US Politics in Trump era
House Democrats on Tuesday asserted that President Trump abused his power by pressuring Ukraine to help him in the 2020 presidential election, releasing a 300-page impeachment report that found that Mr. Trump “placed his own personal and political interests above the national interests of the United States.”
As Nation Transfixed by Impeachment, Trump Quietly Provides Offshore Drilling Industry ‘Sweetheart Giveaway’
Interior Secretary David Bernhardt was condemned Monday for a proposed policy shift on offshore drilling panned as a "sweetheart giveaway" for a former client. The new extraction-encouraging proposal was announced last month in a report by the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), two agencies within the Interior Department and occurred, according to transparency group Western Values Project, "under the cloud of impeachment."
“The Democrats’ impeachment inquiry is not the organic outgrowth of serious misconduct; it is an orchestrated campaign to upend our political system,” the report states. “The Democrats are trying to impeach a duly elected president based on the accusations and assumptions of unelected bureaucrats who disagreed with President Trump’s policy initiatives and processes.”
The refusal to send lawyers Wednesday continues a pattern of stonewalling by Mr. Trump, who has sought to block witnesses and documents, as he and his allies call the proceedings “deranged” and a “witch hunt.” People familiar with the president’s legal strategy have said privately that his lawyers are deeply suspicious of taking part in a process they view as unfair to Mr. Trump.
With his Thanksgiving vacation, President Donald Trump’s golf hobby has now cost Americans an estimated $115 million in travel and security expenses ― the equivalent of 287 years of the presidential salary he frequently boasts about not taking.
The White House’s former top Europe and Russia expert sharply denounced what she called a “fictional narrative” embraced by President Trump and his Republican allies that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the 2016 elections, testifying that the claim at the center of the impeachment inquiry was a fabrication by Moscow that had harmed the United States.
Secret Service spent quarter of a million dollars at Trump’s properties in first five months of his term, records show
The U.S. Secret Service paid more than $250,000 to President Trump’s private businesses in just the first five months of his presidency - paying Trump’s company an average of nearly $2,000 per day, according to Secret Service records.
When the Keystone Pipeline burst last week, half of an Olympic-sized swimming pool’s worth of a particularly dirty fossil fuel spilled into wetlands in North Dakota. And the thick liquid, known as tar sands oil, will be nearly impossible to clean up.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared Monday that Israeli settlements in the West Bank do not violate international law.Pompeo said the Trump administration, as it did with recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and Israel’s sovereignty over the disputed Golan Heights, had simply “recognized the reality on the ground.”
The United Nations has condemned the United States for having the world’s highest rate of children in detention. The U.N. experts particularly condemned the Trump administration’s policy of forcibly separating children from their parents at the border and then detaining children away from their parents or family members.
Former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch told lawmakers Friday that when she read how President Trump had talked about her to his Ukrainian counterpart in a July phone call — saying ominously that “she’s going to go through some things” — the color drained from her face.“It sounded like a threat,” she said.Even as Yovanovitch testified, the president continued to go after her, writing on Twitter, “Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad.”
A top diplomat on Wednesday tied President Trump more directly to the effort to pressure Ukraine to probe his political opponents, describing a phone call in which Trump sought information about the status of the investigations he had asked Ukraine to launch one day earlier.
Senate Confirms Controversial Judicial Nominee, Flipping Court That Will Decide Trump Subpoena Cases
The Senate confirmed Steven Menashi to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday by a vote of 51–41. Every Republican present except Sen. Susan Collins supported Menashi; every Democrat present opposed him. With this confirmation, Donald Trump has flipped the 2nd Circuit to a majority of Republican appointees—a momentous shift in the balance of power that could help the president shield himself from criminal liability and congressional scrutiny in a jurisdiction, New York, which he previously called home.
Candidate Donald Trump railed against America’s chronic trade deficits, vowing to eliminate them if he became president. So, how’s Trump doing? Awful. Trade deficits are growing on his watch. The overall trade deficit in September was 21% larger than during his first full month in office.
