Mexico’s Foreign Minister Say No Such Deal Struck With U.S. (Trump Lying Again?)

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

President Donald Trump on Monday afternoon continued to tease an unannounced agreement between the US and Mexico, despite the Mexican Foreign Minister’s declaration that there was no secret or outstanding deal between the two nations.

“We have an agreement on something that they will announce very soon. It’s all done. They have to get approval,” Trump told reporters Monday at the White House, noting that the approval would come from Mexico’s legislative body.
“They will get approval. If they don’t get approval, we’ll have to think in terms of tariffs,” he said.
Hours earlier, the President had tweeted, “We have fully signed and documented another very important part of the Immigration and Security deal with Mexico, one that the U.S. has been asking about getting for many years.”
In both cases, Trump did not offer details about what was contained in the alleged agreement.
Mexican Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard, one of the chief negotiators of the deal agreed to on Friday, suggested Monday that he was not aware of another deal.
“Aside from what I’ve explained there is no agreement of any kind, that has been made known,” he told reporters in Mexico City. “Everything I’ve been talking about was known since Friday.”
Asked about the existence of another agreement, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was ambiguous.
“As for other agreements, there were a number of commitments made. I can’t go into them in detail here, but each side was committed to a set of outcomes,” he told reporters Monday.
After days of negotiations in Washington, DC, the United States and Mexico on Friday reached an agreement to avert Trump’s tariff threat. As part of the terms of the joint statement, Mexico will take “unprecedented steps” to increase enforcement to curb irregular migration, including the deployment of its National Guard throughout the country — giving priority to Mexico’s southern border — and individuals caught crossing into the US from Mexico seeking asylum will be “rapidly returned” to Mexico where they will await consideration of their asylum claims. The declaration also reiterates the countries’ commitment from last year, which emphasizes US support for development in Central America and southern Mexico.
However, both the US President and Secretary of State raised the prospect of tariffs again on Monday.
“We do not anticipate a problem with the vote but, if for any reason the approval is not forthcoming, Tariffs will be reinstated!” Trump tweeted about the alleged undisclosed deal. Pompeo noted that if sufficient headway is not made on the joint agreement, “there’s risk that those tariffs will go back in place.”
“And as we had these conversations … my counterpart Marcelo, we both understood that. It means that we’re got hard work to do over the coming days and weeks to deliver on those actual outcomes on the ground along our southern border,” Pompeo said, adding that they will evaluate whether progress has been made “literally daily.”

Mexico Had Agreed To These ‘New’ Measures Months Ago

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN AND THE NEW YORK TIMES)
(THE FRAUD IN CHIEF STRIKES AGAIN, CREATE A PROBLEM, DO NOTHING, THEN FIX THE PROBLEM AND TAKE CREDIT FOR HIS ‘GREAT WORK’, TOTAL FRAUD!)(oped: oldpoet56)

Mexico had already promised to take many of the actions agreed to in Friday’s immigration deal with the US — months before President Donald Trump’s tariff threat, officials from both countries who are familiar with the negotiations told the New York Times in a story published Saturday.

