Donald Trump

FILE PHOTO - Former Virginia Attorney General Cuccinelli speaks at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames
FILE PHOTO – Former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli speaks at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa August 9, 2014. REUTERS/Brian Frank?

May 24, 2019

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump will pick former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli as the head of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the Washington Post reported on Friday.

Cuccinelli will replace L. Francis Cissna as the head of the agency, which manages the country’s legal immigration system. Cissna told staff in a farewell letter on Friday he had resigned at the president’s request, effective June 1, a USCIS official said.

The White House is still figuring out what exactly Cuccinelli will be doing in his new role, the Post reported. A White House official did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

As Virginia’s attorney general and a state senator, Cuccinelli developed a reputation as a hardliner.

In Virginia, he called for denying citizenship to U.S.-born children if their parents are in the country illegally, introduced a proposal barring unemployment benefits to people who were fired from jobs for not speaking English and authorized law enforcement officials to investigate the immigration status of anyone they stopped.

Cuccinelli will likely face a pitched battle for the Senate approval of his nomination, though it is controlled by Trump’s Republican party.

Cuccinelli heads a political group that has clashed with Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, who has vowed to block Cuccinelli from being confirmed for any administration position, according to media reports.

He is also unlikely to receive much support from Senate Democrats.

In April, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen announced her departure from the Trump administration, raising the specter of more firings of senior immigration officials.

Trump is seeking to overhaul the U.S. immigration system and has sought to crack down on illegal immigrants, but has been largely unable to enact the sweeping changes he has sought.

Cuccinelli met with Trump on Monday and was expected to be picked for an immigration policy position by the president.

(Reporting by Makini Brice, Yeganeh Torbati and Roberta Rampton in Washington; Editing by Matthew Lewis)

Source: OANN

Spread the love

WASHINGTON – The U.S. will bolster its military presence in the Middle East with an additional 1,500 troops, President Donald Trump said Friday amid heightened tensions with Iran.

Trump said the troops would have a “mostly protective” role as part of a build-up that began this month in response to what the U.S said was a threat from Iran without providing details or evidence.

“We are going to be sending a relatively small number of troops, mostly protective,” the president told reporters at the White House before setting off on a trip to Japan. “Some very talented people are going to the Middle East right now and we’ll see what happens.”

Trump has in recent weeks alternated between tough talk toward Iran and a more conciliatory message, insisting he is open to negotiations with the Islamic Republic. He seemed to downplay the prospect of conflict when he spoke at the White House.

“Right now, I don’t think Iran wants to fight and I certainly don’t think they want to fight with us,” he said.

The administration notified Congress earlier in the day about the troop plans.

The forces would number “roughly” 1,500 and would deploy in the coming weeks, “with their primary responsibilities and activities being defensive in nature,” according to a copy of the notification obtained by The Associated Press.

Their mission would include protecting U.S. forces already in the region and ensuring freedom of navigation, the notification said.

Earlier this week, officials said Pentagon planners had outlined proposals that could have sent up to 10,000 military reinforcements to the region. Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan later said planners hadn’t settled on a figure.

Read More:
https://www.foxnews.com/us/trump-sends-1500-troops-to-middle-east-amid-iran-tensions

Image Credit: Getty Images

Source: The Washington Pundit

TEARFUL Theresa May today finally admitted her time was up and quit as Prime Minister insisting: “I’ve done my best”.

The PM was forced to resign after she failed to deliver Brexit and lost the support of her own MPs – but will continue in office as a lame duck until July.

 The PM broke down with emotion as she announced her resignation

Reuters

The PM broke down with emotion as she announced her resignation
 Mrs May could barely complete her speech on the steps of Downing Street

Dan Charity – The Sun

Mrs May could barely complete her speech on the steps of Downing Street
 The PM delivering her resignation statement

Reuters

The PM delivering her resignation statement
 Mrs May walking back into No10 after resigning

PA:Press Association

Mrs May walking back into No10 after resigning
 Philip May watching on as his wife speaks

AFP or licensors

Philip May watching on as his wife speaks

Shortly after meeting Tory “executioner” Sir Graham Brady, she addressed the nation in the spring sunshine of Downing Street – watched by adoring husband Philip – and admitted her time is up.

The PM confessed she now has no chance of ever getting her Brexit deal through Parliament but insisted “I have done my best” to deliver on the referendum result.

As Mrs May enters her final days:

Today the PM claimed she had done all she could to take Britain out of the EU with a deal, saying: “Ever since I first stepped through the door behind me as Prime Minister, I have striven to make the United Kingdom a country that works not just for a privileged few, but for everyone. And to honour the result of the EU referendum.

“If you give people a choice you have a duty to implement what they decide. I have done my best to do that.

“Sadly I have not been able to do so. I tried three times – I believe it was right to persevere even when the odds against success seemed high.”

Her voice cracking, she attempted to defend her legacy and insisted she has helped to fix Britain’s “burning injustices”.

Mrs May concluded: “I will shortly leave the job it has been the honour of my life to hold – the second female Prime Minister, but certainly not the last.

“I do so with no ill will but with enormous and enduring gratitude to have had the opportunity to serve the country I love.”

After her speech, the PM and Philip May drove off to spend the Bank Holiday weekend at their home in Sonning, Berkshire.

A VERY LONG GOODBYE

Mrs May will stay in office for the next two weeks, allowing her to welcome Donald Trump to the UK on his state visit, and step down as party leader on June 7.

She will then continue as interim PM until a new Tory leader is chosen, and finally leave office in July.

Even after leaving No10, she plans to stay as MP for Maidenhead until the next election scheduled for 2022.

