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By William D. CohanA few days into his jihad against his former boss, Anthony Scaramucci discusses his view of Trump’s increasing mental problems, his racist tactics, and why he hopes an Arya Stark will rise up to kick him out of office. New York financier Anthony Scaramucci, aka the Mooch, had his 15 minutes of fame back in the summer of 2017 when he spent 11 days as Donald Trump’s communications director in the White House. Even after John Kelly, then the chief of staff, fired him in the aftermath of his profanity-laced diatribe against other members of the White House staff that appeared in the New Yorker, Scaramucci stayed loyal to Trump, defending him publicly on TV spot after TV spot. But now, nearly two years later, the Mooch has soured bigly on Trump—and vice versa. It all broke into the open a week ago during the Mooch’s appearance on the Bill Maher show. Trump retaliated with a stream of tweets directed Scaramucci’s way. But the Mooch says that the president has met his match. A Harvard Law School graduate with working-class roots from Port Washington, Long Island, he’s not one to back down and is happy to go toe-to-toe with the most powerful man on Earth. I’ve been reporting on the Mooch for years, and so was curious about just what he is up to this time. What follows is a lightly edited and condensed version of our recent conversation, now that Scaramucci has decided to throw cold water on the man he calls “The Wicked Witch of the West Wing.” William D. Cohan: You’ve had quite the last few days. Anthony Scaramucci: Oh my god, this jackass. You know, it’s all good. I mean, it could be the best three or four days ever, actually.
By Yen Nee LeeHedge fund titan Ray Dalio said he wouldn’t rule out China using its Treasury holdings to gain an upper hand against the U.S. in the trade war — a view that contrasts with many other observers. “We have a debtor-creditor relationship, not just a trade relationship. And (that) can be a dangerous thing,” Dalio, founder of the world’s largest hedge fund Bridgewater Associates, told CNBC’s “Managing Asia” in Singapore. When repeatedly pressed on whether Beijing could weaponize its ownership of U.S. Treasurys, Dalio responded: “I wouldn’t rule it out.” Analysts and investors have said that amid escalating trade conflict between the world’s two largest economies, China could resort to the so-called nuclear option to hurt the U.S.: Selling its large Treasury holdings. But many dismissed that suggestion, saying such a move will harm China too. China was the largest foreign holder of U.S. Treasurys until June, when it was surpassed by Japan. According to data by the U.S. Treasury department, China held $1.11 trillion of U.S. debt in June.
By Debra ShushanThe much-touted shared values between the U.S. and Israel no longer seem to include liberal protections for free speech. The U.S.-Israel relationship suffered a profound setback Thursday. Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri confirmed that Israel would bar two members of Congress, Democratic Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, from entering Israel because of their support for the BDS movement, which calls for boycotts, divestment and sanctions on Israel. Thursday’s decision to deny Tlaib and Omar entrance to Israel reversed the earlier position expressed by Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer, who in July said that “Out of respect for the U.S. Congress and the great alliance between Israel and America, we would not deny entry to any member of Congress into Israel.”
Greenland has said it is "not for sale" following reports that US President Donald Trump has spoken about buying the world's biggest island. The president is said to have discussed the idea of purchasing Greenland, an autonomous Danish territory, during dinners and meetings with advisers. But Greenland's foreign ministry dismissed the idea, saying: "We're open for business, not for sale." Mr Trump's reported plans have also been quickly dismissed by politicians in Denmark. "It must be an April Fool's Day joke...but totally out of [season]!", tweeted former Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), which first reported the news, said Mr Trump had spoken about the purchase with "varying degrees of seriousness". Sources quoted in other media differed over whether the president was joking or seriously hoping to expand US territory. The White House has not commented on the reports.
By Toluse OlorunnipaBy pressuring the Israeli government to bar entry by two members of Congress, President Trump once again used the power and platform of his office to punish his political rivals. It’s a pattern that has intensified during the first two and a half years of Trump’s presidency, as he has increasingly governed to the tune of his grievances. The president has grounded a military jet set for use by the Democratic House speaker, yanked a security clearance from a former CIA director critical of him, threatened to withhold disaster aid from states led by Democrats, pushed to reopen a criminal investigation targeting Hillary Clinton and publicly called for federal action to punish technology and media companies he views as biased against him. Taken as a whole, Trump’s use of political power to pursue personal vendettas is unprecedented in modern history, said Matthew Dallek, a political historian who teaches at George Washington University.
The U.S. Treasury is about to flood the market with debt to fund a $1 trillion deficit. Here’s why that is a worryThere may be some limitations to the U.S. government’s borrowing after all. An anticipated surge of U.S. borrowing in the global debt markets in the second half of this year is starting to create concern as Treasury is expected to ramp up its issuance of bills, notes and bonds to fund a soaring $1 trillion budget deficit. The U.S. government’s budget gap has widened 27% compared to the first 10 months of fiscal 2018, as spending has risen 8% and receipts have grown by 3%. The federal fiscal year runs October through September. The Trump administration recently forecast a $1 trillion full-year shortfall, while the Congressional Budget Office is slightly more conservative, putting it at $896 billion. Last month the U.S. Treasury laid out its plans to borrow $814 billion between July and December, after the Trump administration and Congress agreed to a two-year postponement of the U.S. debt ceiling, ensuring no government shutdown or a federal default. Not only does the Treasury needs to borrow to cover the fiscal deficit created by Trump’s 2017 tax cuts and the inability of Congress to agree on spending cuts, but Treasury needs to rebuild its cash balance which was run down to pay the governments bills when the debt ceiling was hit in May.
By Pamela Brown, Jim Acosta and Caroline Kelly, CNN(CNN) - President Donald Trump has on multiple occasions brought up buying Greenland from the Danish government and the White House counsel's office has looked into the possibility, two sources told CNN on Thursday. Trump's interest in buying Greenland was first reported on Thursday by The Wall Street Journal. The Journal reported that people familiar with the deliberations said the President has raised the issue during meetings and dinners, asking aides and listening seriously about the possibility and advantages of owning Greenland. He also asked his White House counsel to research the matter, according to two of the people. Two of the people also told the Journal that Trump's aides were divided on the issue, with some praising it as solid economic strategy and others dismissing it as a passing fancy. CNN has contacted the White House and the State Department for comment. Greenland, an autonomous Danish territory, is home to Thule Air Base, the US military's northernmost base, located about 750 miles above the Arctic Circle and built in 1951. The radar and listening post features a Ballistic Missile Early Warning System that can warn of incoming intercontinental ballistic missiles and reaches thousands of miles into Russian territory. Aides expressed both expectation and reservation at the President's still-unclear interest in the idea and had questions about the island's military and research potential, the Journal reported. They pointed to those outside the administration floating a Greenland purchase as a potential legacy-builder for Trump, similar to President Dwight Eisenhower's statehood for Alaska, the paper added.
By MATTHEW CHOIPresident Donald Trump on Thursday praised a New Hampshire Republican who previously called for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to be shot by firing squad. Speaking at a rally in Manchester, N.H., Trump gave a shoutout to state Rep. Al Baldasaro, who had previously served as an informal adviser during his 2016 campaign. Baldasaro had been diagnosed with cancer, Trump said during the rally, and he added that his apparent recovery and successful treatment were a testament to the changes to the Veterans Choice Program that Trump signed into law last year.
Donald Trump and his minions keep hiding behind euphemisms. What they clearly want is to make America whiterBy Amanda MarcotteHow many euphemisms can Donald Trump's allies and members of his administration come up with for "white" when trying to explain their preferences for what the population of the United States should look like? There's "Western civilization," which Trump has declared superior to "the South or the East," because people from the magical lands of the West apparently "pursue innovation" while others do not. (Someone should tell the tech-driven economies of South Asia and East Asia about that.) The language, sometimes modified to "Western values," was picked up by much of right-wing media. Then there's "culture and demographics", a euphemism for whiteness preferred by folks like Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, who is beyond any serious doubt the most racist member of Congress.