Trump moved to accept the existing agreements in a deal Friday after negotiations prompted by his threat to impose growing tariffs on Mexico in response to the border situation dragged on over several days. Talks between Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard and State Department officials lasted for more than 11 hours Friday.
The Mexican government had pledged to deploy the National Guard nationwide with a focus on its southern border — a key part of Friday’s agreement — during secret meetings in March between former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Mexican interior secretary Olga Sanchez in Miami, the officials told the Times.
The deal’s key expansion of a program that would keep asylum seekers in Mexico while their claims are processed was established in two heavily brokered two diplomatic notes exchanged between the two countries, the Times reported. Nielsen announced the Migrant Protection Protocols during a House Judiciary Committee hearing in late December.
One senior government official insisted to the Times that the Mexican government agreed to move to deter migrants faster and more aggressively than they ever had before this week’s talks.
As Ebrard noted in a news conference after the agreement’s announcement Friday, the Mexican government did not accept the US’s push for a safe third country agreement, which would require asylum seekers traveling through Mexico to make their case for American asylum in Mexico.
“They proposed in the first meeting to have (a) third safe state, which is not the case here, which is very important. And on the other hand, we accepted to have a more extended version of (migrants remaining in Mexico during asylum claim processing) and to accelerate the deployment of the national guard,” Ebrard said, calling the deal “a fair play.”
Trump presented the deal as a win in a pair of tweets early Saturday.
“Mexico will try very hard, and if they do that, this will be a very successful agreement for both the United States and Mexico!” the President wrote in a tweet. He continued later: “MEXICO HAS AGREED TO IMMEDIATELY BEGIN BUYING LARGE QUANTITIES OF AGRICULTURAL PRODUCT FROM OUR GREAT PATRIOT FARMERS!”
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said Saturday that he had a phone call with Trump after negotiators reached a deal Friday.
“I spoke on the telephone with President Trump,” Lopez Obrador tweeted in Spanish on Saturday. “I told him that in Tijuana I would say that I do not lift a clenched fist but an open and frank hand to the president of the United States. We reiterated our disposition to friendship, dialogue and collaboration for the good of our countries.”
Democratic congressional leaders slammed Trump for his attempts to negotiate a deal.
Senate Majority Chuck Schumer jabbed Trump’s repeated return to the issue, tweeting Friday night: “This is an historic night! @realDonaldTrump has announced that he has cut a deal to ‘greatly reduce, or eliminate, Illegal Immigration coming from Mexico and into the United States.’ Now that that problem is solved, I’m sure we won’t be hearing any more about it in the future.”
On Saturday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused Trump in a statement of having “undermined America’s preeminent leadership role in the world by recklessly threatening to impose tariffs on our close friend and neighbor to the south.”
Congress, she said, will hold the White House “accountable for its failures to address the humanitarian situation at our southern border.”

Trump admin gave green light to nuclear permits for Saudi Arabia after Khashoggi killing

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF NBC NEWS)

 

Trump admin gave green light to nuclear permits for Saudi Arabia after Khashoggi killing

Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia says the approvals show “President Trump’s eagerness to give the Saudis anything they want.”
Image: President Donald Trump shakes hands with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the Oval Office of the White House on March 20, 2018.

President Donald Trump shakes hands with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the Oval Office of the White House on March 20, 2018.Mandel Ngan / AFP – Getty Images file

England: Trump’s children make play for royal treatment

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)
(ALL HAIL KING DON AND THE REST OF HIS INNER MAFIA FAMILY PURE SLIME OF THE EARTH)     (oped: oldpoet56)

Trump’s children make play for royal treatment

(CNN)At a grand banquet table in a red-carpeted Buckingham Palace ballroom, the Queen, a couple of princes, dukes and duchesses, and lords and ladies were intermixed with the Trump family: a President, a first lady, four of his five children, and two of their spouses.

Queen Elizabeth II formally invited just President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump to travel to London for an official State Banquet at Buckingham Palace. But the event became more of an extended family affair, with Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump and his wife Lara, and Tiffany Trump all joining the exclusive party.
The President’s eldest daughter, Ivanka Trump, was already set to attend in her capacity as a formal adviser to the President, and a senior member of his administration. Her husband, Jared Kushner, is also part of the United States delegation attending the ceremonial events.
For the President, bringing his adult children, in his view, is akin to showcasing his version of royalty. In an interview ahead of the trip with the British tabloid newspaper The Sun, Trump said he wanted Ivanka, Donald Jr., Eric and Tiffany to hold a “next generation” meeting with the Prince William and his wife, Kate, and Prince Harry.
“I think my children will be meeting them,” said Trump. “It would be nice.”
Though they mingled at the State Banquet, there were no plans for a sit-down meeting, a royal source told CNN International correspondent Max Foster. They did, however, join their father for his joint news conference with Prime Minister Theresa May, and later toured the Churchill War Rooms, according to their social media posts.

A family affair

Trump’s business has always been a family affair: He became a New York real estate magnate with the help of a loan from his father, Fred Trump, his then-wife Ivana Trump worked with him while they were married, and Don Jr., Ivanka, and Eric all joined the Trump Organization when they came of age. But the family Trump is a far cry from the American political dynasties of the past — the Kennedys, the Bushes. Further, a vision of the President’s children as America’s equivalence to the Royal Family is at odds with everything Trump’s brand as a status quo disruptor.
Trump ran in the 2016 presidential race promising to “drain the swamp” and railing against political establishment at every turn, particularly his GOP primary rival Jeb Bush, the brother of one American president and son of another.
But since taking office, he elevated his daughter and son-in-law to two of the highest-ranking appointments inside the West Wing. He even suggested that she could hold public office herself after he leaves office.
“If she ever wanted to run for president,” the President said this year, “I think she’d be very, very hard to beat.”
But that his daughter hasn’t expressed any interest in running to him. For now, she continues her work on largely noncontroversial West Wing portfolio and style herself as a diplomat on the world stage. On Tuesday, she appeared alongside her father at a business roundtable and bilateral meetings with May as part of the official US delegation.

