Did God Shoot Down The Ukrainian Passenger Jet In Iraq?
Do you think that God ‘directed’ an Iranian missile into the Ukrainian passenger jet at the Baghdad Iraqi airport a couple of days ago? Even though I was hoping that the missiles the Iranian leadership had fired at military bases in Iraq would be the end of the tit for tat with the U.S. (President Trump) over his killing of their mass murdering General it appears that this was only wishful thinking. I read in this mornings news feeds that Iran fired 8 more missiles at another Iraqi Air Base where some American soldiers are based at. This attack was said to have been telegraphed to the Americans and they were able to get all of their soldiers underground before the missiles struck. It has been written that 4 Iraqi soldiers were injured though, how badly was not part of the news information though.
I had been hoping that with the Iranian government’s announcement that they were at fault for blowing that Boeing Jet out of the sky that just maybe that would be enough damage (176 dead) that Iran and Mr. Trump would grow up and decide to act like adults, but it appears that this was asking for to much of both. I have seen one live feed of the jet being shot down and it appears to me that Iran fired a bunch of missiles at 3 different Iraqi military fields and about 50 miles short of their target one of the missiles struck the jet very shortly after it took off from the Baghdad Airport. That was poor execution by Iran’s Military, not realizing that for their missiles to reach their target that the missiles would be whizzing right by a major airport, or they simply didn’t give a damn if a jet liner of two or three got hit in the process. Personally via their governments past actions I would go with option number two of those two lines of thought. I was honestly thinking that the unintentional death of 176 civilians just might be enough of an event that both sides would decide to become ‘gun shy’ and maybe the loss of their lives would stop a hot war between Iran and the U.S. from happening. It appears that this was just a flaw of decency hoping for there to be no war.
Did God Cause That Jet To Crash?
Personally to this question I say, no. There is Biblical precedent where God has taken (killed) a person or persons because He knew that they were young and innocent now but that as time passed He also knew that they would become lost so He took them before age corrupted their Soul getting them condemned later on in their life. But, God has only done this when talking about ‘A’ person, not a whole group of people. One of the reasons that we humans do not have any God given right to kill another person is because if we do kill we are in essence condemning others to Hell by not giving them their full time here on this rock and if they were not in a “saved’ condition and we killed them, we condemned them and our own selves. Even if there were a person or two or even a hundred on that plane that God had decided to ‘bring home’ early He would not have done so at the expense of 176 lives. No, evil, ignorance and ego killed those 176 people, God didn’t do this.
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Do Not Be Ignorant Enough To Take-Out Iranian National Monuments
The General that President Trump ordered the hit on a couple days ago surprised me, I didn’t expect it. This General was a founding block of the hatred from within parts of Shiite Islam. To many now, this mass murderer is now a martyr for millions. But if President Trump did this with any thoughts turned towards to create a crisis, to get peoples minds off of his impeachment, then what?
Lets get to the main topic, President Trump has been threatening Iran that he/we will hit at least 52 of their monuments, personally I believe this to be a horrible idea. You do this, take them out and you will unite all of the population of the Shiite believers against us. You do this foolish thing then retaliation against our own, is a certain. Iran and the believers of hard line Shiite believe that they are now in a Holy War against the West, especially against the U.S.. When President George W. Bush invaded Iraq I believe it was just to one-up his Dad. A lot of people have died because of his tunnel vision. Then we bomb to bits Iraq’s infrastructure and at that time commit another huge miscalculation. W. and Mr. Dick rewarded a lot of great government contracts to American firms who hired Americans and Westerners which kept the people of Iraq unemployed and without basic fundamental services like electricity, running clean water, and food. Folks, we can’t go back into (military actions) in Iraq by doing the very thing that will unite those who hate us, against us in Lebanon, Syria, Iran and Iraq. The Government’s beliefs are the problems one may think, so do not take out our anger on their people, leave them alone. There is a difference in a mental state of war and a religion based mental state of war, the hate and the resolve are much deeper. We are going to now have to fight this Tiger with many Kittens as a part of our Nations new DNA. Taking out their National Monuments, is not a good idea folks.
