Defense

Russia and China form a front

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, in front of two flags
Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping. Photo: Kenzaburo Fukuhara/Pool/Getty Images

Security officials increasingly view Russia and China — separately and together — as a threat to U.S. security.

Between the lines: “What I consider two of our strongest adversaries are now working together to try to undermine stability in the United States of America,” former CIA director and Defense secretary Leon Panetta says. “This is not like dealing with some kind of rogue nation."

Defense Secretary Shanahan contradicts Trump on North Korea missile tests

 U.S. Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan
Patrick Shanahan. Photo: Tom Brenner/Getty Images

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan told reporters on Wednesday that North Korea's recent missiles test violated a United Nations Security Council ban, contradicting claims by President Trump, who tweeted last weekend that the tests "disturbed some of my people, and others, but not me," CNN reports.

Why it matters: Shanahan is the second top national security official in the Trump administration to break with the president over the seriousness of North Korea's missile tests. Earlier this week, national security adviser John Bolton also spoke out against the tests, prompting North Korea to accuse him of being a "war monger."

Go deeper: North Korea's tactical guided message to Trump