Separate lives

The full complement of Trump’s adult children, while present at the odd family event or holiday at Trump’s homes in Palm Beach and Bedminster, are a relatively scarce presence at the White House.
Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump live in New York City, where they assumed control of the family real estate business, though Don Jr. now spends a significant amount of time traveling the country to attend events, rallying and fundraising for the 2020 campaign season alongside girlfriend and campaign senior adviser Kimberly Guilfoyle.
Tiffany Trump, the only child of Trump’s marriage to second wife, Marla Maples, is about to begin her third year at Georgetown University Law School in Washington where she lives off-campus in a downtown apartment. Tiffany has spent part of her summer break in Europe, attending swanky events in Cannes, France, during the fabled film festival, posting photos from a yacht anchored in the Mediterranean, and this week back in London, where her boyfriend is said to live.
Ivanka Trump was in town ahead of her father’s arrival, too, posting on her Instagram account a visit to the Albert & Victoria museum to see the sold-out Christian Dior exhibition. As a member of the delegation, she joined other high-level staffers on a Buckingham Palace balcony for the formal arrival ceremony as her father inspected British troops.

UK Do Yourself A Favor: Throw The Trump Mafia Out Of Your Country Now

UK Do Yourself A Favor: Throw The Trump Mafia Out Of Your Country Now

 

This article to you today is simply an opinion piece about our Coward in Chief visiting your country right now. If you have a different opinion of the man and his family that is fine, people have different opinions about everything that exist, this article is simply my opinion on our Piece of Trash President and his equally crooked family members.

 

The first thing that England did wrong was to allow his plane to land there at all, they should have never even allow him into their air space. I would like to be able to say “the man” but I do not consider him to be a man, just an immature slimy crooked to the core piece of human trash. Before he even landed he called one of the Princesses a fowl name, then he blasted the Mayor of London as a ‘stone cold loser’. Then he lands and he tells the Prime Minister that if he was her he would never pay the $50 billion ‘separation fee’ that it seems the EU is wanting to lay on the British people for the concept of them getting their freedom back from that block. Personally I am not even a little bit surprised that he would condone not paying a bill as this has been this crooks MO since he was a very young person. He has a major habit of having people work for him like outside contractors do, and then stiff them when it is time to pay them. Usually he will use the excuse of he is not happy with their work so he isn’t paying and if they wish they can sue him for it. He knows most all people, especially the ‘little people’ can not afford to do that so they don’t. Pay half up front, then never pay the rest, that is simply the way he operates. One of the funny things I noticed in the news today is how he is upset that he cannot watch Fox News while in the UK as the UK banned them many months ago labeling them as nothing but a ‘Propaganda’ Network. Personally I wish they would also ban Twitter being that Twitter has done nothing but give him a channel to propagate his ignorance to the masses. To me, Twitter and Trump belong together as they both constantly prove that they have no ethics or morals as long as they are making money. Okay, that is the end of my gripe for the day, I figure that probably about half of you got a good laugh as you agreed with me or you’re one of the other half who is pissed off at me because I have a different opinion about him than you do. That is fair, as long as you are being honest with yourself. Happy Monday everyone.

US move to scrap preferential trade status unfortunate: Government

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES OF INDIA)

 

US move to scrap preferential trade status unfortunate: Government

Congress attacks Centre, says the decision will have grave trade and economic implications

INDIA Updated: Jun 01, 2019 23:56 IST

Yashwant Raj
Yashwant Raj
Hindustan Times, Washington
preferential trade status,US India trade,US India ties
M Narendra Modi with US President Donald Trump during a meeting in Manila in November 2017.(Reuters File Photo)

The United States on Friday formally terminated India’s eligibility for a duty-free import scheme for developing countries, effective June 5, saying it has not given assurances it “will provide equitable and reasonable access to its markets” to US companies as required under relevant American trade laws.

