•   
  •   
  •   

Technology Pentagon watchdog plans to review award of $400M border wall contract to firm touted by Trump

15:51  12 december  2019
15:51  12 december  2019 Source:   nbcnews.com

'It's clear the US has been sidelined.' Turkey and Russia agree to joint patrols in Syria

  'It's clear the US has been sidelined.' Turkey and Russia agree to joint patrols in Syria Amid a U.S. military withdrawal from Syria, the Trump administration's ability to address the Syria crisis seemed dramatically diminished.The pact between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkey's leader, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, came shortly before a U.S.-brokered cease-fire – which had temporarily halted a Turkish attack on Kurdish forces in Syria – expired Tuesday afternoon.

WASHINGTON — The Defense Department's internal watchdog plans to review a recent Army Corps of Engineers decision to award a $ 400 million contract for border wall construction to a North Dakota company that has been publicly and privately endorsed by members of the Trump administration

The Pentagon 's internal watchdog is investigating a $ 400 million border wall construction contract awarded to a GOP donor who has repeatedly President Donald Trump reportedly pushed officials in the Army Corps of Engineers to contract with the firm but was told that the firm 's bids did not meet

WASHINGTON — The Defense Department's internal watchdog plans to review a recent Army Corps of Engineers decision to award a $400 million contract for border wall construction to a North Dakota company that has been publicly and privately endorsed by members of the Trump administration, including the president himself.

a close up of a bridge: Image: Workers replace an old section of the U.S.-Mexico border fence as seen from Tijuana, Mexico, on Jan. 8, 2019.© Guillermo Arias Image: Workers replace an old section of the U.S.-Mexico border fence as seen from Tijuana, Mexico, on Jan. 8, 2019.

The review of the award to Fisher Sand & Gravel is an audit by the Pentagon's inspector general and comes in response to a request by Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, the Democratic chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security. Thompson said the decision to award the contract should be reviewed because Fisher's "proposals reportedly did not meet the operational requirements of U.S. Customs and Border Protection" and because of "concerns about the possibility of inappropriate influence" on the Army Corps of Engineers.

'It is a zone of death, and we're complicit': Why Evangelicals are upset with Trump's Syria policy

  'It is a zone of death, and we're complicit': Why Evangelicals are upset with Trump's Syria policy The crisis in Syria has sparked a visceral reaction from U.S. Christian leaders who are concerned about Christian communities in northeast Syria.But in the weeks since that deal was announced in Turkey on Oct. 17, Ishak's hometown in northern Syria has nearly emptied, with Christians and Kurds fleeing amid fears of persecution by Turkish-backed militias.

Following a request from Democratic lawmakers, the Pentagon ’s watchdog will audit a recent Army Corps of Engineers decision to award a $ 400 million border - wall contract to a North Dakota company that was repeatedly praised by President Trump . According to NBC News, which reviewed a copy of

A section of a crowdfunded border wall at Sunland Park, N.M. The company that built it was also awarded a $ 400 million contract to build a stretch Federal judge blocks Trump plan to spend .6 million in military funds on border wall . A federal judge has issued a temporary restraining order that

"This is in response to your December 4, 2019, letter requesting that the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General conduct a review of the $400 million contract the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded to Fisher Sand and Gravel Co. to design and build border infrastructure in Yuma County, Arizona," wrote Glenn Fine, the principal deputy inspector general, according to a copy of the inspector general's response to Thompson obtained by NBC News. "In your letter, you raised concerns about the possibility of inappropriate influence on USACE's contracting decision, and questioned whether the bid submitted by Fisher Sand and Gravel Co. met solicitation standards. You also questioned whether USACE made the award in accordance with federal procurement law and regulations."

Border officials: "Consequences" deterring migrant families and kids

  Border officials: For the first time in more than a year, the Trump administration is apprehending less migrant children and families than adults along the U.S.-Mexico borderU.S. border officials in October apprehended more than 35,000 migrants — including nearly 10,000 families and 3,000 unaccompanied migrant children — along the U.S.-Mexico border, marking the fifth consecutive monthly decline in arrests there, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials said Thursday.

The Defense Department's internal watchdog is investigating a $ 400 million border wall contract awarded to a firm that used multiple Trump 's effort to push through funding, using money from the Pentagon after Congress refused to fund the wall has been met with resistance and lawsuits.

Following a request from Democratic lawmakers, the Pentagon ’s watchdog will audit a recent Army Corps of Engineers decision to award a $ 400 million border - wall contract to a North Dakota company that was repeatedly praised by President Trump . According to NBC News, which reviewed a copy of

"In response to your request, we have decided to initiate an audit of the solicitation and award of this contract," wrote Fine. "We are assessing the methodology of that audit and will formally announce the audit soon."

For years and in recent meetings, the president has pushed the Army Corps of Engineers to consider awarding a contract for border wall construction to Fisher, according to three sources familiar with the discussions. And in a trip to the border in November, Trump's new acting secretary of homeland security and the chief of the Border Patrol's El Paso Sector toured a privately funded wall built by Fisher.

