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Trump Visits Pentagon to Show Support for Military

President Donald Trump, joined by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, left, and Vice President Mike Pence, walks into the Pentagon, Jan. 18, 2018, after speaking to the media.

On a visit to the Pentagon, President Donald Trump has criticized Congress' handling of the budget and cautioned that a potential government shutdown would be the "worst thing" for military development.

A short-term funding bill expires at midnight on Friday night, causing the federal government to shut down Saturday if Congressional Republicans and Democrats cannot agree on a new funding measure.

"The budget should be handled a lot differently than it's been handled," Trump said during a visit to the U.S. Defense Department Thursday. "If for any reason it [the government] shuts down, the worst thing is what happens to our military."

Chief Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White told VOA the "primary focus of the president's visit ... is to discuss the impacts of a potential government shutdown and continuing resolution on the Department of Defense."

She also said the president and Vice President Mike Pence would talk with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis about the National Defense Strategy that the secretary will present to the public Friday.

Trump said Thursday he was at the Pentagon to support the military, which would "lose big" without proper funding.

He added that the nation needed a strong military "almost more than at any time in the past."

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    Carla Babb

    Carla is VOA's Pentagon correspondent covering defense and international security issues. Her datelines include Ukraine, Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq and Korea.