US Politics in Trump era Public date: 03.10.2019 13:07:34

3 Oct 2019

Trump under pressure to address ethanol and trade pain in Iowa and other farm states

The trade war has cost farmers potential Chinese orders for the corn-based fuel as well as for a byproduct that is used as animal feed. Now, the refinery exemptions are compounding the financial pain — and threatening political consequences for the president, who won this state and its six electoral votes in 2016.
The trade war has cost farmers potential Chinese orders for the corn-based fuel as well as for a byproduct that is used...
1 Oct 2019

Trump Was Repeatedly Warned That Ukraine Conspiracy Theory Was ‘Completely Debunked’

President Trump was repeatedly warned by his own staff that the Ukraine conspiracy theory that he and his lawyer were pursuing was “completely debunked” long before the president pressed Ukraine this summer to investigate his Democratic rivals, a former top adviser said on Sunday.
President Trump was repeatedly warned by his own staff that the Ukraine conspiracy theory that he and his lawyer were...
25 Sep 2019

As a foreign reporter visiting the US I was stunned by Trump’s press conference

As a political reporter for most of the last 30 years I have also endured many long and rambling political press conferences with Australian prime ministers and world leaders. But watching a full presidential Trump press conference while visiting the US this week I realised how much the reporting of Trump necessarily edits and parses his words, to force it into sequential paragraphs or impose meaning where it is difficult to detect.
As a political reporter for most of the last 30 years I have also endured many long and rambling political press...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

12 Sep 2019

White House Pressed Agency to Repudiate Weather Forecasters Who Contradicted Trump

The White House was directly involved in pressing a federal scientific agency to repudiate the weather forecasters who contradicted President Trump’s claim that Hurricane Dorian would probably strike Alabama, according to several people familiar with the events.
The White House was directly involved in pressing a federal scientific agency to repudiate the weather forecasters who...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

4 Sep 2019

Trump Says China Will Suffer as Data Shows Trade War Hurting U.S.

President Trump said on Tuesday that Chinese manufacturing would “crumble” if the country did not agree to the United States’ trade terms, as newly released data showed his trade war was washing back to American shores and hurting the factories that the president has aimed to protect.
President Trump said on Tuesday that Chinese manufacturing would “crumble” if the country did not agree to the...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

8 Aug 2019

Trump Visits the Grieving, and Stokes Divisions

President Trump began a day set aside for healing in Dayton and El Paso by lashing out against his political rivals and the news media, employing the kind of divisive language that prompted protests in both cities even before he arrived. He mocked Beto O’Rourke, a Democratic candidate for president who once represented El Paso in Congress, for having a “phony name to indicate Hispanic heritage” and he linked the Dayton shooter to liberal politicians.
President Trump began a day set aside for healing in Dayton and El Paso by lashing out against his political rivals and...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

27 Jul 2019

U.S. Economy Slows, Denying Trump 3% Talking Point

The American economy is slowing, dragged down by trade tensions and weak growth overseas. But there are few signs that the decade-long expansion is on the verge of stalling out.Gross domestic product, the broadest measure of goods and services produced in the economy, rose at a 2.1 percent annual rate in the second quarter, according to preliminary data released by the Commerce Department on Friday.
The American economy is slowing, dragged down by trade tensions and weak growth overseas. But there are few signs that...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

24 Jul 2019

Emails Show DeVos Aides Pulled Strings for Failing For-Profit Colleges

Dream Center Education Holdings, a subsidiary of a Los Angeles-based megachurch, had no experience in higher education when it petitioned the federal Education Department to let it take over a troubled chain of for-profit trade schools.But the organization’s chairman, Randall K. Barton, told the education secretary, Betsy DeVos, that the foundation wanted to “help people live better lives.”
Dream Center Education Holdings, a subsidiary of a Los Angeles-based megachurch, had no experience in higher education...
9 Jul 2019

Donald Trump: we will no longer deal with the British ambassador

Donald Trump has launched a scathing attack on Theresa May and said the US would no longer deal with the British ambassador to Washington after the diplomat’s frank assessments of the president as “inept” and “dysfunctional” were leaked to the Mail on Sunday.
Donald Trump has launched a scathing attack on Theresa May and said the US would no longer deal with the British...

Publisher: Medium

Author:

9 Jul 2019

Jared Kushner was my Boss

you want to understand Jared Kushner, I recommend starting with the dimples. When Jared smiles, his dimples do the work, cleaving his supple cheeks in an unconvincing approximation of contentment. The giveaway isn’t merely that his lips don’t seem to lift properly at the corners but that his eyes dissent. You can learn to force a smile, but getting your eyes to play along is a trickier thing.
you want to understand Jared Kushner, I recommend starting with the dimples. When Jared smiles, his dimples do the work,...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

22 Jun 2019

Trump Stopped Strike on Iran Because It Was ‘Not Proportionate’

President Trump said Friday morning that the United States military had been “cocked and loaded” for a strike against Iran on Thursday night, but that he called it off with 10 minutes to spare when a general told him that 150 people would probably die in the attack.
President Trump said Friday morning that the United States military had been “cocked and loaded” for a strike...