The move was downplayed by India’s commerce ministry, which said on Saturday that India will continue to seek to build strong economic ties with the United States and that it was “unfortunate” that attempts to resolve significant US requests had not been accepted.

Officials had previously raised the prospect of higher import duties on more than 20 US goods if Trump dropped India from the programme, but there was no mention of that in the response.

“India, like the US and other nations shall always uphold its national interest in these matters,” the government said in a statement issued through the trade ministry.

The impending American termination was previewed on Thursday by a senior administration official, who described it as a “done deal” and said it was time for the two countries to move on, and try to resolve other trade irritants. The official had, however, left open the possibility of restoring these benefits if and when India complied with American demands for greater market access to its dairy products and medical devices sectors.

“I have determined that India has not assured the United States that India will provide equitable and reasonable access to its markets,” US President Donald Trump said in a proclamation issued on Friday. “Accordingly, it is appropriate to terminate India’s designation as a beneficiary developing country effective June 5, 2019.”

The presidential proclamation did not mention it, but the senior administration official who had previewed the coming termination had left the door open for putting India back on the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) programme and restore its duty-free benefits if India was able to “achieve the reforms in market access that we need under this programme”.

President Trump had conveyed his intention to terminate India’s eligibility for the programme to the US congress on March 4. And the formal termination became due on May 4, after the mandatory 60-day notice period.

But the administration held off on the proclamation as India was in the middle of elections and there was pressure from US lawmakers, from both parties, to delay the termination to allow more time for negotiations. There was an expectation that India could avert the termination if it agreed to US demands for more market access.

But the Trump administration had concluded much before, according to people close to the developments, that India would not be able to deliver no matter how much additional time it was given. But it agreed to wait for the elections to get over, and announced the termination just a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi began his second term. No talks were underway at the time contrary to public assurances by Indian officials.

This US action presents the first major challenge for the new Modi government on relations with the United States, as there is talk the Trump administration might not stop at this and could be considering even more precipitate actions in line with the President’s tough posture on trade.

India has been the biggest beneficiary of the GSP programme, which allows certain imports from 120 countries to enter the United States at zero tariff. US imports from India under GSP were an estimated $6.3 billion worth of goods in 2018 , according to a report by the Congressional Research Service, a non-partisan source of research for US lawmakers.

Withdrawal of zero-tariff benefits would subject these products, presuming their volumes remain unaffected, to $190 million, according to official Indian estimates. But people familiar with these discussions have said there are fears that the new tariffs could make these products costlier for US importers, who could then switch to other cheaper alternatives to keep down their prices.

(with HTC inputs from New Delhi)

First Published: Jun 01, 2019 23:44 IST

Fact-checking Trump’s flurry of lies Thursday morning

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

Fact-checking Trump’s flurry of lies Thursday morning

Washington (CNN)One day after special counsel Robert Mueller publicly refused to exonerate President Donald Trump and hinted at potential impeachment, the President responded Thursday with an avalanche of widely debunked lies about the investigation and its findings.

Over a few hours Thursday morning, Trump spread several lies and falsehoods about the Russia investigation, Mueller’s findings, the cost of the probe, and the legal restrictions that Mueller faced when grappling with the possibility of a President who broke the law.
Here’s a breakdown of Trump’s comments.

Cost of the investigation

In a tweet, Trump said the Mueller probe cost “$40,000,000 over two dark years.”
Facts First: It’s not clear where Trump is getting his numbers. The latest information from the Justice Department goes through September and says Mueller-specific expenses were around $12 million. Mueller’s final price tag will be higher than that, but the data isn’t public yet.
The Justice Department spent another $13 million investigating Russian meddling, costs that would have been incurred even if Mueller weren’t appointed. That’s a total of $25 million, though the price tag will be higher because that doesn’t cover the last seven months of the probe. It’s unlikely that the final amount for Mueller will reach the $40 million figure claimed by Trump.

