Ted Cruz introduces legislation to speed up asylum decisions; keep families together

By: Renee Nal | New Zeal

Via abc news

Ted Cruz came up with legislation that will expedite asylum decisions and keep families together “absent aggravated criminal conduct or threat of harm to the children.” The Democrats want to return to “catch and release,” but Ted Cruz has a better idea.

From a press release:

“The answer is not what congressional Democrats are proposing: simply releasing illegal aliens and returning to the failed policy of ‘catch and release.’ Rather, we should fix the backlog in immigration cases, remove the legal barriers to swift processing, and resolve asylum cases on an expedited basis.

“While these cases are pending, families should stay together. Children belong with their mothers and fathers. Once their cases have been adjudicated – under my legislation, in no longer than 14 days – those who meet the legal standard should be granted asylum and those who don’t should be immediately returned to their home country.

Summed up at the National Review, here are the key provisions:

  • Double the number of federal immigration judges, from roughly 375 to 750.
  • Authorize new temporary shelters, with accommodations to keep families together.
  • Mandate that illegal immigrant families must be kept together, absent aggravated criminal conduct or threat of harm to the children.
  • Provide for expedited processing and review of asylum cases, so that—within 14 days—those who meet the legal standards will be granted asylum, and those who do not will be immediately returned to their home countries.

Watch Ted Cruz explain the legislation:

This is a “quick fix” to solve an immediate problem. The Democrats will hate it because they don’t care about kids, they care about their agenda. They will find a way to say no to this legislation, but hopefully their constituents will shame them into supporting it. This author suspects that the Democrats care more about hurting President Trump than they do about solving this problem, just like Bill Maher said he was willing to let people suffer in a bad economy if it would hurt President Trump.

For his part, Cruz’s Democratic opponent in his upcoming senate race, U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke of El Paso, “led a march” in Tornillo, outside of El Paso.


West Point Grad Officially Discharged From The Army: ‘Communism Will Win’

By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton

Remember Spenser Rapone? He’s the commie West Point cadet who did a selfie for Twitter with pictures at his graduation. In one instance, the smirking cadet opens his dress uniform to expose a T-shirt with a blood-red image of socialist icon Che Guevara imprinted on it. In another, he raises his fist and flips over his cap to reveal the hand-scrawled message: “Communism will win.” Wrong, it won’t and that politically revolutionary leaning of his has just gotten him the boot from the Academy. It should have happened a long time ago. This is the jerk who called Defense Secretary James Mattis “the most vile, evil f**k in the current administration.” He’s obviously not a fan of the Trump administration.

It took almost a year for comrade Rapone to get ejected from West Point. It all started with those images which got him death threats and stirred up a social media firestorm. The second lieutenant who became known as the “commie cadet” is officially out of the US Army with an other-than-honorable discharge. He deserved much worse than that in my book. How the hell did he get into West Point in the first place? His commanding officers at Fort Drum’s 10th Mountain Division accepted Rapone’s resignation Monday after an earlier reprimand for “conduct unbecoming of an officer.”

This dirt bag went online and advocated for a socialist revolution, while disparaging high-ranking officers and US officials. The Army’s official take on this mess is that they conducted a full investigation and “appropriate action was taken.” Not even close guys. And he’s laughing at them. An unrepentant Rapone summed up the fallout in yet another tweet Monday that showed him extending a middle finger at a sign at the entrance to Fort Drum, accompanied by the words, “One final salute.” “I consider myself a revolutionary socialist,” the 26 year-old Rapone told the Associated Press in a series of interviews. “I would encourage all soldiers who have a conscience to lay down their arms and join me and so many others who are willing to stop serving the agents of imperialism and join us in a revolutionary movement.”

Rapone either lied when applying to West Point or had some kind of immediate change of heart. I’m betting the former. The guy is an out and out commie and a traitor. He’s proud of it. There is no excuse for it taking a whole year to sack this guy. None at all. Rapone claims his belief in communism grew out of his experiences as an Army Ranger in Afghanistan before he was accepted into the US Military Academy. Which means he lied to get into West Point, because they do a pre-entrance interview with their cadets. And those views only hardened during his studies of history as one of the academy’s “Long Gray Line.”