In a snap poll, two thirds of Brits said Mrs May was right to resign – and half said she had been a “bad” or “terrible” Prime Minister.

Jeremy Corbyn today called for the new PM to trigger a snap General Election and let voters decide who should lead the country, saying: “The Prime Minister is right to have resigned. She has now accepted what the country has known for months – she cannot govern, and nor can her divided and disintegrating party.

“Parliament is deadlocked and the Conservatives offer no solutions to the other major challenges facing our country. Whoever becomes the new Conservative leader must let the people decide our country’s future, through an immediate General Election.”

The embattled Mrs May ran out of road this week after her Brexit deal collapsed and ally Andrea Leadsom stormed out of the Cabinet.

Her resignation fires the starting gun on the Tory leadership race, with Boris Johnson at the head of a crowded field of contenders.

But the next PM could face the same Brexit deadlock as Mrs May – with Parliament and the Tory party bitterly divided over how to move forward.

Today European leaders insisted there is no prospect of ripping up the withdrawal agreement and starting talks again – although Irish PM Leo Varadkar admitted he was worried about the prospects for his country.

He said: “In the next couple of months we may see the election of a Eurosceptic Prime Minister who wants to repudiate the withdrawal agreement and go for a No Deal.”

David Davis said the new leader should return to Brussels and demand the EU remove the hated backstop from the existing deal.

And Boris said: “We will leave the EU on October 31, deal or No Deal.”

Tories today rallied around to praise Mrs May for her time in office – even the ones who stabbed in her in the back and quit her Government.

This is a sad but necessary day

Steve Baker

Mrs Leadsom, whose resignation earlier this week helped lead to Mrs May’s departure, tweeted: “A very dignified speech by @theresa_may.

“An illustration of her total commitment to country and duty. She did her utmost, and I wish her all the very best.”

Hardline rebel Steve Baker said: “Very dignified statement from Theresa May, beginning to set out the many things which she has achieved in office. This is a sad but necessary day.”

Leadership candidate Dominic Raab, who is set to run to replace Mrs May, said: “Dignified as ever, @theresa_may showed her integrity. She remains a dedicated public servant, patriot and loyal Conservative.”

Boris Johnson added: “Thank you for your stoical service to our country and the Conservative Party. It is now time to follow her urgings: to come together and deliver Brexit.”

Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who is also tipped to run for the leadership, said: “Incredibly moving and dignified speech from the Prime Minister. She has given all in service of her country. Thank you Theresa.”

Home Secretary Sajid Javid said: “Nobody could have worked harder or had a greater sense of public duty than the Prime Minister.”

Simon Hoare, one of Mrs May’s closest allies, joked: “I hope there’s a most enormous gin awaiting the PM.”

Paying tribute to his successor, David Cameron said: “I know what it feels like when you come to realise that your leadership time has finished, that the country needs a new leader.

“It’s extremely difficult and painful to step outside Downing Street and say those things.

“She will be remembered as someone who worked very hard on our behalf. A dedicated public servant, who was passionate about the future of this country.”

‘I have done my best’: Theresa May’s resignation speech in full

Ever since I first stepped through the door behind me as Prime Minister, I have striven to make the United Kingdom a country that works not just for a privileged few, but for everyone.

And to honour the result of the EU referendum.

Back in 2016, we gave the British people a choice.

Against all predictions, the British people voted to leave the European Union.

I feel as certain today as I did three years ago that in a democracy, if you give people a choice you have a duty to implement what they decide.

I have done my best to do that.

I negotiated the terms of our exit and a new relationship with our closest neighbours that protects jobs, our security and our Union.

I have done everything I can to convince MPs to back that deal.

Sadly, I have not been able to do so.

I tried three times.

I believe it was right to persevere, even when the odds against success seemed high.

But it is now clear to me that it is in the best interests of the country for a new Prime Minister to lead that effort.

So I am today announcing that I will resign as leader of the Conservative and Unionist Party on Friday 7 June so that a successor can be chosen.

I have agreed with the Party Chairman and with the Chairman of the 1922 Committee that the process for electing a new leader should begin in the following week.

I have kept Her Majesty the Queen fully informed of my intentions, and I will continue to serve as her Prime Minister until the process has concluded.

It is, and will always remain, a matter of deep regret to me that I have not been able to deliver Brexit.

It will be for my successor to seek a way forward that honours the result of the referendum.

To succeed, he or she will have to find consensus in Parliament where I have not.

Such a consensus can only be reached if those on all sides of the debate are willing to compromise.

For many years the great humanitarian Sir Nicholas Winton – who saved the lives of hundreds of children by arranging their evacuation from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia through the Kindertransport – was my constituent in Maidenhead.

At another time of political controversy, a few years before his death, he took me to one side at a local event and gave me a piece of advice.

He said, “Never forget that compromise is not a dirty word. Life depends on compromise.”

He was right.

As we strive to find the compromises we need in our politics – whether to deliver Brexit, or to restore devolved government in Northern Ireland – we must remember what brought us here.

Because the referendum was not just a call to leave the EU but for profound change in our country.

A call to make the United Kingdom a country that truly works for everyone. I am proud of the progress we have made over the last three years.

We have completed the work that David Cameron and George Osborne started: the deficit is almost eliminated, our national debt is falling and we are bringing an end to austerity.

My focus has been on ensuring that the good jobs of the future will be created in communities across the whole country, not just in London and the South East, through our Modern Industrial Strategy.

We have helped more people than ever enjoy the security of a job.

