“This trade deficit has a lot of structural reasons behind it. It’s not just a simple game of numbers,” Cui said. “But still, we are ready to address the imbalance in trade. We are ready to take action to buy more American products and services.”
Cui said he is optimistic that a new trade pact will come to fruition if “both sides” of the negotiating table have the “political will” required to forge one.
“A good deal has to be made on the basis of mutual respect and mutual benefit,” he said. “China remains ready to continue our talks with our American colleagues to reach a conclusion.”
“We are still committed to whatever we agree to do,” Cui said. “It is the U.S. side that changes its mind so often.”
Baier also brought up the contrast between Trump’s comments about China’s role as an economic rival and those of former Vice President Joe Biden – the current Democratic 2020 front-runner.
Trump was addressing comments Biden made at a campaign stop in New Hampshire last week, where he said of China, “they’re not bad folks, folks, but guess what, they’re not competition for us.”
“First of all, we don’t want to have anything to do with American domestic politics,” Cui said. “Honestly, very often it’s almost impossible for us to make sense of it.”
Cui added that China’s aim is to “meet the growing aspirations of our people” and not to “seek global dominance or to compete with anybody else” to that extent.
Source: Fox News Politics
President Trump on Tuesday announced his intention to nominate Barbara Barrett, a former chairwoman of the nonprofit Aerospace Corporation and an Arizona business executive, to be the next secretary of the Air Force.
Trump tweeted out his choice of Barrett, 68, to serve as the military branch’s 25th secretary.
“She will be an outstanding Secretary! #FlyFightWin,” he tweeted.
If confirmed by the Senate, Barrett will succeed Secretary Heather Wilson, who is leaving at the end of the month to be president of the University of Texas at El Paso. Wilson frequently butted heads with the White House — and Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan — over Trump’s desire to create a Space Force as a sixth branch of the military.
“Great choice by @realDonaldTrump Ambassador Barrett is an accomplished leader with a heart for service,” Wilson tweeted in response to Trump’s announcement.
Republican Arizona Sen. Martha McSally praised Barrett’s nomination, saying her knowledge and expertise would “lead our Air Force into the future during a time of increased global threats.”
“I have confidence that Ambassador Barrett will lead the way in maintaining air and space dominance and continue to build upon the initiatives, leadership and example set forth by Secretary Heather Wilson,” McSally said in a news release.
Barrett was previously nominated to be Air Force secretary by President George W. Bush, but withdrew her name and was never confirmed. She later served under Bush as ambassador to Finland. She also served as the deputy administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and worked with the RAND Corporation and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
In 2009, she trained at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia, and Kazakhstan, and is certified for space travel, the Air Force Times reported.
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During a discussion on the issue, Juan Williams explained why he believes the president may view being impeached by the House as a positive heading into 2020.
“I think he wants to be impeached by the House because he will not be convicted by a Republican majority in the Senate and then he will say… ‘Oh you know, they beat me up but I’m still standing. They sent Mueller after me, I’m still standing. Now they impeach me, I’m still standing.’ Now he’s a victim for conservatives,” Williams said.
Co-host Greg Gutfeld agreed with Williams, saying he also believes Trump wants the House to bring impeachment proceedings against him, but said the president has different reasons for wanting so instead of making himself out to be a “victim”.
“It’s like that Tom Sawyer story where you trick the kid to painting the fence by exaggerating its therapeutic benefits,” Gutfeld said, implying that the president was manipulating Democrats.
Gutfeld argued that Trump wanted to add to his legacy.
“I don’t think it’s about victimization. It’s about… it’s folk hero status when you go after somebody. He has a great economy going. All of this good stuff is happening, peace and prosperity and you’re impeaching him? It’s going to turn him into Paul Bunyan.”
The discussion came after it was reported House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will hold a meeting Wednesday with House Democrats to discuss whether to move forward with impeachment proceedings.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., has called on House Democrats to “move forward” with impeaching President Trump, adding that if they fail to do so it could be viewed as a “politically motivated” decision.
The freshman New Yorker issued the call to arms to members of her party shortly after White House Counsel Don McGahn defied a subpoena and skipped a committee hearing at Trump’s direction.
The development comes one day after a senior House Democrat — speaking on the condition of anonymity — told Fox News that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi could soon be left with no choice but to embrace calls from some within her party to impeach Trump.