Publisher: NYTimes

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19 Jun 2019

Shanahan Withdraws as Defense Secretary Nominee; Mark Esper Named Acting Pentagon Chief

President Trump on Tuesday withdrew the nomination of Patrick M. Shanahan to be the permanent defense secretary, leaving the Pentagon in transition at a time of escalating tensions with Iran and questions about the role of the military at the border with Mexico.
President Trump on Tuesday withdrew the nomination of Patrick M. Shanahan to be the permanent defense secretary, leaving...
11 Jun 2019

Homeland Security watchdog retires early after his office was forced to retract ‘feel-good’ audits of disaster response

John V. Kelly, the acting inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security, announced his retirement Monday following revelations that he directed his staff to whitewash audits of the agency’s performance after federal disasters.
John V. Kelly, the acting inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security, announced his retirement Monday...
1 Jun 2019

Trump’s Mexico tariffs: Republican lawmakers alarmed as president issues 5 percent levy on Mexican imports

President Trump forged ahead Friday with plans to impose import penalties on Mexico, one of the United States’ largest trading partners, brushing aside apoplectic lawmakers, business groups and investors who feared the White House was expanding trade wars without any plan for eventual escape.
President Trump forged ahead Friday with plans to impose import penalties on Mexico, one of the United States’ largest...
24 May 2019

Putin out-prepared Trump in key meeting, Rex Tillerson told House panel

Former secretary of state Rex Tillerson told members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee that Russian President Vladimir Putin out-prepared President Trump during a key meeting in Germany, putting the U.S. leader at a disadvantage during their first series of tête-à-têtes. The U.S. side anticipated a shorter meeting for exchanging courtesies, but it ballooned into a globe-spanning two-hour-plus session involving deliberations on a variety of geopolitical issues, said committee aides, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss Tillerson’s seven-hour closed meeting with the committee.
Former secretary of state Rex Tillerson told members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee that Russian President...
23 May 2019

President cancels meeting with Pelosi and Schumer on infrastructure, holds impromptu presser

President Trump abruptly ended a meeting with Democratic leaders on Wednesday, saying he was unable to work with them on legislation following comments by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) that he was “engaged in a coverup.”
President Trump abruptly ended a meeting with Democratic leaders on Wednesday, saying he was unable to work with them on...
21 May 2019

A Path to War With Iran

That the Trump administration’s approach to Iran could lead the United States into an inadvertent conflict should come as a surprise to no one. Indeed, from the day Trump took office, many feared that his impulsive behavior, blustering rhetoric, inability to think ahead, disrespect for policy process, and determination to “win” could lead to war. In a spring 2017 essay for this magazine, I raised concerns about his potential to stumble into conflict with Iran, China, or North Korea.
That the Trump administration’s approach to Iran could lead the United States into an inadvertent conflict should come...
18 May 2019

Trump risks credibility with policy that veers between threats and inaction

Trump has said that there is no inconsistency in his administration’s messaging but that the image of incoherence can be useful. “At least Iran doesn’t know what to think, which at this point may very well be a good thing!” he tweeted Friday. But as he moves more deeply into the second half of his term with major foreign policy issues unresolved, Trump’s credibility has suffered, and his options have narrowed.
Trump has said that there is no inconsistency in his administration’s messaging but that the image of incoherence can...

Publisher: Newsweek

Author:

11 May 2019

Trump Administration Plans to End Some Protections for Endangered Species After UN Report Warns of ‘Mass Extinction Event’

A United Nations report released this week found that one-eighth of the world’s animals and plants are at risk of extinction and that biodiversity was declining at an “unprecedented pace,” but David Bernhardt, U.S. Secretary of the Interior, said this dire portrait won’t stop the Trump administration from ending protections for endangered species in the United States.
A United Nations report released this week found that one-eighth of the world’s animals and plants are at...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

8 May 2019

Decade in the Red: Trump Tax Figures Show Over $1 Billion in Business Losses

Mr. Trump was propelled to the presidency, in part, by a self-spun narrative of business success and of setbacks triumphantly overcome. He has attributed his first run of reversals and bankruptcies to the recession that took hold in 1990. But 10 years of tax information obtained by The New York Times paints a different, and far bleaker, picture of his deal-making abilities and financial condition.
Mr. Trump was propelled to the presidency, in part, by a self-spun narrative of business success and of setbacks...
2 May 2019

Trump scrambles to salvage NAFTA rewrite, courting Democrats and trying to tamp down GOP fury

President Trump and senior White House officials are working to salvage political support for a revised trade pact with Mexico and Canada, stunned by bipartisan blowback that appeared likely to scuttle a key initiative. Several Democrats said Trump put on a charm offensive Tuesday during a White House meeting, soliciting their feedback on what he would need to do to win their support for an updated version of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
President Trump and senior White House officials are working to salvage political support for a revised trade pact with...
22 Apr 2019

Things Didn’t Go Well When Betsy DeVos Was Confronted With Her Department’s Charter School Fraud

During a series of recent congressional hearings in Washington, D.C., U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos had to respond to a recent report finding the U.S. Department of Education has been scammed for hundreds of millions of dollars by fraudulent or mismanaged charter schools. Her responses reveal not only her inability to counter legitimate concerns over the spread of charter schools but also the charter school industry’s resistance to honestly address a chronic problem with its schools.
During a series of recent congressional hearings in Washington, D.C., U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos had to...
18 Apr 2019

North Korea’s Latest Weapons Test: Short in Range but Long in Message

Kim Jong-un’s test of what analysts said could be a new short-range guided or cruise missile shows the North Korean leader reverting to saber rattling as he seeks to end sanctions that are derailing his hopes of rejuvenating the North’s economy.
Kim Jong-un’s test of what analysts said could be a new short-range guided or cruise missile shows the North Korean...