We are building more homes and helping first-time buyers onto the housing ladder – so young people can enjoy the opportunities their parents did.

And we are protecting the environment, eliminating plastic waste, tackling climate change and improving air quality.

This is what a decent, moderate and patriotic Conservative Government, on the common ground of British politics, can achieve – even as we tackle the biggest peacetime challenge any government has faced.

I know that the Conservative Party can renew itself in the years ahead.

That we can deliver Brexit and serve the British people with policies inspired by our values.

Security; freedom; opportunity.

Those values have guided me throughout my career.

But the unique privilege of this office is to use this platform to give a voice to the voiceless, to fight the burning injustices that still scar our society.

That is why I put proper funding for mental health at the heart of our NHS long-term plan.

It is why I am ending the postcode lottery for survivors of domestic abuse.

It is why the Race Disparity Audit and gender pay reporting are shining a light on inequality, so it has nowhere to hide.

And that is why I set up the independent public inquiry into the tragedy at Grenfell Tower – to search for the truth, so nothing like it can ever happen again, and so the people who lost their lives that night are never forgotten.

Because this country is a Union.

Not just a family of four nations.

But a union of people – all of us.

Whatever our background, the colour of our skin, or who we love.

We stand together.

And together we have a great future.

Our politics may be under strain, but there is so much that is good about this country. So much to be proud of. So much to be optimistic about.

I will shortly leave the job that it has been the honour of my life to hold – the second female Prime Minister but certainly not the last.

I do so with no ill-will, but with enormous and enduring gratitude to have had the opportunity to serve the country I love.

Mrs May had been warned that if she didn’t quit today, Sir Graham would start the process to force her out through a new no-confidence vote.

And Cabinet ministers threatened to bring down the Government if the PM didn’t abandon her attempts to force through the Withdrawal Agreement Bill.

Meanwhile the Tories face a near-total wipeout when the Euro election results are announced on Sunday night.

This morning Mrs May faced one final blow to her authority as Helen Grant resigned as Tory party vice-chair, saying she wants to be involved in the leadership race by backing Dominic Raab.

The Prime Minister wanted her legacy to be taking Britain out of the EU, before turning to the “burning injustices” of UK society.

Instead she will remembered for her stubborn refusal to compromise and inability to unite her party.

Her last-ditch bid to save the Brexit deal by offering MPs a vote on whether to hold a second referendum proved the last nail in her coffin, triggering a Cabinet rebellion with Andrea Leadsom resigning.

Mrs May’s resignation will kickstart a furious race to replace her with Boris Johnson the favourite to take over.

Mr Raab, Jeremy Hunt and Michael Gove are also considered frontrunners – but as many as 20 Tory MPs could throw their hats in the ring.

Today Mr Hunt confirmed he’s planning to run for No10 while in a surprise move Sir Graham quit his 1922 Committee position to launch his own run for the leadership.

The leadership election is set to be hugely divisive for the Tory party with the two different wings attacking each other over what should happen next with Brexit.

It’s not just Theresa! Vince Cable to quit in July too

VINCE Cable today announced he will ALSO step down in late July – almost exactly the same time as Theresa May.

The Lib Dems boss revealed he’ll hand over to a successor on July 23.

He previously revealed he was planning to resign as party leader after the European Parliament elections.

Today he formally kicked off a two-month leadership election with Jo Swinson and Ed Davey favourites to replace him.

Sir Vince told members: “Our campaigning over the last three years has kept the cause of remaining in the European Union alive, and I now believe we have a strong chance of stopping Brexit.”

He took over in 2017 with the party at a low ebb having suffered two poor General Election results.

But the Lib Dems have since risen in the polls, with a strong showing in the recent local elections.

 Mrs May admitted she had failed to deliver Brexit

London News Pictures

Mrs May admitted she had failed to deliver Brexit
 May faces the world's press in Downing Street

Rex Features

May faces the world’s press in Downing Street
 The PM looked broken and her voice shook as she ended her speech

AFP or licensors

The PM looked broken and her voice shook as she ended her speech
 May breaks down as she turns from the cameras after her emotional speech

SWNS:South West News Service

May breaks down as she turns from the cameras after her emotional speech
 The PM and Philip leaving Downing Street to head to Berkshire

London News Pictures

The PM and Philip leaving Downing Street to head to Berkshire

What next after Theresa May quits?

THERESA May’s resignation today kickstarts the Tory leadership election.

The Prime Minister will formally stand down as party leader on June 7 – but will stay in place while the new PM is being chosen, rather than handing over to an interim chief such as David Lidington.

The leadership contest, overseen by party chairman Brandon Lewis, will take around six weeks.

Any Tory MP can enter the race, and the list of contenders is then whittled down by the parliamentary party.

MPs vote in multiple rounds, eliminating one candidate each time until just two are left.

The party’s 120,000 activists then choose behind the final shortlist of two, with the winner declared leader and Prime Minister.

When Mrs May became leader, she didn’t have to submit to a vote of members because Andrea Leadsom pulled out of the race.

So the last time activists have had a say on the leadership was 2005, when David Cameron defeated David Davis.

Former PM David Cameron ‘feels desperately sorry’ for Theresa May after resignation announcement

Today top Brexiteer Steve Baker insisted the next leader must be someone who is fully committed to our EU departure and ready to leave with No Deal.

Jacob Rees-Mogg added: “A new leader can get us out of the EU on October 31, that is in law. Once that’s happened, then we can move on to other issues.”

But the veteran Europhile Ken Clarke hit back, saying: “The idea that Conservative and DUP MPs will all come together behind a Nigel Farage-type figure is nonsense.”