He only decided to air the offensive pics last September. He actually graduated in May of 2016. I can’t believe the other cadets did not turn him in when they saw what he was doing. Rapone finally tweeted the pics to show his solidarity with NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who at the time was taking heat for kneeling for the National Anthem to raise awareness of alleged racism and police brutality. The communism angle should have been grounds for immediate expulsion. Shortly after that, Rapone took to social media to express his deep thoughts on “white supremacy,” “racism” and the Capitalist state and eventually on Sec. Mattis and VP Pence.

West Point released a statement after Rapone posted the photos, saying his actions “in no way reflect the values of the US Military Academy or the US Army.” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) called on the secretary of the Army to remove Rapone from the officer ranks. Good for him. “While in uniform, Spenser Rapone advocated for communism and political violence, and expressed support and sympathy for enemies of the United States,” Rubio said Monday, adding, “I’m glad to see that they have given him an ‘other-than-honorable’ discharge.”

Rapone comes from a large family of six children. He grew up in New Castle, Pennsylvania. He said he applied to West Point, which is tuition-free, because he couldn’t afford college. He was nominated out of high school by then-US Rep. Jason Altmire in 2010. He’s of course a Democrat. Wonder if he regrets the nomination… probably not. “He was an honors student, an athlete, a model citizen who volunteered in the community,” recalled Altmire. “During the interview, he expressed patriotism and looked just like a top-notch candidate. There were no red flags of any kind.” Perhaps one of the questions should have been, “Are you now or have you ever been a communist?” Just sayin’.

Rapone wasn’t accepted to West Point at that point, so he enlisted in the Army. He was deployed to Afghanistan in 2011 and was assigned as an assistant machine gunner in Khost Province. “We were bullies in one of the poorest countries on Earth,” Rapone said. “We have one of the most technologically advanced militaries of all time and all we were doing is brutalizing and invading and terrorizing a population that had nothing to do with what the United States claimed was a threat.” That’s such a freaking lie. I would never trust this asshat to have my back in a battle. He’s a treacherous coward.

Toward the end of his deployment, Rapone learned West Point fulfills a certain quota of enlisted soldiers every year. Despite his growing disillusionment with the military, he applied and got in. I suspect he now wanted in to cause chaos and havoc, which he did. “I was still idealistic,” he said.” I figured maybe I could change things from inside.” Which is another way of saying he wanted to convert other cadets into comrades just as I said. This guy not only hearts Marx, he finds inspiration in the writings of Stan Goff, a retired Special Forces master sergeant who became a socialist anti-war activist. I consider him an enemy of the state.

Rapone was written up by a West Point history professor after he saw his online postings. The professor said they were “red flags that cannot be ignored.” Ya think? Rapone was disciplined, but was still allowed to graduate.

Greg Rinckey, an attorney specializing in military law, said it’s rare for an officer out of West Point to receive an other-than-honorable discharge. He also said that it’s possible the military academy could seek repayment of the cost of Rapone’s education because he didn’t serve the full five-year service required upon graduation. “I knew there could be repercussions,” said Rapone, who is scheduled to speak at a socialism conference in Chicago next month. “Of course my military career is dead in the water. On the other hand, many people reached out and showed me support. There are a lot of veterans both active duty and not that feel like I do.” That should scare the hell out of Americans. Communists in the American military should just not be allowed – they are the antithesis of American honor and freedom. Good riddance to commie cadet Rapone.


U.S. to Withdraw from UN Human Rights Council

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

  • Haley has said panel wages ‘pathological’ anti-Israel campaign
  • U.K.’s Johnson has said council is flawed but has value

The Trump administration plans to announce its withdrawal from the United Nations Human Rights Council on Tuesday, making good on a pledge to leave a body it has long accused of hypocrisy and criticized as biased against Israel, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley plan to announce the withdrawal at the State Department in Washington at 5 p.m., the people said. They asked not to be identified discussing a decision that hadn’t yet been made public.

The 47-member council, based in Geneva and created in 2006, began its latest session on Monday with a broadside against President Donald Trump’s immigration policy by the UN’s high commissioner for human rights. He called the policy of separating children from parents crossing the southern border illegally “unconscionable.”

The U.S. withdrawal had been expected. National Security Adviser John Bolton opposed the body’s creation when he was U.S. ambassador to the UN in 2006. In a speech to the council last year, Haley called out the body for what she said was its “relentless, pathological campaign” against Israel. She has also called for ways to expel members of the council that have poor human rights records themselves.