Cooperation with the probe

In a tweet, Trump said Mueller had “unlimited access, people, resources and cooperation.”
Facts First: The White House largely cooperated with the investigation, but it’s wrong to say there was “unlimited” cooperation. Trump repeatedly refused a sit-down interview with Mueller’s team. Some Trump campaign associates “deleted relevant communications” or gave conflicting information. Others lied to investigators and were charged with obstruction offenses.
Trump submitted written testimony about Russian meddling but refused to answer any questionsabout obstruction. Mueller made it clear that Trump’s responses were “incomplete” and insufficient. The President’s son, Donald Trump Jr., also declined an in-person interview.
At least three Trump associates were charged with lying to investigators, which is an obstructive act, and two others were charged with lying to congressional inquiries about Russian meddling.

Mueller’s conflicts of interest

In a tweet, Trump said Mueller was “highly conflicted.”
Facts First: Mueller did not have conflicts of interest, and Trump knows it. The Justice Department cleared Mueller of any conflicts when he took the job in 2017. Trump’s top aides told him that these perceived conflicts were “ridiculous” and were not considered true conflicts.
Trump has long claimed that Mueller was conflicted for a few reasons: Because he once sought a refund from a Trump-owned golf course, because he interviewed to be FBI director after Trump fired James Comey in 2017, and because his old law firm represented key figures in the investigation.
When Trump raised these concerns with his top aides, they “pushed back on his assertion of conflicts, telling the President they did not count as true conflicts,” according to the Mueller report. These White House aides included former chief strategist Steve Bannon, former chief of staff Reince Priebus and former White House counsel Don McGahn, according to the report.

Legal constraints on Mueller

In a tweet, Trump said, “Robert Mueller would have brought charges, if he had ANYTHING, but there were no charges to bring!”
Facts First: This is the opposite of the truth. Mueller’s hands were tied by longstanding Justice Department guidelines that a sitting President can’t be indicted. In his public comments this week, Mueller specifically said charging Trump was “not an option we could consider.”
Mueller made it clear in his public comments on Wednesday that the guidelines had a significant influence on the investigation, tying his hands from the very start from even considering whether a crime had been committed. Trump is therefore creating a false narrative by asserting that Mueller “would have brought charges” if there was evidence Trump broke the law.
In fact, Mueller’s report presented substantial evidence that Trump obstructed justice on a few fronts. But Mueller didn’t offer a conclusion on whether Trump should be prosecuted, because he was bound by Justice Department guidelines that stopped him from even considering it.

Fairness of the investigation

In a tweet, Trump called the Mueller probe a “witch hunt,” a label he has used for two years to suggest that the investigation was unfairly targeting him and would bring him down at any cost.
Facts First: If the investigation really were a “witch hunt,” things might have been very different. But Mueller said that the facts didn’t lead him to a collusion conspiracy, and he repeatedly declined to use hardball tactics against Trump, like issuing a subpoena for his testimony.
First, Mueller went to great lengths to be fair to Trump and said there was not a collusion conspiracy. He didn’t play hardball and subpoena Trump’s testimony, and he followed the rules that restrained him from charging Trump. If this was a “witch hunt,” it wasn’t a very good one.
In his comments, Mueller stressed how it would be unfair to Trump to accuse him of a crime without Trump having a legal venue to clear his name, because he couldn’t go on trial while in office. Mueller even said it’s “prohibited” to seek a sealed indictment of Trump for later on.
Many of Trump’s top appointees and associates, like FBI Director Chris Wray and former White House lawyer Ty Cobb, have broken with the President and publicly rejected the “witch hunt” label. Even Barr rejected the term during his Senate confirmation hearing earlier this year, specifically saying that Mueller wouldn’t be involved in a witch hunt.

Concerns about Russian meddling

In a tweet, Trump said “Russia has disappeared” from the public debate because the Mueller investigation did not establish a conspiracy of collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia.
Facts First: The topic of Russian interference is still at the forefront of national politics.
Mueller zeroed in on Russian meddling during his public comments, solemnly saying, “I will close by reiterating the central allegation of our indictments, that there were multiple, systematic efforts to interfere in our election. And that allegation deserves the attention of every American.”
Top US intelligence officials have warned about Russia’s continued efforts to undermine American politics. Democratic presidential candidates are bringing it up on the campaign trail, and lawmakers are asking about it at Congressional hearings with administration officials.
Trump’s handpicked chiefs to lead the US intelligence community have continued to raise the alarm about persistent Russian meddling. And many of the Democratic candidates for president, including frontrunner Joe Biden, feature their positions on how to counter Russia on their websites.