 Mrs May's top team watching her resignation statement

AFP or licensors

Mrs May’s top team watching her resignation statement
 The PM made her statement in front of her official residence

Reuters

The PM made her statement in front of her official residence
 The PM at the end of her statement

AFP or licensors

The PM at the end of her statement
Jeremy Corbyn calls for an immediate General Election after PM Theresa May’s resignation


We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online politics team? Email us at tips@the-sun.co.uk or call 0207 782 4368. We pay for videos too. Click here to upload yours


WASHINGTON (AP) — She’s calling for an “intervention” to save the nation from him. He says she’s “crazy.”

The enmity between President Donald Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi deteriorated Thursday into rude-and-then-some questioning of his fitness for office and her sanity, with personal attacks flowing from both the nation’s top elected officials after a dramatic blow-up at the White House.

However intended, the exchanges left uncertain ahead of the 2020 election whether Trump and the Democrats will be able to work together on serious, must-pass tasks, such as funding the government and raising the federal borrowing limit, let alone thornier issues such as immigration, national security and more.

Pelosi went first, with demure shrugs and practiced sass. Then, as a tornado warning blared across Washington, Trump followed with a derisive nickname — something he had declined to give her, up to now.

“She’s a mess,” Trump told reporters at an afternoon news conference in which he lined up White House staff to testify to his calmness the day before when he walked out after three minutes at a meeting with Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Charles Schumer.

“Crazy Nancy. … I watched Nancy and she was all crazy yesterday.”

As for himself, he declared, “I’m an extremely stable genius.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi openly questioned President Donald Trump's fitness for office Thursday. At one point she even joked about the 25th Amendment, the Constitution's provision laying out the procedure for replacing a president. (May 23)

Tap to unmute

Pelosi scolded back:

“When the ‘extremely stable genius’ starts acting more presidential, I’ll be happy to work with him on infrastructure, trade and other issues,” she tweeted.

There was more, before and after that exchange, for political enthusiasts with the time and interest to follow along.

For those who don’t: The theater came a day after Trump stalked out of the Cabinet Room demanding an end to all congressional investigations before he would work with Congress on repairing U.S. infrastructure or other matters. He apparently was wound up generally over the ongoing congressional Trump-Russia probes into whether he obstructed justice, and specifically by Pelosi’s jab a few minutes earlier at the Capitol that he “is engaged in a cover-up.”

“I don’t do cover-ups,” fumed Trump, who is fighting subpoenas for testimony by current and former White House officials.

Hanging over the increasingly personal exchanges is a drumbeat among about two dozen Democrats and one Republican to launch impeachment hearings against Trump based on special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, which described Trump’s efforts to block his federal investigation. Pelosi has resisted that impeachment pressure, preferring a methodical process by which Congress investigates and lays out the facts on the question of obstruction of justice. She says the House is “not on a path to impeachment,” but she’s been clear this week that an impeachment inquiry is not off the table.

Short of that, she’s been happy to give Trump a hard time all year, including questioning his manhood and forcing him to re-open the government without the border wall money he demanded. On Thursday, she said the White House is “crying out” for impeachment — the idea being that a vindication by the Republican-controlled Senate would help assure his re-election.

On Thursday, subtlety went by the wayside. Pelosi said Trump has established a pattern of unpredictability, and at one point she even joked about the 25th Amendment, the Constitution’s provision laying out the procedure for replacing a president.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders says "it's insane" to think infrastructure talks can continue as if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had not accused President Donald Trump of a "cover-up." (May 23)

Tap to unmute

“I wish that his family or his administration or his staff would have an intervention for the good of the country,” Pelosi said at her weekly news conference, adding that she prays for him and the nation.

“Maybe he wants to take a leave of absence,” she said. Asked whether she’s concerned about Trump’s well-being, she replied, “I am.”

Trump denied he wanted the House to formally charge him.

“I don’t think anybody wants to be impeached,” he said.

Pelosi, the second in line to the presidency, said she thinks Trump’s actions Wednesday were part of his skill at distraction. But she also suggested what he does isn’t all strategic.

“Sometimes when we’re talking to him he agrees,” she said, only to change his mind. “He says he’s in charge and he may be.”

During questions, Pelosi said she thought a reporter had asked about “statutory” intervention, the 25th Amendment.

“That’s a good idea,” she said with a smile. “I am going to take it up with my caucus. Not that they haven’t been thinking about it.”

She has been insulting Trump since the meeting Wednesday that was supposed to be about bridges and other crumbling infrastructure.

“For some reason, maybe it was lack of confidence on his part … he took a pass, and it just makes me wonder why he did that,” she told reporters back on Capitol Hill. “In any event I pray for the president of the United States.”

Trump tweeted back: “Nancy, thank you so much for your prayers, I know you truly mean it!”

___

Associated Press Writers Lisa Mascaro, Mary Clare Jalonick, Zeke Miller and Jonathan Lemire contributed to this report.

___

Follow Kellman and Miller on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/APLaurieKellman and http://www.twitter.com/ZekeJMiller .

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump directed the U.S. intelligence community on Thursday to “quickly and fully cooperate” with Attorney General William Barr’s investigation of the origins of the multi-year probe of whether his 2016 campaign colluded with Russia, granting a loyalist sweeping powers to review and potentially release highly classified information.

The move marked an escalation in Trump’s efforts to “investigate the investigators,” as he continues to try to undermine the findings of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe amid mounting Democratic calls to bring impeachment proceedings against Trump.