Won’t ‘Sit Quietly’

“For our part, the United States will not sit quietly while this body, supposedly dedicated to human rights, continues to damage the cause of human rights,” Haley said at the time. “In the end, no speech and no structural reforms will save the members of the Human Rights Council from themselves.”

A State Department spokeswoman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment, while the UN said it hadn’t received a notification that the U.S. was withdrawing.

The move comes as the Trump administration is under intense criticism from business groups, human rights organizations and lawmakers from both parties over its recently imposed decision to separate children from parents who enter the U.S. illegally.

Even some critics of the human rights council have called for continuing to push for a revamping of the body rather than quitting it.

On the opening day of the council’s current session, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson criticized the body’s perennial agenda item dedicated to Israel and the Palestinian territories, calling it “damaging to the cause of peace.” Nonetheless, he said the U.K. wasn’t “blind to the value of this council.”

The council is scheduled to discuss Israel and the Palestinian territories on July 2, according to its agenda.

*** Sheesh, judged by the company you keep eh? As a reminder, GW Bush removed the United States and Barack Obama reversed that.

Current Membership of the Human Rights Council, 1 January – 31 December 2018


Afghanistan 2020
Angola 2020
Australia 2020
Belgium 2018
Brazil 2019
Burundi 2018
Chile 2020
China 2019
Côte d’Ivoire 2018
Croatia 2019
Cuba 2019
Democratic Republic of the Congo 2020
Ecuador 2018
Egypt 2019
Ethiopia 2018
Georgia 2018
Germany 2018
Hungary 2019
Iraq 2019
Japan 2019
Kenya 2018
Kyrgyzstan 2018
Mexico 2020
Mongolia 2018
Nepal 2020
Nigeria 2020
Pakistan 2020
Panama 2018
Peru 2020
Philippines 2018
Qatar 2020
Republic of Korea 2018
Rwanda 2019
Saudi Arabia 2019
Senegal 2020
Slovakia 2020
Slovenia 2018
South Africa 2019
Spain 2020
Switzerland 2018
Togo 2018
Tunisia 2019
Ukraine 2020
United Arab Emirates 2018
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 2019
United States of America 2019
Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of) 2018


How About the Chinese Interfering with Voting in America?

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

The super PAC Women Vote got a $5.4 million contribution in the form of stock in Chinese tech company Baidu (notice the date too, seems like foreign interference to me).

In 2016, Women Vote raised almost $38 million and spent just over that. In 2018, they are in the $5 million range, so they need some help right? The political action committee, Women Vote was launched by Emily’s List. Ellen Malcolm is the Founder and Chairman of the Board of Emily’s List and her operation(s) are comprised of top leaders, entrepreneurs and activists committed to pro-choice democratic women according to the website. Another Board member is Lisa Jackson. You remember her right? She was head of the EPA during the Obama administration that too used an alias and non-government emails to conduct official government business. Another Board member is Laura Ricketts. She is the owner of the Chicago Cubs and is a member of the Democratic National Committee’s Executive Committee and was the co-chair of the DNC Finance Committee’s LGBT Leadership Council. Add in Maria Teresa Kumar. She is the founding President and CEO of VOTO Latino. She also serves on the Board of Planned Parenthood, the Latino Leaders Network.

Heck there are many progressive liberals on the Board of Emily’s List. Travel over to the site and check it out.

If you have had some weird messages as a Skype user from Baidu… here is the deal. It is a Chinese multinational technology company. Baidu is a top developer of Artificial Intelligence and highly aligned with China president Xi Jinping. What is interesting is Baidu is under a holding company based in the Cayman Islands. The company is also traded on NASDAQ.

According to Wikipedia, there is some shady history with Baidu.

Domain name redirection attack

On January 12, 2010, Baidu.com’s DNS records in the United States were altered such that browsers to baidu.com were redirected to a website purporting to be the Iranian Cyber Army, thought to be behind the attack on Twitter during the 2009 Iranian election protests, making the proper site unusable for four hours.[23] Internet users were met with a page saying “This site has been attacked by Iranian Cyber Army“.[24] Chinese hackers later responded by attacking Iranian websites and leaving messages.[25] Baidu later launched legal action against Register.com for gross negligence after it was revealed that Register.com’s technical support staff changed the email address for Baidu.com on the request of an unnamed individual, despite failing security verification procedures. Once the address had been changed, the individual was able to use the forgotten password feature to have Baidu’s domain passwords sent directly to them, allowing them to accomplish the domain hijacking.[26][27]