The official said, despite Pelosi’s repeated attempt to quell talk of impeaching the president, she “isn’t going to be able to hold off on impeachment much longer.”
“It is coming to a head,” the Democrat told Fox News, before predicting the mounting pressure from inside her own ranks could force Pelosi to change her position “within the next two weeks.”
The Democrat argued that “the vast majority of us are for impeachment.”
Pelosi denied any reports that a division was growing within the Democratic Party over impeachment.
Fox News’ Liam Quinn and Chad Pergram contributed to this report.
Source: Fox News Politics
Barrasso, the chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, made those remarks Tuesday on “Your World,” after Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., became the first Republican lawmaker to call for the president’s impeachment.
“He’s one man who has his own personal opinion,” Barrasso, R-Wyo., said of Amash.
“I have come to a very different opinion from reviewing the documents,” Barrasso told host Neil Cavuto. “No collusion. None. No conspiracy. None. To me, this is over, it’s beyond us.”
Cavuto noted that many in the GOP “came down like a ton of bricks” on Amash, who was also rebuked by Trump on Twitter.
“If the House of Representatives wants to do what they seem to want to do, which is travel the path to impeachment, let them,” Barrasso said. “There’s going to be no appetite for that in the United States Senate.”
Barrasso said that, while home in Wyoming over the weekend, he heard nothing from his constituents about the the impeachment debate.
Instead, he said Wyoming residents are concerned about maintaining a “strong, healthy economy” and preventing policies that would take them off their employer-sponsored health insurance plans.
Source: Fox News Politics
House Armed Services Committee member Michael Waltz, R-Fla., said Tuesday the Trump administration has told Iran that it will hold the country responsible for any attacks by proxies and that the United States is hoping to “deter war by showing strength.”
“I think what came across loud and clear is that we are going to deter war by showing strength. Iranians are emboldened by weakness and deferred by strength. The United States is showing strength and that’s the right policy,” Waltz said on “The Daily Briefing with Dana Perino.”
He had just attended a high-level, closed-door briefing on Iran.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Joe Dunford briefed lawmakers in the House and Senate in separate, closed-door sessions on the situation with Iran.
“Our biggest focus at this point is to prevent Iranian miscalculation,” Shanahan told reporters after the briefing. “We do not want the situation to escalate. This is about deterrence, not about war.”
Over the past several weeks the U.S. has sent an aircraft carrier and other resources to the Persian Gulf region, and evacuated nonessential personnel from Iraq, amid unspecified threats the administration says are linked to Iran.
Some lawmakers are concerned about war with Iran and the Trump administration’s actions.
Waltz, who stepped out of the briefing to talk to Perino, told her that the administration has made it a point to inform Congress about the situation and those actions are having an impact.
“This is the third briefing that I have received on this issue. So the notion that the administration hasn’t been informing Congress is misinformed, so a few things. One, the intelligence is well sourced and it’s multifaceted and corroborated. Two, it is very clear the sanctions are hurting the Iranian economy and they are looking to respond by, one, diverting their own populous attention from their internal struggles and to externalize that,” Waltz said.
Waltz also said Dunford informed Congress that the administration will hold Iran directly responsible for any proxies that attack Americans, something not done in the past.
“One thing I did learn today, General Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, personally sent a message to the head of the IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps) General Soleimani and said, we’re not going to hold your proxies responsible if Americans are attacked. We’re gonna hold Iran responsible and that is a shift from the past and very important,” Waltz said.
Fox News’ Alex Pappas contributed to this report.
Source: Fox News Politics
House GOP Chairman Kevin McCarthy is disputing five-term Congressman Justin Amash’s call for President Trump’s impeachment.
Joining a growing chorus of Republicans, McCarthy said Tuesday that Rep. Amash, D-Mich., was out of step with others in the Republican Party and with the American people.
On “Sunday Morning Futures” this past weekend he told Maria Bartiromo, “What he wants is attention in this process. He’s not a criminal attorney. He’s never met Mueller. He’s never met Barr. And now he’s coming forward with this?”
“It’s very disturbing,” McCarthy remarked. “This is exactly what you would expect from Justin. He never supported the president. And I think he’s just looking for attention.”
“Mr. Amash always has a different voting record than most of us, anyway,” McCarthy said to reporters on Tuesday.