Press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement that Trump is delegating to Barr the “full and complete authority” to declassify documents relating to the probe, which would ease his efforts to review the sensitive intelligence underpinnings of the investigation. Such an action could create fresh tensions within the FBI and other intelligence agencies, which have historically resisted such demands.

Barr has already asked John Durham, the U.S. attorney in Connecticut, to examine the origins of the Russia investigation to determine whether intelligence and surveillance methods used during the probe were lawful and appropriate. Still, Barr has been directly involved, according to a person familiar with the matter who was not authorized to discuss it publicly, and is also working with CIA Director Gina Haspel, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and FBI Director Christopher Wray.

Trump is giving Barr a new tool in his investigation, empowering his attorney general to unilaterally unseal documents that the Justice Department has historically regarded as among its most highly secret. Warrants obtained from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, for instance, are not made public — not even to the person on whom the surveillance was authorized.

Trump explicitly delegated Barr with declassification power — noting it would not automatically extend to another attorney general — and only for use in the review of the Russia investigation. Before using the new authority, Barr should consult with intelligence officials “to the extent he deems it practicable,” Trump wrote in a memo formalizing the matter.

Trump has frequently claimed his campaign was the victim of “spying,” though the intelligence community has insisted it acted lawfully in following leads in the Russia investigation and conducted surveillance under court order.

Wray vocally opposed the release by Congress last year of details from a secret surveillance warrant obtained by the bureau on a former campaign adviser, Carter Page. The White House had eagerly encouraged Republicans on the House intelligence committee to disclose that classified information, believing it could help undermine the Russia investigation.

Wray, though cooperating with Barr in a review of the origins of the Russia probe, would presumably balk at declassifying classified information that could reveal sensitive sources or methods of investigators.

Despite Mueller finding no evidence to support criminal charges against Americans related to Russia’s actions, his report documented extensive Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 campaign and willingness on the part of some in Trump’s orbit to accept their aid.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff accused Trump and Barr of trying to “conspire to weaponize law enforcement and classified information against their political enemies.”

“The coverup has entered a new and dangerous phase,” Schiff said in a statement released late Thursday. “This is un-American.”

Typically, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence coordinates declassification work by contacting various agencies where classified material originated to get their input on what should be released or not disclosed based on legal exemptions. The president, however, has the authority to declassify anything he wants.

A former senior intelligence official who served in the Obama administration said their principle concern is that the attorney general, hand-picked by Trump, could declassify and release selective bits to make the previous administration and former senior officials look bad. The former official spoke on the condition that the official would not be named in order to describe the concerns of intelligence professionals.

Thursday’s move further solidifies Barr’s position in Trump’s eyes as a legal warrior on fighting on his behalf.

After Mueller submitted his report to Barr in March, the attorney general released a four-page summary to Congress. Barr’s letter framed the debate about the probe over the next few weeks and, White House officials believe, allowed Trump to declare victory before the release of the full report, the contents of which are far more ambiguous.

Trump also appreciated Barr’s combative stance with lawmakers and reporters as he defended the Justice Department’s handling of the report, and again when he declined to appear before Congress and defied a subpoena, drawing a possible contempt charge. Trump has told close confidants that he “finally” had “my attorney general,” according to two Republicans close to the White House who were not authorized to speak publicly about private conversations.

“Today’s action will help ensure that all Americans learn the truth about the events that occurred, and the actions that were taken, during the last Presidential election and will restore confidence in our public institutions,” Sanders said.

Two of Trump’s congressional allies, Reps. Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan, were seen by reporters earlier Thursday at the Justice Department.

__

Associated Press writers Mike Balsamo, Deb Riechmann and Jonathan Lemire contributed to this report.

Counselor Kellyanne Conway, White House communications director Mercedes Schlapp, deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley, National Economic Council director Larry Kudlow and press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders at the White House on Thursday. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

WASHINGTON—President Trump smiled as he entered the Roosevelt Room in the White House, armed with $16 billion in good news for farmers struggling amid his continuing trade conflict with China. By the time he left, Mr. Trump had effectively carpet bombed what little remained of his relationship with congressional Democrats by mocking House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s intelligence, ridiculing her speaking style and calling the first woman to lead the U.S. House “a mess.”

Thursday brought another episode of the Donald Trump and Nancy Pelosi show, culminating in a roster of senior presidential advisers lining up along the wall of the historic room attesting to how calmly Mr. Trump had handled Wednesday’s installment.

With more than a dozen American farmers looking on, including an Idahoan wearing a red “Make Potatoes Great Again” hat, Mr. Trump was asked by reporters about comments from Mrs. Pelosi earlier in the day that the president’s family should stage an intervention after his behavior during a meeting on Wednesday. At that gathering, Mr. Trump told Democrats he wouldn’t work with them while investigations of him continued and then abruptly stormed out of the room before anyone else could speak.

Mr. Trump responded to the question by calling upon five White House aides—one after the other—to stand in front of TV cameras and vouch for the prudence and discipline he said he displayed at a meeting a day earlier with Democrats.

“No temper tantrum,” said Kellyanne Conway, his counselor. Hogan Gidley, a deputy press secretary, wasn’t even in the room for the meeting, but still attested to the president’s composure. Larry Kudlow, Mr. Trump’s chief economic adviser who is hobbled with a bad hip, leaned on a cane as he limped to the front of the room to tell his boss, in front of television cameras, “You were very calm.”

President Trump lashed out at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calling her ‘crazy’ after she suggested the president’s family stage an intervention, and asked his staff to vouch for his calm and collected behavior as a dozen farmers looked on. Photo: EPA

“I’m an extremely stable genius,” Mr. Trump told reporters.

