Mark Esper

191215-N-KB540-3088 PACIFIC OCEAN (Dec. 19, 2019) Capt. Brett Crozier, commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), gives remarks during an all-hands call on the ship’s flight deck Dec. 15, 2019. Theodore Roosevelt is underway conducting routine training in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Alexander Williams)
Where Things Stand: McConnell’s Weak Jab Prime Badge
This is your TPM early-afternoon briefing.

The Senate majority leader rarely straightens his spine to break with President Trump. And when he does, you can always expect push back about as stiff as a wet noodle.

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WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 05:  U.S. Under Secretary of Defense for Policy James Miller (R) arrives at a members-only closed briefing on Syria for the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives September 5, 2013 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Senate Foreign Relations Committee has approved a resolution for a strike in Syria. The full Senate is expected to vote on it soon.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
200117-N-LH674-3014 SAN DIEGO (Jan. 17, 2020) Capt. Brett Crozier, commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), addresses local news media at Naval Air Station North Island, San Diego, Jan. 17, 2020. The Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group is on a scheduled deployment to the Indo-Pacific. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Kaylianna Genier)
191115-N-IW125-1033 PACIFIC OCEAN (Nov. 14, 2019) Capt. Brett Crozier, commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), addresses the crew during an all-hands call on the ship’s flight deck. Theodore Roosevelt is conducting routine operations in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Nicholas Huynh)
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