Baidu workers arrested

On August 6, 2012, the BBC reported that three employees of Baidu were arrested on suspicion that they accepted bribes. The bribes were allegedly paid for deleting posts from the forum service. Four people were fired in connection with these arrests.[28]

91 Wireless acquisition

On July 16, 2013, Baidu announced its intention to purchase 91 Wireless from NetDragon. 91 Wireless is best known for its app store, but it has been reported that the app store faces piracy and other legal issues.[29] On August 14, 2013, Baidu announced that its wholly owned subsidiary Baidu (Hong Kong) Limited has signed a definitive merger agreement to acquire 91 Wireless Web-soft Limited from NetDragon Web-soft Inc.[30] for 1.85 billion dollars in what was reported to be the biggest deal ever in China’s IT sector.[31]

There is more like the death of a student from cancer while working at headquarters.

Pretty weird that a Chinese tech company is getting involved with women voting and a political action committee right?


China is Detaining Many Americans, Release?

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

One has to wonder why Obama, Hillary or John Kerry did not work for their release.

In 2015, the Obama administration issued a warning to China to call off security agents working in the United States as part of Operation Fox Hunt. The agents were pressuring expatriate Chinese, including some wanted on corruption charges.

According to the state-run Xinhua news agency, Operation Fox Hunt has nabbed 2,566 fugitives who fled overseas in 90 countries to avoid Chinese authorities.

A total of 1,283 were convinced to return or turned themselves in, including 410 Communist Party members or official staff.

A hunt for China’s 100 most-wanted fugitives has resulted in the return of 39 people under a program called Sky Net.

China asked Obama more than once to return key Chinese individuals located in the United States to China. In most cases, Obama said no. Meanwhile, China is holding Americans and it seems their release continues to be the subject of discussions.

Related reading: Operation Fox Hunt: China Arrests 288 Financial Fugitives Abroad As Part Of Anti-Corruption Campaign

The Daily Beast reports:

In its ongoing campaign to extend its reach beyond its borders, the Chinese government has found a new form of leverage: American citizens in China.

Last year, Beijing prevented several U.S. citizens from leaving China, including a pregnant woman, according to email correspondence obtained by The Daily Beast. The total number of so-called exit bans placed on U.S. citizens in China is unknown, but at least two dozen cases have occurred within the past two years, according to one analyst’s estimate.

Chinese authorities typically target U.S. citizens of Chinese heritage for exit bans, usually in connection with an investigation. Sometimes, Beijing uses American citizens to try to coerce family members residing in the United States to return to China or to cooperate with Chinese authorities in investigations.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has championed a sweeping anti-corruption campaign with an international element, known as “Operation Fox Hunt,” aimed at pursuing Chinese citizens who have fled abroad after allegedly committing economic crimes. The United States does not have an extradition treaty with China and in the past has rarely cooperated with Chinese demands to repatriate Chinese citizens whom Beijing considers to be fugitives. Beijing has previously deployed undercover agents to the United States to coerce targets into returning to China, violating U.S. visa laws and prompting U.S. government indignation.

Now the People’s Republic seems to have found another lever of pressure. If one of Beijing’s targets living in the United States has relatives in China, Chinese authorities aren’t shy about applying pressure to those relatives, even if they are U.S. citizens. Exit bans are a “pretty new tool in the Chinese toolbox” for exerting such pressure, said John Kamm, founder of the U.S. nonprofit Dui Hua Foundation, which works on sensitive human rights cases in China.

“That individual might be treated as a material witness,” said Kamm. “Or that individual might be in effect being held as a hostage in an effort to get the people back.”

The Trump administration has pushed back quietly but firmly against exit bans. For example, in the lead-up to the first U.S.-China Law Enforcement and Cybersecurity Dialogue, held in Washington, D.C., in October 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions pushed for China to allow the free travel of three U.S. citizens who had been prevented from leaving China, including a pregnant woman, according to emails reviewed by The Daily Beast.

“Both sides will continue to cooperate to prevent each country from becoming a safe haven for fugitives and will identify viable fugitive cases for cooperation,” reads the U.S.-China joint statement released on Oct. 6, after the dialogue concluded. “Both sides commit to take actions involving fugitives only on the basis of respect for each other’s sovereignty and laws.”

