The Pronk Pops Show 1343, October 17, 2019, Story 1: United States Negotiates A 5 Day Cease Fire With Turkey and 20 Mile Buffer Zone — Videos — Story 2: Senate Fails To Override Trump’s Veto  of Legislation Approved by the Senate and House of Representatives to Kill His Border Emergency — Videos — Story 3: Secretary of Energy Rick Perry Resigns End Of Year — Going Home To Texas — Videos

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Story 1: United States Negotiates A 5 Day Cease Fire With Turkey and 20 Mile Buffer Zone — Videos

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Trump touts ‘incredible’ ceasefire deal with Turkey

Mike Pence: Turkey Will Hold Ceasefire in Syria for 120 Hours – FULL ANNOUNCEMENT

Vice President Pence announces Syria ceasefire

Turkey agrees to Syria ceasefire: Vice President Mike Pence l ABC News

Ceasefire Reportedly Reached Between Turkey And Syria

Trump on ceasefire in Syria: It is a great day for civilization

The Five’ reacts to Trump and Pelosi trading ‘meltdown’ insults

Donald Trump hails five-day ceasefire deal in Syria as ‘a great day for civilization’ and boasts of ‘incredible outcome’ claiming ‘great leader’ Erdogan and the Kurds are happy – but Turkey hits back that they have only agreed to a PAUSE

  • Vice President Mike Pence announced the United States and Turkey have reached a deal to suspend Ankara’s operations in northern Syria for five days
  • ‘It’s really a great day for civilization,’ Trump said of the agreement 
  • Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spent more than four hours meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in order to get a deal
  • Ceasefire will reportedly last for 120 hours to allow a withdrawal 
  • Turkey will also get a 20 mile buffer on its border that Kurds much avoid 
  • Kurds were not part of the negotiations but Pence said they signed on 
  • ‘They couldn’t get it without a little rough love,’ Trump said of the agreement. ‘This is an incredible outcome’
  • But Turkish officials downplayed agreement and said it’s ‘not a ceasefire’ 

Donald Trump on Thursday hailed an agreement between the United States and Turkey for a five-day cease fire in Syria as a ‘great day for civilization’ as Turkish officials down played the outcome of the deal. 

‘A great day for the Kurds. It’s really a great day for civilization. It’s a great day for civilization,’ Trump said.

Vice President Mike Pence announced the United States and Turkey reached a deal to suspend Ankara’s operations in northern Syria for five days to allow Kurds time to withdraw to a ‘safe zone’ as part of a cease-fire agreement.

‘The United States and Turkey have agreed to a cease-fire in Syria,’ Pence announced at the U.S. Embassy in Ankara after protracted negotiations with the Turkish government.

The deal establishes a 20-mile buffer zone on the Turkish border that Kurds would have to avoid – a move that essentially gives Turkey a portion of Syria to control.

Trump praised his team’s work and touted his own role in the matter.

‘They couldn’t get it without a little rough love,’ Trump said in Texas after the deal was announced. The president had threatened Erdogan about the deal, saying he would destroy the Turkish economy with sanctions if he didn’t sign on. ‘This is an incredible outcome.’

But Turkish officials down played the agreement, saying they agreed to suspend operations to let the Kurds withdraw and emphasized it was ‘not a ceasefire.’

‘We will suspend the Peace Spring operation for 120 hours for the PKK/YPG to withdraw. This is not a ceasefire,’ Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said.

Vice President Mike Pence announced the United States and Turkey have reached a deal to suspend Ankara's operations in northern Syria for five day

President Donald Trump said the deal would not have gotten done without 'tough love'

Turkey-backed Syrian rebel fighters gesture as they stand at a back of a truck in the border town of Tal Abyad, Syria

Turkey-backed Syrian rebel fighters gesture as they stand at a back of a truck in the border town of Tal Abyad, Syria

Trump infuriated members of both political parties – including some of his strongest Republican allies – when he announced earlier this month he was withdrawing U.S. troops from Northern Syria.

He was accused of abandoning the Kurds, who are U.S. allies in the region, and ceding control of the area to Russia.

A week of criticism from Capitol Hill compounded on Wednesday into a White House meeting with a bipartisan group of lawmakers where Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused Trump of having a ‘serious meltdown’ when talking about the issue.

But the president gloried in the agreement on Thursday, calling Erdogan a ‘hell of a leader.’

Vice President Pence outlined the details of the agreement, saying Turkey agreed five-day cease fire in order to let Kurds get out of the ‘safe zone’ and Turkey will have a buffer zone around its border that the Kurds will avoid.

‘Once that is completed, Turkey has agreed to a permanent ceasefire,’ the vice president said.