Trump’s role in Russian meddling

In a tweet, Trump said, “I had nothing to do with Russia helping me to get elected.”
Facts First: The Mueller investigation did not establish a criminal conspiracy between Trump and the Russians. But Trump’s tweet ignores his role in promoting the fruits of Russian hacks during the 2016 campaign, which he embraced and amplified at his rallies and on social media.
To be completely clear: Mueller never accused Trump, or any Trump aides, or any Americans for that matter, of criminally conspiring with the Russian government to influence the election.
But that doesn’t mean Trump played no role whatsoever, even if it wasn’t criminal. Instead of denouncing Russia for intervening in US politics, Trump embraced their actions and used his platform, and his campaign apparatus, to amplify Russian meddling. He regularly cited the emails that Russian hackers stole from Democrats and gave to WikiLeaks for publication.
In his tweet, Trump seemed to accidentally acknowledge for the first time, that Russia tried to help him defeat Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016. (This is the assessment of Obama-era intelligence officials and Trump’s handpicked appointees.) But later Thursday morning, Trump walked back this part of his tweet, saying “Russia did not help me get elected.”

Mueller’s findings on obstruction

In a tweet, Trump said, “Mueller didn’t find Obstruction either.”
Facts First: This is patently false. Mueller did uncover substantial evidence of obstruction by Trump and the report detailed how Trump’s actions crossed the legal threshold on several key episodes. But Mueller said he was prohibited from recommending criminal charges and struggled with “difficult issues” of investigating a sitting President. Instead, he alluded to Congress’ role in holding a president accountable.
The report details a few incidents with “substantial evidence” that Trump obstructed justice, including his efforts to fire the special counsel and have McGahn lie about it to the press, as well as Trump’s efforts to influence the cooperation of several key witnesses in the investigation.
“Our investigation found multiple acts by the President that were capable of exerting undue influence over law enforcement investigations, including the Russian-interference and obstruction investigations,” the report said.
Regarding the obstruction inquiry, Mueller said Wednesday, “if we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.” Mueller submitted his report to Attorney General William Barr, who announced in March his conclusion that Trump didn’t break the law. Trump’s tweet would have been accurate if he cited Barr instead of Mueller.

This story is being updated

How Pathetic And Immature Donald Trump Is: Asked Navy to Hide McCain Warship

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES)

 

White House Asked Navy to Hide McCain Warship

The Navy destroyer the John S. McCain near the Philippines in 2014.Credit Bullit Marquez/Associated Press

The White House asked the Navy to hide a destroyer named after Senator John McCain in order to avoid having the ship appear in photographs taken while President Trump was visiting Japan this week, White House and military officials said Wednesday.

Although Navy officials insisted they did not hide the ship, the John S. McCain, they did give all of the sailors aboard the day off on Tuesday as Mr. Trump visited Yokosuka Naval Base.

Two Navy sailors, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly, said that the McCain sailors were not invited to hear Mr. Trump speak that day aboard the amphibious assault ship Wasp, while sailors from other American warships at the base were.

A Navy service member based on Yokosuka said that all of the American warships in the harbor were invited to send 60 to 70 sailors to hear Mr. Trump’s address, with the exception of the McCain. When several sailors from the McCain showed up anyway, wearing their uniforms with the ship’s insignia, they were turned away, the service member said.

White House aides, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not permitted to speak publicly, confirmed the request was made but said that Mr. Trump did not know about it. A United States official said on Wednesday that the White House sent an email to the Navy with the request on May 15.

But the president denied on Twitter on Wednesday night having any involvement: “I was not informed about anything having to do with the Navy Ship USS John S. McCain during my recent visit to Japan.”

Mr. McCain, of Arizona, who died last year from brain cancer, was derided repeatedly during his life by Mr. Trump, who once disparaged Mr. McCain’s service because he had been held as a war prisoner in Vietnam, saying, “I like people who weren’t captured.”

The president’s animosity toward the senator did not subside with his death.

Navy officials approached last week by The New York Times about plans for the McCain during Mr. Trump’s visit declined to comment. But one official said on Thursday that sailors aboard the destroyer were told to hide signs that identified that warship during Mr. Trump’s visit.