Trump adviser Stephen Miller injected white nationalist agenda into Breitbart, investigation reveals
Senior Trump adviser Stephen Miller shaped the 2016 election coverage of the hard right-wing website Breitbart with material drawn from prominent white nationalists, Islamophobes, and far-right websites, according to a new investigative report by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).
Footage captured by U.S. surveillance aircraft over northern Syria has documented several incidents that military officials say may constitute war crimes on the part of Turkish-backed forces there, a U.S. official said.If verified, the imagery could provide credibility to allegations that the offensive Turkey launched over Western objections last month has resulted in repeated abuses against Syrian Kurds who have been an important U.S. partner against the Islamic State.
The Trump administration is preparing to significantly limit the scientific and medical research that the government can use to determine public health regulations, overriding protests from scientists and physicians who say the new rule would undermine the scientific underpinnings of government policy making.
The Russians were hard to miss. They appeared suddenly last year in Madagascar’s traffic-snarled capital, carrying backpacks stuffed with cash and campaign swag decorated with the name of Madagascar’s president.It was one of Russia’s most overt attempts at election interference to date.
Struggling dairy farmers who flocked to an expo in Wisconsin last month hoped to hear some encouragement from one of their own — Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, a Georgia agri-businessman whose dad had run a small farm.But some came away angry after Perdue — speaking in a state that lost nearly two dairy farms a day last year — remarked that small farms would not likely survive as the “big get bigger and small go out.”
The yield curve, an indicator from the bond market just a few months ago set off alarms about the risk of a recession. Now it has gone back to normal, and that signal has been met with relief in the markets. But as far as the economy is concerned, it might not matter. Once the yield curve has predicted a recession, one usually follows even if that signal changes later.
House Republicans’ latest plan to shield President Trump from impeachment is to focus on at least three deputies — U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, Trump’s lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani, and possibly acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney — who they say could have acted on their own to influence Ukraine policy.
Days after a decorated Army lieutenant colonel offered damaging testimony about President Trump’s conduct on a July phone call with Ukraine’s leader, Mr. Trump stood on the South Lawn and issued a vague but ominous warning.“You’ll be seeing very soon what comes out,” Mr. Trump said on Saturday, referring to the officer, Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman.
With a populist message that promises to rein in corporate excess, Ms. Warren has been facing more hostility from the finance industry than any other candidate. From corporate boardrooms to breakfast meetings, investor conferences to charity galas, Ms. Warren’s rise in the Democratic primary polls is rattling bankers, investors and their affluent clients, who see in the Massachusetts senator a formidable opponent who could damage not only their industry but their way of life.
Iran has taken further steps away from its crumbling nuclear deal with world powers by announcing it is doubling the number of its advanced centrifuges, calling the move a direct result of the United States' withdrawal from the agreement last year.
Despite low national approval ratings and the specter of impeachment, President Trump remains highly competitive in the battleground states likeliest to decide his re-election, according to a set of new surveys from The New York Times Upshot and Siena College.
The Trump administration notified the international community Monday that it plans to officially withdraw from the Paris climate accord next fall, a move that will leave the world’s second-largest emitter of greenhouse gases as the only nation to abandon the global effort to combat climate change.
The Trump administration is expected to roll back an Obama-era regulation meant to limit the leaching of heavy metals like arsenic, lead and mercury into water supplies from the ash of coal-fired power plants, according to two people familiar with the plans.
The Federal Reserve is hoping that its latest interest-rate cut will help keep the economy safely at cruising altitude. But don’t expect it to provide much of a lift to the housing market. Few economists expect the housing market to take off in response to this week’s rate cut, because rates aren’t what was holding back housing in the first place. Instead, they point to other factors.
The Keystone pipeline system, an addition to which has been the subject of environmental protests for years, leaked about 383,000 gallons of crude oil in North Dakota, covering an estimated half-acre of wetland, state environmental regulators said.
