Pentagon Stops Calling Trump's Border Deployment 'Operation Faithful Patriot' Day After Election

The Pentagon has stopped calling the Trump administration's deployment of thousands of troops to the southern border "Operation Faithful Patriot," opting to refer to it as "support to Customs and Border protection" instead. 

The revelation of the name change of the deployment, in which more than 7,000 active duty troops will be sent to the southern border in anticipation of the arrival of caravans of Central American migrants, came to light a day after Tuesday's midterm elections.

Department of Defence spokesman Tom Crosson told Newsweek that "in order to provide more context to the mission on the Southwest border, we are simply describing the mission in everyday terms, support to Customs and Border Protection."

GettyImages-1058416618 U.S. Army troops enter a compound where the military is erecting an encampment near the U.S.-Mexico border crossing at Donna, Texas, on November 6. The Department of Defense has reportedly stopped calling the deployment 'Operation Faithful Patriot.' ANDREW CULLEN/AFP/Getty

While Army Lieutenant Colonel Jamie Davis told The Hill on Wednesday that the name change had been effective for "a couple of days," the fact that the "Operation Faithful Patriot" label had been dropped only emerged a day after the midterm elections, with The Wall Street Journal, which first reported on the development, reporting that the decision to drop the original name came from Defense Secretary James Mattis's office.

It came after the Trump administration faced widespread accusations of using the plight of thousands of Central American migrants hoping to claim asylum in the U.S. to stoke immigration fears and distract voters in the lead-up to the midterm elections. 

President Donald Trump has vehemently denied those allegations, defending his calling the migrants' journey toward the U.S. an "invasion" and asserting on Wednesday that he was happy for migrants to come to this country so long as they did so legally.

Mattis also defended the deployment last week and rejected accusations that it was a "political stunt," adding that his department did not "do stunts." 

Still, multiple Pentagon sources with knowledge of the directive have told Newsweek that many senior-level Department of Defense officers believed the move was both politically motivated and a waste of resources.

This past week, military soldiers could be been seen assisting border enforcement with certain tasks, including stringing barbed wire near a port of entry at Donna, Texas, as their presence at the border appeared to expand with the construction of a military camp in the same area.

This article has been updated with a statement from the U.S. Department of Defence. 

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