The White House request to hide the name of Mr. Trump’s rival, first reported by The Wall Street Journal, is the second episode to engulf the Navy in Mr. Trump’s single visit to the Wasp.

At least a few service members wore round patches emblazoned with a likeness of Mr. Trump and the words “Make Aircrew Great Again” — a play on the president’s campaign slogan “Make America Great Again” — on their flight suits while listening to their commander in chief speak.

Images of the patches promptly went viral. “They’re inappropriate & against regulation,” tweeted Mark Hertling, a retired three-star Army general.

Just days later, the Navy was embroiled in the McCain news. “All ships remained in normal configuration during the president’s visit,” said Cmdr. Nate Christensen, a Navy spokesman.

The acting defense secretary, Patrick Shanahan, denied knowledge of the White House request. “When I read about it this morning, it was the first I’ve heard about it,” he told reporters on Thursday during an appearance with his Indonesian counterpart in Jakarta. Asked if he planned to order an investigation into the matter, he said, “I want to find out a little bit more.”

The Wasp, an amphibious assault ship that hosts the new F-35B Lightning fighter jets, had actually been in Sasebo, Japan, and was moved to Yokosuka in time for the president’s visit.

The Chief of Naval Information, the public affairs arm of the Navy, posted on Twitter for the first time in five and a half years over the matter. “The name of the U.S.S. John S. McCain was not obscured during the POTUS visit to Yokosuka on Memorial Day,” the Navy said, using an acronym for president of the United States.

Navy Chief of Information

@chinfo

The name of USS John S. McCain was not obscured during the POTUS visit to Yokosuka on Memorial Day. The Navy is proud of that ship, its crew, its namesake and its heritage.

4,036 people are talking about this

The disclosure that the Navy entertained a request to hide a warship named after an American war hero from a president who did not serve is likely to resurface questions about whether Mr. Trump has politicized the military.

Mr. Shanahan, the president’s pick to become defense secretary — and who will soon be visiting Tokyo after his time in Jakarta — has taken pains to go along with White House requests, many of which were delayed by his predecessor, Jim Mattis. But this effort could make Mr. Shanahan’s confirmation fight in Congress more difficult.

The destroyer John S. McCain is named after the senator, as well as his grandfather, John S. McCain Sr., a Navy admiral during World War II, and his father, John S. McCain Jr., an admiral in the Vietnam era.

Meghan McCain, John McCain’s daughter, spoke out on Twitter on Wednesday night against the White House request. Ms. McCain, who has rebuked the president over how he has spoken about her father, wrote that Mr. Trump was “threatened by the greatness of my dads incredible life,” adding that in the “nine months since he passed, Trump won’t let him RIP.”

Julian E. Barnes contributed reporting.

It just got more difficult for the Congress To Not Impeach Trump

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

Robert Mueller ended his two-year stint as special counsel with a bang disguised as a whimper: In a 10-minute statement announcing his resignation and the closure of the special counsel’s office, the former FBI director sent a very clear message to anyone listening: I didn’t charge Donald Trump with obstruction because I couldn’t.

 “The Special Counsel’s Office is part of the Department of Justice and, by regulation, it was bound by that Department policy,” said Mueller, referencing an Office of Legal Counsel ruling that a siting president cannot be indicted. “Charging the President with a crime was therefore not an option we could consider.”
And just in case you missed what Mueller was driving at with that quote, he was even more explicit later in his remarks. “The [OLC] opinion says that the Constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting president of wrongdoing,” Mueller added.
So, to summarize:
  1. Mueller says the special counsel’s hands were tied by the OLC opinion when it came to charging Trump with obstructing the Russia probe.
  2. Mueller notes that “the Constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting president of wrongdoing.”
Oh, whatever could he mean????
To date, Speaker Nancy Pelosi has held off the increasing number of voices within the House Democratic caucus calling for impeachment, insisting that Trump wants to be impeached because it will turn him into a victim and allow him to make the election about alleged Democratic overreach rather than about health care, immigration and so on.
It’s a sound political stance — one reinforced by CNN polling that shows that almost 6 in 10 Americans don’t want to see Trump impeached and more than 4 in 10 who think Democrats have already done too much investigating of the President.

