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)
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.
President Trump said Friday an additional 1,500 troops will be deployed to the Middle East as a bulwark against Iran.
Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan specified the number in a statement shortly after Trump mentioned it, while answering reporters’ questions on the White House lawn.
“We want to have protection The Middle East, we’re going to be sending a relatively small number of troops, mostly protective,” Trump said. “It’ll be about 1,500 people.”
Shanahan issued the statement shortly after President Trump announced more troops would be deployed to the region. AP reported Thursday troop levels could reach as high as 10,000, while the Wall Street Journal reported 3,000.
“The additional deployment to the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility is a prudent defensive measure and intended to reduce the possibility of future hostilities,” Shanahan said in the Pentagon statement. “I remain committed to ensuring U.S. personnel have the force protection resources they need and deserve.”
The deployment will consist of a Patriot missile defense battalion, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance aircraft, an engineer element tasked with providing force protection improvement in the region, and a fighter squadron, according to Shanahan. The new forces will bolster forces that were deployed to the region earlier this month, including the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier strike group, the USS Arlington amphibious warfare ship, and a task force of B-52 bombers.
Tensions between the U.S. and Iran have escalated in recent weeks. A rocket exploded close to the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq on Sunday. While it is unclear who launched it, the model is known to be trafficked and used by Iran. Earlier this month, U.S Central Command put troops in Iraq and Syria on high alert in response to perceived Iranian threats. The State Department also evacuated non-emergency personnel from Iraq.
President Trump said if the press would report the news fairly, his poll numbers would be much higher.
During an impromptu news conference by Trump on the South Lawn as he was departing for Japan, CNN reporter Jim Acosta asked the president if he was worried another investigation would hurt his chances for reelection in 2020.
“I don’t know. My poll numbers are very good. You don’t like to report them, but I guess we have a 48 [percent] today. We have a a 51. We have very good poll numbers considering. Now I have to tell you, if you people would give straight news, I would be at 70. I’d be maybe at 75. But you don’t give straight news. You give fake news. With fake news, I’m still winning the election,” Trump said.
“But if you gave serious, good news the way you’re supposed to, I’d probably be at 70 or 75 based on the economy alone,” he said.
Trump has an average 42% approval rating, according to RealClearPolitics. Quinnipiac’s poll has the lowest approval rating, at 38%, with Rasmussen Reports and Fox News’ polls the highest rating at 46%.
President Trump attempted to extend an olive branch to Democrats in the midst of a growing feud between Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“I can work with the speaker, sure,” he told reporters gathered on the South Lawn of the White House Friday. “I can work with the speaker. I can absolutely work” with her.
Trump said Democrats would have to move past their anger over the conclusion of the Mueller investigation, however, before they could work together on bipartisan legislation for issues such as infrastructure and prescription drug costs.
“They were very unhappy with the Mueller report,” Trump said. “No collusion. No obstruction. No nothing. They’re very unhappy about it. They have to get over their anger.”
The president said then he was not willing to work on infrastructure with Democrats until they dropped their investigations.
“I walked into the room and I told Sen. Schumer, Speaker Pelosi, ‘I want to do infrastructure. I want to do it more than you want to do it. I would be really good at that. That’s what I do. But you know what? You can’t do it under these circumstances. So get these phony investigations over with,'” he said during a press conference following the failed meeting.
‘ivesssapology for a video’: Rudy Giuliani tweets bizarre slurred non-apology to Nancy Pelosi for tweeting fake video of her appearing incoherent then demands SHE withdraw demand for ‘intervention’ on Trump
Bizarre tweet from Rudy Giuliani included a slurred-speech word that made some Twitter users speculate that he was drinking
He was offering a backhanded non-apology to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for circulating a fake, edited video of her
The mashup of footage from a Pelosi speech on Thursday was slowed down to make her words sound slurred
‘ivesssapology for a video,’ Giuliani tweeted in a message that ended in the middle of a sentence; he later tweeted the same thoughts again
The first tweet included a GIF of NBA basketball players that he didn’t explain
Published: 15:59 BST, 24 May 2019 | Updated: 16:09 BST, 24 May 2019
Rudy Giuliani stoked concerns about his well-being Friday morning with a tweet containing a backhanded apology to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for circulating a fake video ofher appearing incoherent during public events.