Trump Is Committing ‘Felony Bribery’ by Giving Fundraising Cash to GOP Senators Ahead of Impeachment Trial: Ex-Bush Ethics Lawyer
Attorney Richard Painter, who served as the chief White House ethics lawyer in the George W. Bush administration, warned on Thursday that President Donald Trump appeared to be committing "felony bribery" by giving Republican senators fundraising cash ahead of an increasingly likely impeachment trial in the Senate.
Dogged by uneasiness over trade frictions and weak global growth, the American economy’s growth inched lower over the summer. Gross domestic product — the broadest measure of goods and services produced in the economy — grew at a 1.9 percent annual rate for the third quarter, according to preliminary data released by the Commerce Department on Wednesday.
A pathologist hired by Jeffrey Epstein’s brother is now backing the conspiracy theory that the accused child sex trafficker might’ve died by homicide — not suicide — in his Manhattan jail cell in August.
Not only have the U.S. and foreign governments spent money at properties owned by Donald Trump, but the president’s own political campaign and affiliated political committees have also spent about $16.8 million at his businesses since he launched his 2016 bid for the presidency, according to an analysis of federal election spending records.
When President Trump announced on Sunday morning that Islamic State founder and leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi died during a U.S. military operation in Syria, he thanked the Russians for their help while explaining that he kept Speaker Nancy Pelosi in the dark because he was afraid of leaks.
Footage of the US special forces raid on Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s Syrian compound reportedly consisted of overhead surveillance footage and no audio, prompting questions over the extent of the dramatic licence taken by Donald Trump in describing the final moments of one of the most wanted terrorists in the world.
The House is legally engaged in an impeachment inquiry, a federal judge ruled on Friday, delivering a major victory to House Democrats and undercutting arguments by President Trump and Republicans that the investigation is a sham.
The Trump administration just threw another obstacle at low-income immigrants by narrowing who can qualify for waivers of expensive fees associated with their applications for green cards, US citizenship, work permits, and dozens of other benefits.
The U.S. government’s budget deficit ballooned to nearly $1 trillion in 2019, the Treasury Department announced Friday, as the United States’ fiscal imbalance widened for a fourth consecutive year despite a sustained run of economic growth. The deficit grew $205 billion, or 26 percent, in the past year. The country’s worsening fiscal picture runs in sharp contrast to President Trump’s campaign promise to eliminate the federal debt within eight years.
After the bombshell news that emerged from U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor’s testimony, the network’s hosts and personalities took their spin to a new level, peddling absurd conspiracies about the diplomat and declaring reports on his testimony to be fake news.
Giuliani sought help for a Turkish-backed client accused of violating Iranian sanctions from a president who has a one-word policy for dealing with Tehran: sanctions. In the end, Zarrab pleaded guilty.
He has undermined efforts by career diplomats to deliver messages to Washington about corruption and democratic backsliding in Hungary. And he has privately acted as a broker for Mr. Orban’s point of view, taking positions contrary to United States policy, according to interviews with roughly two dozen current and former American and foreign officials as well as others who have worked with Mr. Cornstein.
Trump administration officials have admitted that last summer they knowingly withheld billions of dollars Congress appropriated to help Puerto Rico recover from Hurricane Maria. House Democrats say withholding the relief money violates the law. The HUD delay meant the island missed a deadline to apply for billions of dollars in disaster relief funds, raising doubts about when, if ever, the money will flow to the island devastated in September 2017 by a Category 5 hurricane.
The senior U.S. diplomat in Ukraine told lawmakers Tuesday that President Trump made the release of military aid contingent on public declarations from Ukraine that it would investigate the Bidens and the 2016 election, contradicting Trump’s denial that he used the money as leverage for political gain.
The Taliban have wanted the United States to pull troops out of Afghanistan, Turkey has wanted the Americans out of northern Syria and North Korea has wanted them to at least stop military exercises with South Korea. President Trump has now to some extent at least obliged all three — but without getting much of anything in return.
Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, said Thursday that the Trump administration withheld nearly $400 million in military aid to pressure Ukraine to investigate what the president has long insisted was Kiev’s assistance to Democrats during the 2016 election.
“There Is Definite Hanky-Panky Going On”: The Fantastically Profitable Mystery of the Trump Chaos Trade
In the last 10 minutes of trading on Friday, August 23, as the markets were roiling in the face of more bad trade news, someone bought 386,000 September e-minis. Three days later, Trump lied about getting a call from China to restart the trade talks, and the S&P 500 index shot up nearly 80 points. The potential profit on the trade was more than $1.5 billion.
Current and former officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal matters, said Mulvaney contributed substantially to the unfolding political crisis, both through his connection to key events related to the attempt to pressure Kiev and through his general approach to the chief of staff job, which was driven by a perceived reluctance to displease the president.
Slashing Pentagon Budget Could Pay for Medicare for All While Creating Progressive Foreign Policy Americans Want
The Institute for Policy Studies on Thursday shared the results of extensive research into how the $750 billion U.S. military budget could be significantly slashed, freeing up annual funding to cover the cost of Medicare for All—calling into question the notion that the program needs to create any tax burden whatsoever for working families.
President Trump seemed to wash his hands of the conflict between Turkey and America’s Kurdish allies in Syria on Wednesday, generating withering criticism from Republican allies, who rebuked him in a House vote. The day ended with a heated confrontation between Mr. Trump and Speaker Nancy Pelosi in the Oval Office.
U.S. consumers unexpectedly pulled back on retail spending for the first time in seven months, reviving fears that a weakening economy could finally be taking its toll on American shoppers just before the pivotal holiday season.
Russia announced Tuesday that its units were patrolling between Turkish and Syrian military forces near the northern Syrian town of Manbij, in a sign that Moscow, a key ally of the Syrian government, was moving to fill a security vacuum after U.S. troops withdrew from the area.
An estimated 50 nuclear bombs stored at a US airbase in Turkey have become potential bargaining chips in the tense relationship between Washington and Ankara in the wake of the Turkish offensive into Syria. The presence of B61 nuclear gravity bombs at İncirlik airbase, which is about 100 miles from the Syrian border and which the US air force shares with its Turkish counterpart, is complicating Washington’s calculations.
Trump orders withdrawal of U.S. forces from northern Syria, days after Pentagon downplays possibility
U.S.-allied Syrian Kurdish fighters announced late Sunday that the Syrian Army would deploy along the Turkish border to “liberate the areas that the Turkish army has entered with its mercenaries.”The agreement with forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, followed a Syrian government announcement that its troops were heading toward a confrontation with Turkey.
Marie L. Yovanovitch, who was recalled as the American ambassador to Ukraine in May, testified to impeachment investigators on Friday that a top State Department official told her that President Trump had pushed for her removal for months even though the department believed she had “done nothing wrong.”
The United States is sending about 3,000 additional troops to Saudi Arabia in the latest military response by the Trump administration after it accused Iran of attacks last month on Saudi oil facilities, the Pentagon said on Friday. The move came only five days after President Trump said that his desire to terminate America’s “endless wars” led to his decision to pull back from the border area between Syria and Turkey about 50 troops who were working to create a “safe zone” between Turkish and Kurdish troops.
Deutsche Bank Might Have Destroyed Physical Copies of Trump’s Tax Returns, Cleansed Servers, Claims Former Executive
A former Deutsche Bank executive who reviewed President Donald Trump's tax returns reportedly said it is "not normal" that the institution no longer holds copies of those records.Trump for many years relied on Deutsche Bank for loans to sustain his real estate business when many other institutions would not lend to him because of his rocky financial history.The president is accused by some, including his former attorney Michael Cohen, of manipulating the value of his assets to either secure finance or reduce his tax bill.