Publisher: Axios

Author:

5 Apr 2019

The U.S. just had the most Q1 layoffs in a decade

The U.S. saw its highest level of layoffs in a first quarter since 2009, data from staffing firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas released Thursday showed.By the numbers: Employers cut 190,410 jobs in the first 3 months of the year — 10.3% higher than the number of layoffs announced in the fourth quarter of 2018 and 35.6% higher than job cuts announced in the same quarter of 2018.
The U.S. saw its highest level of layoffs in a first quarter since 2009, data from staffing firm Challenger, Gray &...
2 Apr 2019

White House whistleblower says 25 security clearance denials were reversed during Trump administration

A White House whistleblower told lawmakers that more than two dozen denials for security clearances have been overturned during the Trump administration, calling Congress her “last hope” for addressing what she considers improper conduct that has left the nation’s secrets exposed.
A White House whistleblower told lawmakers that more than two dozen denials for security clearances have been overturned...
29 Mar 2019

Trump just gave a huge gift to an alleged billion dollar Medicare fraudster

The Trump administration informed a federal appeals court on Monday night that it would no longer defend the Affordable Care Act after a judge in Texas declared that the entire law must be struck down. The judge, Reed O’Connor, is a former Republican Senate staffer with a history of striking down policies opposed by conservatives. O’Connor’s opinion is widely viewed as ridiculous, even by conservative legal scholars and health policy experts.
The Trump administration informed a federal appeals court on Monday night that it would no longer defend the Affordable...
7 Mar 2019

U.S. posted record-breaking $891 billion goods trade deficit in 2018, despite Trump’s ‘America First’ policies

The Commerce Department said Wednesday that — despite more than two years of President Trump’s “America First” policies — the United States last year posted a $891.2 billion merchandise trade deficit, the largest in the nation’s 243-year history.
The Commerce Department said Wednesday that — despite more than two years of President Trump’s “America First”...
31 Jan 2019

Trump blasts U.S. intelligence officials, disputes assessments on Iran and other global threats

President Trump lashed out at U.S. intelligence officials Wednesday, calling them “extremely passive and naive” about the “dangers of Iran” and pushing back on their assessments of the Islamic State and North Korea during a congressional hearing. In tweets, Trump offered what amounted to a rebuttal of testimony on global threats provided to the Senate on Tuesday by a panel of top officials from his administration.
President Trump lashed out at U.S. intelligence officials Wednesday, calling them “extremely passive and naive”...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

29 Jan 2019

U.S. Intelligence Chiefs Contradict Trump on North Korea and Iran

A new American intelligence assessment of global threats has concluded that North Korea is “unlikely to give up” all of its nuclear stockpiles, and that Iran is not “currently undertaking the key nuclear weapons-development activity” needed to make a bomb, directly contradicting two top tenets of President Trump’s foreign policy.
A new American intelligence assessment of global threats has concluded that North Korea is “unlikely to give up” all...
26 Jan 2019

Trump Agrees to Reopen Government for 3 Weeks in Surprise Retreat From Wall

President Trump agreed Friday to reopen the federal government for three weeks while negotiations proceeded over how to secure the nation’s southwestern border, backing down after a month-long standoff failed to force Democrats to give him billions of dollars for his long-promised wall.
President Trump agreed Friday to reopen the federal government for three weeks while negotiations proceeded over how to...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

25 Dec 2018

Economy Is Strong. Leadership Is Shaky. Which Will Win Out in 2019?

It is true that the global economy is sputtering, and that the stock market is in its worst pullback in a decade, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 index down more than 19 percent since Sept. 20 as of Monday’s close. But this sense of gloom and pessimism has gotten ahead of the facts on the ground, especially concerning the United States economy.The real risk is not that insurmountable challenges knock the economy off course. It is that poor leadership converts moderate economic shocks into a crisis.
It is true that the global economy is sputtering, and that the stock market is in its worst pullback in a decade, with...
25 Dec 2018

Ben Carson’s HUD dials back investigations into housing discrimination

Beyond his attempts to roll back the agency’s fair-housing rules, Carson is overseeing a department whose fair-housing budget and staffing have been cut. And, notably, he has departed from the practices of recent Democratic and Republican predecessors of using their secretarial power to root out systemic racial discrimination by launching broad-based investigations into bias by banks, real estate companies and others.
Beyond his attempts to roll back the agency’s fair-housing rules, Carson is overseeing a department whose fair-housing...
24 Dec 2018

Exasperated over the market plunge, Trump asks advisers whether he can fire Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell

President Trump has asked internal and external advisers about whether he can fire Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome H. Powell, two people familiar with the exchanges said, in a sign of his mounting frustration with the central bank chief. News of Trump’s discussions about Powell prompted rebukes from lawmakers and alarm among economists and Wall Street executives Saturday
President Trump has asked internal and external advisers about whether he can fire Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome H....
24 Dec 2018

Trump forces Mattis out two months early, names Shanahan acting defense secretary

President Trump, who aides said has been seething about news coverage of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’s pointed resignation letter, abruptly announced Sunday that he was removing Mattis two months before his planned departure and installing Patrick Shanahan as acting defense secretary.
President Trump, who aides said has been seething about news coverage of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’s pointed...
23 Dec 2018

The era of containing Trump is over after Mattis firing

For two years, they tried to tutor and confine him. They taught him history, explained nuances and gamed out reverberations. They urged careful deliberation, counseled restraint and prepared talking points to try to sell mainstream actions to a restive conservative base hungry for disruption. But in the end, they failed.
For two years, they tried to tutor and confine him. They taught him history, explained nuances and gamed out...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

21 Dec 2018

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis Resigns, Rebuking Trump’s Worldview

Jim Mattis, the four-star Marine general turned defense secretary, resigned on Thursday in protest of President Trump’s decision to withdraw 2,000 American troops from Syria, where they have been fighting the Islamic State.Mr. Trump announced the resignation in two tweets Thursday evening, and said Mr. Mattis will leave at the end of February.
Jim Mattis, the four-star Marine general turned defense secretary, resigned on Thursday in protest of President...

