President Trump visits upstate New York

By Meg Wagner, Veronica Rocha and Brian Ries, CNN
4:57 p.m. ET, August 13, 2018
4:57 p.m. ET, August 13, 2018

Our live coverage has ended. Scroll through the posts below to see how the day unfolded.

3:35 p.m. ET, August 13, 2018

The defense authorization bill is named after John McCain — but Trump didn't mention him

From CNN's Betsy Klein

President Trump just signed the National Defense Authorization Act, named after Arizona Sen. John McCain, but the President never once mentioned McCain's name or thanked him.

“We would not be here for today’s signing ceremony without the dedicated efforts without the dedicated members of Congress who worked so hard to pass the National Defense Authorization Act,” said Trump while thanking service members and military leadership.

However, he did mention Rep. Elise Stefanik, who spoke briefly and represents the district containing Fort Drum, as well as Don Baker, Dan Donovan, Joe Wilson, and Martha McSally.

Why this matters: Trump has referenced McCain several times lately on the campaign trail without directly naming him, hitting the senator for his healthcare vote.

Trump, who did not serve in the military, has previously attacked McCain’s record of service, saying the Vietnam veteran and POW is “not a war hero” because he was captured.

McCain, who is the Senate Armed Services Committee chairman, spearheaded efforts for the bill in the Senate.

“I am particularly humbled that my colleagues chose to designate legislation of such importance in my name. Serving on the Senate Armed Services Committee has been an incredibly meaningful experience since my first days on Capitol Hill,” the ailing senator said in a press release when the bill was passed earlier this month.

3:27 p.m. ET, August 13, 2018

Trump: The US's adversaries are "weaponizing space"

President Trump, while speaking to troops in New York, mentioned his plans to create a sixth branch of the military called Space Force.

"In order to maintain America’s military supremacy, we must always be on the cutting edge. That is why we are also proudly reasserting America’s legacy of leadership in space," President Trump said.

Trump said the US's competitors and adversaries "have already begun weaponizing space" and they are "developing new technologies to disrupt vital communications."

"I have seen things that you don't even want to see what they are doing and how advanced they are," Trump said. "We will be catching them very shortly."

He continued: "We must have American dominance in space. And that is why just a few days ago the Vice President outlined my administration's plan to create a sixth branch of the United States military called the United States Space Force."

3:27 p.m. ET, August 13, 2018

Trump tells military he's proud of himself for not calling the media "fake news"

President Trump, speaking to a crowd of mostly military members who had assembled at Fort Drum for the signing of the National Defense Authorization Act, remarked that he was "so proud of myself" for not calling members of the press "fake news."

Trump's remark prompted a few in the crowd to chuckle.

"We have created almost four million new jobs since the election, a number that the media in the back would never have said would be possible if during the campaign," Trump said to applause.

He then added: "I'm so proud of myself. I didn't call them the fake news media. I didn't call them -- I said to myself, 'I will not today in front of our great armed forces call them fake news.' We know the real truth, but we won't say it today. But they wouldn't have believed it possible."

3:02 p.m. ET, August 13, 2018

Trump says defense authorization bill he's about to sign is military's biggest "in modern history"

President Trump, speaking to troops at Fort Drum in New York, said the National defense Authorization Act is "the most significant investment in our military and our war fighters in modern history."

He's at Fort Drum to sign the act.

"We are going to strengthen our military like never ever before. And that’s what we did," Trump said.

2:26 p.m. ET, August 13, 2018

President Trump just landed at Fort Drum

President Trump just landed on Air Force One at Fort Drum. He's there to sign a defense act and speak about military spending.

The President just tweeted this upon his arrival:

Here's footage of Trump's arrival in New York:

2:25 p.m. ET, August 13, 2018

Here's the scene awaiting Trump

Here's the scene inside Hangar 2060 at Fort Drum in upstate New York, where Trump is due to speak in just a few minutes.

That's the 10th Mountain Division's insignia you see in front of the helicopter and behind the bleachers, representing the light infantry division that calls the military base home.

2:19 p.m. ET, August 13, 2018

Trump's been on vacation. Here's what happened while he was away.

President Trump sits with the first lady and guests during a dinner with business leaders in Bedminster, New Jersey, on Tuesday.

President Trump wrapped up an 11-day working vacation at his New Jersey golf club today.

Here's a look at some of the things that happened while he was away from the White House.

  • The Manafort trial: Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is on trial. Prosecutors' goal is to connect the dots between the criminal charges against Manafort, and they're now close to wrapping up their case.
  • Ohio special election: Ohio voters went to the polls last week for a special election in for Ohio 12th Congressional District. Six days after the vote, it's still too close to call.
  • Vote tallying in Kansas: The Kansas Republican governor's race between Secretary of State Kris Kobach and incumbent Gov. Jeff Colyer remains in a dead heat — and Kobach says he'll recuse himself from his role overseeing the tallying.
  • GOP congressman indicted: Rep. Chris Collins of New York was charged with alleged securities fraud, wire fraud and making false statements to the FBI, the Justice Department announced Wednesday. He has since suspended his reelection campaign.
  • Omarosa went rogue: Omarosa Manigault Newman, a reality TV star who entered the White House as one of Trump's longest-serving associates, has turned on him. She wrote a tell-all book and evidently taped a few conversations.
1:30 p.m. ET, August 13, 2018

Why Trump's headed to Fort Drum, New York

President Trump left his Bedminster vacation for a busy day on the road Monday, first to Fort Drum, New York, where he will delivers remarks and signs the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act.

The NDAA was named in honor of Sen. John McCain, who viewed the yearly military spending bill as one of his top priorities.

We will see whether the President, who continues to hit the ailing senator at rallies over his thumbs-down healthcare vote, offers any words of gratitude or praise.

After the signing, Trump then makes a second stop in Utica, New York, to raise money for Rep. Claudia Tenney. Her district, New York's 22nd, is one of the most competitive House races in the country as Republicans try to hold on to the seat. It is currently rated a toss-up by CNN.

Both of his Utica events will be behind closed doors.

Trump then arrives back to the White House just after 8 p.m. tonight.