And he said that Kurdish fighters would honor the deal even as the Kurdish were not part of the negotiations.

‘We have repeated assurances from them that they will be going out,’ he said.

The deal includes a Kurdish withdrawal from a security zone roughly 20 miles south of the Turkish border, which Pence said the Kurds will comply with.

‘Our administration has already been in contact with Syria defense forces and we’ve already begun to facilitate their safe withdrawal from the nearly 20-mile-wide safe zone area south of the Turkish border in Syria,’ Pence noted.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan meets with Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (3rd R), National Security Adviser Robert C. O'Brien (2nd R) and the American Ambassador to Turkey James Jeffrey (not pictured)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan meets with Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (3rd R), National Security Adviser Robert C. O’Brien (2nd R) and the American Ambassador to Turkey James Jeffrey (not pictured)

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the agreement was 'not a cease fire'

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the agreement was ‘not a cease fire’

Smoke and fire in the town of Ras al-Ain in Syria as Turkish forces gain ground there

Smoke and fire in the town of Ras al-Ain in Syria as Turkish forces gain ground there

‘We recognize the importance and value of a safe zone to create a buffer between Syria proper and the Kurdish population and the Turkish border,’ he said.

Additionally, the U.S. agreed to lift the economic sanctions it imposed on Turkey after the country sent troops into northern Syria once American forces had withdrawn.

The withdrawal of U.S. troops resulted in the Turkish military going ahead with a planned invasion into northeastern Syria, where Kurdish fighters had helped American forces in fighting what was left of ISIS.

‘The United States will not impose any further sanctions on Turkey,’ Pence announced.

And once a permanent cease fire is in effect, the president has agreed to withdraw the economic sanctions that were imposed this last Monday,’ he added.

But the agreement, however, gives Turkey what it wanted with its military incursion Additionally, the country is under no obligation to withdraw its troops under the agreement.

And the sanctions relief means the country will suffer no economic penalty from its military operation.

Trump, however, argued the deal will save lives and praised Turkey for signing it.

‘They’re not going to have to kill millions of people, and millions of people aren’t going to have to kill them,’ he said.

The president acknowledged the opposition to his decision to withdraw U.S. troops , including criticism he faced in his party from Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and his longtime ally Sen. Lindsey Graham.

‘This outcome is something they’ve been trying to get for ten years, everybody, and they couldn’t get it. Other administrations, and they never would have been able to get it unless you went somewhat unconventional. I guess I’m an unconventional person. I took a lot of heat from a lot of people even some of the people in my own party, but they were there, in the end they were there. They’re all there. Look, this is about the nation. This isn’t about Republicans or Democrats. This is about our nation,’ Trump said.

He claimed the Kurds were very happy with the outcome.

‘They were incredibly happy with this solution. This is a solution that really – well it saved their lives, frankly. It saved their lives,’ he said.

But not all Republicans celebrated the president’s deal.

In a scathing speech on the Senate floor, GOP Sen. Mitt Romney slammed the agreement, saying ‘the cease-fire does not change the fact that America has abandoned an ally, adding insult to dishonor.’

‘The administration speaks cavalierly, even flippantly, even as our ally has suffered death and casualty. Their homes have been burned and their families have been torn apart,’ he added.

‘What we have done to the Kurds will stand as a bloodstain in the annals of American history,’ he said.

Republican Senator Mitt Romney slammed Trump's deal with Turkey as a 'bloodstain' on America

Republican Senator Mitt Romney slammed Trump’s deal with Turkey as a ‘bloodstain’ on America

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan receives Vice President Mike Pence at Presidential Complex in Ankara

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan receives Vice President Mike Pence at Presidential Complex in Ankara

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday he wants 'something even stronger' than the House resolution condemning Donald Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northern Syria as Republicans have opposed the president's move

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday he wants ‘something even stronger’ than the House resolution condemning Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northern Syria as Republicans have opposed the president’s move

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, a staunch Trump ally, called for even greater sanctions on Turkey

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, a staunch Trump ally, called for even greater sanctions on Turkey

Turkish-backed Syrian fighters drive down a street in the Syrian border town of Tal Abyad

Turkish-backed Syrian fighters drive down a street in the Syrian border town of Tal Abyad

There were fears among some Trump administration officials that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Vice President Mike Pence would not be able to get a deal with Turkey

There were fears among some Trump administration officials that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Vice President Mike Pence would not be able to get a deal with Turkey

Graham said in a statement on Thursday he had a phone call with Trump, who spoke to him from Air Force One as he was in route to Dallas, Texas, after the deal was done.