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When I see that title my first thoughts were ‘I sure as Hell hope not’, but are we? Why would I have written such a thing? If you noticed there is no question mark after the statement. What I am saying here is that we as people of this country have via our Nations foriegn policies become aligned with the Saudi’s and their Sunni faith side of Islam over the Shiite side (Iran). Russia at this same time has been shoring up ties with Iran and the Shiite side. You know, Islam has been at Civil War with itself almost ever since it began 1,400 years ago. The Sunni’s seems to be about 80% and the Shiite’s about 20%. If the U.S. ends up in a hot war with Iran life as we all have know it will be over. Sooner not later this region is going to pop and when the smoke has cleared there will only be one dominate Islam. If this latest drone attack that killed a top end General is found out just to be another political stunt to draw attention away from the impeachment plus the reality is these are dangerous games being played, then we as a people need to take Mr. Trump and his yes men in the Senate and ‘lock them all up.’ This is a game where lives get lost and real blood flows. We all need to be sure of what we are fighting for.
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A Kentucky-born law professor went after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in an op-ed Friday, saying that the senator broke two of the three oaths in the U.S. Constitution.
The Boston College law professor, Kent Greenfield, criticized McConnell’s comments about an impeachment trial for President Trump.
“We Kentuckians know that our word is our bond. Oaths are the most solemn of promises, and their breach results in serious reputational — and sometimes legal — consequences,” Greenfield wrote in his op-ed published by the Courier Journal.
“President Donald Trump will soon be on trial in the Senate on grounds that he breached one oath,” Greenfield wrote. “Senate Leader Mitch McConnell is about to breach two.”
The first oath McConnell is breaking, Greenfield states, is the oath that he took when took office. It’s an oath that all state and federal officers take, an “Oath … to support this Constitution.”
The second oath pertains to the impeachment trial that will take place sometime after the new year.
“In Article I, the Constitution gives the Senate the ‘sole’ power to ‘try all impeachments,’ and the Constitution requires that ‘when sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation,’ ” Greenfield wrote.
Continuing, he wrote: “The framers wanted to make sure the Senate would never take such a trial lightly — this oath requirement is over and above the oath each senator has already taken to support the Constitution.”
McConnell has openly said that he plans to coordinate with Trump’s defense team and that he doesn’t view himself as an “impartial juror.”
Greenfield, a sixth-generation Kentuckian, targeted those comments in his op-ed.
“McConnell’s loyalty to Trump should not overwhelm his loyalty to the Constitution,” he asserts. “If he fails in this, he is not only violating his Article I oath but his Article VI oath.”
Greenfield concludes his piece by stating that history will be a “harsh judge,” and urges the longtime Kentucky senator to take his “obligation of faithful impartiality seriously.”
Trump top adviser: ‘Traditionally, it’s always been Republicans suppressing votes’
The campaign aide, who was recorded at a private event, said later he was referring to false allegations against the GOP.
President Donald Trump listens to questions in the Oval Office on Dec. 17, 2019.Evan Vucci / AP
By Associated Press
MADISON, Wis. — One of President Donald Trump’s top re-election advisers told influential Republicans in swing state Wisconsin that the party has “traditionally” relied on voter suppression to compete in battleground states but will be able to “start playing offense” in 2020 due to relaxed Election Day rules, according to an audio recording of a private event obtained by The Associated Press.
“Traditionally it’s always been Republicans suppressing votes in places,” Justin Clark, a senior political adviser and senior counsel to Trump’s re-election campaign, said at the event. “Let’s start protecting our voters. We know where they are. … Let’s start playing offense a little bit. That’s what you’re going to see in 2020. It’s going to be a much bigger program, a much more aggressive program, a much better-funded program.”
Asked about the remarks by AP, Clark said he was referring to false accusations that the GOP engages in voter suppression.
“As should be clear from the context of my remarks, my point was that Republicans historically have been falsely accused of voter suppression and that it is time we stood up to defend our own voters,” Clark said. “Neither I nor anyone I know or work with would condone anyone’s vote being threatened or diluted and our efforts will be focused on preventing just that.”
Clark made the comments Nov. 21 in a meeting of the Republican National Lawyers Association’s Wisconsin chapter. Attendees included the state Senate’s top Republican, Scott Fitzgerald, along with the executive director of the Wisconsin Republican Party.
Audio of the event at a country club in Madison obtained by the liberal group American Bridge was provided to AP by One Wisconsin Now, a Madison-based liberal advocacy group.