The renewed push for Fisher by Trump and DHS officials caught many by surprise, given the controversy in which the company has been entangled. The Washington Post first reported Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., held up the confirmation of a White House official in his demands to see border wall contracts that had gone out to other companies.

Rep. Duncan Hunter to abandon 'not guilty' plea in campaign finance scandal

  Rep. Duncan Hunter to abandon 'not guilty' plea in campaign finance scandal After years of denials and claims he was the target of a political witch hunt, Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Alpine, is scheduled to appear in federal court Tuesday morning to change his plea of not guilty to charges stemming from a sweeping campaign finance investigation. © Nelvin C. Cepeda/The San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS Congressman Duncan Hunter arrives just outside of Federal Court late Monday morning with his attorney Paul Pfingst.

The Defense Department’s internal watchdog is investigating a $ 400 million border wall contract awarded to a firm that used multiple appearances on Fox News to push for the job. The Defense Department inspector general is reviewing a contract to build part of the southern border wall .

WASHINGTON - The Defence Department's internal watchdog is investigating a $ 400 million border wall contract awarded to a firm that used Trump ’s effort to push through funding, using money from the Pentagon after Congress refused to fund the wall has been met with resistance and lawsuits.

Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: Image: U.S. President Trump visits a section of the U.S.-Mexico border wall in Otay Mesa© Tom Brenner Image: U.S. President Trump visits a section of the U.S.-Mexico border wall in Otay Mesa

Officials feared Cramer was attempting to share proprietary information with Fisher so that they could make their bid more competitive. Cramer was a proponent of Fisher, a company from his home state, and had repeatedly made outreach on their behalf to the White House.

According to two U.S. officials, on a visit to the border early this year, Trump said he wanted the border wall to be two things: Cheap and good-looking. And Fisher had promised just that with its proposal of a concrete barrier for one-third of the cost of other bidders.

Fisher was officially awarded the contract on Dec. 2. The details of its winning design are not known. Fisher did not immediately respond to a request for comment about Thompson's request for a review.

Border agents have repeatedly said they want the ability to see through any barrier built along the border, and the concrete design Fisher originally proposed would not give them that ability. There was also doubt that Fisher has the ability to carry through the project, especially at the low cost it has estimated.

Homeland Security chief marks completion of 100 miles of 'new border wall' with plaque

  Homeland Security chief marks completion of 100 miles of 'new border wall' with plaque Top border officials, including Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf, are in Yuma to talk about the border wall.Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf toured the Yuma area on Friday morning, flanked by U.S. Sen. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., the Border Patrol's Yuma Sector Chief Anthony Porvaznik, and Yuma Mayor Doug Nicholls.

The company was awarded a contract Dec. 2 to build 31 miles of wall in Arizona, part of a series of contracts to push out increased mileage. Two administration officials familiar with the matter told The Associated Press this year that Trump aggressively pushed the Fisher firm 's bid with the heads

Pentagon Watchdog to Review Border - Wall Contract Awarded to Company Repeatedly Praised by Trump . Following a request from Democratic lawmakers, the Pentagon ’s watchdog will audit a recent Army Corps of Engineers decision to award a $ 400 million border - wall contract to a North

In the spring of 2018, when Trump first began telling his advisers he wanted Fisher to be awarded a contract, officials at DHS pushed back, according to two sources familiar with the discussions.

"We had to explain the rules of federal procurement. You can't just pick a winner," said a person familiar with the conversations about Fisher with Trump in 2018. "He thought he could get three times the amount of wall because they were offering it for one-third of the price. But we were dubious."

Eventually, Trump was assuaged by the Army Corps of Engineers officials who told him they would be sure Fisher was at least considered in the bidding process. Prior to the new contract, none of the contracts awarded for new or replacement wall had been given to Fisher. Recently, however, Fisher's name is back on the president's tongue and many of his allies, including his newly named acting DHS secretary.

Last month, Chad Wolf, Trump's news acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, toured a 3.5-mile wall under construction by Fisher on private land near El Paso, Texas. The construction of the "water wall," which runs adjacent to the Rio Grande, was funded by crowd-sourcing through a group called "We Build the Wall."

Gloria Chavez, chief of the Border Patrol's El Paso Sector, said that after We Build the Wall began building its barrier, "Everything changed for us, and we were able to manage the border enforcement actions there even better."

We Build the Wall is led by former Trump adviser Steve Bannon and Kris Kobach, the former Kansas secretary of state whose views had been considered too extreme to head Trump's Department of Homeland Security. Trump's son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner has also been a proponent of Fisher's and We Build the Wall in internal meetings, according to a former DHS official, a congressional aide and a U.S. official.

Mexico Breaks Up a Migrant Caravan, Pleasing White House .
MEXICO CITY — For generations, Mexico served as a relatively open thruway for undocumented migrants traveling to the United States. Tens of thousands crossed the country every year, mostly unimpeded by the Mexican authorities. But the Mexican government’s new hard-line posture on migration entered a new phase this week with its iron-fisted response to a large migrant caravan of Central Americans who sought to enter Mexico. The Mexican governmentBut the Mexican government’s new hard-line posture on migration entered a new phase this week with its iron-fisted response to a large migrant caravan of Central Americans who sought to enter Mexico.

usr: 1
This is interesting!