It’s a delicate balancing act for an administration that also wishes to deport Chinese citizens who are in the United States illegally. In the past, China has often refused to accept deportations, leaving the United States with a large number of Chinese asylum seekers with final deportation orders. In 2015, Beijing’s refusal to accept deportees began to coincide with its push to repatriate fugitives it claimed were guilty of corruption. The Obama administration signed a memorandum of understanding with China to help expedite the deportation process, but remained reluctant to agree to Chinese demands to extradite fugitives.

Human rights groups have warned that fugitives may face torture or death back in China, also expressing concerns that Beijing might use trumped-up corruption charges to get their hands on troublesome political dissidents abroad.

The Department of Justice did not respond to emailed questions. The National Security Council did not respond to a request for comment.

The State Department declined to comment regarding the fate of those three U.S. citizens, citing privacy concerns, but a State Department spokesperson said that the U.S. government had not agreed to repatriate any Chinese citizen due to pressure from exit bans. More here.


Bin Qumu of Benghazi Attack Captured in Libya

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

Bin Qumu was in Afghanistan in the 80’s, then Sudan in the 90’s and back to Libya and Afghanistan and back to Libya. In 2011, he was working to overthrow Qaddafi, which is precisely what Hillary was trying to do. Heck, the Hillary operation hired bin Qumu. For an interesting read, click here to read his GITMO file. That pesky left wing radical law group, The Center for Constitutional Rights, that represented several GITMO detainees, published a statement in 2011 that bin Qumu was a harmless man.

Osama Bin Laden’s driver who was linked to 2012 Benghazi attack that killed a US diplomat ‘is captured in Libya’, 11 years after he was released from Guantanamo

  • Reports: Libya National Army have captured a ‘high-ranking al-Qaeda’ operative
  • Suspect found in Derna is named as Ansar al-Sharia leader Abu Sufian Bin Qumu
  • Bin Qumu was once personal driver to al-Qaeda founder Osama Bin Laden
  • He has links to the diplomatic compound attack by gunmen that killed US envoy Chris Stevens and three other Americans in Benghazi in 2012

Reports have emerged that the Libyan army has arrested Abu Sufian Bin Qumu, a leader of an Islamist militia group and former driver of Osama Bin Laden.

He was reportedly captured in raids in ‘one of the last strongholds’ of extremist groups in Derna.

Bin Qumu had purported links to attacks in Benghazi that killed US diplomat Chris Stevens in 2012.

It is believed Bin Qumu was arrested after his group ran out of ammunition at a hideout in Derna, according to Al Arabiya.

The 59-year-old is considered a high-ranking operative of al-Qaeda based on his associations with the terrorist group around the time it was founded.

He was said to be the personal driver to Osama Bin Laden in Sudan where the al-Qaeda leader lived for three years during the 1990s. But Bin Qumu denies this.

Washington Post reported he fought alongside the Taliban against US forces in Afghanistan before he was detained at Guantanamo Bay after being captured in Pakistan.

The US military characterised him as a ‘medium to high’ risk to national security while he was in US custody and he refused to cooperate with authorities and explain his past associations with Islamic extremists.

He was extradited to Libya in 2007 where he served jail time before being released by Muammar Gaddafi.

Bin Qama returned to Derna to establish the Ansar al-Sharia extremist group, who advocate the implementation of Sharia law across Syria.

It was also suggested by Washington Post that the Islamic faction’s militiamen were present during the Benghazi attacks in 2012.

Last year, Ahmed Abu Khattala was on trial in the US capital as the suspected mastermind of the attacks on a diplomatic compound in the Libyan city that killed four Americans.

It resulted in the death of Chris Stevens — the first US Ambassador killed by violence overseas since 1979.

Al Arabiya said Bin Qama, despite being a leader of Ansar al-Sharia, no longer played a prominent role in the group.

He is set to be questioned by the Libyan National Army according to reports.


Ted Cruz: ‘I am not remotely afraid to debate left-wing socialists’

By: Renee Nal | New Zeal

Senator Ted Cruz beats Jimmy Kimmel in charity basketball game

Senator Ted Cruz made a great statement that is not getting much attention, so we thought we would highlight it here. In the wake of defeating Jimmy Kimmel in a charity basketball game (11-9), Cruz told Texas Tribune political correspondent Patrick Svitek that he is “not remotely afraid to debate left-wing socialists,” presumably speaking of his Senate opponent Beto O’Rourke:

Beto O’Rourke is not a socialist, at least not openly, but he has been spotted with socialists like DSA Austin Member at Large Monica Olvera and Democratic Socialists of America supporter Sean Omar Rivera. Additionally, Austin Democratic Socialists of America member David Hamilton wrote that DSA has “some standing” with reps Lloyd Doggett and Beto O’Rourke.