Lou Dobbs Slams WH Staff: "I Really Don't Know Who The Hell Is Advising This President, Is It Mulvaney?"Posted By Tim HainsLou Dobbs and GOP strategist Ed Rollins expressed great concern about the White House staff on Wednesday's edition of FOX Business Network's "Lou Dobbs Tonight," wondering which "idiots" are pushing him to embrace gun control and increase legal immigration. "Whoever is advising this president to compromise with radical Dems, you know, you need to get your head straight because this is just nuts and a bad political idea," Dobbs said. "Some of the president's misguided advisors appear to be pushing the president to roll back the Second Amendment or to support Mitch McConnell's Senate bill to double the number of H-1B visas -- nearly all would be for Indian and Chinese workers who would be in direct competition with American workers." Ed Rollins, who worked in the Nixon and Reagan administrations, said that his main concern was the lack of political experience among the White House staff: "It is now a group of young people who have never had any experience in life or politics... The reality is now you've basically got a group of young people who are all about the Hill. They're not about the president and they're not about the president's programs. They're trying to please everybody on the Hill."
By Domenico MontanaroFollowing two recent mass shootings, about half a dozen Democratic presidential candidates are not mincing their words when it comes to President Trump. They're calling him a "white supremacist." "He is," former Rep. Beto O'Rourke said on MSNBC. He had already called Trump a "racist" and was asked whether he thought Trump was a white supremacist. "He is a dehumanizer. ... He has been very clear about who he prefers to be in this country and who he literally wants to keep out with walls and cages and militarization and torture and cruelty. And again, we in El Paso have born the brunt of all of that." Twenty-two people were killed in El Paso, Texas, earlier this month when a gunman opened fire in a Walmart. People from both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border were killed, and the shooter is believed to have written a screed deriding immigrants as invaders. The language in that manifesto is similar to the kind of language Trump has used, leading many to blame the president for using irresponsible rhetoric that could inspire people at the fringes. The progressive left has pressed candidates — and the media — to call Trump a "liar" and a "racist." In fact, in a recent Quinnipiac poll, more than half of Americans said they believe the president is a racist – and the country has been bitterly divided, through partisan lenses, on race in this country.
The trade war is already lost, Trump is doomed and this investment is about to go ‘ballistic,’ strategist saysThat’s Euro Pacific Capital’s Peter Schiff explaining to Fox Business following the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s DJIA, +0.39% nasty plunge on Wednesday how he sees this turbulent market ultimately playing out. “The dollar DXY, +0.18% is going to go through the floor and it’s going to take the bond market with it and the next crisis, it’s not subprime mortgages, it’s going to be in the Treasury market,” he added. “This trade war is lost,” he said. “The only question is when do we surrender and how do we admit defeat. Again, I don’t think we’re going to get any kind of deal.”
By Associated PressThe government had argued authorities weren't required to provide certain accommodations, like soap, under a requirement that facilities be "safe and sanitary." SAN FRANCISCO — A panel of judges on Thursday dismissed an appeal by the U.S. government that contended detained immigrant children might not require soap during shorter stints in custody under a longstanding settlement agreement. A three-judge panel for the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco dismissed a challenge to a lower court decision that authorities had failed to provide safe and sanitary conditions for the children under the 1997 settlement. The U.S. government had argued that authorities weren't required to provide specific accommodations, such as soap, under the agreement's requirement that facilities be "safe and sanitary" and asked the panel to weigh in. The appellate judges disagreed and dismissed the government's case. "Assuring that children eat enough edible food, drink clean water, are housed in hygienic facilities with sanitary bathrooms, have soap and toothpaste, and are not sleep-deprived are without doubt essential to the children's safety," the panel wrote. The ruling followed a June hearing where a U.S. government lawyer said the agreement was vague and didn't necessarily require that a toothbrush and soap be provided to children during brief stays in custody.
By Morgan GstalterA biographer of Emma Lazarus, the poet who penned the words inscribed on the Statue of Liberty, criticized acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Ken Cuccinelli for saying the poem was referring to “people coming from Europe." Lazarus wrote “The New Colossus” in 1883 and the words became a rallying cry for supporters of immigration in the 1930s. The famous poem read: "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” Biographer Esther Schor, author of “Emma Lazarus,” said that the poet's words were meant to encourage Americans “to embrace the poor and destitute of all places and origins," The Associated Press reported. The native New Yorker of Portuguese Sephardic Jewish descent penned the sonnet for an auction raising funds for Lady Liberty’s pedestal and her words are enshrined on a plaque. Schor, in an op-ed for The New York Times, noted that Lazarus was well-known for her work with Eastern European Jewish refugees, addressing racism and anti-Semitism. "Ms. Lazarus, a wealthy fourth-generation American, devoted herself to settling these immigrants in New York," Schor wrote.
By Rebecca Klar and Zack BudrykSen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) broke with President Trump on Thursday, calling Israel’s decision to bar Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) from entering the nation “a mistake.” “I disagree 100% with Reps. Tlaib & Omar on #Israel & am the author of the #AntiBDS bill we passed in the Senate,” Rubio tweeted, referencing the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement backed by Omar and Tlaib, among others. “But denying them entry into #Israel is a mistake. Being blocked is what they really hoped for all along in order to bolster their attacks against the Jewish state,” he added.
By Rachel FrazinThe Florida Bar found no probable cause that Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) violated its rules when he tweeted accusing former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen of having in affair ahead of Cohen's congressional testimony in February. Florida Bar spokeswoman Francine Walker told The Hill in a statement on Thursday that the organization's grievance committee found "no probable cause" that Gaetz "violated any of the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar." Gaetz announced the decision in a Wednesday tweet. "The Florida Bar has informed me that the Grievance Committee found 'No Probable Cause' that I violated the rules of my profession," he wrote. "They are taking no disciplinary action against me & are sending a letter of advice." "I thank the Bar committee members for their sound judgment," he added.
By Kate Sullivan, CNNWashington (CNN) - The prominent pro-Israel group American Israel Public Affairs Committee suggested Thursday it opposed a move by Israel -- and supported by President Donald Trump -- to bar Democratic Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib from entering the country. AIPAC, which advocates for a staunch alliance between the US and Israel, has frequently sided with Trump administration policies that have supported Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government, making its opposition especially notable. "We disagree with Reps. Omar and Tlaib's support for the anti-Israel and anti-peace BDS movement, along with Rep. Tlaib's calls for a one-state solution. We also believe every member of Congress should be able to visit and experience our democratic ally Israel firsthand," AIPAC tweeted early Thursday afternoon. Omar and Tlaib, the first two Muslim women elected to Congress, have frequently criticized Israel's treatment of Palestinians and expressed support for the Boycott, Divest, and Sanctions movement, which aims to end international support for Israel because of its policies toward Palestinians. That support was cited by the Israeli government as the basis for blocking them from entering the country. The two congresswomen have previously been criticized by AIPAC. Omar drew controversy earlier this year for suggesting Republican support of Israel is fueled by donations from AIPAC. The Minnesota Democrat later apologized, but reaffirmed what she called the "problematic role of lobbyists in our politics," including AIPAC. She insinuated pro-Israel groups were pushing "allegiance to a foreign country." Netanyahu spoke at the annual AIPAC conference via video earlier this year and condemned Omar's comments, saying, "it's not about the Benjamins" and that the "reason the people of America support Israel is not because they want our money, it's because they share our values."
By Lindsey EllefsonThe conservative talk radio host also apologizes for supporting Trump in 2016 — and his own history of “personal attacks”Former Tea Party congressman Joe Walsh has called for President Trump to face a primary challenge from Republicans ahead of the 2020 election. “I apologize for the role that I played in putting an unfit conman in the White House,” the radio host said Thursday on CNN, where he was discussing an op-ed he wrote for the New York Times Wednesday arguing for a challenger. He called Trump “bad for the country” and cautioned that if Republicans don’t “stand up right now,” the party will “get wiped out in 2020.” In his op-ed for the New York Times, Walsh, once a strong Trump supporter himself, wrote, “Fiscal matters are only part of it. At the most basic level, Mr. Trump is unfit for office. His lies are so numerous — from his absurd claim that tariffs are “paid for mostly by China, by the way, not by us,” to his prevarication about his crowd sizes, he can’t be trusted.”
