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Trump's budget to hike defence spending by US$ 54 bln; cut foreign aid

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WASHINGTON (PTI): US President Donald Trump on Monday said his first budget would focus on national security and public safety as the White House announced that his plans include a whopping US$ 54 billion increase in defence spending and cuts in foreign aid.

"This budget will be a public safety and national security budget, very much based on those two with plenty of other things, but very strong. And it will include a historic increase in defence spending to rebuild the depleted military of the United States of America at a time we most need it," Trump said in his address to the National Governors Association.

Addressing governors from across the country, Trump said he would provide more details about the budget in his maiden joint address to the US Congress on Tuesday night.

"And you'll be hearing about that tomorrow night in great detail. This is a landmark event, a message to the world, in these dangerous times of American strength, security and resolve," Trump said in his remarks.

In a conference call with reporters soon after, a senior official from the Office of Budget Management, White House, announced that the budget would include an increase of US$ 54 billion in defence spending.

The money, the official said, would come from savings from other governmental programmes.

The senior official said that there will be "large reduction in foreign aid".

Describing this year's budget as a "security budget", the official said it would fulfil campaign promises.

"This defence spending increase will be offset and paid for by finding greater savings and efficiencies across the federal government. We're going to do more with less," Trump told governors in his address.

"Now we never win a war. We never win. And we don't fight to win. We don't fight to win. So we either got to win or don't fight it at all. But where we are, almost 17 years of fighting in the Middle East...US$ 6 trillion we've spent in the Middle East. That's just unacceptable," he said.

Trump said his budget increases spending and the increase in all spending for federal law enforcement and activities having to do with law enforcement will be substantially increased to fight violent crime.

"My budget also puts America first by keeping tax dollars in America to help veterans and first responders. So important. This budget follows through on my promise to focus on keeping Americans safe, keeping out terrorists, keeping out criminals and putting violent offenders behind bars or removing them from our country altogether," he said.

"So the budget, which is going to be a very big part of tomorrow night's speech, is going to be I think a budget of great rationality but it's going to have to do with military, safety, economic development and things such as that. Great detail tomorrow night," Trump said.

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US  Defence  Budget  Trump  
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