The roughly 20-minute audio offers an insider’s glimpse of Trump’s re-election strategy, showing the campaign is focusing on voting locations in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, which form the the so-called “blue wall” of traditional Democratic strength that Trump broke through to win in 2016. Both parties are pouring millions of dollars into the states, anticipating they’ll be just as critical in the 2020 presidential contest.
Republican officials publicly signaled plans to step up their Election Day monitoring after a judge in 2018 lifted a consent degree in place since 1982 that barred the Republican National Committee from voter verification and other “ballot security” efforts. Critics have argued the tactics amount to voter intimidation.
The consent decree was put in place after the Democratic National Committee sued its Republican counterpart, alleging the RNC helped intimidate black voters in New Jersey’s election for governor. The federal lawsuit claimed the RNC and the state GOP had off-duty police stand at polling places in urban areas wearing armbands that read “National Ballot Security Task Force,” with guns visible on some.
Without acknowledging any wrongdoing, the RNC agreed to the consent decree, which restricted its ability to engage in activities related to ballot security. Lifting of the consent decree allows the RNC to “play by the same rules” as Democrats, said RNC communications director Michael Ahrens.
“Now the RNC can work more closely with state parties and campaigns to do what we do best, ensure that more people vote through our unmatched field program,” Ahrens said.
Although the consent decree forced the Trump campaign to conduct its own poll monitoring in 2016, the new rules will allow the RNC to use its multi-million dollar budget to handle those tasks and coordinate with other Republican groups on Election Day, Clark said. State directors of election day operations will be in place in Wisconsin and every battleground state by early 2020, he said.
In 2016, Wisconsin had 62 paid Trump staff working to get out the vote; in 2020, it will increase to around 100, Clark said.
Trump supports the effort, he said in the audio recording.
“We’ve all seen the tweets about voter fraud, blah, blah, blah,” Clark said. “Every time we’re in with him, he asks what are we doing about voter fraud? What are we doing about voter fraud?’ The point is he’s committed to this, he believes in it and he will do whatever it takes to make sure it’s successful.”
Clark said Trump’s campaign plans to focus on rural areas around mid-size cities like Eau Claire and Green Bay, areas he says where Democrats “cheat.” He did not explain what he meant by cheating and did not provide any examples.
“Cheating doesn’t just happen when you lose a county,” Clark said. “Cheating happens at the margin overall. What we’re going to be able to do, if we can recruit the bodies to do it, is focus on these places. That’s where our voters are.”
There is no evidence of widespread voter fraud in Wisconsin.
“If there’s bad behavior on the part of one side or the other to prevent people from voting, this is bad for our democracy,” Wisconsin Democratic Gov. Tony Evers said in reaction to Clark’s comments. “And frankly, I think will whoever does that, it will work to their disadvantage. It will make them look, frankly, stupid.”
Wisconsin’s attorney general, Democrat Josh Kaul, represented the Democratic National Committee in a 2016 New Jersey lawsuit that argued the GOP was coordinating with Trump to intimidate voters. Kaul argued then that Trump’s campaign “repeatedly encouraged his supporters to engage in vigilante efforts” in the guise of ferreting out potential voter fraud. The Republican Party disputed any coordination.
“It is vital that Wisconsinites have free and fair access to the polls, and that we protect the security and integrity of our elections,” Kaul said in a statement in reaction to Clark’s comments. “The Wisconsin Department of Justice has been and will continue working with other agencies to protect our democratic process.”
Mike Browne, deputy director of One Wisconsin Now, said Clark’s comments suggest the Trump campaign plans to engage in “underhanded tactics” to win the election.
“The strategy to rig the rules in elections and give themselves an unfair partisan advantage goes to Donald Trump, the highest levels of his campaign and the top Republican leadership,” Browne said. “It’s clear there’s no law Donald Trump and his right-wing machine won’t bend, break or ignore to try to win the presidency.”
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WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump, who has attacked many news organizations during his career in politics, found a new target Friday: Christianity Today, the faith-focused magazine founded by the iconic evangelical preacher Billy Graham.
“Christianity Today, knows nothing about reading a perfect transcript of a routine phone call and would rather have a Radical Left nonbeliever, who wants to take your religion & your guns, than Donald Trump as your President,” Trump said.
In an editorial posted on Thursday, Christianity Today said the House was justified in approving impeachment articles over allegations Trump pressured Ukraine into investigating political opponent Joe Biden.