 

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But polling doesn’t stand in for principle or political pressure. And Pelosi is going to be strongly pushed on both of those fronts now that Mueller said what he said. The question is whether — and how — she can withstand this increased pressure.
In a statement soon after what may be Mueller’s final appearance on the national stage, Pelosi stood her ground, emphasizing that it’s just a fraction of the total number of House Democrats calling for impeachment. “I think it’s like 35 of them out of 238, maybe it’s 38 of them out of 238 who have said they wanted to be outspoken on impeachment,” she said.
“Nothing is off the table,” Pelosi added. But “we are investigating and we are litigating and we are going to, as we go down the path, make a decision based on the strongest possible case to get the best results for the American people.”
The Point: Pelosi is holding strong — for now. But how long can she keep it up in the wake of the Mueller statement?

GOP Congressman Bashes Trump For Praising Kim Jong Un On Memorial Day

(TRUMP PRAISES MASS MURDERER KIM JONG UN ON MEMORIAL DAY!)

(The Idiot Coward in Chief strikes again)(oped: oldpoet56)

Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger (IL) on Sunday called out President Donald Trump for bashing former Vice President Joe Biden and praising North Korean “dictator” Kim Jong Un on Memorial Day weekend.

Trump touted his relationship with Kim Jong Un and took aim at Biden, who officially announced his 2020 presidential bid as a Democrat last month, in a tweet while in Japan on a state visit this weekend. “North Korea fired off some small weapons, which disturbed some of my people, and others, but not me,” the president tweeted on Saturday. “I have confidence that Chairman Kim will keep his promise to me, & also smiled when he called Swampman Joe Biden a low IQ individual, & worse. Perhaps that’s sending me a signal?”

The president initially misspelled Biden’s name in a former version of the tweet that has since been deleted.

In response, Kinzinger, an Air Force veteran who served twice in Iraq, called the president’s comments “just plain wrong” in a tweet on Sunday. “It’s Memorial Day Weekend and you’re taking a shot at Biden while praising a dictator. This is just plain wrong,” the GOP congressman wrote, alongside a quoted retweet of the president’s statement.

Adam Kinzinger

@RepKinzinger

It’s Memorial Day Weekend and you’re taking a shot at Biden while praising a dictator. This is just plain wrong.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

North Korea fired off some small weapons, which disturbed some of my people, and others, but not me. I have confidence that Chairman Kim will keep his promise to me, & also smiled when he called Swampman Joe Biden a low IQ individual, & worse. Perhaps that’s sending me a signal?

7,545 people are talking about this

Andrew Bates, director of rapid response for Biden’s 2020 campaign, fired back at Trump shortly after the president’s tweet was shared. “Given Vice President Biden’s record of standing up for American values and interests, it’s no surprise that North Korea would prefer that Donald Trump remain in the White House,” he said.

The president’s comments come as he arrived in Tokyo, Japan on Saturday with first lady Melania Trump to hold talks with the country’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and meet the new emperor, Naruhito.

North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency last week published commentary labelling Biden a “snob lacking even the most basic qualities of a human being, much less a politician.” The North Korean propaganda outlet also echoed Trump’s frequent description of Biden as a “low-IQ individual,” by referring to the Democratic presidential candidate as “an idiot with a low IQ.”

The nation’s criticisms of Biden came after the former Vice President condemned Trump’s friendly relationship with Kim Jong Un and Russian President Vladimir Putin during a campaign event. “Are we a nation that embraces dictators and tyrants like Putin and Kim Jong Un?” Biden said.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders admitted that the Trump administration and Pyongyang both hold similar feelings about Biden during an appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday Morning.

“I think [Trump and Kim Jong Un] agree in their assessment of former Vice President Joe Biden,” she said during a discussion with host Chuck Todd. “The president doesn’t need somebody else to give him an assessment of Joe Biden. He’s given his own assessment a number of times. I think you’ve seen it. I’m sure you’ve covered it on your program. The president watched him and his administration with President Obama fail for eight years.”

GettyImages-1128043327In this handout photo provided by Vietnam News Agency, U.S. President Donald Trump (R) and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (L) during their second summit meeting at the Sofitel Legend Metropole hotel on February 28, 2019 in Hanoi, Vietnam. Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger (IL) condemned Trump on Sunday for bashing former Vice President Joe Biden and praising North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during the Memorial Day weekend.VIETNAM NEWS AGENCY/HANDOUT/GETTY IMAGES

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