After 28 months in office, Mr. Trump has amassed a highlight reel of astonishing, must-see moments on live television, and his impromptu news conference on Thursday provided another. The latest performance demonstrated his concern about Mrs. Pelosi’s comments and his desire to counter. Often that happens on Twitter, but he has twice in two days delivered his ripostes in televised news conferences from the White House.

The round of testimonials from his staff most closely recalled the unusual cabinet meeting in June 2017, when agency heads and senior staff—men and women Mr. Trump had nominated or hired—showered him with adulation as the TV cameras rolled. “We thank you for the opportunity and the blessing that you’ve given us to serve your agenda and the American people,” Reince Priebus, the White House chief of staff at the time, told him.

The cabinet meeting two years ago came as the administration’s travel ban had been blocked again by an appeals court and as then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions agreed to testify in public about his connections to an investigation of Russian meddlings in the 2016 election. Mr. Trump unleashed his latest performance amid escalating tensions between he and Mrs. Pelosi.

Before traveling to the White House to meet with Mr. Trump Wednesday, Mrs. Pelosi accused the Republican president of engaging in a “coverup” as a growing faction of Democrats called for Mr. Trump’s impeachment. She described Mr. Trump as having a “temper tantrum” at their meeting in the White House and on Thursday urged his staff and his family to “have an intervention for the good of the country.

“I pray for the president of the United States,” she said, adding that “this is not behavior that rises to the dignity of the office of president of the United States.”

Mr. Trump’s frustration was palpable in the White House on Thursday. He said that he made a point of telling his staff he would be calm with Mrs. Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer so that they couldn’t accuse him of “ranting and raving.” Mr. Trump had wanted to avoid a repeat of his meeting with leaders in January over a government shutdown, when, frustrated after the lack of progress, he ended it after 20 minutes by putting his hands in the air—two open palms on either side of his face—and said, “Bye-bye,” and left the room.

Newsletter Sign-up

Democrats left that meeting saying Mr. Trump had pounded the desk in anger, but he denied acting violently. Mr. Trump said on Thursday that he left his meeting on Wednesday and “went directly to the press conference” to show reporters he was calm and stave off accusations that he was fuming.

“I didn’t want them to say I did it—they said it anyway,” Mr. Trump said, closing his eyes for effect.

Mr. Trump’s complained about “the narrative” from Democrats about him. And accused them of lying to score political points. “They don’t feel they can win the election,” he said about his re-election campaign in 2020. “So they’re trying to do the thousand stabs.”

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, who momentarily left the news conference, returned as staff was praising the president. She added some levity when Mr. Trump asked if he was “screaming and ranting and raving” at the meeting, or if he was calm.

“I’ve seen both,” she said. “This was definitely not angry or ranting. Very calm and straightforward.”

The response drew laughs from much of the room, but not Mr. Trump, who only flashed a brief but tight smile.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, who was in the room for the announcement about aid to farmers, said it was “frustrating” that the positive news for farmers likely would be overshadowed by Mr. Trump’s latest back-and-forth with Mrs. Pelosi.

“Obviously he is a very passionate leader,” Mr. Perdue said.

Write to Michael C. Bender at Mike.Bender@wsj.com

FILE PHOTO: An employee of a bank counts US dollar notes at a branch in Hanoi
FILE PHOTO: An employee of a bank counts US dollar notes at a branch in Hanoi, Vietnam May 16, 2016. REUTERS/Kham/File Photo

May 24, 2019

By Daniel Leussink

TOKYO (Reuters) – The dollar held steady on Friday, having come off two-year highs on lower U.S. yields in the previous session amid fears that a trade war with China will hurt the U.S. economy more than previously thought.

The greenback was not helped by rising expectations for an interest rate cut by the U.S. Federal Reserve later this year to help boost the world’s biggest economy.

Against a basket of key rival currencies, the dollar was largely unchanged at 97.906, having fallen from a two-year high of 98.371 overnight. The index is still up 1.8% for the year.

“Global risk aversion stemming from the intensifying U.S.-China trade tension is causing the stronger yen,” said Masafumi Yamamoto, chief currency strategist at Mizuho Securities.

“Markets are pricing in the potential negative impact on the U.S. economy and the U.S. equity markets,” he said, referring to U.S.-China trade tensions.

On Thursday, President Donald Trump said U.S. complaints against Huawei Technologies Co Ltd might be resolved within the framework of a U.S.-China trade deal, while at the same time calling the Chinese telecommunications giant “very dangerous.”

The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note yield was last up slightly at 2.3309%.

Overnight, it fell to its lowest since October 2017 after an early read on U.S. manufacturing activity for May posted its weakest pace of growth in almost a decade, suggesting a sharp slowdown in economic growth was underway.

There was only a 38.2% expectation on Thursday that U.S. interest rates will be at current levels in October of this year, compared to 58.3% a month ago, according to the CME Group’s FedWatch tool.

Against the yen, the dollar edged up to 109.695 yen, having giving up two-thirds of a percent overnight to record its steepest drop in a single session in two months.

The greenback is still 0.6% above a three-month trough of 109.02 yen touched on May 13.

The Australian dollar held steady at $0.6904, putting it on track to finish the week with a 0.5% gain, its first positive weekly performance in six weeks.

Elsewhere in the foreign exchange market, the euro was flat at $1.1183, having bounced from a two-year low of $1.11055 during the previous session.

The single currency came under pressure after a private survey showed activity in Germany’s services and manufacturing sectors fell in May, aggravating fears about the effect of unresolved trade disputes on Europe’s largest economy.