Publisher: Bloomberg

Author:

14 Dec 2018

Rubio Tweets Tax Bill He Voted For Helps Companies Over Workers

Republican Senator Marco Rubio broke with his party by blasting last year’s tax overhaul for benefiting corporations rather than workers. “When corporation uses profits for stock buy back it’s deciding that returning capital to shareholders is better for business than investing in their products or workers,” Rubio said in a tweet Thursday. “Tax code encourages this. No surprise we have work life that is unstable & low paying.”
Republican Senator Marco Rubio broke with his party by blasting last year’s tax overhaul for benefiting corporations...
12 Dec 2018

That was awkward — at world’s biggest climate conference, U.S. promotes fossil fuels

President Trump’s top White House adviser on energy and climate stood before the crowd of some 200 people on Monday and tried to burnish the image of coal, the fossil fuel that powered the industrial revolution — and is now a major culprit behind the climate crisis world leaders are meeting here to address. “We strongly believe that no country should have to sacrifice economic prosperity or energy security in pursuit of environmental sustainability,” said Wells Griffith, Trump’s adviser.
President Trump’s top White House adviser on energy and climate stood before the crowd of some 200 people on Monday...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

10 Dec 2018

Wall St. Ignored Signs of Trouble for Months. Now It Sees Risks Everywhere

For stock investors in the United States, the political and economic outlooks have suddenly become ominous. More volatility could be in store this week. “The fact is that politics is driving the economy to an extent that is very atypical,” said Julian Emanuel, chief equity and derivatives strategist at BTIG, an institutional brokerage firm. “We would say probably to the greatest extent that we’ve seen in our investing lifetime.”
For stock investors in the United States, the political and economic outlooks have suddenly become ominous. More...
10 Dec 2018

John Kelly Was a Bully, Bigot and Liar for Donald Trump

This “great guy” will leave behind an administration mired in scandal, chaos and corruption; a president perhaps even more reckless and lawless today than he was when Kelly arrived for work at the West Wing on the morning of July 31, 2017. That was a period in which political pundits and correspondents also believed the retired four-star general to be a “great guy.” Remember how his appointment, as replacement for the hapless Republican operative Reince Preibus, was greeted by the liberal press? Kelly, we were told, would be the “adult in the room”; he would rein in a brash and belligerent commander-in-chief.
This “great guy” will leave behind an administration mired in scandal, chaos and corruption; a president perhaps...

Publisher: Vox

Author:

7 Dec 2018

Kathy Kraninger is confirmed as director of the CFPB

The US Senate voted to confirm Kathy Kraninger as the next head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the federal government’s top consumer watchdog. She will take permanent charge over the CFPB and replace Mick Mulvaney. who critics say he’s sought to undermine its mission and scale back its enforcement and oversight efforts. Those same critics have echoed concerns about Kraninger, wondering whether she’ll continue on the same path as Mulvaney at the CFPB. They also point to her lack of experience in the consumer sector.
The US Senate voted to confirm Kathy Kraninger as the next head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the...
4 Dec 2018

After Trump summit, no mention in China of 90-day deadline or trade concessions

China seems to have a markedly different view of the trade war cease-fire reached with the Trump administration over the weekend, with state media making no mention Monday of a 90-day time frame or a reduction in tariffs on imported American cars — or indeed any specifics about buying more American products. That raises the prospect that the two sides have come away from their meeting in Buenos Aires, on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit, with very different ideas about what comes next.
China seems to have a markedly different view of the trade war cease-fire reached with the Trump administration over the...
26 Nov 2018

Trump demands action to reduce deficit, pushes new deficit spending

President Trump is demanding top advisers craft a plan to reduce the country’s ballooning budget deficits, but the president has flummoxed his own aides by repeatedly seeking new spending while ruling out measures needed to address the country’s unbalanced budget.
President Trump is demanding top advisers craft a plan to reduce the country’s ballooning budget deficits, but the...
21 Nov 2018

Trump Wanted to Order Justice Dept. to Prosecute Comey and Clinton

President Trump told the White House counsel in the spring that he wanted to order the Justice Department to prosecute two of his political adversaries: his 2016 challenger, Hillary Clinton, and the former F.B.I. director James B. Comey, according to two people familiar with the conversation. The lawyer, Donald F. McGahn II, rebuffed the president, saying that he had no authority to order a prosecution.
President Trump told the White House counsel in the spring that he wanted to order the Justice Department to prosecute...
3 Nov 2018

GDP: Trump tariff, trade war hit to economy

There's mounting anecdotal evidence that President Donald Trump's trade war is causing trouble for the US economy and businesses. But Friday's report on third-quarter gross domestic product may be the best hard evidence yet that the tariffs are causing major disruptions in the economy.
There's mounting anecdotal evidence that President Donald Trump's trade war is causing trouble for the US economy and...
30 Oct 2018

President Trump Barely Works at All

Early this year, Axios obtained a schedule of President Trump’s activities, revealing hour after hour of “Executive Time” — which means, mostly, binge-watching cable television news and tweeting. Politico has obtained another weekly Trump schedule, and if anything, it appears to contain even less actual work.
Early this year, Axios obtained a schedule of President Trump’s activities, revealing hour after hour of “Executive...