By Zoe Tillman - BuzzFeed News ReporterTrump, his campaign, and his companies have used arbitration to try to move potentially damaging and embarrassing claims out of the public court process. WASHINGTON — Jane Doe, a hospice worker from California, was still undecided midway through an investor recruitment meeting in 2014 for a multilevel marketing company, ACN. But the promotional video she watched featuring Donald Trump — still in the midst of his run as star of The Celebrity Apprentice — won her over. Trump’s assurances that ACN was “one of the best businesses” were convincing. He already had so much money, Jane Doe told herself, he wasn’t trying to scam her. She paid the $499 registration fee. She spent thousands of dollars attending ACN conferences, hosting recruitment events to sign up other investors, and attending local meetings, all while trying to sell ACN’s video conferencing and telecommunications products. In the end, according to a lawsuit Jane Doe and other aggrieved ACN investors filed under pseudonyms against now-president Trump last year, she received one check. She earned $38. The investors are accusing Trump — who appeared in multiple promotional materials for ACN and spoke at the company's investor conferences — of fraud. They claim that he falsely touted ACN as a profitable and low-risk investment, even though he knew or should have known it was a bad investment, and that neither he nor ACN disclosed that he was being paid to endorse the company. Jane Doe now finds herself in a situation familiar to Stormy Daniels, former Trump campaign and White House staffers, employees who worked for Trump’s companies, and investors who put money into his businesses: Trump is arguing to move the lawsuit out of court — where evidence, arguments, and hearings generally are a matter of public record — and into the more secretive private justice system he has used for more than a decade to keep these kinds of unflattering allegations quiet, known as arbitration. Of the thousands of lawsuits filed by or against Trump and his companies over the years — a USA Today investigation identified at least 3,500 cases — the vast majority have played out in court. But in a small number of cases in which Trump, his 2016 campaign, or his businesses have been accused of discrimination, shady business practices, and other bad acts, the president and his lawyers have invoked clauses in contracts that give them the power to force these disputes behind closed doors.
BEIJING/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - China on Thursday vowed to counter the latest U.S. tariffs on $300 billion of Chinese goods but called on the United States to meet it halfway on a potential trade deal, as U.S. President Donald Trump said any pact would have to be on America’s terms. The Chinese finance ministry said in a statement that Washington’s tariffs, set to start next month, violated a consensus reached between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at a June summit in Japan to resolve their disputes via negotiation. In a separate statement, China’s foreign ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, said, “We hope the U.S. will meet China halfway, and implement the consensus of the two heads of the two countries in Osaka.” China hopes to find mutually acceptable solutions through dialogue and consultation on the basis of equality and mutual respect, she added. Trump, who is seeking re-election in 2020 and had made the economy and his tough stance on China a key part of his 2016 campaign for the White House, on Thursday said any agreement must meet U.S. demands.
By Isabel KershnerJERUSALEM — Israel on Thursday barred the entry of two American Democratic congresswomen who had planned to visit the West Bank, hours after President Trump had urged the country to block them. Mr. Trump’s intervention was an extraordinary step to influence an allied nation and punish his political opponents at home. The two congresswomen, Representatives Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, both freshmen, are the first two Muslim women elected to Congress. Both are outspoken adversaries of Mr. Trump and have been vocal in their support of the Palestinians and the boycott-Israel movement. The president has targeted them in speeches and Twitter postings that his critics have called racist and xenophobic. It was reported last week that Mr. Trump was pressing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel to deny entrance to the two women, and Thursday morning he left little doubt. While Israeli officials were still deliberating the matter, he said in a Twitter post that “it would show great weakness if Israel allowed Rep. Omar and Rep. Tlaib to visit.”
Exposure to polluted air is like smoking a pack a day, study says
By Katie Hunt and Jen Christensen, CNN
EPA 'exceeds' goals on cutting back environmental regulations, according to internal watchdog
By Rene Marsh and Ellie Kaufman, CNN
(CNN) - The Environmental Protection Agency "exceeded" its goals in cutting back environmental regulations during the first two years of the Trump administration, according to an internal watchdog report. The EPA's inspector general evaluated how the agency responded to an executive order from President Donald Trump issued in January 2017 mandating federal agencies control costs by cutting regulations. The EO asked that for every one regulation an agency issued, two regulations be cut. The EPA cut 26 regulations, saving the agency more than $96 million, and created four new regulations -- far more than the 2-to-1 ratio the White House had requested, according to the report. The agency saved roughly $6 million more than the Office of Management and budget requested. In the administration's first year, "the EPA had the highest number of deregulatory actions of any federal agency," according to the report. These actions include rollbacks of environmental regulations that govern water, air and greenhouse gas emission levels.
In the past two years, the EPA changed what waters are protected under the Clean Water Act, rolled back an Obama-era plan that would have reduced carbon emission from coal-fired power plants, and proposed a rule that would allow fewer restrictions on hazardous air pollutants, among other changes. The inspector general's report gives a fuller picture of how aggressively the agency has been in slashing regulations; the data shows the EPA has been the most successful in this goal. While the inspector general evaluated the agency's regulatory rollbacks, it "did not evaluate human health and environmental impacts or trends," the report said. - Environmental regulations save American lives Trump and the GOP have reduced environmental regulations and profits for business above the lives of Americans.
The Trump administration is starting to publicly recognize the costs of the US-China trade war on Americansby Joseph Zeballos-RoigThroughout its trade war with China, the Trump administration has consistently struck the same message: They're paying the entirety of the tariffs, and not the United States. But early on Wednesday, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross went on CNBC to explain the administration's decision to delay a portion of the planned tariffs until December 15, which would have affected the rest of Chinese imports into the United States. He cited a desire to protect shoppers from any adverse effects during the holiday season, given the goods affected had included laptops, cellphones, toys and video game consoles among others. "Nobody wants to take any chance at disrupting the Christmas season," Ross said. It's a tacit, yet remarkable admission that the ongoing trade war with China is threatening the pockets of American consumers. Just over a year ago, Ross staunchly defended Trump's massive tariffs as being "no big deal" on CNBC — and held up cans of soup, beer, and soda to illustrate his point. President Donald Trump has also started to publicly recognize the cost of the trade war on Americans. Asked by reporters about the delay on implementing tariffs on Monday, Trump said, "We're doing this for the Christmas season."
By Michael D. Shear, Miriam Jordan and Caitlin DickersonThe Trump administration has said the immigration overhaul it announced this week will ensure that new legal residents carry their own weight, without prejudice or favor. Yet the new rule for weeding out those who might be a drain on taxpayers will almost certainly disadvantage poor people from Latin America, Africa and parts of Asia. Over time, people who are granted green cards — the major step toward winning citizenship — will become wealthier but their numbers will shrink, researchers predicted. More green cards will go to immigrants with a good education and a measure of self-sufficiency; fewer will be granted simply because someone has a family member in the United States. Immigrants from Europe and Canada are least likely to face problems under the new regulations, according to one study, which found that, by contrast, nearly three-quarters of recent arrivals from Mexico and the Caribbean have relatively modest incomes that would jeopardize their chances at a green card.
by Erin Banco - National Security Reporter, Asawin Suebsaeng - White House ReporterAllies are steamed, national-security officials are baffled, and even the president is pissed about the contradictory signals the administration is sending about talks with Iran. The Trump administration keeps sending conflicting and contradictory messages to Iran about its terms for new negotiations, multiple U.S and European officials tell The Daily Beast. And the ensuing chaos has vexed the president, complicated diplomatic efforts for American allies abroad, and utterly baffled policymakers at home. “Absolute amateur hour,” said one former senior administration official, who was involved with the internal squabbles. For several months, the United States has been actively attempting to pass messages, via allies, to the Iranians in an effort to move closer to beginning formal diplomatic talks with Tehran. However, diverging opinions within the Trump administration are foiling the nascent diplomatic process, according to two current U.S. officials and another source with direct knowledge of the matter. The dissent is straining foreign intermediaries who are working as go-betweens between Washington and Tehran. They say they are fed up with receiving mixed messages from Donald Trump’s team. The State Department did not respond to a request for comment for this story. But a senior administration official told The Daily Beast, “The Administration is completely aligned in this approach. The President has been clear, he is open to meeting with Iran’s leadership to work out an agreement and give Iran the future it deserves.”
President Donald Trump’s new tariffs on Chinese agricultural products are likely to hurt the Asian nation a lot less than the retaliatory duties Beijing already imposes on the U.S. The White House, while delaying tariffs on big-ticket consumer products until December, decided to push ahead with 10% tariffs on Chinese agricultural products as well as antiques, clothes, kitchenware and footwear from Sept. 1. The list ranges from the exotic -- live primates, whales and foxes -- to the more usual fare of milk and edible oils. But the amount of farm products China exports to the U.S. is much smaller than what it imports from America, even with the retaliatory tariffs in place. China shipped $3.1 billion worth of farm goods to America in the first half of this year, while it purchased $5.6 billion of U.S. agricultural items over the same period, according to Chinese customs data.