“The president of the United States attempted to use his political power to coerce a foreign leader to harass and discredit one of the president’s political opponents,” the magazine said. “That is not only a violation of the Constitution; more importantly, it is profoundly immoral.”
Christianity Today called on the Senate to convict Trump and remove him from office, calling it “not a matter of partisan loyalties but loyalty to the Creator of the Ten Commandments.”
The Republican-run Senate is expected to acquit Trump in the trial.
In his harangue against Christianity Today, Trump said “no President has done more for the Evangelical community, and it’s not even close.”
In the 2016 presidential election, Trump won 80% of the votes from whites who declared themselves born-again or evangelical Christians, according to exit polling.
While Billy Graham died in 2018, the magazine says it is still guided by his spirit. In its editorial calling for Trump’s removal, Christianity Today said that “we do feel it necessary from time to time to make our own opinions on political matters clear – always, as Graham encouraged us, doing so with both conviction and love.”
Franklin Graham, Billy Graham’s son and a Trump supporter, tweeted that his father “knew @realDonaldTrump, believed in him & voted for him. He believed Donald J. Trump was the man for this hour in history for our nation.”
Other news organizations editorial boards have called for Trump’s conviction and removal, and been subject to presidential blowback – including USA TODAY.
On social media, critics of Trump noted that Christianity Today is a conservative publication and mocked the president for his criticism.
“No one would call Christianity Today ‘progressive’ but you. Sad!” tweeted Daniel W. Drezner, a professor of international politics with The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.
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(CNN)The Trump administration is pushing back on a wide-ranging piece of legislation meant to deter and punish Russian aggression and its interference in the 2016 election.
In a 22-page letter to Congress dated Tuesday, a senior State Department official outlined a series of concerns about the bill, calling it “unnecessary” and in need of “significant changes.”
“The Administration shares the goal of deterring and countering Russian subversion and aggression,” Bureau of Legislative Affairs Assistant Secretary Mary Elizabeth Taylor wrote in the letter, which was obtained by CNN. However, she said the administration “strongly opposes” the bill in its current form.
The Daily Beast was the first to report on the contents of the letter, sent exactly a week after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office.
Russia sanctions have been an ongoing source of contention between the Trump White House and Congress, where there has been strong bipartisan support for measures to punish Moscow since its 2014 annexation of Crimea. The US intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia meddled in the 2016 election to bolster Trump, and former and current administration officials’ warnings that it will meddle again in 2020, have lent urgency to congressional efforts.
The President, however, has consistently urged better relations with Russia and displayed an affinity for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The State Department did not immediately reply to a request for comment about the letter, which said the administration opposes the bill because it “risks crippling the global energy, commodities, financial and other markets.”
A bipartisan group of senators, including Trump ally Sen. Lindsey Graham, introduced the “DASKA” bill in February. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday advanced the bill to the full Senate for a vote that’s not expected until next year.
On Wednesday, Graham said he was “incredibly pleased with the overwhelming bipartisan support for my legislation.”
“This strong vote indicates an overwhelming desire by the Senate as a whole to push back against Russian interference in our election and Putin’s misadventures throughout the world,” Graham said, before going on to signal a willingness to make adjustments to the bill. “I am committed to working with my colleagues to improve this legislation, but it must be strong to be meaningful,” he said.
‘It must be strong’
The legislation would force the administration to assess whether Russia is a state sponsor of terror and would hammer Russia with a host of additional sanctions. It would require a two-thirds Senate vote if Trump decides to leave NATO and includes measures to crack down on Russian disinformation and cyber crimes. Additionally, it would also require a series of reports on illicit Russian activities worldwide.
In its letter, the Trump administration argued that the bill is too inflexible and “would divert resources from the ongoing aggressive targeting of Russian malign actors under existing authorities…as well as from efforts with respect to Iran, North Korea, ISIS, Venezuela, Hezbollah, counter terrorism, human rights and corruption and other (US government) priorities.”
he administration also claimed that it “has aggressively imposed sanctions that are targeted, tailored, and impactful to address Russian malign activities while mitigating negative effects on allies and close partners utilizing these authorities.”
Samuel Charap, a senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation, said that no administration likes legislative sanctions out of Congress, adding that “there’s good reason for that.”
