Defense chief's border visit will highlight Trump priority

FILE - In this Jan. 28, 2019, file photo, acting Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan speaks with the media as he waits for the arrival of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the Pentagon in Washington. President Donald Trump on May 9, said he will nominate Shanahan to be his second secretary of defense. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

WASHINGTON — The acting head of the Pentagon, Patrick Shanahan, is making his second trip to the U.S.-Mexican border to highlight what the Trump administration calls a national emergency.

Shanahan is flying to the border town of McAllen, Texas, along with the acting chief of the Homeland Security Department, Kevin McAleenan. The trip underlines Shanahan's attention to a top priority of President Donald Trump, who says he'll ask the Senate to confirm Shanahan as defense secretary.

Shanahan is using the border visit to emphasize his view that Homeland Security, the agency primarily responsible for protecting U.S. borders, needs more resources to fulfill its mission.

Shanahan has endorsed the use of about 2,400 thousand active-duty military troops in support of that Cabinet department Security at the border.

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