The stock market is very happy about signs of surrender.By Matthew YglesiasPresident Donald Trump announced on Tuesday morning that he was going to delay implementation of looming taxes on a broad set of Chinese-made goods and sent the stock market soaring. Just one week ago, financial markets were heading in the opposite direction as his administration officially designated China as a currency manipulator. In both cases, the literal implications of the policy changes are modest. Instead, the market reaction seems to be about reading the tea leaves as to Trump’s longer-term intentions. Designating China as a currency manipulator had no automatic consequences for policy in Washington or Beijing. It was simply seen as an escalating move and a sign of hardening hearts, an indication that Trump’s fans in the business community might not be getting the pre-election climbdown from trade war that they craved. Conversely, delaying the tariffs on a portion of the scheduled-for-tariffing products by a few months does not have a particularly large direct impact on the American economy. Stocks went up instead largely because it was seen as a sign that the previous signs of escalation in the trade negotiations had been read wrongly. Trump seems to remain attuned to stock market signals and nervous about indications that global financial markets don’t like trade confrontation. That gives investors reason to believe that Trump ultimately won’t push trade war to the limits, and that sent markets soaring. The fact that Trump climbed down in the midst of increasing international attention to escalating protests and crackdowns in Hong Kong gives Chinese leaders a timely propaganda win. But critically, nothing in the vast US-China trade dispute docket has actually been resolved. Trump just blinked a little bit in a mutually harmful conflict that has no obvious endpoint.
By Devan Cole, CNNWashington (CNN)The acting director of US Citizenship and Immigration Services in a new interview revised the iconic poem on the Statue of Liberty's pedestal to suggest that only immigrants who can "stand on their own two feet" are welcome in the United States. Ken Cuccinelli tweaked the famous poem from Emma Lazarus -- whose words, "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free" are long associated with immigration to the US and the nation's history as a haven -- as part of a case for strict new measures pushed Monday by the Trump administration that could dramatically change the legal immigration system. "Would you also agree that Emma Lazarus's words etched on the Statue of Liberty, 'Give me your tired, give me your poor,' are also a part of the American ethos?" NPR's Rachel Martin asked Cuccinelli on "Morning Edition" in an interview published Tuesday. "They certainly are: 'Give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge,'" he replied. "That plaque was put on the Statue of Liberty at almost the same time as the first public charge was passed -- very interesting timing." On Monday, the Trump administration announced a regulation that makes it easier to reject green card and visa applications. The new rule means many green card and visa applicants could be turned down if they have low incomes or little education, and have used benefits such as most forms of Medicaid, food stamps, and housing vouchers, because they'd be deemed more likely to need government assistance in the future. Cuccinelli has defended the changes, writing in a CNN op-ed published Tuesday that "self-sufficiency has been a core tenet of the American dream."
By Ed KilgoreThere has been a lot of discussion in political circles about Donald Trump’s job-approval ratings, what they portend, and Trump’s Electoral College strategy for 2020, which doesn’t necessarily require a popular-vote plurality. But in the end, of course, the conjunction of the Electoral College with Trump’s state-by-state popularity is where the deal will go down. The online polling firm Civiqs has published a new set of state-by-state job-approval ratings for Trump as of August 11, and it shows how the president’s overall standing (a 43 percent approval rating nationally, which happens to match the current RealClearPolitics polling average) might translate into electorate votes. It’s not a pretty picture for the president, to put it mildly. Civiqs shows the president’s net approval ratios being underwater (i.e., negative) in 10 states he carried in 2016: Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin. If that were to represent how the 2020 elections turn out, Trump would have a booming 119 electoral votes. And it’s not as though he’s on a knife’s edge between victory and defeat in all these Trump 2016 states where he’s doing poorly: He’s underwater by 12 points in Pennsylvania, 11 in Michigan, and nine in Arizona, North Carolina, and Wisconsin. And there’s virtually no indication that states that narrowly went for Clinton in 2016 are trending in Trump’s direction: His approval ratios are minus 18 in Colorado, minus 15 in Minnesota, minus 12 in Nevada, and minus 27 in New Hampshire. These are, by the way, polls of registered voters, not just “adults,” so they should be a relatively sound reflection of the views of the electorate.
Analysis by Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large(CNN) - Anthony Scaramucci seems to have finally learned a very, very important lesson about President Donald Trump: If you stick around long enough, he will turn on you. Always. "For the last 3 years I have fully supported this President," tweeted the former White House communications director about his onetime boss and longtime friend. "Recently he has said things that divide the country in a way that is unacceptable. So I didn't pass the 100% litmus test. Eventually he turns on everyone and soon it will be you and then the entire country." "Eventually he turns on everyone." That might seem like an exaggeration made by a disgruntled former friend. It's not. For a man whose life has been defined, in large part, by his open embrace of his inconsistencies and contradictions, one of the very few things Donald Trump has been consistent about is that he goes from love to loathing quickly. If you are close to him (unless you are a member of his immediate family) you are on the clock. It's only a matter of time before he tires of you -- and turns on you. Consider these names (and this is far from a complete list): Michael Cohen, Omarosa Manigault Newman, Rex Tillerson, James Mattis, Jeff Sessions, Steve Bannon, John Kelly, Paul Ryan, Cliff Sims, Donald McGahn, Chris Christie and Scaramucci. All were once close to Trump. All were once publicly praised by Trump. And all are now on the outs with him, the result -- in virtually every circumstance -- of Trump finding fault with them, whether in how they were performing the job he had tasked them with or in how they defended him (or didn't) at all costs.
US President Donald Trump's administration is to make it more difficult for poorer legal migrants to extend their visas or gain permanent resident status (a green card). The rule targets migrants who rely on public benefits, such as food aid or public housing, for more than a year. Their applications will be rejected if the government decides they are likely to rely on public assistance in future. The rule change would reinforce "ideals of self-sufficiency," officials said. The new regulation, known as a "public charge rule", was published in the Federal Register on Monday and will take effect on 15 October. Who will be affected? Immigrants who are already permanent residents in the US are unlikely to be affected by the rule change. It also does not apply to refugees and asylum applicants. But applicants for visa extensions, green cards or US citizenship will be subject to the change. Those who do not meet income standards or who are deemed likely to rely on benefits such as Medicaid (government-run healthcare) or housing vouchers in future may be blocked from entering the country.
By Dean ObeidallahWe know the president prefers white people. But a look at the percentages on his appointments gives new meaning to the phrase “White House.” After the 2014 midterm election, there was a sense the GOP was becoming a more racially diverse party when African-American Tim Scott won a seat to the U.S. Senate from South Carolina and Will Hurd and Mia Love were both elected to the House. Even NPR noted then about these historic victories that the Republican Party seemed to be “building momentum for diversifying the GOP ranks.” Those days are long gone. There are currently five times as many Republicans in the House named Jim as there are black Republicans in that chamber. And it’s about to get worse. Will Hurd, the only black Republican currently in the House, announced last week he was retiring. Before that, in 2018, Mia Love was defeated and then mocked by Donald Trump, “Mia Love gave me no love and she lost," adding tauntingly, "Too bad. Sorry about that, Mia." That means unless another black Republican wins a congressional race in 2020, there will be zero on the GOP side of the aisle in the 435-seat House and only in the one in the Senate. Add to that, of the 27 current GOP state governors, none are black or Hispanic.
By Igor DeryshHidden report shows white supremacists were responsible for every race-based domestic terror attack in 2018. The Justice Department suppressed a report showing that suspected white supremacists were responsible for all race-based domestic terror incidents last year. The report by New Jersey’s Office of Homeland Security Preparedness was distributed throughout DHS and to federal agencies like the FBI earlier this year before it was obtained by Yahoo News. The document includes data Congress has sought from the Trump administration but the Justice Department has been “unable or unwilling” to provide. The report shows that 25 of 46 suspects in 32 domestic terrorism incidents were identified as white supremacists. The 25 suspected white supremacist suspects were responsible for all “race-based” incidents while others were deemed “anti-government extremists” and “single-issue extremists.” “This map reflects 32 domestic terrorist attacks, disrupted plots, threats of violence, and weapons stockpiling by individuals with a radical political or social agenda who lack direction or influence from foreign terrorist organizations in 2018,” the report said. The map and data in the document were circulated through the DOJ and law enforcement agencies in April, which is around the time that the Senate Judiciary Committee requested the DOJ provide data showing the number of white supremacists involved in domestic terrorism. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., told Yahoo News that the committee still has not received the data. “I’m troubled by the lack of transparency, given that we haven’t received this critical information after several requests to the FBI and DOJ,” Booker said. “They cannot and should not remain silent in the face of such a dangerous threat.” - The DOJ under Trump is protecting white supremacists no wonder they like Trump.
