President Donald J. Trump told reporters yesterday that while he has asked each of his Cabinet Secretaries to cut 5% from their Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) budget levels as they prepare their FY20 budget request submissions, the Department of Defense (DoD) will be funded at $700 billion, which reflects a 2.3% cut from its FY19 topline.

Among the related comments made by President Trump following a Wednesday Cabinet meeting at the White House were:

“We know what the new budget is for the Defense Department.  It will probably be $700 billion.”

“The last budget we had to go because of the military, we had to fix our military. Our military is in the process of being fixed. Planes are being made, boats are being made, ships are being made, missiles, rockets, everything.”

“Our nuclear is being brought to a level that nobody else can even imagine. Pray God we don’t have to use it, but there will be nothing like what we have, and there is nothing like what we have and that’s why I did that. I made deals with the devil in order to get that done.”

“If you know, it was at 520 [billion] a very short while ago, and the reason I brought it up to 700 [billion] and then 716 [billion] was to build new ships, we’re building new incredible submarines, the finest in the world, most powerful in the world. Anywhere ever.  We’re doing things that we have never done on this scale. So, that included a lot of rebuilding of our military. Despite that, I am going to keep that at $700 billion, defense.”

“We’re doing things that we have never done on this scale. So, that included a lot of rebuilding of our military. Despite that, I am going to keep that at $700 billion, defense.”