Publisher: Vox

Author:

27 Oct 2018

Trump Ebola response: security officials have banned health experts from helping

One of the largest Ebola outbreaks in history shows no signs of slowing — and the Trump administration barred US health experts who want to help at the outbreak’s epicenter in the Democratic Republic of Congo from traveling there. The relatively tepid response from the US, at a time when the outbreak is spiraling, has former CDC officials and global health experts concerned. “I do worry that in the worst-case scenario, we could have an outbreak of tens of thousands of people,” said Daniel Bausch, the director of the UK Public Health Rapid Support Team, “and complete destabilization of an already unstable region.”
One of the largest Ebola outbreaks in history shows no signs of slowing — and the Trump administration barred US...

Publisher: NBC News

Author:

10 Oct 2018

Trump’s tariffs have already cost Ford $1B; now it’s planning layoffs

Ford will be making cuts to its 70,000-strong white-collar workforce in a move it calls a "redesign" of its staff to be leaner, have fewer layers, and offer more decision-making power to employees, the company announced.
Ford will be making cuts to its 70,000-strong white-collar workforce in a move it calls a "redesign" of its staff to be...

Publisher: Vox

Author:

9 Oct 2018

North Korea didn’t make a big nuclear concessions, despite Pompeo’s comments

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Monday that he and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made “significant progress” over the weekend toward dismantling Pyongyang’s nuclear program. The problem is it’s not clear what advancement he’s pointing to.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Monday that he and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made “significant...
2 Oct 2018

Kavanaugh clerk hire casts light on link to judge forced to quit in #MeToo era

Last year, before he became a supreme court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh hired the son of a close friend to serve as his clerk, even though the clerk had not earned a spot on the Yale Law Journal, as almost all Kavanaugh’s previous Yale clerks had. The decision to hire Clayton Kozinski, son of the now disgraced judge Alex Kozinski, smacked of the kind of cronyism that is rife in federal courts. It was especially common for Kavanaugh, who not only had a reputation for hiring “model-like” female clerks, but also the children of powerful friends and allies.
Last year, before he became a supreme court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh hired the son of a close friend to serve as his...
26 Sep 2018

As Debt Rises, the Government Will Soon Spend More on Interest Than on the Military

The federal government could soon pay more in interest on its debt than it spends on the military, Medicaid or children’s programs. The run-up in borrowing costs is a one-two punch brought on by the need to finance a fast-growing budget deficit, worsened by tax cuts and steadily rising interest rates that will make the debt more expensive.
The federal government could soon pay more in interest on its debt than it spends on the military, Medicaid or...
25 Sep 2018

China rolls out a white paper and not a white flag in US trade war

Released on Monday by the official Xinhua news agency, Facts About the China-US Trade Dispute and China’s Stance, is the first comprehensive document from President Xi Jinping’s administration on the new economic Cold War. “Intimidation” and “bullying” are used frequently while Washington has been accused of “contradicting itself and constantly challenging China.” This, in turn, has caused “serious damage” to trade relations between the world’s two largest economies.
Released on Monday by the official Xinhua news agency, Facts About the China-US Trade Dispute and China’s Stance, is...
19 Sep 2018

Trump Administration Plans U.N. Meeting to Ramp Up the International Drug War

The Trump administration will open a week of high-level meetings at the United Nations General Assembly in New York with a drug policy event featuring President Donald Trump. Invites to the event are being doled out only to those countries that have signed on to a controversial, nonnegotiable action plan, according to documents obtained by The Intercept — among them the countries with the world’s most draconian drug laws.
The Trump administration will open a week of high-level meetings at the United Nations General Assembly in New...

Publisher: Politico

Author:

1 Sep 2018

Trump confirms leaked comments: ‘At least Canada knows where I stand!’

The Toronto Star earlier Friday printed remarks Trump made during an interview with Bloomberg News the day before, in which he said the United States won't budge on a trade deal with Canada unless it is "totally on our terms."
The Toronto Star earlier Friday printed remarks Trump made during an interview with Bloomberg News the day before, in...

Publisher: BBC News

Author:

29 Aug 2018

Puerto Rico increases Hurricane Maria death toll to 2,975

The revised death toll is nearly 50 times the previous estimate of 64 Governor Ricardo Rossello "accepted" the findings in a long-awaited independent investigation. Puerto Rico has struggled to repair its infrastructure and power grid since the storm, and is asking US Congress for $139bn (£108bn) in recovery funds.
The revised death toll is nearly 50 times the previous estimate of 64 Governor Ricardo Rossello "accepted" the findings...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

23 Aug 2018

Jeff Sessions Rejects Trump’s Attack, Saying Justice Dept. Will Not Be Influenced by Politics

Attorney General Jeff Sessions pushed back against President Trump’s recent attack on him — namely that Mr. Sessions never took control of the Justice Department — and said on Thursday that he would not be influenced by politics in the job.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions pushed back against President Trump’s recent attack on him — namely that Mr. Sessions...
2 Aug 2018

Trump Pushes for Interview With Mueller Against Lawyers’ Advice

President Trump pushed his lawyers in recent days to try once again to reach an agreement with the special counsel’s office about his sitting for an interview, flouting their advice that he should not answer investigators’ questions, three people briefed on the matter said on Wednesday.
President Trump pushed his lawyers in recent days to try once again to reach an agreement with the special counsel’s...
27 Jul 2018

