 6

Trump slams "fake news” media on Twitter, saying the media “refuses to report the success of the first 6 months” of his presidency.

Monday, Aug. 7

Trump tweets more than a dozen times and bashes what he calls "fake news" over reports that his support base is diminishing.

North Korea vows harsh retaliation over sanctions imposed by the United Nations with U.S. support.

Trump attacks Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., in a series of tweets after Blumenthal said he was worried that the president was trying to "politicize" the Justice Department.

Blumenthal fires back and says Trump’s “bullying” won’t work with him.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., says Trump's immigration plan is dead in the water.

Tuesday, Aug. 8

Trump tweets a Fox News report detailing classified information that "US spy agencies" detected North Koreans moving anti-ship cruise missiles on a patrol boat. United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley breaks with him and calls the leak inappropriate.

The Washington Post reports that North Korea has the ability to put a nuclear warhead on a missile. Trump threatens Pyongyang with "fire and fury" if it continues to provoke the U.S.

North Korea promptly responds with a fresh threat to strike the U.S. territory of Guam.

ABC News reports the Trump campaign handed over thousands of documents to the Senate Judiciary Committee in connection to its investigation into possible Russian election-meddling.

Wednesday, Aug. 9

President Trump tweets that he modernized the U.S. nuclear arsenal.

“Hopefully we will never have to use this power, but there will never be a time that we are not the most powerful nation in the world,” he said.

ABC News confirms that federal authorities executed a search warrant for the home of Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager, in connection with the Russia investigation.

President Trump speaks by phone with Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who earlier criticized the president and said he had "excessive expectations" about getting legislation passed in Congress.

“Senator Mitch McConnell said I had ‘excessive expectations,’ but I don’t think so,” Mr. Trump tweeted. “After 7 years of hearing Repeal & Replace, why not done?”

An inflatable chicken near White House captivates social media.

Thursday, Aug. 10

President Trump receives a security briefing on North Korea and takes questions from the press.

Trump attacks McConnell again, saying the senator should “get back to work..."

"Can you believe that Mitch McConnell, who has screamed Repeal & Replace for 7 years, couldn't get it done,” Trump tweeted.

“Mitch, get back to work and put Repeal & Replace, Tax Reform & Cuts and a great Infrastructure Bill on my desk for signing,” he wrote in a separate tweet about 6 hours later.

Trump tells a pool of reporters that his “fire and fury” comment may not have been “tough enough” and says North Korea should "get their act together."

Trump declares an impromptu national emergency on the opioid epidemic, directing “all appropriate emergency and other authorities to respond to the crisis.”

Trump responds to Russian President Vladimir Putin's expulsion of 755 U.S. diplomats from Russia over new sanctions against the country, thanking him "because we're trying to cut down on payroll." The president later said he was being sarcastic.

Friday, Aug. 11

President Trump warns North Korea that the U.S. military is "locked and loaded."

ABC News reports that congressional investigators want to question Trump's longtime personal secretary, Rhona Graff, in connection to the Russia probe.

Trump threatens North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un while taking questions from reporters. "If he [Jong Un] utters one threat in the form of an overt threat ... if he does anything with respect to Guam or any place else ... He will truly regret it and he will regret it fast,” Trump said.

Trump holds another freewheeling exchange with reporters, threatens a "military option" against Venezuela, won't rule out war with North Korea.

Trump calls Guam's governor, predicts a bump in tourism numbers.

White nationalists march with torches in Charlottesville, Virginia, a day ahead of a "Unite the Right" gathering and counterprotest that left a young woman dead.

Saturday, Aug. 12

President Trump holds scheduled bill signing on veterans, as Charlottesville erupts in chaos over white nationalist gathering.

First Lady Melania Trump addresses the violence in Charlottesville before the president does.

Trump delivers remarks in the afternoon blaming "many sides" for violence, as reports emerge that a driver plowed a car into a group of counterprotesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injuring over a dozen more.

"We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides -- on many sides,” Trump said at a press conference from his New Jersey golf club. “It's been going on for a long time in our country.”

Democrats and Republicans slam Trump for suggesting a moral equivalence between white nationalist demonstrators and counterprotesters in Charlottesville.

Sunday, Aug. 13

President Trump stays out of public view as pressure mounts over his controversial Charlottesville statement.

