Monday May 21st, 2018
"It Is Not A Question of Who Is Right Or Wrong But What Is Right Or Wrong That Counts."
World & National
Trump demands inquiry into whether FBI infiltrated campaign for political purposes
President Trump’s feud with the Justice Department escalated dramatically over the weekend amid reports of an FBI informant snooping around his campaign, and now the president is calling on the embattled agency to investigate itself.
In a tweet on Sunday, the president said he will officially call for an investigation to determine the extent of the FBI’s infiltration into his campaign and where the order originated.
“I hereby demand, and will do so officially tomorrow, that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes — and if any such demands or requests were made by people within the Obama Administration!” the president tweeted.
The demand was made days after media reports identified Cambridge professor Stefan Halper, 73, as the FBI informant who met with several members of the Trump campaign in the summer of 2016.
MARK PENN UNLEASHES ON MUELLER: 'DEEP STATE' DESPERATE...
DOJ Says Inspector General Will Investigate Trump Campaign Surveillance Claims
The Department of Justice said Sunday its inspector general will investigate whether the FBI engaged in politically motivated surveillance of President Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016 following a public demand by Trump to do so, the Washington Examiner reported Sunday.
"The Department has asked the Inspector General to expand the ongoing review of the FISA application process to include determining whether there was any impropriety or political motivation in how the FBI conducted its counterintelligence investigation of persons suspected of involvement with the Russian agents who interfered in the 2016 presidential election,” Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said in a statement.
"As always," Flores said, "the Inspector General will consult with the appropriate U.S. Attorney if there is any evidence of potential criminal conduct."
Trump shares quote ripping Brennan: 'This guy is the genesis of this whole debacle'
President Trump on Monday shared a quote from a former Secret Service agent and conservative commentator, Dan Bongino, who slammed former CIA director John Brennan.
“’John Brennan is panicking. He has disgraced himself, he has disgraced the Country, he has disgraced the entire Intelligence Community. He is the one man who is largely responsible for the destruction of American’s faith in the Intelligence Community and in some people at the........top of the FBI.” Trump wrote on Twitter.
“Brennan started this entire debacle about President Trump. We now know that Brennan had detailed knowledge of the (phony) Dossier...he knows about the Dossier, he denies knowledge of the Dossier, he briefs the Gang of 8 on the Hill about the Dossier, which.......they then used to start an investigation about Trump,” the president added.
Trump works with South Korean president to keep North’s summit on track
President Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in spoke Sunday to ensure that the U.S. summit with North Korea is still on track, despite Pyongyang’s threat to cancel the high-stakes meeting between Mr. Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
In a phone call, Mr. Trump and Mr. Moon “exchanged views on various actions taken by North Korea recently,” South Korea’s presidential office said. The two leaders agreed to work closely on the planned summit in Singapore on June 12, which would be the first meeting between a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean leader.
CNN’s Jake Tapper presses Democrat for evidence Trump campaign colluded with Russia
CNN’s Jake Tapper pressed Sen. Mark Warner for evidence that the Trump campaign accepted help from a foreign adversary to win the 2016 presidential race.
Mr. Warner, vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, cited a report released by the committee last week that found Russia “massively interfered in our elections,” not only “to sow disarray, but to help Trump and to hurt Clinton.”
But Mr. Tapper said the big question is still whether Russia did so “with the assistance or participation of any American, especially and including people who are in the Trump campaign’s orbit.”
Rudy Giuliani says he has rare understanding of Trump and can ‘get the best out of him’
‘To me, this is like public service. This will free him up even more to accomplish remarkable things’
Rudolph W. Giuliani says he can get the best out of Donald Trump as he vigorously defends him and lashes out at his enemies, allowing the president to focus on landmark achievements.
“I think the value that I bring to this is I understand him in a way that few other people do,” Mr. Giuliani, the president’s attorney and spokesman, said in an interview with The Washington Times.
Mr. Giuliani and President Trump are reunited in a new campaign. This time, it’s Mr. Trump versus special counsel Robert Mueller, his shop of mostly Democratic prosecutors, a rapacious liberal press and the other political party, some of whom want impeachment.