Compounding these worries, European parliamentary elections began on Thursday with eurosceptic parties expected to do well, raising concerns about the single currency’s stability.

(Graphic: World FX rates in 2019 – http://tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh)

(Reporting by Daniel Leussink; editing by Darren Schuettler)

Source: OANN

Spread the love

President Donald Trump has directed the heads of several government agencies to cooperate with Attorney General William Barr’s investigation of the origins of the Russia probe.

In a memo sent out Thursday, Trump also authorized Barr to declassify documents related to the Russia investigation.

The memo grants Barr the authority to “declassify, downgrade, or direct the declassification or downgrading of information or intelligence” related to the Russia probe as he sees fit.

Barr has said that he is investigating whether government agencies improperly surveilled members of the Trump campaign. In testimony to Congress, Barr has asserted that the FBI and other agencies spied on the campaign by using informants and surveillance warrants. 

Trump’s memo directs the heads of several federal agencies, including the CIA, FBI and State Department, to “promptly” provide assistance and information to Barr to complete his review.

“Today, at the request and recommendation of the Attorney General of the United States, President Donald J. Trump directed the intelligence community to quickly and fully cooperate with the Attorney General’s investigation into surveillance activities during the 2016 Presidential election,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement.

Read More:
https://dailycaller.com/2019/05/23/trump-william-barr-authority-declassify/
h

Image Credit: Kelly Caminero/The Daily Beast

Source: The Washington Pundit

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi openly questioned President Donald Trump’s fitness to remain in office Thursday, suggesting a staff or family “intervention” for the good of the nation after his dramatic blow-up at a White House meeting with Democrats. Trump responded by calling her “crazy.”

“She’s a mess,” Trump told reporters at an afternoon news conference in which he lined up White House staff to testify to his calmness at a meeting with Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer. “Cryin’ Chuck, Crazy Nancy … I watched Nancy and she was all crazy yesterday,” he claimed.

As for himself, he declared, “I’m an extremely stable genius.”

Both the Republican president and Democratic leaders dug in a day after Trump stalked out of the Cabinet Room demanding an end to all congressional probes before he would work with Congress on crumbling U.S. infrastructure and other matters. By Thursday as Congress prepared to recess for the Memorial Day break, both sides were questioning each other’s stability, with the president insisting on Twitter that he was calm when he left the White House meeting that was to focus on infrastructure spending after just three minutes.

Pelosi said Trump has established a pattern of unpredictability, and at one point she even joked about the 25th Amendment, the Constitution’s provision laying out the procedure for replacing a president.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi openly questioned President Donald Trump's fitness for office Thursday. At one point she even joked about the 25th Amendment, the Constitution's provision laying out the procedure for replacing a president. (May 23)

Tap to unmute

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders says "it's insane" to think infrastructure talks can continue as if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had not accused President Donald Trump of a "cover-up." (May 23)

Tap to unmute

“I wish that his family or his administration or his staff would have an intervention for the good of the country,” Pelosi said at her weekly news conference, adding that she prays for him and the nation.

“Maybe he wants to take a leave of absence,” she said. Asked whether she’s concerned about Trump’s well-being, she replied, “I am.”

Pelosi also said the White House is “crying out” for the Democrats to launch impeachment hearings — the idea being that such a move would help him politically. White House aides believe that if Democrats move to impeach — and even if they win approval of articles of impeachment in the House — Trump would be acquitted in the GOP-controlled Senate, supporting his assertion that he’s a victim of Democratic harassment and helping him toward re-election. But the president denied that he’s urging the Democrats on.

“I don’t think anybody wants to be impeached,” Trump said.

However genuine, accusations of infirmity dominated the exchanges on Thursday and raised questions about whether Pelosi and Trump could work together on must-do tasks this year, such as raising the debt limit and funding the government. White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said staff-level work on critical policy and spending continues.

Yet Sanders also said on CNN that it was “lunacy” and “insane” for Democrats to think everyone could just proceed after Pelosi accused Trump of a “cover-up” just before the meeting Wednesday.

“It’s very hard to have a meeting where you accuse the president of the United States of a crime and an hour later show up and act as if nothing has happened,” Sanders told reporters outside the White House.

Hanging over the increasingly personal exchanges is a drumbeat among about two dozen Democrats and one Republican to launch impeachment hearings against Trump based on details in special counsel Robert Mueller’s report that Trump repeatedly tried to block the investigation . Pelosi has resisted, preferring a methodical process by which Congress investigates and lays out the facts on the question of obstruction of justice. But she’s been clear this week that any such finding could be worthy of a formal indictment by the House — that is, impeachment.

Pelosi also is balancing the calls for impeachment with the concerns of members from divided districts who helped flip the House to Democratic control and now face tough re-elections 2020.

Pelosi, the second in line to the presidency, said she thinks Trump’s actions Wednesday were part of his skill at distraction. But she also suggested that he’s unpredictable.

“Sometimes when we’re talking to him he agrees,” she said, only to change his mind. “He says he’s in charge and he may be.”

During questions, Pelosi also joked with a reporter about the 25th Amendment. “That’s a good idea. I am going to take it up with my caucus. Not that they haven’t been thinking about it.”

She has been insulting Trump since the meeting on Wednesday.

“For some reason, maybe it was lack of confidence on his part … he took a pass, and it just makes me wonder why he did that,” she told reporters back on Capitol Hill. “In any event I pray for the president of the United States.”

“Nancy, thank you so much for your prayers, I know you truly mean it!” Trump tweeted from the White House.

Yet the White House is returning the Democrats’ insults.