Treasury Department officials are considering rolling back a tax rule aimed at preventing American companies from moving money offshore to avoid U.S. taxes, according to several people familiar with discussions.
Turkey launched airstrikes and fired artillery across its border into northeastern Syria on Wednesday to open a military operation aimed at flushing out an American-backed militia, Turkish and Syrian officials said.
U.S. manufacturing fell deeper into a contraction last month, erasing hope of a quick turnaround for the industry and handing a blow to President Trump’s promises that he would revive blue-collar jobs and companies.
The White House declared war on the House impeachment inquiry on Tuesday, announcing that it would not cooperate with what it called an illegitimate effort “to overturn the results of the 2016 election” and setting the stage for a constitutional clash with far-reaching consequences.
Ivanka Tweet Thanking Turkey’s Erdogan for Attending Istanbul Trump Towers Launch Re-Emerges Amid Syria Controversy
As the world reacted to America's sudden abandonment of its most trusted and effective local allies, a tweet from Trump's daughter Ivanka resurfaced, detailing a relevant conflict of interest regarding relations with Turkey."Thank you Prime Minister Erdogan for joining us yesterday to celebrate the launch of #TrumpTowers Istanbul!" Ivanka wrote in April 2012. The construction—made up of two conjoined towers—is one of seven current Trump Towers locations.
In a major shift in United States military policy in Syria, the White House said on Sunday that President Trump had given his endorsement for a Turkish military operation that would sweep away American-backed Kurdish forces near the border in Syria.
The Trump administration has begun inserting legal protections into recent trade agreements that shield online platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube from lawsuits, a move that could help lock in America’s tech-friendly regulations around the world even as they are being newly questioned at home.
An anti-Muslim organization plans to host its annual gala at Mar-a-Lago, President Trump’s private club in Palm Beach, Fla., in November.ACT for America claims to be the nation’s largest grass-roots national security organization, and is considered the largest anti-Muslim group in the United States, according to the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks such groups.
Trucking has been in a recession since the first half of 2019, according to ACT Research. While freight volumes have ticked up in July and August, indicators that a recession is still gripping America's $800 billion trucking market.
President Trump on Thursday publicly called on China to investigate a political rival, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., in an extraordinary presidential request to a foreign country for help that could benefit him in the 2020 election.
Volker: Giuliani was warned that claims of Bidens’ misconduct were not credible, ex-envoy tells lawmakers
The former U.S. special envoy for Ukraine told House investigators on Thursday that he warned President Trump’s personal attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani that Giuliani was receiving untrustworthy information from Ukrainian political figures about former vice president Joe Biden and his son, according to two people familiar with his testimony.
Since his emergence as a political figure, Trump has promised that if he ever attained power, he would use the U.S. military to inflict a massive bloodletting on others, including noncombatants. Unlike other campaign promises, Trump has delivered on this one. Since taking office, he has presided over skyrocketing rates of civilian casualties in America’s many foreign conflicts.
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 State Department’s inspector general briefed congressional aides Wednesday about an apparent attempt to smear the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, who is seen by House Democrats as a key witness in their impeachment inquiry.
In the first skirmish in what promises to be an epic impeachment struggle between the executive and legislative branches, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo lashed out at three congressional committees that are seeking to depose diplomats involved in American policy toward Ukraine, calling their demands for confidential interviews “an act of intimidation.”
A federal appeals court on Tuesday affirmed the Trump administration acted lawfully when it scrapped the U.S. government’s net neutrality rules in 2017, dealing a blow to tech giants and consumer advocates who argued that the repeal would create a stratified Internet of fast and slow lanes.
Multiple news outlets reported on Monday that Barr’s Italy trip focused on urging the country’s officials to help his Justice Department investigate the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation for an effort that appears aligned with long-festering conspiracy theories on the matter. The campaign to squeeze foreign countries for information that would discredit Robert Mueller’s investigation also extended to a July 29 meeting that Barr had in London with British officials.