By Priscilla Alvarez, Geneva Sands and Tami Luhby, CNNWashington (CNN) - The Trump administration released a regulation Monday that could dramatically cut the number of legal immigrants allowed to enter and stay in the US by making it easier to reject green card and visa applications. Paired with last week's enforcement raids on food processing plants in Mississippi, Monday's announcement amounts to a concerted effort by the administration to limit legal immigration and crack down on illegal immigration.The rule means many green card and visa applicants could be turned down if they have low incomes or little education, and have used benefits such as most forms of Medicaid, food stamps, and housing vouchers, because they'd be deemed more likely to need government assistance in the future. It will encourage "self-reliance and self-sufficiency for those seeking to come to or stay in the United States," said acting US Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Ken Cuccinelli, appearing in the White House briefing room. In doing so, though, it'll likely make it harder for low-income immigrants to come to the US. When asked about whether the rule is unfairly targeting low-income immigrants, Cuccinelli said: "We certainly expect people of any income to be able to stand on their own two feet, so if people are not able to be self-sufficient, than this negative factor is going to bear very heavily against them in a decision about whether they'll be able to become a legal permanent resident. " The 837-page rule applies to those seeking to come to or remain in the United States via legal channels and is expected to impact roughly 383,000 people, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
By Doyle Rice, USA TODAYThe Trump administration announced Monday a major overhaul to the Endangered Species Act in a way it says will reduce regulations, but environmentalists say will push more animals and plants to extinction because of threats from climate change and human activities. The changes end blanket protections for animals newly deemed threatened and allow federal authorities for the first time to take into account the economic cost of protecting a particular species. The Endangered Species Act now protects more than 1,600 species in the United States and its territories. “The best way to uphold the Endangered Species Act is to do everything we can to ensure it remains effective in achieving its ultimate goal – recovery of our rarest species,” U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt said in a statement. “The act’s effectiveness rests on clear, consistent and efficient implementation.” U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said “the revisions finalized with this rulemaking fit squarely within the president’s mandate of easing the regulatory burden on the American public, without sacrificing our species’ protection and recovery goals."
By David Shortell, CNNNew Orleans (CNN) - Attorney General William Barr said investigators are learning of "serious irregularities" at the New York jail where accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein was found dead of an apparent suicide over the weekend. "We are now learning of serious irregularities at this facility that are deeply concerning and demand a thorough investigation," Barr told a national policing conference in New Orleans on Monday morning. Barr said he was "appalled" and "angry" to learn of the Metropolitan Correctional Center's "failure to adequately secure this prisoner." Barr announced on Saturday that the FBI and the Justice Department's internal watchdog would investigate Epstein's death.
By GABBY ORRA Trump-supporting West Virginia state senator who represents many evangelicals got three phone calls from constituents complaining about Trump’s profanity after a recent rally. Paul Hardesty didn’t pay much attention to President Donald Trump’s campaign rally in Greenville, N.C., last month until a third concerned constituent rang his cell phone. The residents of Hardesty’s district — he’s a Trump-supporting West Virginia state senator — were calling to complain that Trump was “using the Lord’s name in vain,” as Hardesty recounted. “The third phone call is when I actually went and watched his speech because each of them sounded distraught,” said Hardesty, who describes himself as a conservative Democrat. Here’s what he would have seen. Trump crowing, “they'll be hit so goddamn hard,” while bragging about bombing Islamic State militants. And Trump recounting his warning to a wealthy businessman: “If you don't support me, you're going to be so goddamn poor.” To most of America, the comments went unnoticed. Instead, the nation was gripped after the rally by the moment when a “send her back” chant broke out as Trump went after Somali-born Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar, an American citizen. But some Trump supporters were more fixated on the casual use of the word “goddamn” — an off-limits term for many Christians — not to mention the numerous other profanities laced throughout the rest of the speech.
Analysis by Zachary B. Wolf, CNNWashington (CNN) - It is no longer surprising when President Donald Trump fuels a conspiracy theory online, as he did over the weekend with regard to the apparent suicide of multimillionaire financier and accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein. This is the man who built a political career by fanning the fringe of American politics with fevered insinuations or allegations, including, but not limited to the baseless theories that:Barack Obama wasn't born in the USA rival's father was in on the John F. Kennedy assassinationThe 2016 presidential election was rigged against him even though he wonMillions voted illegally for Hillary ClintonThe US government spied on his campaignThere's a deep state of bureaucrats organized against himThe special counsel appointed by his Justice Department was actually a witch hunt organized by DemocratsHe's done a bang-up job on Twitter using the term "fake news" as a weapon against media organizations that deal in reporting and fact. And the ultimate irony is that he so often misleads his followers with fiction. His latest trip into fantasy comes after the death of Epstein in a federal jail cell in New York.
Acting Customs and Border Protection commissioner Mark Morgan said there are investigations the public is “unaware of.”By Riley BegginActing Customs and Border Protection commissioner Mark Morgan dodged questions about reports of undocumented workers at Trump Organization properties Sunday morning. On CNN’s State of the Union, host Jake Tapper asked Morgan why Immigration and Customs Enforcement — which Morgan led until early July — hadn’t conducted any raids or investigations into Trump’s eight properties given reports that the clubs and hotels employ undocumented people. “You really can’t say that for sure,” Morgan said. “There are investigations going on all the time that you’re unaware of. ... Of course it’s going to jeopardize the investigation if I come on here and I talk to you about an investigation that’s going on.”
By Bess LevinThe president is fine with an immigrant “invasion” when it’s benefitting him financially. Demonizing immigrants played a key role in Donald Trump’s campaign for the presidency, just as cracking down on “illegal” border crossings and whipping the base into a frenzy over a so-called migrant “invasion” has been a regular feature of his time in office and reelection efforts. But undocumented immigrants have also served another, lesser known but nevertheless vital function in the president’s life: providing cheap labor at his businesses. And not just, like, in years past, or in the first few months of his presidency, but as of—what’s that now?—today. Yes, it’s a tough job to foam at the mouth daily about people entering the country without going through the proper channels first, use it to justify separating families and sending people back to nations they’ve never known—all the while relying on them to keep your golf clubs running—but somebody’s got to do it! The Washington Post reports that the Trump Organization currently employs a “roving crew of Latin American employees” to perform masonry and maintenance work at his winery and various golf clubs around the country. For almost two decades, the group has been comprised of workers who came into the US illegally—the penalty for which the president seemingly believes should be death—according to two former crew members. Another one, who still works for Trump, told reporters Joshua Partlow and David A. Fahrenthold that remains the case today. President Trump “doesn’t want undocumented people in the country,” said Jorge Castro, an Ecuadorian immigrant without legal status who left the company last spring after nine years. “But at his properties, he still has them.” He added: “If you’re a good worker, papers don’t matter.”
Political News Network 101Obama FIRE BACK Trump's Attacks by EXPOSE He Pretending to Condemn and Call for ‘Unity’
By David Jackson, USA TODAYBEDMINSTER, N.J. – Democratic presidential candidates blasted President Donald Trump on Sunday for re-tweeting a no-evidence conspiracy theory seeking to link Jeffrey Epstein's death to predecessor Bill Clinton. “This is another example of our President using this position of public trust to attack his political enemies with unfounded conspiracy theories," Democratic candidate Beto O'Rourke said on CNN's "State of the Union." Another presidential candidate, Cory Booker, told CNN that Trump is "whipping people up into anger and worse" and added that “this is a very dangerous president that we have right now." There is no evidence at all linking Clinton to Epstein's death Saturday by suicide, yet Trump on Saturday night re-tweeted the comments of a Twitter user named Terrence K. Williams:
By Mary PapenfussTrump “turns on everyone, and soon it will be you and then the entire country,” cautioned the president’s former pal. President Donald Trump’s short-time communications director and one-time pal Anthony Scaramucci attacked him on Twitter Saturday with a chilling warning: that the commander in chief will eventually “turn” on the “entire country.” Trump had lashed Scaramucci on Twitter earlier for his former friend’s criticism of him. Scaramucci, who served as White House communications director for less than two weeks in 2017, has called Trump’s attacks on four Democratic congresswomen of color earlier this summer “racist and unacceptable.” Scaramucci also said on MSNBC’s Hardball Thursday night that Trump’s self-centered appearances in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, were a “catastrophe.” Trump mocked Scaramucci in a tweet for posing as an “all time expert on President Trump,” adding that “he knows very little about me.” He said Scaramucci would “do anything” to “come back in” to the White House.