‘ivesssapology for a video which is allegedly is a caricature of an otherwise halting speech pattern,’ tweeted Giuliani, one of President Donald Trump‘s personal lawyers.
‘[S]he should first stop, and apologize for, saying the President needs an “intervention.” Are’
The tweet ended there, leading some on Twitter to speculate that Giuliani was drunk in the 9:00 a.m. hour.
It’s unclear whether his opening word, a slurred-speech mashup, was itself a parody of the video that journalists debunked as a fraud on Thursday.
Trump lawyer Rudi Giuliani tweeted a pair of messages at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday including one that featured the typed equivalent of slurred speech and a cryptic basketball GIF
Giuliani’s first tweet began with an unintelligible word and ended mid-sentence, driving speculation online that he might have been drinking
Giuliani, a former New York City mayor, tweeted a replacement message without erasing the first, and hasn’t explained the basketball video snippet
Giuliani did not respond to a request for comment on Friday.
He also included a GIF image of players from an NBA team putting their hands in the air, a motion signifying a 3-point shot. He didn’t explain its significance.
A half-hour later he tweeted again, this time in words that sounded lucid and forceful, to make the same point.
‘Nancy Pelosi wants an apology for a caricature exaggerating her already halting speech pattern,’ he wrote. ‘First she should withdraw her charge which hurts our entire nation when she says the President needs an “intervention. “People who live in a glass house shouldn’t throw stones.”’
Giuliani never deleted his earlier mangled tweet.
The former New York City mayor was pilloried online Thursday for sharing the faked video of Pelosi, which included slow-motion footage that made her words sounds slurred – and made her appear drunk.
Giuliani shared a faked video of Pelosi slurring her speech on Thursday with his 316,000 Twitter followers
The original video came from Pelosi’s remarks on Wednesday at the Center for American Progress Ideas Conference, where she spoke about President Donald Trump walking out of an infrastructure meeting with Democrats earlier that day.
The altered version was posted by Politics WatchDog – a conservative group on Facebook – and quickly went viral.
Giuliani later shared the altered clip on Twitter, writing: ‘What is wrong with Nancy Pelosi? Her speech pattern is bizarre’.
He deleted that tweet 15 minutes later, after Twitter users pointed out that it had been doctored.
Two hours later, Giuliani tweeted a message about the Mueller report that began: ‘How do the Dems get away with their dishonesty?’
Pelosi was the target of the misinformation campaign when a video of her speaking on stage was altered to make it appear she was slurring her words
A Washington Post analysis found the video he shared had been slowed to about 75 percent of its original speed.
It also appears that the sound of Pelosi’s voice was changed so the slowed speech would not deeped the pitch of her voice.
Trump later tweeted a different video, a mashup of Pelosi stumbling over her words during the speech, tweeting: “PELOSI STAMMERS THROUGH NEWS CONFERENCE”.’
Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Jerry Nadler appeared weak and on the verge of passing out at a presser Friday in Manhattan
At one point as Mayor de Blasio is speaking, there’s a commotion and people flock to help Nadler, who seemed weak and pale
When de Blasio asks Nadler if he was OK, Nadler can be heard responding with a faint “no” before putting his hand over his face
Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Jerry Nadler appeared weak and on the verge of passing out at a presser held by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio Friday morning in Manhattan.
The mayor is speaking — and then there’s a sudden commotion. De Blasio and others move to help an extremely pale Nadler as he sits, a ghost-like look on his face, in the chairs at P.S. 199 on the Upper West Side.
Raw Video: Nadler Appears to Nearly Pass Out at NYC Event
Nadler had given remarks at an event about speed enforcement cameras in school zones when he slumped in his chair. At one point, video shows de Blasio offer a drink from his water bottle to Nadler and tell him he looks a bit dehydrated.