Attorney General William P. Barr has held private meetings overseas with foreign intelligence officials seeking their help in a Justice Department inquiry that President Trump hopes will discredit U.S. intelligence agencies’ examination of possible connections between Russia and members of the Trump campaign during the 2016 election, according to people familiar with the matter.
The Kremlin said on Monday that Washington would need Russian consent to publish transcripts of phone calls between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. The Democratic-led House last week launched an impeachment inquiry into Trump in the aftermath of a whistleblower complaint alleging that Trump had solicited interference by Ukraine in the 2020 U.S. election for his own political benefit.
President Trump has turned American foreign policy into an extortion racket, abusing his powers to goad foreign leaders into persecuting his domestic rivals and improve his political standing. The proof for this in the case of Ukraine is irrefutable.
President Trump pushed the Australian prime minister during a recent telephone call to help Attorney General William P. Barr gather information for a Justice Department inquiry that Mr. Trump hopes will discredit the Mueller investigation, according to two American officials with knowledge of the call.
U.S. manufacturing fell deeper into a contraction last month, erasing hope of a quick turnaround for the industry and handing a blow to President Trump’s promises that he would revive blue-collar jobs and companies. September marked the worst month for U.S. manufacturing in more than a decade, since June 2009.
It’s strange to see my journalism twisted, perverted, and turned into lies and poisonous propaganda by Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, and their enablers. But that’s what has happened to a news story I wrote four years ago.
President Trump on Monday questioned whether the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Representative Adam B. Schiff, should be arrested for treason for his description of a phone call Mr. Trump had with the president of Ukraine during a recent congressional hearing.
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 told a crowd of staff from the United States Mission to the United Nations on Thursday morning that he wants to know who provided information to a whistle-blower about his phone call with the president of Ukraine, saying that whoever did so was “close to a spy” and that “in the old days,” spies were dealt with differently.
After hearing that President Trump tried to persuade Ukraine to investigate a 2020 campaign rival, senior officials at the White House scrambled to “lock down” records of the call, a whistle-blower alleged in an explosive complaint released Thursday.
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.
After months of caution, Ms. Pelosi has become convinced that Mr. Trump’s reported actions, and his administration’s refusal to share details about the matter with Congress, left the House no alternative but to move forward with an inquiry that has the potential to reshape his presidency and cleave an already divided nation just a year before he plans to stand for re-election.
GOP Racial Gerrymandering Mastermind Participated in Redistricting in More States Than Previously Known, Files Reveal
The reach of late Republican gerrymandering mastermind Thomas Hofeller may be longer than previously known, according to a review of thousands of documents and emails culled from his hard drives, obtained by The Intercept. While Hofeller was known for drawing maps to give Republicans an advantage and to limit the impact of voters of color in North Carolina, Texas, Missouri, and Virginia, the new documents reveal he also participated in the 2010 redistricting cycle in Alabama, Florida, and West Virginia.
President Trump acknowledged on Sunday that he discussed former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. with Ukraine’s president as Democrats ramped up calls for an investigation into whether he improperly pressured a foreign leader to investigate a political opponent.
Donald Trump’s promise to a foreign leader so troubled an official in the US intelligence community that it prompted the person to file a whistleblower complaint, according to multiple media reports. Speculation in Washington was at fever pitch on Thursday over which leader Trump was speaking to and what promise he made. The substance of the complaint remained a mystery.
The Education Department has ordered Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to remake the Middle East studies program run jointly by the two schools after concluding that it was offering students a biased curriculum that, among other complaints, did not present enough “positive” imagery of Judaism and Christianity in the region.
Investors take for granted that the Federal Reserve controls interest rates. But a surprisingly lively couple of days in short-term money markets has meant that the “how” became nearly as important as the “why.” The stress started on Monday in the market for repurchase agreements, or repos. Repos are short-term loans mainly used by banks and hedge funds in their daily bond trading and brokerage businesses.