WASHINGTON — President Trump still intends to veto the veto-proof $740 billion annual defense spending bill passed by Congress last week, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Tuesday.

Trump is unhappy with two provisions renaming military bases honoring Confederate soldiers and slowing the withdrawal of troop levels in Afghanistan, McEnany told reporters in the White House briefing room.

The president also wanted a repeal of Section 230 liability protections for social media giants attached to the bill as part of his administration’s ongoing war with Twitter and Facebook over what he says is their anti-conservative bias.

“He still does plan to veto the NDAA [National Defense Authorization Act]. I don’t have a timeline for you on that but he does plan to veto it,” McEnany said.

“He wants to make every effort to protect our military men and women and will prioritize military funding and the big omnibus bill, but he also has other important priorities and, I should say, problems with the NDAA beyond just the absence of Section 230 repeal,” she said.

Congress overwhelming passed the defense bill with a veto-proof majority but the legislative session is in its final days, meaning Congress may not have time to override Trump’s veto.

Trump has until Dec. 23 to decide whether he wants to veto the annual bill or allow it to become law.

The president has railed against the renaming of US military bases which honor Confederate generals, such as Fort Bragg in North Carolina and Fort Hood in Texas, amid a nationwide reckoning on race.

Another provision would spike Trump’s plan to reduce troop levels from 4,500 to 2,500 by Jan. 15.

If the defense bill becomes law, it will require risk assessments before presidents can remove troops from Afghanistan, Germany and South Korea.

On Tuesday, McEnany also said the president’s “priority” was repealing Section 230 protections for big tech, telling reporters that companies like Twitter were allowing China to publish misinformation.

“By including a Section 230 repeal what you’re in effect allowing is Twitter to continue to not censor Chinese propaganda,” McEnany said, referring to several missives denying the coronavirus originated in Wuhan.

“The president’s priority is to ensure that that isn’t permitted.”



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