By Scott Bronstein, Curt Devine, Drew Griffin and Ashley Hackett, CNN(CNN) - The Environmental Protection Agency told staff scientists that it was no longer opposing a controversial Alaska mining project that could devastate one of the world's most valuable wild salmon fisheries just one day after President Trump met with Alaska's governor, CNN has learned.The EPA publicly announced the reversal July 30, but EPA staff sources tell CNN that they were informed of the decision a month earlier, during a hastily arranged video conference after Trump's meeting with Gov. Mike Dunleavy. The governor, a supporter of the project, emerged from that meeting saying the president assured him that he's "doing everything he can to work with us on our mining concerns." The news came as a "total shock" to some top EPA scientists who were planning to oppose the project on environmental grounds, according to sources. Those sources asked to remain anonymous for fear of retribution. The copper-and-gold mine planned near Bristol Bay, Alaska, known as Pebble Mine, was blocked by the Obama administration's EPA after scientists found that the mine would cause "complete loss of" the bay's fish habitat. EPA insiders tell CNN that the timing of the agency's internal announcement suggests Trump was personally involved in the decision.
FBI Ranks 'Black Identity Extremists' Bigger Threat Than Al Qaeda, White Supremacists: Leaked DocumentsBy Benjamin FearnowLeaked FBI documents indicate "black identity extremists" and animal rights activists are among the agency's top counterterrorism priorities under President Donald Trump. The FBI's priority list documents, obtained by The Young Turks Thursday, lay out the Bureau's 2018 fiscal year focal points in counterterrorism, cyber crime and counterintelligence. The 2018-19 "Threat Guidance" documents describe black identity extremists (BIEs) as those who "use force or violence in violation of criminal law in response to perceived racism and injustice in American society." The files claimed some BIEs acted in hopes of "establishing a separate black homeland or autonomous black social institutions, communities or governing organizations within the USA." An internal FBI report from August 2017 was widely criticized for using the BIE label, which many called racist. But the Consolidated Strategy Guide documents leaked this week show the FBI kept the term and made BIEs one of its top counterterrorism priorities. Under the Trump administration, they're considered a bigger threat than terror groups such as Al Qaeda.
by Faris Bseiso, CNNWashington (CNN)2020 Democratic hopeful Andrew Yang said Friday that there is "no choice" but to call President Donald Trump a white supremacist, becoming the latest of the Democratic field to label the President with that term. In an interview on "New Day," Yang said "if someone acts and speaks in a certain way then you have no choice but to say that's what he is," when asked by CNN's John Berman if he would call the President a white supremacist. The comment comes after other Democratic presidential candidates have called the President a white supremacist in the wake of the two mass shootings, one involving a white supremacist suspect who is believed to have authored a racist, anti-immigrant document targeting Hispanics, as well as Trump's recent series of racist comments that included his calls for four minority congresswomen to "go back" to the countries from which they came. Three of the four lawmakers are natural-born US citizens. "In this case, I mean, it's very clear the President's actions and words have conveyed a strong sense to many Americans that he has white supremacist beliefs and that's the only standard we can go by," Yang said. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand have both said Trump is a white supremacist, making their rebukes of the President some of the strongest from the crowded field of Democratic presidential candidates. Other candidates, such as Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Rep. Beto O'Rourke, have agreed with the characterization of the President as a white nationalist. Rep. Tim Ryan, another 2020 hopeful, told CNN's Jake Tapper that "the white nationalists think (Trump's) a white nationalist. And that's the crux of the problem."
Trump promotes Epstein-Clintons conspiracy theory, the latest in a pattern of baseless claims spread by PresidentBy Jeremy Diamond, CNNBerkeley Heights, New Jersey (CNN)President Donald Trump on Saturday promoted a conspiracy theory linking the Clinton family to the death of multimillionaire and accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, the latest instance of Trump propagating baseless conspiracy theories and falsehoods.Trump shared a tweet and video from conservative comedian Terrence Williams that claimed without evidence that former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton -- Trump's 2016 presidential election rival -- were responsible for Epstein's death. The Federal Bureau of Prisons and Attorney General Bill Barr said Epstein died in an "apparent suicide" while in federal custody.As a result of Trump's retweet, the video received more than 3 million views on Twitter by Sunday morning -- more than triple Williams' most recent videos. Both Trump and Bill Clinton were friendly with Epstein in previous decades, but Trump seized on the conspiracy theory Saturday in his latest dig at the Clintons. The tweet also falsely claimed that Epstein died while on suicide watch, even though Epstein had been taken off of suicide watch before his death.
by Michael H FuchsAsia’s historical, political and economic landmines are increasingly blowing up, and Donald Trump seems intent on accelerating the damage in ways that could threaten US national security and prosperity. Things didn’t always seem so bleak. Analysts have long heralded the coming of the “Asian century”. Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia and others have transformed from autocracies to democratic members of the G20. Today, nations across Asia are innovative economies, flourishing democracies and contributors to global security. Any measurement of GDP size, military might or population illustrate how Asia could be the most important region in the world in the 21st century. The Hong Kong protests are putting China on a collision course with the west. The future of Asia remains bright, but a crippling array of challenges threatens to upend its potential – and could have an immense impact on the US. Two of the most successful democracies in the region – South Korea and Japan, which are also US allies – are in the midst of a diplomatic brawl. The tensions are being driven by the legacy of Japan’s occupation of South Korea in the first half of the 20th century – which remains a devastatingly potent political issue in both countries – and starkly divergent approaches to the region from the two current leaders. The countries’ militaries have brushed up against one another, a trade war is under way, and South Korean president Moon Jae-in recently, ominously, said: “We will never again lose to Japan.”
Trump used words like 'invasion' and 'killer' to discuss immigrants at rallies 500 times: USA TODAY analysisBy John Fritze, USA TODAYWASHINGTON – Invasion. Aliens. Killers. Criminals. Those are among the words President Donald Trump repeatedly uses while discussing immigduring his campaign rallies, according to a USA TODAY analysis of the transcripts from more than five dozen of those events. Trump, who traveled Wednesday to Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, to meet with victims and family members reeling from mass shootings, is facing pressure from critics who say his language has fed a climate of anger toward immigrants, raising the risk of violence. A manifesto authorities believe was written by the El Paso gunman before his attack decries “the Hispanic invasion of Texas.” But "invasion" is just one of several incendiary terms Trump regularly embraces. A USA TODAY analysis of the 64 rallies Trump has held since 2017 found that, when discussing immigration, the president has said “invasion” at least 19 times. He has used the word “animal” 34 times and the word “killer” nearly three dozen times.
Exclusive: White House rebuffed attempts by DHS to make combating domestic terrorism a higher priorityBy Jake TapperWashington (CNN) - White House officials rebuffed efforts by their colleagues at the Department of Homeland Security for more than a year to make combating domestic terror threats, such as those from white supremacists, a greater priority as specifically spelled out in the National Counterterrorism Strategy, current and former senior administration officials as well as other sources close to the Trump administration tell CNN. "Homeland Security officials battled the White House for more than a year to get them to focus more on domestic terrorism," one senior source close to the Trump administration tells CNN. "The White House wanted to focus only on the jihadist threat which, while serious, ignored the reality that racial supremacist violence was rising fast here at home. They had major ideological blinders on." The National Counterterrorism Strategy, issued last fall, states that "Radical Islamist terrorists remain the primary transnational terrorist threat to the United States and its vital national interests," which few experts dispute. What seems glaring to these officials is the minimizing of the threat of domestic terrorism, which they say was on their radar as a growing problem. "Ultimately the White House just added one paragraph about domestic terrorism as a throw-away line," a senior source involved in the discussion told CNN. That paragraph mentions "other forms of violent extremism, such as racially motivated extremism, animal rights extremism, environmental extremism, sovereign citizen extremism, and militia extremism." It made no mention of white supremacists. (A separate paragraph in the report mentions investigating domestic terrorists with connections to overseas terrorists, but that does not seem to be a reference to white supremacists.)