Civil rights and faith leaders call on Trump to directly disavow white supremacists and violent extremism and to fire White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon.

A White House official issues an anonymous clarification that President Trump did condemn white supremacists and neo-Nazis in his remarks on Charlottesville.

Monday, Aug. 14

President Trump heads back to the White House for a day trip where he delivers a further statement on Charlottesville.

“Racism is evil,” Trump said. “Those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the [Ku Klux Klan], neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.”

“As I said on Saturday, we condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence. It has no place in America,” the president added.

On Twitter that evening, Trump lashed out at the "#Fake News Media," saying they "will never be satisfied" with what he says on Charlottesville.

Tuesday, Aug. 15

President Trump spends the night in Trump Tower in New York City for the first time since taking office. He holds an impromptu press conference defending his response to the violence in Charlottesville.

He goes after what he calls the "alt-left," saying "there is blame on both sides" for the Charlottesville violence and that there were also "many fine people" on both sides, including among those marching against the removal of the Confederate statue there.

CEOs begin to resign from Trump's manufacturing council. Trump attacks the CEO of Merck on Twitter.

Wednesday, Aug. 16

A number of prominent Republicans condemn Trump's comments at the press conference the day before.

White House announces Hope Hicks as interim communications director.

Former presidents George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush issue rare joint statement targeting Trump's remarks.

After more CEOs announce plans to drop out, Trump disbands the President's Strategic Policy Forum and President's Manufacturing Council.

Steve Bannon gives an interview to the American Prospect, questioning the limits of U.S. power in North Korea and slamming the Democratic party's response to Charlottesville.

Thursday, Aug. 17

The president starts tweeting attacks against Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz.

Trump tweets a debunked legend on Gen. Pershing after a vehicle attack in Barcelona kills 13 people and injures dozens more.

Reports surface that top Republicans, including McConnell, are "privately seething" about Trump's response to Charlottesville and Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., openly questions his "stability" and "competence."

Trump disbands the Presidential Advisory Council on Infrastructure before it gets off the ground.

Friday, Aug. 18

President Trump heads to Camp David to hash out military strategy on Afghanistan.

Sixteen members of the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities resign. The White House later says it planned to disband the committee anyway.

Susan Bro, the mother of Charlottesville victim Heather Heyer, delivers an emotional rebuke to Trump, saying she no longer wishes to speak to him.

Steve Bannon is pushed out as chief strategist. The White House releases a statement saying the departure was mutually agreed to with John Kelly.

Bannon rejoins Breitbart News as executive chairman, says he's "going to war" for Trump's agenda.

At least seven different organizations pull out of planned charity events at Mar-a-Lago in continued fallout from the president's response to Charlottesville.

Saturday, Aug. 19

President Trump tweets thanks to Bannon, cheers his return to Breitbart to fight "fake news."

White House announces the president and first lady will not attend Kennedy Center Honors, citing "political distraction."

Bannon to Washington Post says, "No administration in history has been so divided."

President Trump goes after "anti-police agitators" marching in Boston, later encourages protesters "speaking out against bigotry and hate."

Sunday, Aug. 20

The president spends last day at Bedminster before evening return to the White House.

Trump says he spent his time away “working hard” and takes another jab at “fake news.”

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Twitter/John McCain(PHOENIX) -- The boys are back.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and former Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn. -- previously dubbed "The Three Amigos" by retired general David Petraeus -- headed on Saturday to Arizona's Oak Creek Canyon, where they went hiking and waded in water. McCain's daughter Meghan joined the trio.

"The three amigos together again!" tweeted McCain, along with a photo of the casually-dressed, baseball cap-wearing group.

McCain, who is battling brain cancer, has finished his first round of chemotherapy and radiation treatment, Meghan announced on Friday.

The three amigos together again!

— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) August 19, 2017

In another photo McCain tweeted, he and Lieberman are wading in the water. "Where's Lindsey?" McCain wrote, illustrating his sense of humor.

Where's Lindsey?

— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) August 19, 2017

In a photo posted on Instagram which includes Meghan with her dad and his friends, Meghan wrote, "Morning hike with The Three Amigos! @senjohnmccain @lindseygrahamsc Joe Lieberman!"

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