“If sanctions are about changing another state’s behavior, then the promise of sanctions relief has to be credible,” Charap said. “If it requires the approval of Congress, that limits the ability of the executive branch of government to make credible promises that it will relieve sanctions” to reward a change of behavior.
The tension between lawmakers and the White House over sanctioning Russia reflects a broader dynamic, Charap said.
“The Congress doesn’t trust the President on Russia policy… I think that’s what’s going on here,” he said.
The Trump administration has long faced criticism for its soft-handed approach to Russia. It was more than six months late in imposing legally mandated sanctions on the Kremlin for the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, in the United Kingdom.
In his public rhetoric, Trump has largely failed to condemn Russia for its interference in the 2016 US election or for its illegal annexation of Crimea.
CNN’s Kylie Atwood contributed to this report.
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(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES OF INDIA)
North Korea says denuclearization not on negotiating table
Kim Song’s comments follow other recent North Korean statements indicating that prospects are dim for a resumption of nuclear diplomacy between the United States and North Korea.
WORLDUpdated: Dec 08, 2019 07:26 IST
North Korea said Saturday that denuclearization has “already gone out of the negotiation table” and it does not need to have lengthy talks with the United States as the end-of-year deadline set by its leader Kim Jong Un for substantial U.S. concessions in nuclear diplomacy looms.
A statement released by North Korea’s U.N. ambassador, Kim Song, accused the Trump administration of persistently pursuing a “hostile policy” toward the country “in its attempt to stifle it” and of using claims that the U.S. is engaged in a “sustained and substantial dialogue” with Pyongyang solely for “its domestic political agenda.”
“We do not need to have lengthy talks with the U.S. now and the denuclearization is already gone out of the negotiation table,” he said.
Song’s statement was a response to Wednesday’s condemnation by six European countries of North Korea’s 13 ballistic missile launches since May. He accused the Europeans — France, Germany, Britain, Belgium, Poland and Estonia — of playing “the role of pet dog of the United States in recent months.” He called their statement “yet another serious provocation” against North Korea’s “righteous measures of strengthening national defense capabilities.”
“We regard their behavior as nothing more than a despicable act of intentionally flattering the United States,” Song said.
His comments follow other recent North Korean statements indicating that prospects are dim for a resumption of nuclear diplomacy between the United States and North Korea.
On Thursday, North Korea’s first vice foreign minister, Choe Son Hui, issued a warning threatening to resume insults of U.S. President Donald Trump and consider him a “dotard” if he keeps using provocative language, such as referring to North Korea’s leader as “rocket man.”
His statement via state media came days after Trump spoke of possible military action toward the North and revived his “rocket man” nickname for North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un.
North Korea has ramped up its missile tests in recent months, and experts say the launches are likely to continue as a way to pressure Washington into meeting Pyongyang’s demand for new proposals to revive nuclear diplomacy by the end of December.
Diplomatic efforts have largely remained deadlocked since a second summit between Trump and the North Korean leader failed last February.
The North’s Foreign Ministry said Tuesday that it is entirely up to the United States to choose what “Christmas gift” it gets from the North.
North Korean officials have previously said whether North Korea lifts its moratorium on long-range missile and nuclear tests depends on what actions the U.S. takes.
When Trump and Kim held their first summit in Singapore in June 2018, North Korea said it was willing to deal away its advancing nuclear arsenal in return for outside political and economic benefits.
Before the Singapore talks, North Korea had long said it would denuclearize only if the U.S. withdrew its 28,500 troops from South Korea, ended military drills with the South and took other steps to guarantee the North’s security.
But many foreign experts doubt whether North Korea would completely abandon a nuclear program that it has built after decades of struggle and sees as essential to its survival.
US President Donald Trump addresses the Israeli American Council National Summit 2019 at the Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood, Florida on December 7, 2019. (MANDEL NGAN / AFP)
WASHINGTON — US President Donald Trump told a pro-Israel conference Saturday night that some American Jews don’t love Israel enough. He also noting that he did not have to worry about getting his audience’s votes, because they would cast ballots with business interests in mind.
Those comments, to the Israeli American Council advocacy group in Florida, drew quick criticism from opponents and were derided as anti-Semitic.
In his 45-minute speech to an audience of over 4,300, the president criticized American Jews who, he said, were not sufficiently supportive of the Jewish state.
