Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said Thursday that his department is not trying to use the U.S. military to take over Texas, a fear some have raised in the wake of military exercises in that state.
A reporter asked Carter if those fears were accurate at all, and Carter answered with one word: "No."
Operation Jade Helm 15 is scheduled to run from July to September, and it will consist of various military exercises in other states as well, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah.
Those plans led Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) to say the National Guard would monitor U.S. troops, but the White House has also dismissed the idea that the exercises are a sign of a plan to overrun Texas or any other state.
"I have no idea what he’s thinking," White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters Wednesday.