By Yun LiPresident Donald Trump said Friday that the U.S. government will no longer have any dealings with Chinese telecom giant Huawei as the trade war continues to escalate. “We are not going to do business with Huawei. ... And I really made the decision. It’s much simpler not doing any business with Huawei. ... That doesn’t mean we won’t agree to something if and when we make a trade deal,” Trump said. “We are talking to China; we are not ready to make a deal, but we’ll see what happens ... China wants to do something, but I’m not doing anything yet. Twenty-five years of abuse. I’m not ready so fast,” Trump said. However, the Commerce Department told CNBC it is still processing special licenses for companies to restart sales to Huawei, and Trump’s comment refers to only the ban on the U.S. government buying from Huawei. Trump’s decision on Huawei came after China halted buying American agricultural products in retaliation for Trump’s surprise tariffs threat last week. China also allowed its currency to drop against the dollar to a key level unseen since 2008.
Pyongyang is engaging in its own maximum pressure campaign.By D. ParvazNorth Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Wednesday said Pyongyang’s latest missile test was “an occasion to send an adequate warning” to the United States and South Korea over the joint military exercises that started this week. With the test firing of what are presumed to be ballistic, short-range missiles into the sea on Tuesday, North Korea appears to be embarking on its own maximum pressure campaign — which, at best, is aimed at bringing the Trump administration back to the negotiating table, albeit with less stringent expectations. The test came as Ju Yong Cho, the country’s envoy to the U.N.-backed Conference on Disarmament, accused the United Sates of “inciting military tension” with its joint military exercises with South Korea. Seoul and Washington, said Ju, “can neither conceal nor whitewash” the “aggressive nature” of their military drills. He made no mention of North Korea’s recent missile tests, the nation’s fourth in the past two weeks.
By Asawin SuebsaengThe president followed a familiar pattern set in the wake of past mass shootings: a nod toward solemnity followed by a day of histrionics. Shortly after he woke up at the White House on Wednesday, President Trump began preparing to travel to two different but similarly broken American cities. He was going there to comfort and visit the grieving communities, victims, and medical staff affected by recent high-profile mass shootings. But as he sought to comfort victims of gun violence on Wednesday, the president and his team couldn’t help but play the role of victims themselves. After tuning into Fox News and One America News Network, Trump tweeted about “Radical Left Democrats,” his political nemeses like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, the “Fake News” that he’s “up against,” and the specter of “ANTIFA” street fighters. Later in the day, he railed against Democrats for negatively portraying the reception he received at a hospital (though they did no such thing) and—once more—cable news hosts for being less than glowing in their coverage. It underscored a reality that’s become obvious to anyone who has ever worked for or even casually observed Trump: He’ll find a way to make nearly any national tragedy into an airing of his personal grievances, and neither he nor virtually anything else will change in the process.
By Zamira Rahim‘No one’s thinking about this, no one’s giving [Trump] the advice,’ says former assistant director of counterintelligence. A former FBI official has claimed that Donald Trump’s decision to re-raise flags on 8 August is a mistake, because the date is significant to white supremacist groups and neo-Nazis. Flags in US public buildings have been flying at half-mast since the shootings in El Paso and Dayton last week. “We have to understand the adversary and the threat we’re dealing with,” Frank Figiliuzzi said during an interview on MSNBC focused on the problem of white supremacy. “It’s the little things and the language and messaging that matters. “The president said that we will fly our flags at half-mast on 8 August. That’s 8/8.
Analysis by Kevin Liptak, CNN(CNN) - As President Donald Trump departed the Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, Ohio, on Wednesday, he told officials traveling with him the visit was a smash success. After flashing thumbs-up and taking selfies with nurses and staff, Trump deemed the reception at the level 1 trauma center — where dozens of victims were treated this weekend following a mass gun murder — sufficiently warm. It was only later, as he watched from Air Force One while two local Democratic officials described their frustration at his divisive rhetoric and unclear gun control priorities, that he soured. Jetting to the scene of a second massacre, Trump lashed out. Instead of imparting the sympathetic grief that his tour of killing zones was meant to illustrate, it was he who appeared aggrieved. And instead of highlighting his interactions with the shootings' victims, it was his own perceived victimhood — at the hands of Democrats and the media — that he thrust upon two stricken communities. By the time he was ready to return to Washington, the most memorable part of his trip, for him, seemed to be the doctors' and nurses' welcome of him, even after a day spent confronting the lingering pain of more mass shootings.
Barbie Latza NadeauNone of the eight patients still under hospital care after being shot in an El Paso Walmart last weekend consented to a visit from President Donald Trump on Wednesday. The Washington Post reports that two of the injured victims did return with family members to greet the president. Ryan Mielke, spokesperson for the University Medical Center in El Paso said that the patients were under no obligation to meet the president. “This is a very sensitive time in their lives,” Mielke said. “Some of them said they didn’t want to meet with the president. Some of them didn’t want any visitors.” Mielke did say that before Trump’s visit, many of the hospitalized patients accept visits from local elected officials and Democratic lawmakers.
By Justin WisePresident Trump on Wednesday renewed his criticism of Fox News anchor Shepard Smith, arguing that "Fake News CNN is better" and saying that he now tunes in to the conservative news outlet One America News Network whenever he gets the chance. "Watching Fake News CNN is better than watching Shepard Smith, the lowest rated show on @FoxNews," Trump tweeted on a day when he visited first responders and survivors of mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. "Actually, whenever possible, I turn to [One America News Network]!" It was not immediately clear what Trump's tweet — which came during Smith's daily program and while Trump was aboard Air Force One to El Paso — was referencing. Trump earlier Wednesday visited Dayton to meet with those impacted by a mass shooting over the weekend that left nine people dead.
By ANNA PALMER and JAKE SHERMANTHE WHITE HOUSE said Wednesday’s trip to El Paso and Dayton was not a photo op, and they completely shut out media. They said the media blackout was for good reason -- it would’ve disrupted people in the hospital who were trying to work, and heal. But they then claimed that people were going gaga for the president in the hospital, which would’ve been a great image for a leader who is often criticized for not being able to handle one of his most important roles: that of consoler in chief. The White House did release its own photos of the visit. WAPO: “None of the eight patients still being treated at University Medical Center in El Paso agreed to meet with Trump when he visited the hospital, UMC spokesman Ryan Mielke said. Two victims who already had been discharged returned to the hospital with family members to meet with the president.” WaPo.
Posted By Tim HainsMSNBC contributor Frank Figliuzzi, a former FBI counterintelligence official, floated a conspiracy theory about the president issuing secret Nazi messages on "The 11th Hour With Brian Williams" on Monday night.
Analysis by Zachary B. Wolf, CNN(CNN) - The issue of white extremism is taking on a new and important role in the American political conversation, and it is separate from the problem of guns and the people who will use them to mow down their fellow citizens. The two issues mix together after mass shootings carried out by racially motivated killers. But they are often distinct. There was apparently no racial motivation for the gunman in Dayton, Ohio, who carried out his massacre hours after a gunman in El Paso, Texas, posted a racist screed and then shot up a Walmart. And there were no guns involved in the violence surrounding a 2017 gathering of white nationalists in Charlottesville, Virginia. The issue of gun violence has divided Americans along political lines for decades and will continue to do so, but white extremism is jumping to the forefront of the political conversation in a new way: Democrats say it's a crisis that needs to be addressed immediately while President Donald Trump and some pundits appear to believe there is no problem at all. Two Democratic presidential candidates -- former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey -- gave speeches Wednesday in which they drew lines between the extremist hate that motivated the gunman in El Paso on Saturday to the rhetoric Trump used to build his nationalist political base. They also cast back to slavery and Jim Crow and decried the institutional racism that still poisons the United States.
ByThe Associated PressPresident Donald Trump says he's "very strongly" considering commuting the sentence of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (blah-GOY'-uh-vich), who is serving a 14-year prison term on multiple federal corruption convictions. Trump suggested more than a year ago that he was considering a commutation for Blagojevich, who then filed paperwork requesting a commutation.