“You have people — Jewish people — and they are great people and they don’t love Israel enough,” he said.
The comments were reminiscent of remarks he made in August when he said that Jews who vote for Democrats were disloyal, drawing a vociferous backlash.
Nonetheless, the vigorously pro-Israel crowd in Hollywood, Florida, cheered the president with chants of “Four more years!” and loud applause.
Later, Trump told an anecdote about people saying that he wouldn’t step down after a second term.
“So now we have to start thinking about that, because it’s not a bad idea,” Trump said. The audience responded with chants of “12 more years.”
Trump was welcomed to the stage by Miriam and Sheldon Adelson, who fund the IAC and who donated $30 million to Trump’s campaign in the final months of the 2016 race.
Jews make up only a small portion of the national electorate but in Florida they represent a crucial piece of the swing state electoral puzzle. Historically, American Jews have voted heavily Democratic.
Wading into the 2020 campaign, Trump said the crowd would not vote for one of his potential Democratic opponents because she would take their wealth away.
“You have to vote for me, you have no choice,” Trump said. “You’re not going to vote for Pocahontas, I can tell you that,” referring to Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, in a dig at her claiming Native American ancestry.
Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) addresses a crowd outside of the Francis Marion Performing Arts Center October 26, 2019 in Florence, South Carolina. (Sean Rayford/Getty Images/AFP)
“You’re not going to vote for the wealth tax,” he went on. “Let’s take 100 percent of your wealth away. No, no. Even if you don’t like me — and some of you don’t; some of you, I don’t like at all, actually — and you’re going to be my biggest supporters because you’ll be out of business in about 15 minutes.”
Warren has proposed an annual two percent tax on households with a net worth of between $50 million and $1 billion — and an additional four percent tax on those with a net worth exceeding $1 billion.
Speaking about finding a location for the US Embassy in Israel, he told the audience, “A lot of you are in the real estate business.”
“I know you very well, you’re brutal realtors.”
Trump said that when making the decision to move the embassy, he ignored calls from “countries you’ve never even heard of,” along with powerful kings, queens, presidents and prime ministers.”Don’t do it. Don’t do it, please. Don’t do it,” they implored, he said. “But unlike other politicians, I kept my promises.”
Jewish Democrats criticized the president’s remarks about wealth as anti-Semitic.
“Trump’s insistence on using anti-Semitic tropes when addressing Jewish audiences is dangerous and should concern every member of the Jewish community — even Jewish Republicans,” said Aaron Keyak, a former chair of the National Jewish Democratic Council. “Trump’s embrace of anti-Semitic rhetoric much stop. Period.”
The Democratic Majority for Israel on Twitter slammed Trump for peddling anti-Semitic tropes and ignoring the threat from the far right.
Watching Trump “traffic in antisemitic stereotypes is disgusting,” the tweet said. “Trump’s failure to condemn white supremacy when discussing antisemitism is equally distressing.
This is not the first time Trump has been accused of anti-Semitism for linking Jews to money.
In 2015, Trump, then a candidate, told the Republican Jewish Coalition that “you’re not going to support me because I don’t want your money. You want to control your politicians, that’s fine.”
President Donald Trump receives a menorah from Las Vegas Sands Corporation Chief Executive and Republican mega donor Sheldon Adelson, left, and his wife Miriam Adelson at the Israeli American Council National Summit in Hollywood, Fla., Saturday, December 7, 2019. (AP/Patrick Semansky)
Throughout his speech, Trump boasted about his Israel policies — with a special emphasis on moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, cutting aid to the Palestinians, and withdrawing the United States from the Iran nuclear deal.
He said he made the Golan recognition decision within a matter of moments, after discussing it with US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman. “Fifty-two years, and I go bing, and it’s done,” he said.
At no point in the 45-minute speech did Trump mention Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, one of his closest allies on the world stage who is facing indictment as he battles for his political life, with Israel poised to head into its third elections in less than a year.
Netanyahu’s Likud rival Gideon Sa’ar was set to address to conference on Sunday but pulled out in order to take part in the Likud Central Committee meeting on Sunday evening in Ramat Gan.
US President Donald Trump speaks at the Israeli American Council National Summit in Hollywood, Florida, December 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
The political deadlock has stalled the roll-out of the administration’s Israeli-Palestinian peace proposal, but Trump said that his son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner was still working on hammering out a deal.