Trump declares premature victory with European Union deal

President Trump’s announcement on trade with the European Union completes a cycle now familiar in his presidency. The commander in chief flogs an issue repeatedly as a crisis-level threat while pursuing a fix that often creates more harm than it solves -- then beats a partial retreat that he frames as a victory. 
President Trump’s announcement on trade with the European Union completes a cycle now familiar in his...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

25 Jul 2018

How the Trump Tax Cut Is Helping to Push the Federal Deficit to $1 Trillion

The amount of corporate taxes collected by the federal government has plunged to historically low levels in the  first six months of the year, pushing up the federal budget deficit much faster than economists had predicted. The reason is President Trump’s tax cuts. The law introduced a standard corporate rate of 21 percent, down from a high of 35 percent, and  allowed companies to immediately deduct many new investments.
The amount of corporate taxes collected by the federal government has plunged to historically low levels...

Publisher: NYTimes

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21 Jul 2018

Trump Blasts Fed, China and Europe for Putting U.S. Economy at a Disadvantage

President Trump accused China and the European Union of manipulating their currencies and continued to criticize the Federal Reserve for raising interest rates, saying those moves are putting the United States at a disadvantage. His comments once again break with longstanding White House norms, in which American presidents tend to talk sparingly about the United States dollar and, when they do, generally reiterate that a strong dollar is in the national interest.
President Trump accused China and the European Union of manipulating their currencies and continued...

Publisher: The Guardian

Author:

13 Jul 2018

Trump hails Boris Johnson as future PM and attacks Sadiq Khan

Donald Trump hailed Boris Johnson as a future prime minister, accused the London mayor, Sadiq Khan, of doing “a bad job” on terrorism and said there had been too much immigration in Europe in an incendiary interview that raised questions about the decision to invite him to Britain.
Donald Trump hailed Boris Johnson as a future prime minister, accused the London mayor, Sadiq Khan, of doing “a...

Publisher: CNBC

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12 Jul 2018

Global debt hits a new record at $247 trillion

Global debt has hit another high, climbing to $247 trillion in the first  quarter of 2018, according to a report published Wednesday. Of that figure, the non-financial sector accounted for $186 trillion.. “Firms have used artificially low rates to borrow in the capital markets and only buy back stock in the equity market,” LaVorgna said. “The inherent instability of debt over equity financing suggests that the next downturn could hit investment spending unusually hard.”
Global debt has hit another high, climbing to $247 trillion in the first  quarter of 2018, according to a...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

12 Jul 2018

NATO Survives Trump, but the Turmoil Is Leaving Scars

NATO, a pillar of the global order, emerged from a two-day confrontation with President Trump on Thursday intact but distracted and shaken, a further challenge to the alliance as it faces an expansionist Russia and growing authoritarianism among some of its own members.
NATO, a pillar of the global order, emerged from a two-day confrontation with President Trump on...
11 Jul 2018

China resets the tone of US-North Korea talks

While both Trump and Graham are likely right that Beijing had a hand in North Korea’s recalcitrant statement on Pompeo, the turn is likely part of a wider strategy to supplant America’s geopolitical dominance in Asia rather than a reaction to the tiff on tariffs.
While both Trump and Graham are likely right that Beijing had a hand in North Korea’s recalcitrant...
5 Jul 2018

Trump Repeatedly Pushed For Venezuela Invasion, US Official Says

As a meeting last August in the Oval Office to discuss sanctions on  Venezuela was concluding, President Donald Trump turned to his top aides and asked an unsettling question: With a fast unraveling Venezuela threatening regional security, why can’t the U.S. just simply invade the troubled country?
As a meeting last August in the Oval Office to discuss sanctions on  Venezuela was concluding, President Donald...
30 Jun 2018

Trump’s top economics adviser lies about ‘rapidly’ falling budget deficit

Larry Kudlow, the director of the National Economic Council, said that the deficit is “coming down rapidly” in a Friday morning appearance on Fox Business.The problem for President Trump’s top economic adviser is that the deficit is actually rising.
Larry Kudlow, the director of the National Economic Council, said that the deficit is “coming down rapidly” in a...
29 Jun 2018

The ‘ultimate deal’ that Jared Kushner is proposing for Palestine would strip the people of all their dignity

“I believe,” quoth Crown Prince Kushner this week, “that Palestinian  people are less invested in the politicians’ talking points than they are in seeing how a deal will give them and their future generations new  opportunities, more and better paying jobs and prospects for a better life.” Is Trump’s son-in-law – “adviser” on the Middle East, real estate developer and US investor – delusional? After three Arab-Israeli wars, tens of thousands of Palestinian deaths and millions of refugees, does  Jared Kushner really believe that the Palestinians will settle for cash?
“I believe,” quoth Crown Prince Kushner this week, “that Palestinian  people are less invested...
25 Jun 2018

Jared Kushner, who doesn’t like reading history books, says he has a new Middle East peace plan

The whole interview is worth reading in full to understand its striking lack of detail. Kushner makes no mention of Israeli settlements, the Trump administration’s decision to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, or the 61 Palestinians in Gaza who Israeli forces killed that day for peacefully protesting. Kushner did not say anything about the right of return for Palestinian refugees or returning to the 1967 lines as borders for a future Palestinian state. He did not criticize Israel or Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at all.
The whole interview is worth reading in full to understand its striking lack of detail. Kushner makes no mention of...
25 Jun 2018

Trump advocates depriving undocumented immigrants of due-process rights

President Trump on Sunday explicitly advocated depriving undocumented immigrants of their due-process rights, arguing that people who cross the border into the United States illegally must immediately be deported without trial — and sowing more confusion among Republicans ahead of a planned immigration vote this week.
President Trump on Sunday explicitly advocated depriving undocumented immigrants of their due-process rights,...

