Trump calls $716B defense budget 'crazy'

By Tony Bertuca  
December 3, 2018 at 10:37 AM

President Trump, despite lobbying for and touting a major military buildup, tweeted this morning that the $716 billion the United States spends on defense is “crazy,” and said he wants to work with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping to bring a “meaningful halt” to an “uncontrollable arms race.”

Trump's tweet comes on the heels of a speech by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who said any cut to the defense budget would jeopardize the National Defense Strategy, which calls for new focus on China and Russia.

“I am certain that, at some time in the future, President Xi and I, together with President Putin of Russia, will start talking about a meaningful halt to what has become a major and uncontrollable Arms Race,” Trump tweeted. “The U.S. spent 716 Billion Dollars this year. Crazy!”

Trump's tweet stands in contrast to the position of GOP defense hawks, who are arguing that total defense spending should be $733 billion in fiscal year 2020, rather than the $700 billion the White House is considering.