When de Blasio asks Nadler if he is OK, Nadler can be heard responding with a faint “no” before putting his hand over his face. Moments later he seemed to recover a bit and was able to speak; the Democrat was given water to drink and an orange to eat as de Blasio cleared the school gym to assist in the response.
Nadler was then wheeled out on a stretcher to an ambulance that backed up into an alley behind the school. De Blasio was seen by his side, escorting Nadler to the ambulance.
In a statement, Nadler’s spokesperson said, “He is okay. Seems to have been dehydrated and it was very warm in the room. He is now responsive and receiving a check-up.”
Sources tell NBC 4 New York, Nadler was taken to NYU Medical Center.
McGahn Is No-Show at Congressional Hearing
Following Nadler’s apparent health scare, de Blasio addressed the public.
“Congressman Nadler is doing much better. I spent time with him, the medical personnel, the EMTs who responded. He got more energetic with every passing minute,” de Blasio said, adding that it was “comforting” to see Nadler back to “his old self.”
“We are very hopeful he’ll make a very speedy recovery,” de Blasio went on to say.
In a subsequent tweet, Nadler said: “Appreciate everyone’s concern. Was very warm in the room this morning, was obviously dehydrated and felt a bit ill. Glad to receive fluids and am feeling much better. Thank you for your thoughts.”
Though he couldn’t share specific health information or medical history, Dr. Ted Long from NYC Health + Hospitals, who was by de Blasio’s side as the mayor addressed the public, said that Nadler was able to answer all of the medical personnel’s questions as soon as they made their way to him.
Additionally, Long said that whenever someone looks like they are falling asleep, dehydration is always a concern. However, Long said it is “presumptuous” to know exactly what went wrong without performing the appropriate tests.
This development comes as Nadler has been locked in subpoena battles with the Trump administration and has been in negotiations for special counsel Robert Mueller to testify before the committee.
Nadler has made repeated efforts for Mueller to speak in front of Congress. On “The Rachel Maddow Show” Thursday night, Nadler said Mueller told him that he is willing to make a public opening statement, but leave his testimony behind closed doors.
Sen. Lindsey Graham warned Democrats if they don’t stop attacking President Trump they won’t stand a chance at beating him in the 2020 presidential election.
“The Democrats are going to get him reelected,” Graham, R-S.C., said Friday on Fox News. “I don’t think you can become the nominee of the Democratic Party without embracing impeachment. And if you’re a House member of the Democratic caucus, you’re going to get a primary if you vote against impeachment.”
Congressional Democrats have increased their scrutiny of Trump in recent weeks, launching investigations into his 2016 campaign, finances, and personal life.
Democratic leadership has tamped down talks of impeachment, suggesting the House investigations should be allowed to play out and if evidence supporting impeachment is uncovered, the party will pursue it.
Trump and allies like Graham have pointed instead to special counsel Robert Mueller’s report as the final word on Trump’s personal conduct and fitness for office.
A recent cover of the New Yorker magazine depicted Graham, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Attorney General William Barr giving Trump a shoeshine.
The suggested message is that leading Republicans are doing the president’s bidding and helping cover up his abuses of power in the White House.
“If I’m helping the president, good for me, I want him to succeed,” Graham said Friday on Fox News. “If I’m helping the president it’s good for the country because I think I’ve got something to offer him. He’s doing a really good job.”
The South Carolina senator has not always spoken so favorably about the president.
As they ran against one another in the 2016 Republican primary, Graham called Trump a “jackass” after the Trump campaign released Graham’s private phone number.
He and other leading Republicans have railed against a “deep state” that sought to undermine Trump and help Hillary Clinton.
“They are driving the Democratic Party over an edge,” Graham said of progressive Democrats. “Between what Trump has accomplished for this country and how crazy they’ve become, he’s gonna get reelected.”
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.
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.”
1. I wish Theresa May well. She and I had profound disagreements – not least on her handling of Brexit and her disregard for Scotland’s interests. However, leadership is tough – especially in these times – and she deserves thanks for her service.