Publisher: Mother Jones

Author:

13 Jun 2018

Even Trump Can’t Explain What Happened in Singapore

Despite’s the president’s confidence, details surrounding the document remain vague, with reports suggesting it appears to lack firm commitments by Kim. The document purportedly makes no mention of North Korea’s human rights violations—a topic Trump had promised would not even be broached during the summit. According to Trump, North Korea will begin steps to denuclearize “very quickly,” while the US has agreed to halt military exercises in the region. That significant concession appears to have blindsided the South Korean government.
Despite’s the president’s confidence, details surrounding the document remain vague, with reports suggesting it...
5 Jun 2018

Trump says he has ‘absolute right’ to pardon himself of federal crimes but denies any wrongdoing

President Trump on Monday asserted an “absolute right” to pardon himself of any federal crimes but said he has no reason to do so because he has not engaged in any wrongdoing. In a subsequent tweet Monday, Trump also claimed that the appointment of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election had been “totally UNCONSTITUTIONAL!”
President Trump on Monday asserted an “absolute right” to pardon himself of any federal...

Publisher: Vox

Author:

4 Jun 2018

Ric Grenell: Trump ambassador to Germany’s Breitbart interview created a mess

Prior to becoming Trump’s ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell was a  Republican operative with a history of making bombastic — one might even  say “undiplomatic” — statements. Over the weekend, this habit got Ambassador Grenell in trouble when he gave an unguarded interview to Breitbart in which he seemed to imply that he would actively work to topple the current centrist German government.
Prior to becoming Trump’s ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell was a  Republican operative with...

Publisher: Vox

Author:

31 May 2018

Trump and Hurricane Maria: the true death toll in Puerto Rico

A highly credible new study in the New England Journal of Medicine suggested that the ultimate fallout from Hurricane Maria was 4,600 “excess deaths” — more than twice the mortality of Hurricane Katrina and the deadliest natural disaster on US soil in more than a century. Suspicion will, of course, linger for years that there’s a connection between Trump’s habit of weaponizing anti-Latino hysteria as the centerpiece of his politics and the unfolding of an essentially unprecedented human tragedy in a Spanish-speaking US territory. The possibility that Trump and his team simply have no idea what they’re doing should not, however, be dismissed out of hand.
A highly credible new study in the New England Journal of Medicine suggested that the ultimate fallout from Hurricane...
29 May 2018

Trump is blaming Democrats for separating migrant families at the border. Here’s why this isn’t a surprise.

President Trump’s attempt to blame Democrats for separating migrant families at the border is renewing a political uproar over immigration, an issue that has challenged Trump throughout his presidency and threatens to grow more heated as he imposes more restrictions to stem the flow of illegal immigration.
President Trump’s attempt to blame Democrats for separating migrant families at the border is renewing a...
26 May 2018

John Bolton just weakened America’s cyberdefenses

In February, Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats deemed cyberwarfare the No. 1 threat to the United States. Yet this month, new national security adviser John Bolton decided to eliminate the cybersecurity coordinator position on the National Security Council. Bolton’s decision, justified as a move to “streamline” what is asserted to be a “core capability,” instead is likely to downgrade the priority of cybersecurity and leave top national security officials ill-equipped.
In February, Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats deemed cyberwarfare the No. 1 threat to the...

Publisher: Newsweek

Author:

26 May 2018

Trump Ignores Court Ruling That He Can’t Block Twitter Critics: ‘President Thinks He’s Above the Law’

President Donald Trump defied a federal court judge who ruled Wednesday that it was unconstitutional for the president to block people on Twitter over their dissenting political views.
President Donald Trump defied a federal court judge who ruled Wednesday that it was unconstitutional for the...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

24 May 2018

Trump Pulls Out of North Korea Summit Meeting with Kim Jong-un

President Trump has notified Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, that he has canceled their much-anticipated meeting to discuss steps toward denuclearization and peace because of recent “tremendous anger and open hostility” by Pyongyang toward members of his administration.
President Trump has notified Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, that he has canceled their...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

22 May 2018

Trump’s Charm and Threats May Not Be Working on China. Here’s Why.

China has called President Trump’s bluff. Chinese negotiators left Washington this weekend with a significant win: a willingness by the Trump administration to hold off for now on imposing tariffs on up to $150 billion in Chinese imports. China gave up little in return, spurning the administration’s nudges for a concrete commitment to buy more goods from the United States, and  avoiding limits on its efforts to build new high-tech Chinese industries.
China has called President Trump’s bluff. Chinese negotiators left Washington this weekend with a significant...
18 May 2018

Trump’s warning to Kim Jong-un: make a deal or suffer same fate as Gaddafi

Donald Trump has threatened Kim Jong-un with the same fate as Muammar Gaddafi if the North Korean leader “doesn’t make a deal” on his nuclear weapons programme. The US president issued the threat at t he White House when he was asked about the recent suggestion by his national security adviser, John Bolton, that the “Libyan model”  be a template for dealing with North Korea at a summit between Trump and  Kim planned for 12 June in Singapore.
Donald Trump has threatened Kim Jong-un with the same fate as Muammar Gaddafi if the North Korean leader...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