Repeatedly pressed on why the president seemed unwilling to multitask and work on legislation as other presidents under investigation have, Sanders maintained, “I think the Democrats have shown that they’re not capable of doing anything else.”

In fact, the Democratic-controlled House has passed several bills on issues including firearms background checks, prescription drugs and campaign finance reforms — though they were dead on arrival in the GOP-controlled Senate.

Sanders insisted that Trump’s walk-out Wednesday wasn’t planned before Pelosi’s comments and that the White House placard that appeared on Trump’s lectern as he denounced Democrats moments later had been printed “weeks ago.” Asked why Trump couldn’t work with Democrats after Pelosi’s comments because he felt insulted, Sanders said, “The president’s feelings weren’t hurt. She accused him of a crime. Let that sink in.”

___

Associated Press Writers Lisa Mascaro, Mary Clare Jalonick, Zeke Miller and Jonathan Lemire contributed to this report.

___

Follow Kellman and Miller on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/APLaurieKellman and http://www.twitter.com/ZekeJMiller .

Shipping containers are seen at a port in Lianyungang
FILE PHOTO: Shipping containers are seen at a port in Lianyungang, Jiangsu province, China September 8, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer

May 23, 2019

By Doina Chiacu and Stella Qiu

WASHINGTON/BEIJING (Reuters) – The United States and China had a heated exchange on Thursday, with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accusing Chinese telecom giant Huawei Technologies of lying about its ties to the government and Beijing saying Washington must end its “wrong actions” if it wanted trade talks to continue.

U.S. tech stocks were the hardest hit in an overall sharp global market drop on Thursday in signs the conflict between the world’s two biggest economies was being seen as a battle not just over trade but also about who controls global technology.

Citing national security concerns, Washington last week effectively banned U.S. firms from doing business with Huawei, the world’s largest telecoms network gear maker, taking the stakes to a different level days after negotiators appeared to be making headway on trade.

Tech companies around the world fell in line. Japanese conglomerate Panasonic Corp said it had stopped shipments of some Huawei components, a day after British chip designer ARM did the same, potentially crippling the Chinese company’s ability to make new chips for smartphones.

Asked if he believed more firms would stop working with Huawei, Pompeo told CNBC in an interview on Thursday: “We do. We’ve been working at the State Department to make sure that everyone understands the risks.”

Pompeo said the chief executive of China’s Huawei Technologies was lying about his company’s lack of ties to the Beijing government, which he said represented a security risk.

“The company is deeply tied not only to China but to the Chinese Communist Party. And that connectivity, the existence of those connections puts American information that crosses those networks at risk,” he said.

   “If you put your information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party, it’s de facto a real risk to you. They may not use it today, they may not use it tomorrow.”

Huawei has repeatedly denied it is controlled by the Chinese government, military or intelligence services.

U.S. HELP FOR TECH FIRMS, FARMERS

U.S. lawmakers moved on Wednesday to provide about $700 million in grants to help U.S. telecoms providers with the cost of removing Huawei equipment from their networks, and to block the use of equipment or services from Huawei and Chinese telecoms firm ZTE in next-generation 5G networks.

On Thursday, China’s Commerce Ministry hit back.

“If the United States wants to continue trade talks, they should show sincerity and correct their wrong actions. Negotiations can only continue on the basis of equality and mutual respect,” spokesman Gao Feng told a weekly briefing.

“We will closely monitor relevant developments and prepare necessary responses,” he said, without elaborating.

No trade talks have been scheduled since the last round ended on May 10, when President Donald Trump hiked tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods and took steps to impose more, prompting China to respond with levies of its own.

Trump has threatened to slap tariffs of up to 25% on an additional list of Chinese imports worth about $300 billion, but his Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Wednesday said he was hopeful the two sides could resume negotiations.

Sources have said the talks stalled after China tried to delete commitments from a draft agreement that its laws would be changed to enact new policies on issues from intellectual property protection to forced technology transfers.

With no resolution in sight, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Thursday announced a $16 billion aid program to help U.S. farmers hurt by the conflict, with some funds to be used to open markets outside China to U.S. products. Farmers have been among those hardest hit by the trade war.

Retailers, including Best Buy Co Inc and Walmart Inc, are also warning that the tariffs will raise prices for consumers. The newest round will cost the typical American household $831 annually, according to research on Thursday from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Pompeo also confirmed a New York Times report on Wednesday that China was using high-tech surveillance to set up an intrusive policing effort that could be used to subdue its minorities, including ethnic Muslim Uighurs.

The United States is considering Huawei-like sanctions on Chinese video surveillance firm Hikvision Digital Technology Co Ltd over the issue, a person briefed on the matter said.

Also feeding into tensions, the U.S. military said it sent two Navy ships through the Taiwan Strait on Wednesday, prompting Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang to lodge “stern representations.”

Taiwan is one of a growing number of flashpoints in the U.S.-China relationship, which also include China’s increasingly muscular military posture in the South China Sea, where the United States also conducts freedom-of-navigation patrols.

Trump, who has embraced protectionism as part of an “America First” agenda aimed at rebalancing global trade, is due to discuss the farmers’ aid program in remarks scheduled for 3:15 p.m. EDT (1915 GMT) at the White House.

He is expected to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping at a G20 summit in Japan June 28-29, around the time when the next levies could be ready, according to Mnuchin’s calculations.

(Reporting by Doina Chiacu and Susan Heavey in Washington, and Stella Qiu and Kevin Yao in Beijing; Writing by Andrea Shalal and Sonya Hepinstall; Editing by Susan Thomas)

Source: OANN


[There are no radio stations in the database]