In a series of tweets on Saturday, Amash said attempts to obstruct justice as outlined in special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election were “impeachable conduct.” He also accused Attorney General William Barr of misleading the public, prompting swift backlash from his fellow Party-members. Amash is the first Republican to call for President Trump’s impeachment.
“While impeachment should be undertaken only in extraordinary circumstances,” he tweeted, saying that unlike many of his colleagues he had read the Mueller report in full, “the risk we face in an environment of extreme partisanship is not that Congress will employ it as a remedy too often but rather that Congress will employ it so rarely that it cannot deter misconduct.”
Amash, who is a founding member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, told The Associated Press, “Their pressure doesn’t have influence on me. I really am not concerned about what Kevin McCarthy thinks about it.”
On Monday, the caucus voted to condemn Amash’s call for impeachment by a show of hands.
Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH), the top Republican on the House Oversight Committee and a former chairman of the Freedom Caucus, said that every member in attendance was unified in their opposition toward Amash’s comments. Jordan tweeted in response on Tuesday: “The @freedomcaucus is about FREEDOM. This isn’t not about Amash. It’s not even about the President. It’s about what Emmet Flood said: if the intel community can target the President for political reasons, imagine what they can do to any one of us.”
President Trump also fired back on Sunday, tweeting: “Never a fan of @justinamash, a total lightweight who opposes me and some of our great Republican ideas and policies just for the sake of getting his name out there through controversy.”
“If he actually read the biased Mueller Report, “composed” by 18 Angry Dems who hated Trump, he would see that it was nevertheless strong on NO COLLUSION and, ultimately, NO OBSTRUCTION…” said Trump. “Anyway, how do you Obstruct when there is no crime and, in fact, the crimes were committed by the other side? Justin is a loser who sadly plays right into our opponents (sic) hands!”
National GOP chairwoman Ronna McDaniel accused Amash of “parroting Democrats’ talking points on Russia.”
Closer to home, Michigan State representative Jim Lowe said that he would run for Amash’s seat in the Republican primary next year. While Michigan GOP chairwoman Laura Cox attacked Amash’s lack of loyalty tweeting, “Now, in a desperate attempt to grab headlines and advance his own presidential ambitions, Amash is peddling a narrative that has repeatedly been proven false. Shameful.”
Any moves on impeachment would be a formal charge by the House. The Senate would then hold a trial on whether to strip President Trump of his office. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is holding her increasingly restless caucus to a step-by-by process and say it would take more Republicans than just Amash and broad public sentiment to trigger impeachment proceedings.
Source: Fox News Politics
That’s the assessment made Tuesday by Senate Armed Services Committee member Tom Cotton on “Outnumbered Overtime.”
“There can be no doubt that we’ve seen serious, credible and increased reporting of threats from Iran across the Middle East – whether [from] their own forces like the Revolutionary Guard corps or through their proxies like the rebel groups they support in places like Yemen, or paramilitary forces in Iraq,” Sen. Cotton, R-Ark., said.
Cotton praised the Trump administration’s decision to move the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier to the region, calling it a “prudent” move intended to deter military action and not instigate it.
Citing the fact Iran or its proxies were blamed for attacks that damaged four commercial vessels off the coast of the United Arab Emirates last week, Cotton said that America’s actions in return are not ones “preparing for military operations” but instead meant to “deter Iran from making a grave miscalculation.”
“Iran is the adversary that started the escalation and there is not a question of intelligence assessments or estimates,” Cotton, an Army veteran and Bronze Star recipient, said.
“We shouldn’t forget that Iran is an outlaw regime,” Cotton said. “It is a revolutionary cause that has hijacked a nation-state.”
He added that Iran “has been waging a kind of low-level war against the U.S. for 40 years,” reminding host Harris Faulkner of the Reagan administration’s decision to “re-flag” oil tankers in the Persian Gulf to deter action by Iran in the late 1980s.
Source: Fox News Politics
Fox News Senior Analyst Brit Hume said on Tuesday that he believed President Trump was on strong ground after former White House counsel Don McGahn failed to appear for testimony before the House Judiciary Committee.
“Our subpoenas are not optional,” said House Judiciary Chairman Jerrod Nadler. Nadler promised that the panel will hear from McGahn “one way or another” and that the House Judiciary Committee would have no choice but to enforce the subpoena against him.
Earlier this month, House Democrats questioned an empty chair when Attorney General William Barr failed to appear, citing strange demands from Democrats.