Be careful if China cuts you a check, says former US trade official
"I'd say focus more on structural changes, getting market opening, fair treatment level playing field, IP (intellectual property) issues, investment protection. Focus on those kind of issues that will allow you to sell on market terms," said Frank Lavin, who was formerly U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce for international trade.
On developments on the Korean Peninsula, North Korea is unlikely to agree to a complete denuclearization, but there may be "baby steps" from the Trump-Kim meeting, he added.
Venezuela Election Won by Maduro Amid Widespread Disillusionment
President Nicolás Maduro won a second term as president of Venezuela, a country in the midst of a historic economic collapse marked by soaring prices, widespread hunger, rampant crime, a failing health system and a large-scale exodus of its citizens.
Electoral officials declared Mr. Maduro the victor Sunday night, in a contest that critics said was heavily rigged in his favor.
In the capital and around the country, the turnout was extremely low, with more than half of voters not casting ballots, reflecting both a call from many opposition leaders for a boycott of the vote and the disillusionment of longtime government supporters.
Paul Ryan Under Pressure to Surrender Speakership
Top Republicans are considering a plan to force House Speaker Paul Ryan out during the summer in order to clear the way for his presumed successor, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, to take over, The Weekly Standard reported on Monday.
Although there were always Republican representatives uneasy after Ryan announced last month he was not seeking re-election that a lame-duck speaker would have diminished powers to push through legislation and would be a liability for midterm elections, the breaking point for many appeared to come on Friday after GOP leaders did not find a compromise within their own party that resulted in the embarrassing failure of the farm bill.
'GOD LOVES YOU' Pope Francis tells gay man ‘God made you like this and loves you like this’
POPE Francis has told a gay man that God loves him during a private meeting, it has been claimed.
In a private dialogue, the Pontiff is understood to have told Juan Carlos Cruz, a victim of sexual abuse at the hands of Catholic priests, that God loves gay people and it is fine to be homosexual.
The comments are the most striking public acceptance about homosexuality ever made by a head of the Roman Catholic Church.
Pompeo promises strongest sanctions in history on Iran
Now that America is out of the Iran deal, what's next for US-Iran relations?
The Trump administration will embark on an "unprecedented" pressure campaign against Iran meant to fundamentally change its foreign policy, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Monday.
Delivering his first major foreign policy address as top diplomat at the Heritage Foundation, a think tank in Washington, Pompeo listed twelve sweeping and uncompromising conditions for a new nuclear deal with Tehran after President Donald Trump withdrew from an existing one governing its nuclear work earlier this month.
"The list is long" because Iran's activities are bold in scope, the secretary said: "We didn't create the list. They did."
US, China agree to abandon trade war: Beijing
Washington and Beijing have agreed to abandon any trade war and back off from imposing tariffs on each other, Chinese state media reported Sunday.
The announcement came after high-level talks in the US capital and followed months of tensions over what President Donald Trump has blasted as an unfair commercial relationship between the two economic giants.
Donald Trump’s Socratic method
While the press likes to portray President Trump as impetuous and impatient with details, when it comes to important decisions, he usually weighs options carefully.
Before making a decision, Mr. Trump routinely canvasses a wide range of people for their opinions. Besides his own aides, he will ask opinions of Secret Service agents, chambermaids or butlers. He values the opinions of working class people, believing they often have more common sense than the highly educated.
In addition, he regularly calls friends to bounce off ideas and ask for their input. The smarter they are, the more he likes them.
Negotiating better trade agreements
President Trump is now hot and heavy in the trade negotiations with China, as well as Canada and Mexico in negotiating NAFTA 2.0. We are strong free traders, but we also believe that Mr. Trump’s plans to negotiate better trade agreements that reduce trade barriers abroad are right on the mark. He also has to make sure those deals fully protect U.S. intellectual property, or what is commonly called know-how.
American investments, ingenuity and entrepreneurship have made intellectual property one of our nation’s most important assets — IP-intensive industries including software, biotechnology and entertainment now support nearly one-third of all U.S. jobs. But too often, our foreign trading partners take unfair advantage of our IP innovations to enrich themselves at our expense.
This is glaringly evident in the pharmaceutical sector.