By Maegan Vazquez, CNN(CNN) - President Donald Trump called for unity during a prepared White House address in the wake of two mass shootings over the weekend, but ahead of his trip to visit the communities impacted by gun violence, the consoler-in-chief was back to wedging a partisan divide on Twitter and in front of cameras. On Tuesday ahead of the President's trip to Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham suggested that the President would rise above the rhetoric. She tweeted that the visit would "be about honoring victims, comforting communities, and thanking first responders & medical professionals for their heroic actions." "President @realDonaldTrump is a true leader doing what's right for this nation," she continued. Overnight, however, Trump's teleprompter-prepared talking points fell by the wayside, and Trump returned to targeting Democrats, and in comments to reporters Wednesday morning, he again used the El Paso attacks to call for stronger immigration laws. Shortly after midnight on Wednesday, the President began attacking his political opponents, in a tit-for-tat response reminiscent of the language he used following deadly protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, when he equally divvied up blame to white supremacist groups and what he called the "alt-left." "Beto (phony name to indicate Hispanic heritage) O'Rourke, who is embarrassed by my last visit to the Great State of Texas, where I trounced him, and is now even more embarrassed by polling at 1% in the Democrat Primary, should respect the victims & law enforcement - & be quiet!" Trump tweeted shortly after midnight.
By ANITA KUMARThe president said he has taken tough action on guns. His administration has mostly focused on expanding gun access through little-noticed regulatory moves. President Donald Trump this week said his administration has done “much more than most” to help curb mass shootings in the United States. While Trump boasts of action on firearms, his administration has actually eased gun restrictions over the past two and a half years. Federal agencies have implemented more than half a dozen policy changes — primarily through little-noticed regulatory moves — that expand access to guns by lifting firearms bans in certain locations and limiting the names on the national database designed to keep firearms away from dangerous people. The administration asked the Supreme Court to overturn New York City restrictions on transporting handguns outside homes. And it pushed to allow U.S. gunmakers to more easily sell firearms overseas, including the types used in mass shootings. “This president has in a very intentional, sweeping way made it easier for people to access firearms, not more difficult,” said Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), a vice chair of the House Gun Prevention Task Force. “He’s systematically gone and undone all the protections that were put in place to try to limit the ability of dangerous people to access firearms.”
By Will SommerWhether accidental or not, the Trump campaign keeps nodding to QAnon conspiracy theorists, even after the FBI called them a potential source of domestic terror. Two signs promoting the QAnon conspiracy theory are visible in a video from Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, marking the latest link between the president and followers of the fringe movement that the FBI recently described as a potential source of domestic terror. The signs, which were first noticed by Vox reporter Aaron Rupar, appear in a close-up shot in a “Women for Trump” video posted by Trump’s campaign late in July. Around halfway into the video, the first sign appears, with Trump’s “Keep America Great” slogan and a “Q” taped onto it. Another shows “Q”’s replacing the O’s on a “Women for Trump” sign. The inclusion of the signs in the campaign video could be entirely accidental, as Trump rallies have become prominent gathering spots for believers in the QAnon conspiracy, making it harder to grab footage from the rallies that do not include such images. At a Trump rally last week, for example, a warm-up speaker recited a QAnon slogan during his speech. But the campaign video will, nevertheless, be likely interpreted by the Q community as a cryptic acknowledgement by Trump that their beliefs are real.
By Justin WisePresident Trump's reelection campaign has yet to pay El Paso more than $500,000 for police and public safety services tied to a February rally, a city official said Monday. Laura Cruz-Acosta, communications manager for the city manager’s office, told The Texas Tribune that the Trump campaign owes the city $569,204.63 for services El Paso provided for a rally during which the president focused on building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. “The city staff have followed the process and procedures as it relates to any invoicing that we provide, and we will continue to do so accordingly as per city and state policies,” Cruz-Acosta told the news outlet. The Center for Public Integrity first reported the outstanding amount and accompanying invoice. The debt has come under renewed scrutiny following a mass shooting in El Paso over the weekend that has led to at least 22 deaths. Trump declared on Monday that the Texas border city would receive “all the support of the federal government." Trump plans to visit the city on Wednesday. Some Democrats, including 2020 presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke, have said Trump should not come to El Paso. - Trump is a deadbeat; Trump does not pay his bills.
By David Brunnstrom, Josh SmithWASHINGTON/SEOUL (Reuters) - U.S. national security adviser John Bolton reminded North Korea on Tuesday of its leader’s pledge to President Donald Trump not to resume launches of intercontinental-range missiles after Pyongyang conducted its fourth short-range missile test in less than two weeks and warned it might pursue “a new road.” Trump and his administration have played down the series of short-range tests since July 25 and on Tuesday U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said the United States would not overreact and would keep the door open to talks. Bolton told Fox News Channel the testing appeared aimed at getting the short-range missiles fully operational and Trump was keeping a close eye on developments. “The president and Kim Jong Un have an understanding that Kim Jong Un is not going to launch longer range, intercontinental range ballistic missiles, and so I think the president is watching this very, very carefully.” North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said the launch of tactical guided missiles on Tuesday were a warning to the U.S. and South Korea’s joint military drills, state media KCNA said.
He'd be doing exactly what he criticized Obama for.by Zack FordIn the wake of a string of mass shootings across the country, President Donald Trump is exploring taking some executive or administrative actions to address the gun epidemic, according to Politico. If he does circumvent Congress to enact gun reform, he would be directly contradicting his past criticisms of President Barack Obama. Trump’s core policy inclination has been to oppose anything that had Obama’s fingerprints on it. In 2013, when the Obama administration was considering using executive orders to address guns, Trump was vehemently opposed. “This is how it starts. Obama is now threatening to use an Executive Order for gun control,” he tweeted at the time. This is how it starts. Obama is now threatening to use an Executive Order for gun control http://t.co/buNU2IuD Welcome to his 2nd term. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 9, 2013. Ultimately, Obama never used an executive order to reform gun laws, but he did take several executive actions a few years later in 2016, such as overhauling the background check system and hiring more agents to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Obama also instituted a rule requiring the Social Security Administration (SSA) to keep the background check system apprised of recipients who are prohibited from owning a gun for mental health reasons — a rule Trump rescinded early into his administration.
By Ariane de Vogue, CNN Supreme Court Reporter(CNN) - President Donald Trump sued California Tuesday challenging a state law that requires candidates for president to disclose income tax returns before they can appear on the state's primary ballot. The federal lawsuit from Trump and his campaign is the latest move by the President to resist efforts to turn over his tax returns. The law adds an "unconstitutional qualification" to the fixed set of qualifications for the presidency set forward in the Constitution and violates the First Amendment, Trump's lawyer William Consovoy argued in the lawsuit filed in the US District Court for the Eastern District of California. California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the state's "Presidential Tax Transparency and Accountability Act" last month. "The United States Constitution grants states the authority to determine how their electors are chosen, and California is well within its constitutional right to include this requirement," he said in a statement. A second similar lawsuit was also filed Tuesday by Republican voters along with the Republican National Committee and the Republican Party of California who argue that this a political maneuver that takes voting rights away from Trump's supporters.Newsom responded to the challenge on Tuesday. "There's an easy fix Mr. President -- release your tax returns as you promised during the campaign and follow the precedent of every president since 1973," the California governor tweeted. Legal expert Rick Hasen of the University of California, Irvine, said the state law is of "uncertain constitutionality." - Trump must have something to hide in his taxes and it must be bad, once again, he is suing to prevent showing his taxes. What is Trump hiding? Why does Trump not show his taxes if he has nothing to hide.
by Erroll G. Southers , Opinion contributorTalk is cheap. People are dead. If Donald Trump is serious about defeating white supremacy after Dayton and El Paso, it will take more than a speech. In the wake of mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio,President Donald Trump made a statement from the White House: "In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy. These sinister ideologies must be defeated. Hate has no place in America." In any other administration, these sentiments would be an essential salve on the national psyche reeling from yet more mass atrocities, at least one of them motivated by racist, anti-immigrant ideologies. But it is extremely challenging to see earnest grief and true leadership in these words, because the president’s previous statements and actions run 180 degrees counter to what he said Monday. The writing and news coverage on this administration increasingly opens with a recital of instances where the president has tacitly endorsed racist sentiments or made overtly prejudicial statements. Most articles one reads contain a laundry list of the terrible things spoken from the highest office in the land. Most recently, there was the "send her back" chant the president inspired at a rally in North Carolina, regarding four House members who are women of color. There was also the uncontested shout from a rally goer in Panama City Beach, Florida, suggesting illegal immigrants should be shot — a statement the president said one can “get away with” in the Panhandle. I could go on. Many others already have.
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