However, Committee Ranking member Representative Doug Collins, R-Ga., rebuked Nadler’s position, calling the session a “circus.” Collins added that Democrats are “trying desperately to make something out of nothing” in the aftermath of the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report of findings in the Russia investigation.
On “America’s Newsroom,” Brit Hume told anchor Sandra Smith, “I think on this point that Nadler’s position may be weak on the law and some of these other assertions the president is making. For example, in regard to those financial records that a judge ordered turned over yesterday… I’m not sure the president is on such strong ground.
“But, on the McGahn testimony, I think he is. And, I think that’s sort of where we are. And, it will be interesting to see if Nadler tries to go to court. Because, if he does, I don’t think in the long run he will win,” he continued.
Hume pointed to the Watergate case as an example of where Nadler’s argument falters. “I’m not sure Nadler has got it right when he says that the Supreme Court has rejected such claims…In the Watergate case where it had to do with tapes of White House conversations, they were turned over to a criminal inquiry, not a congressional hearing and the court in that opinion recognized the existence of an executive privilege for the purpose of making sure that presidents get confidential advice from their senior advisors.”
“That is a privilege that has long been recognized and if a White House counsel is not a senior advisor, I don’t know who is,” he said.
During the hearing, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) added, “If I were the White House I would fight this effort because they made McGahn available to Mueller and Mueller, to me, was the guy that we all considered to be fair. The Mueller report is in. Don McGahn testified for thirty hours and what I see going on in the House is more political revenge than it is anything else.”
Hume reacted to Graham’s comments: “The reasoning behind that according to the White House lawyers was Mueller was a subordinate official of the Department of Justice and that’s part of the Executive Branch. So, to reveal something within the Executive Branch—which is what, in fact, McGahn was doing is one thing.
“To testify about his advice to the President before a separate branch of government is quite another. And, I don’t know that particular point had ever been adjudicated specifically, but perhaps, in this case, it will be. But, I think the President and his team at least have an argument that it is quite a different thing to bring somebody up before Congress than it is to testify to a Justice Department investigator.”
Chairman Nadler said the committee would vote to hold McGahn in contempt and take the issue to court. “We will not allow the President to stop this investigation,” said Nadler. A contempt vote is not expected until June.
Source: Fox News Politics
Former Vice President Joe Biden has what it takes to win back a key battleground state for the Democratic Party that President Trump took in 2016, according to ex-DNC Interim Chairwoman Donna Brazile.
Brazile, speaking during an interview on “America’s Newsroom” Tuesday, said Biden would be able to make up the less than one percentage point Trump won by in Pennsylvania over Hillary Clinton in 2016.
“Look, I think it’s going to be a close election across the country. But, Donald Trump won the state of Pennsylvania by less than 50,00 votes,” she said.
“Joe Biden will be able to make that up. But, not just Joe Biden—any one of the Democrats I think can be very competitive in the Keystone State.”
Brazile’s comments follow a fiery rally in Montoursville, Pennsylvania, Monday night where the president hit hard at Biden.
As he was ending his speech, Trump told a packed crowd, “Don’t forget: Biden deserted you. He’s not from Pennsylvania. I guess he was born here, but he left you, folks. He left you for another state. Remember that, please.”
Biden served as a Senator from Delaware for over 30 years but was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania.
“This guy talks about ‘I know Scranton,'” Trump said. “Well, I know the places better. He left you for another state and he didn’t take care of you.”
Brazile countered, “He’s well known in Pennsylvania and he’s not the forgotten son. He is the forgotten hero.”
A Quinnipiac University poll released last week shows Biden beating President Trump in a head-to-head matchup in Pennsylvania 53 to 42. Additionally, according to a report from Politico using what it said was the Trump campaign’s internal polling, Biden is also ahead in two more highly contested states: Wisconsin and Michigan.
However, both Biden and the president will face a packed debate stage in 2020 with 22 other Democratic candidates now in the running and a long road still ahead.
“The one thing you can give Joe Biden credit [for] is he understands the electorate and he wants to win,” said Brazile. “But, again, he has to get through the Democratic primary…Joe Biden has got to not only maintain his lead, but he has to expand his appeal to voters who might not be familiar with his record as well as voters who might want to see a different face in the White House in 2020.”