“If Jared Kushner can’t do it, it can’t be done,” he said.
The president also castigated the Obama administration as hostile to Israel. “I don’t think they liked Israel too much, I’m sorry,” he said. “After eight years [in] which our alliance was undermined and neglected, I am happy to report the United States-Israeli relationship is stronger now than ever before.”
At one point in his remarks, the president thanked Republican members of Congress in the room who were defending him against impeachment, such as Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, calling them “warriors” who were defending him “from oppression.”
Agencies contributed to this report.
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Washington (CNN)House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday that “civilization as we know it today is at stake” in the 2020 presidential election, saying that she does not want to “contemplate” the possibility that President Donald Trump could be elected to serve as second term in office.
“Let’s not even contemplate that,” Pelosi said at a CNN town hall Thursday evening in response to an audience question about what checks will exist in the House of Representatives if Trump is reelected and the impeachment process is over.
“Civilization as we know it today is at stake in the next election, and certainly our planet,” Pelosi said.
Pelosi’s participation at the town hall event came on the same day that she announced that the House will take the momentous step of moving forward with articles of impeachment against Trump. That announcement adds a new level of intensity to the impeachment effort and likely paves the way for Trump to become the third President in US history to be impeached.
Pelosi called her decision “quite historic” during a CNN town hall moderated by Jake Tapper.
In response to an audience question, she said, “I have to admit that today was quite historic. It was taking us, crossing a threshold on this that we just had no choice. I do hope that it would be remembered in a way that honors the vision of our founders, what they had in mind for establishing a democracy.”
‘I’m not on a timetable, I’m on a mission’
Pelosi, who is guiding House Democratic caucus through the impeachment process as the top Democrat in the chamber, sidestepped a question whether she would step aside if a Democrat wins the White House in 2020.
“I’m not on a timetable, I’m on a mission,” Pelosi said, an answer that met with applause from the audience.
As House Democrats grapple now with how to draft articles of impeachment, Pelosi said during the town hall that Democrats are working “collectively” on determining what will be included in the articles.
Asked by Tapper whether she would proceed if Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler recommends including obstruction of justice charges from special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, Pelosi said, “We’re operating collectively. It’s not going to be — somebody puts something on the table. We have our own, shall we say, communication with each other.”
Pelosi declined to go further. “We’re not writing the articles of impeachment here tonight.”
Articles have not been finalized, but Democrats are now signaling that the articles of impeachment could go beyond the scope of the Ukraine investigation that has dominated Washington for the past two months.
Asked by Tapper during a CNN town hall about her reaction during her weekly press conference to the question, Pelosi cited her Catholic upbringing and responded, “The word hate is a terrible word … so for him to say that was really disgusting to me.”
The California Democrat added, “I’d rather like to think that America is a country that is full of love, whatever we think about what somebody else might believe that might be different from us, that that isn’t a reason to dislike somebody. It’s a reason to disagree with somebody.”
Pelosi issued a stark warning to the reporter from Sinclair who had asked her the question, responding forcefully, “Don’t mess with me” — a sign of the tension amid the House of Representatives’ impeachment push.
During CNN’s town hall, Pelosi questioned whether the person who asked the question is actually a reporter, saying, “Was that a reporter? Is that what reporters do?” when Tapper asked about the exchange.
‘I don’t think we’re headed for a shutdown’
Pelosi also predicted during Thursday’s town hall that there will not be a government shutdown later this month.
“I don’t think we’re headed for a shutdown. I don’t think anybody wants that,” Pelosi said.
“We’re on a good path, if we were not, we would just go to a continuing resolution until after Christmas,” Pelosi said, referring to a stop-gap measure to keep funding in place.
Lawmakers will need to take action to avert a government shutdown before the end of the month, making the month even busier in Congress as the impeachment inquiry dominates headlines in Washington.
The President’s contacts with Ukraine are at the heart of the impeachment inquiry and investigators have focused on probing the now-famous July 25 phone call where Trump asked the President of Ukraine for a “favor” and pushed for investigations into the family of a potential political rival, former Vice President and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.
The President has argued that the call was “perfect,” and congressional Republicans have defended the President and his administration, saying that Trump did not commit an impeachable offense.
This story has been updated with additional developments Thursday.
CNN’s Jeremy Herb and Caroline Kelly contributed to this report.
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