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Pentagon moving 250 active-duty troops to Eagle Pass, Texas, because of migrant caravan

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By Courtney Kube and Carol E. Lee

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon is moving 250 active duty troops to the border town of Eagle Pass, Texas, in advance of the arrival of a new caravan of migrants, according to a statement Wednesday by Defense Department spokesperson Capt. Bill Speaks.

The move reflects President Donald Trump’s mention of a “human wall,” but comes amid increasing frustration among Pentagon leaders with the continued border requests from Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.

Under the new directive, the troops will be moved from Arizona to Texas and — in a sign of the Pentagon’s frustrations — will not represent an increase in the overall number of U.S. troops assigned to the border mission.

In an updated statement Wednesday afternoon, the Pentagon said not all the troops would be coming from Arizona. A defense official said the engineers will deploy from Georgia and Kansas.

Nielsen said in a statement Tuesday that a caravan of 2,000 immigrants was approaching the Texas border, and that the Department of Homeland Security will “take all steps to ensure the safety and security of law enforcement personnel” at the border.

She asked Customs and Border Protection on Monday for forces to reinforce the area where the caravan may attempt to cross into the U.S.

Earlier this week, the Texas Department of Public Safety sent state troopers to Eagle Pass in advance of the caravan’s arrival.

“Acting Secretary of Defense Shanahan has authorized the repositioning of approximately 250 active duty military personnel from current border security support missions in Arizona to the vicinity of the Eagle Pass [Ports of Entry],” Speaks said in the statement. “This support is being provided under existing authorities and in accordance with previously approved requests for support.”

Trump tweeted about sending military personnel to the border Tuesday morning: “Tremendous numbers of people are coming up through Mexico in the hopes of flooding our Southern Border. We have sent additional military. We will build a Human Wall if necessary. If we had a real Wall, this would be a non-event!”

The additional troops will be military police, medical personnel, and engineers who will support hardening the ports of entry, according to the Pentagon’s statement.

The Pentagon has about 2,400 active-duty troops deployed to the border mission now, with that number expected to increase later this month.

Pentagon leaders are growing tired of the continued stream of border requests coming in from DHS, according to one current and one former official familiar with the discussions. There’s a real loss of patience for it in the building, the sources told NBC News.

A phrase increasingly heard around the Pentagon is, “We don’t work for Kirstjen Nielsen,” according to the two officials.

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Get Corbyn out now: Labour support plummets as 43% want him axed BEFORE next election

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SUPPORT for Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has plummeted after a new poll has shown a shocking loss of backing from his own party members.

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Louisiana police officer suggests on Facebook that AOC be shot

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A Louisiana police officer is facing criticism over a comment he made last week suggesting Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., be shot.

The officer, Charlie Rispoli, a 14-year veteran of the Gretna, Louisiana, police force, called Ocasio-Cortez a “vile idiot” who “needs a round, and I don’t mean the kind she used to serve,” referring to her past job as a bartender, according to a screenshot posted by nola.com. According to the New Orleans-based news outlet, his comment was a reaction to a fake quote attributed to the congresswoman claiming that “we pay soldiers too much.” Both his post and Facebook account have since been taken down.

Gretna’s police chief, Arthur Lawson, told nola.com he found the post “disturbing,” adding, “This will not go unchecked.”

“I’m not going to take this lightly and this will be dealt with on our end,” he told the outlet. “It’s not something we want someone that’s affiliated with our department to make these types of statements. That’s not going to happen.”

He said that while he did not think the post constituted an actual threat, it was likely a violation of his department’s social media policy.

A spokesman for Ocasio-Cortez declined a request to comment from NBC News.

The episode comes amid a week of backlash over comments President Donald Trump made that Ocasio-Cortez and three other freshmen congresswomen of color should “go back” to where they “originally came from” rather than criticize his administration. All four lawmakers are U.S. citizens and three of them, including Ocasio-Cortez, were born in the U.S.

Ocasio-Cortez was also the subject of violent and misogynistic Facebook posts in a private group where nearly 10,000 current and former Customs and Border Protection agents exchanged thoughts, a ProPublica investigation revealed.

And the four congresswomen targeted in Trump’s tweets, Ocasio-Cortez, Reps. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., were the subject of a recent Facebook post by the Republican County Chairmen’s Association of Illinois, which labeled them the “jihad squad.”

“Political Jihad is their game,” the since-deleted post read. “If you don’t agree with their socialist ideology you’re racist.”

The state’s GOP chairman, Tim Schneider, disavowed the post Sunday night.

“Bigoted rhetoric greatly distracts from legitimate and important policy debates and further divides our nation,” Mr. Schneider said, adding, “I urge everyone who opposes them to keep the rhetoric focused on policy and ideology.”



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How Boris Johnson and girlfriend Carrie will put Queen in an awkward position

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BORIS JOHNSON is preparing to move his girlfriend Carrie Symonds into Downing Street with him this weekend. But the couple are set to shake up royal protocol later in the summer.

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