It is difficult not to feel for Mrs May, but politically she misjudged the mood of the country and her party. Two Tory leaders have now gone whose instincts were pro-EU. Either the party learns that lesson or it dies.
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
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.
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
AND THEY’RE OFF
Boris says he’s man to deliver Brexit as Hunt is 1st minister to run for PM
EUR VOTE COUNTS
When do we find out the results of the EU Parliament elections in the UK?
BOJO’S TO LOSE
Boris favourite to be PM as Remainers back him – but he can’t screw up again
THANKS FOR THE MAYMORIES
PM calls time on troubled tenure… but it’s not all been grim!
SHAKES, BATTLES AND POLLS
Nigel Farage set for huge Euro election win as polls close
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.”
Jeremy Corbyn calls for an immediate General Election after PM Theresa May’s resignation
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A House Republican blocked the passage of a $19.1 billion disaster relief package that lawmakers hoped to send to President Trump’s desk after months of partisan fighting had stalled the money.
Final passage will now have to wait until the week of June 3, when House lawmakers return from a recess.
Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, opposed passing the measure by unanimous consent, delaying consideration until the House returns.
Democrats hoped to approve the spending measure by unanimous consent, which does not require a roll-call vote. Republicans are in the minority, so Democrats will be able to pass the measure with a roll-call vote when lawmakers return.
The measures stalled despite a bipartisan accord struck between leaders in the House and Senate, and after Trump agreed to lift some demands that had been holding up the bill. Other lawmakers also agreed to drop some of their funding requests that were stalling talks.
Roy cited the high price tag for the measure, arguing it deserved floor debate. He also pointed to the lack of funding needed to deal with a humanitarian crisis on the border that the president had been seeking.
The House could attempt to pass the measure once again in the next pro forma session on Thursday, but it would again invite a possible GOP objection.
Democrats denounced the move.
“House Republicans’ last-minute sabotage of an overwhelmingly bipartisan disaster relief bill is an act of staggering political cynicism,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said. “Countless American families hit by devastating natural disasters across the country will now be denied the relief they urgently need.”
House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey offered similar sentiments.
“After President Trump and Senate Republicans delayed disaster relief for more than four months, it is deeply disappointing that House Republicans are now making disaster victims wait even longer to get the help they need,” Lowey, D-N.Y., said.
“We must pass this bicameral, bipartisan bill, and we will keep working to get it through the House and onto the president’s desk.”
Trump agreed to sign the bill without $4.5 billion in emergency funding to help deal with the recent surge in illegal immigration along the southern border. Removing the border funding eased the agreement. Democrats were opposed to its inclusion, and Trump agreed to leave it out after talks with Republicans Thursday. Senate Republican leaders said Thursday they’ll attempt to move the border security funding separately.
The Senate passed the measure yesterday with overwhelming bipartisan support, but with criticism from GOP leaders.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., criticized Democrats for blocking the money Trump was seeking, arguing the funds are needed for humanitarian aid in response to thousands of migrant families crossing into the United States from Mexico.
“This wasn’t money for the wall, or even for law enforcement. It was money so that the federal government could continue to house, feed, and care for the men, women, and children showing up on our southern border,” McConnell said. “Money for agencies that are currently running on fumes.”
The measure also includes millions of dollars more for Puerto Rico despite Trump’s argument that the island has already received enough disaster aid.
Democrats blamed Trump and the GOP for the delay in passing the package and called the humanitarian funding “extraneous.”
“It’s good that Republicans finally came to their senses and realized that Puerto Rico and other disaster-impacted areas deserve to be treated fairly and that extraneous provisions shouldn’t be added to the disaster relief package,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said.
It would provide more than $3 billion for farm crop damage due to storms and nearly $1 billion for the Marine Corps and Air Force to repair bases and restore equipment damaged by recent hurricanes.
The measure would also provide $600 million to the Economic Development Administration to provide grants to areas damaged by storms in 2018 and 2019.