Consider that a branch of America’s largest Marxist organization, the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), tweeted about Beto O’Rourke:

How many DSA members were in the crowd?

DSA Austin Member at Large Monica Olivera with Beto O’Rourke

The Austin DSA website explains:

“With so many facing the pain inflicted by a capitalist system with gross inequalities of wealth and power, we choose to fight for a socialist alternative.”

Evidently, Monica Olivera is not a fan of “Eurocentrics” who “continue to benefit from exploitation colonialism.” She also wants her Twitter followers to know:

“Screw those people who believe all lives matter. Only people born with and ignorant to their privilege believe all lives matter.” -DSA Austin Member at Large Monica Olivera

Somehow, this author does not envision Senator Ted Cruz hanging out with that lady.

Sean Omar Rivera is also not enamored with America’s system of governance, opting instead of a system that has resulted in the murder and starvation of millions of people.

Sean Omar Rivera (far right)

According to his Twitter feed, Sean is really into registering voters. Here is one example:

According to the previously-mentioned DSA member David Hamilton:

“I have always thought it to be tactically ridiculous to call utter lackeys of the capitalist class and try to sway them with reason. If you want to have any effect, call a representative with whom you have some standing – like Lloyd Dogggett or Beto O’Rourke. They don’t automatically vote as we would wish and they care (somewhat) about what we think.”

DSA Member David Hamilton says Beto O’Rourke has “some standing” with America’s largest Marxist group: Democratic Socialists of America

So Beto is hanging out with Marxists. In Beto’s defense, the line between “democrat” and “socialist” is virtually indistinguishable these days. If there was a proper debate, with a decent moderator, it would be a great question to ask the Senate candidate: “What, exactly, is the difference between a socialist and a democrat?”


Here Comes a 6th Branch of the Military, Space Force

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

Getty Images

It has been a concept that has been floated for several months. The Pentagon and the Air Force are actually asking for this. The United States is vulnerable in this frontier which is but one reason for Space X. Consider what is in space: navigation, guided missiles, warning systems and satellites for drones, naval ships, communications and more.

Russia and China are increasing their space operations and General John Hyten of U.S. Strategic Command has warned of the vulnerabilities for quite some time. China and Russia both have laser weapons designed to damage our systems. Boeing, Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin as well as Raytheon are poised to be recipients of Pentagon dollars and the future programs.

Steve Isakowitz, CEO of The Aerospace Corporation says ‘we are approaching a point where Star Wars is not just a movie.’

Seems, Ronald Reagan had great vision. And in 2001, former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld also expressed significant concerns on space systems being attacked by an adversarial country. Read more here.

As part of the National Defense Strategy, the Air Force asked for an 8% increase in space funding. Watch out too, as Boeing and Apple are examining the option of building a parallel Internet in space.

President Donald Trump announced Monday that he is directing the Department of Defense to create a new “space force” to become the sixth branch of the U.S. military.

“My administration is reclaiming America’s heritage as the world’s greatest spacefaring nation,” Trump said at a meeting of the National Space Council, with Vice President Mike Pence standing by him. “The essence of the American character is to explore new horizons and to tame new frontiers, but our destiny beyond the Earth is not only a matter of national identity but a matter of national security, so important for our military.”

“When it comes to defending America, it is not enough to merely have an American presence in space; we must have American dominance in space, so important,” Trump said. “Very importantly, I am hereby directing the Department of Defense and Pentagon to immediately begin the process necessary to establish a space force as the sixth branch of the Armed Forces.”

Trump said the Air Force and future Space Force would be “separate, but equal.”

Trump ordered Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to begin implementing the directive.

Trump has previously spoken about creating a space force, but this is the first concrete move, at least publicly, in that direction. The Air Force is currently responsible for space warfare, with the Air Force Space Command in charge of operating and protecting military satellites.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is responsible for the country’s civilian space program. Budget cuts in recent have resulted in fewer Americans going into space, leading some observers to call for the U.S. to explore space in a way not done since before the space shuttle came into existence.