13 May 2018

Trump Vows to Save ZTE Jobs Lost After U.S. Sanctions Against the Chinese Company

Mr. Trump’s tweet on Sunday left many  scratching their heads. The president has taken a tough stance on what his administration deems unfair trade practices by the Chinese government. And he has trumpeted his efforts to safeguard American jobs even if it means creating economic strain in other countries. The prospective shutdown of ZTE has been seen as major leverage in continuing trade discussions between China and the United States over Chinese trade practices.
Mr. Trump’s tweet on Sunday left many  scratching their heads. The president has taken a...
20 Apr 2018

First-time judge appointed by Trump issues his very first opinion. It’s a doozy.

More than just an ideologically radical opinion, Judge Ho’s dissent from the full United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit’s decision not to rehear Zimmerman v. City of Austin is a monument to conservative political rhetoric and right-wing historical myths. It’s the sort of commentary one would expect to find in an especially strident political magazine — perhaps one of the publications one of Ho’s current law clerks used to write for. It is emphatically not the sort of writing one expects to find in a judicial opinion.
More than just an ideologically radical opinion, Judge Ho’s dissent from the full United States Court of Appeals for...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

19 Apr 2018

Farmers warn of GOP losses over Trumps’s trade policy

“If he doesn’t understand what he’s doing to the nation by doing what  he’s doing, he’s going to be a one-term president, plain and simple,” said Mr. Runck, a fourth-generation farmer who voted for Mr. Trump. Pausing outside the post office in this town of 2,300, Mr. Runck said the repercussions could be more immediate for Representative Kevin Cramer, a Republican whose bid against Senator Heidi Heitkamp, a Democrat, has been complicated by the proposed tariffs.
“If he doesn’t understand what he’s doing to the nation by doing what  he’s doing,...

Publisher: Politico

Author:

5 Apr 2018

Rex Tillerson’s $12 million army of consultants

Now that Tillerson has been fired, the vaunted "Redesign" initiative he launched faces an uncertain future, but at least one clear legacy: around $12 million spent just for private consultants who in some cases charged the State Department more than $300 an hour.
Now that Tillerson has been fired, the vaunted "Redesign" initiative he launched faces an uncertain...
23 Mar 2018

John Dowd Resigns as Trump’s Lead Lawyer in Special Counsel Inquiry

President Trump’s lead lawyer for the special counsel investigation,  John Dowd, resigned on Thursday as his strategy for cooperating with the inquiry grew increasingly at odds with Mr. Trump’s desire for a more  aggressive posture.
President Trump’s lead lawyer for the special counsel investigation,  John Dowd, resigned on Thursday...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

23 Mar 2018

McMaster to Resign as National Security Adviser, and Will Be Replaced by John Bolton

Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, the battle-tested Army officer tapped as President Trump’s national security adviser last year to stabilize a turbulent foreign policy operation, will resign and be replaced by John R. Bolton, a hard-line former United States ambassador to the United Nations, White House officials said  Thursday.
Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, the battle-tested Army officer tapped as President Trump’s national security...
10 Mar 2018

In Trump’s decision on North Korea, the world glimpses a president who is his own diplomat, negotiator and strategist

Over the past six weeks, the Trump administration’s roster of Korean experts, already depleted, grew even thinner. The White House mysteriously dropped its choice for ambassador to Seoul. The State Department’s top North Korea specialist resigned. And the senior Asia director at the National Security Council was out the past two weeks on paternity leave.
Over the past six weeks, the Trump administration’s roster of Korean experts, already depleted, grew...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

28 Feb 2018

Jared Kushner’s Security Clearance Downgraded

Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, has been  stripped of his high-level security clearance after months of delays in  completing an exhaustive background check, limiting his ability to view highly classified information, a White House official and another person  familiar with Mr. Kushner’s situation said.
Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, has been  stripped of his high-level security...
9 Feb 2018

The White House’s Rob Porter debacle is a sign of incompetence or hubris — or both

“Rob Porter is a man of true integrity and honor, and I can't say enough good things about him,” White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly said in an initial statement Tuesday about allegations that the top White House aide had abused an ex-wife. By Wednesday afternoon, Porter resigned amid allegations that he had abused another ex-wife, who produced photographs of her black eye. And Kelly was suddenly “shocked.”
“Rob Porter is a man of true integrity and honor, and I can't say enough good things about him,” White...
3 Feb 2018

Husband of former Trump household aide scores government job

A home improvement contractor married to one of Donald and Melania  Trump’s former household staffers is now working as an official at the  Environmental Protection Agency, the latest example of someone with a personal connection to the Trump family finding work in the administration.
A home improvement contractor married to one of Donald and Melania  Trump’s former household staffers is...

Publisher: Vox

Author:

28 Jan 2018

Trump’s latest interview shows he’s not really the president

Trump is holding the office of president, but he’s not  doing the job of president. He seems to have no real idea what’s going on, even with his own signature policy moves. Some of his misstatements have the color of propaganda, but often he seems to be caught up in other people’s propaganda or even to have misunderstood his own talking points. He’s disengaged from the details of big questions like NAFTA — “I may terminate NAFTA, I may not,” he says profoundly. He can’t even describe his own negotiating positions in the immigration standoff accurately.
Trump is holding the office of president, but he’s not  doing the job of president. He seems to have no real idea...
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