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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 AfghanistanTrump 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 sentTrump 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 publiclyIn 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 stancePrior 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 PakistanOne 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
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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. Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • Office of the President(NEW YORK) --   U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said Americans are "not going to hear ... the details," of U.S. military tactics in Afghanistan.Haley spoke to ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on "Good Morning America" following President Trump's announcement last night that his administration plans to continue the U.S. military engagement in Afghanistan.She said the U.S. military operation there will be different than in the past 16 years."What you’re not going to hear are the details" about U.S. tactics in the South Asian country, Haley 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, she said: "It’s not going to be based on time; it’s going to be based on results.""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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