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"A lot of what we do ... is trying to keep up with the President"

Susan Walsh / AP

National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster kicked off Sean Spicer's briefing Friday discuss Trump's upcoming foreign trip, stating the president will bring a "message of hope and tolerance" to the Middle East:

  • Afghanistan troop levels: "The president has not made a decision," said McMaster, adding "America First didn't mean America alone — ever."
  • The council's duties: "A lot of what we do at the National Security Council is trying to keep up with the President."
  • Trump on Russia: The president has made clear "he will confront Russian disruptive behavior" but is "also looking for areas of cooperation" with Moscow, said McMaster.