President Trump told his supporters, “When he announced he’s running for president, he said it’s because foreign leaders called him up and begged him to do it. Absolutely. Foreign countries liked him much better, that’s what they want.”
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A rapid-fire string of developments has congressional Democrats putting increased pressure on party brass to launch impeachment proceedings against President Trump, with one rank-and-file lawmaker reportedly saying the president is “raping the country” and others indicating it’s only a matter of time before leadership changes course on the politically fraught issue.
Amid the internal tensions, Speaker Nancy Pelosi called a special meeting of House Democrats for Wednesday morning, where the impeachment issue and other battles are expected to be discussed.
Prior meetings involving Pelosi and top Democrats held Monday evening escalated into heated exchanges, with the party torn over how to address Trump controversies — most recently, the decision to block the former White House counsel from testifying. Democratic leaders, who for the most part have not been publicly in favor of impeachment, are now finding it difficult to maintain their position as calls grow from the ranks to flip that switch.
A senior House Democrat told Fox News late Monday that Pelosi “isn’t going to be able to hold off on impeachment much longer,” and that the speaker may have to change her position “within the next two weeks.”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., while saying Pelosi is working to bring the party together, suggested Tuesday that politics are the main element preventing members from pressing ahead at this stage.
“Just as impeaching without cause could be construed, and is, politically motivated, choosing to not impeach when there is an abundance of cause could also be construed similarly,” she told reporters.
Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., reportedly confronted Pelosi during a Democratic Steering and Policy Committee meeting as he demanded the president’s impeachment. According to Politico, Cohen said that while former President Bill Clinton was impeached “over sex,” Trump was “raping the country.”
Cohen reportedly suggested Pelosi is worried about politics in her reluctance to proceed, but Pelosi countered, “This isn’t about politics at all. It’s about patriotism.”
Cohen is among the most outspoken Trump critics in Congress. He drew attention by eating fried chicken during a recent House Judiciary Committee hearing as a commentary on Attorney General Bill Barr’s refusal to testify. Cohen referred to the attorney general as “Chicken Barr,” despite Barr having testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee the previous day. Cohen has also called for the House to use its inherent contempt power to throw Barr in the Capitol jail.
But as House Democrats weigh contempt proceedings for Barr, another fight broke out Monday after former White House Counsel Don McGahn was instructed by the president’s team to defy a subpoena from the same committee. Democrats wanted him to testify regarding information he provided to the Special Counsel’s Office, but the White House directed him not to appear, with the Justice Department asserting he has immunity from testimony about his official duties.
“The Democrats do not like the conclusion of the Mueller investigation – no collusion, no conspiracy, and no obstruction – and want a wasteful and unnecessary do-over,” Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., said after a closed-door meeting with Pelosi that Trump is “making it very difficult to avoid” considering impeachment.
Pelosi insisted that her party remains united, saying Tuesday that she’s not feeling pressure from colleagues.
“There’s no divide,” she said a day earlier. “We’re fine. We’re good.”
Nadler, meanwhile, told CNN’s Chris Cuomo that he intends to hold McGahn in contempt of Congress for not complying with the subpoena. Nadler said the White House’s effort to keep McGahn from testifying was part of a pattern of “lawless behavior,” and Trump is “willing to go to any lengths to prevent testimony that might implicate him.”
Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., head of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, said Monday that McGahn’s failure to testify on Tuesday would be grounds for opening an impeachment inquiry.
In addition to fighting off Democratic efforts to have McGahn testify, the president is currently in the midst of legal battles over Democratic subpoenas for his personal records. He sued Deutsche Bank and Capitol One to block a subpoena for his banking records, and was also trying to keep documents from accounting firm Mazars USA away from Congress.
A judge ruled against Trump in the Mazars case on Monday, stating that the House Oversight Committee was entitled to view the documents. The main argument from the Trump administration has been that Democrats lack a legitimate legislative purpose for their inquiries, but Judge Amit Mehta ruled that the possibility of finding conflicts of interest in the administration or violations of the Constitution’s Foreign Emoluments Clause sufficed.
Pelosi touted Mehta’s ruling as a win, as well as a reason why impeachment is not necessary at this point.
“Today, we won our first case,” Pelosi reportedly said at the Steering and Policy Committee meeting. “We’ve been in this thing for almost five months and now we’re getting some results.”
Fox News’ Liam Quinn, Chad Pergram and Caroline McKee contributed to this report.
Source: Fox News Politics