‘Sounds like we may have made real progress regarding a cease-fire and hopefully sustainable solutions to prevent the reemergence of ISIS, the abandonment of our ally, the Kurds, and other strategic interests of the United States, like the containment of Iran,’ Graham said.

‘I stand ready to continue working with the President to build upon this breakthrough. I also stand ready to work in a bipartisan fashion to ensure this incursion by Turkey into northeastern Syria ends, hopefully, in a win-win fashion,’ he said. ‘Turkey has legitimate national security concerns within Syria but they cannot be met by invasion and force of arms.’

But there are still signs of dissension among the Republican ranks.

McConnell said Thursday he wants ‘something even stronger’ in the Senate than a House’s resolution that condemned Trump’s decision to with draw U.S. troops from Syria.

‘I believe it’s important that we make a strong forward-looking strategic statement. For that reason my preference would be for something even stronger than the resolution that the House passed yesterday which has some serious weaknesses,’ McConnell said from the Senate floor.

But nothing was raining on Trump’s parade.

Following the news of the deal, Trump tweeted: ‘Great news out of Turkey. News Conference shortly with @VP and @SecPompeo . Thank you to @RTErdogan . Millions of lives will be saved!’

Vice President Mike Pence met with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan at the Presidential Palace in Ankara Thursday for more than four hours

Vice President Mike Pence met with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan at the Presidential Palace in Ankara Thursday for more than four hours

President Trump tweeted the deal was 'great news'

President Trump tweeted the deal was ‘great news’

A Syrian woman and a girl, who were displaced by the Turkish military operation in northeastern Syria, wait to receive a tent and other aid supplies at the Bardarash refugee camp, north of Mosul, Iraq

A Syrian woman and a girl, who were displaced by the Turkish military operation in northeastern Syria, wait to receive a tent and other aid supplies at the Bardarash refugee camp, north of Mosul, Iraq

The president went on to tweet: ‘This deal could NEVER have been made 3 days ago. There needed to be some ‘tough’ love in order to get it done. Great for everybody. Proud of all!’

He added that millions of lives will be saved.

‘This is a great day for civilization. I am proud of the United States for sticking by me in following a necessary, but somewhat unconventional, path. People have been trying to make this ‘Deal’ for many years. Millions of lives will be saved. Congratulations to ALL!,’ the president wrote.

The vice president touched down in Ankara earlier Thursday alongside Pompeo and National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien as they tried to stop the Syrian civil war descending into a bloody new phase.

His mission came a day after the White House released a letter Trump sent to Erdogan, urging him to make a deal.

‘You don’t want to be responsible for slaughtering people,’ Trump wrote, adding: ‘Don’t be a tough guy. Don’t be a fool! I will call you later.’

The outlook for any deal had appeared bleak after Erdogan briefly toyed with the idea of refusing to meet with Pence at all.

He later relented, but repeatedly insisted he will not stop his assault on the Kurds – America’s former allies in Syria – until he has driven them away from his border.

Trump praised Erdogan for signing on to the agreement.

‘He’s a hell of a leader. And he’s a tough man. He’s a strong man. And he did the right thing, and I really appreciate it, and I will appreciate it in the future,’ he said Thursday.

He said – with the deal in place – Erdogan will likely make his visit to the White House next month.

‘That would be very much open. I would say, yeah, he would come. He did a terrific thing. He’s a leader. He had to make a decision. A lot of people wouldn’t have made that decision because they don’t know. They ultimately would have made it, but what he did was very smart and it was great for the people of Turkey, and they’re lucky it was him making the decision, I will tell you that,’ he said.

Trump told reporters during a press conference Wednesday that he hadn’t given Erdogan ‘a green light’ to invade northern Syria, and claimed releasing ‘a very powerful letter’ would dispel misconceptions about the impact of his troop withdrawal from Syria days.

‘If anybody saw the letter, which can be released very easily if you’d like – I could certainly release it,’ he said.

‘But I wrote a letter right after that conversation – a very powerful letter. There was never given a green light.’

Vice President Mike Pence carries details of the agreement as he prepares to announce the deal

Vice President Mike Pence carries details of the agreement as he prepares to announce the deal

Syrian National Army (SNA) members hang a Syrian National Army flag as they continue operations against the PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU, and the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, which Turkey regards as a terror group, within Turkey's Operation Peace Spring

Syrian National Army (SNA) members hang a Syrian National Army flag as they continue operations against the PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU, and the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, which Turkey regards as a terror group, within Turkey’s Operation Peace Spring

Correspondence: The letter reveals how Trump asked Erdogan not to invade northern Syria

 

The letter appears to support the president’s contention that he didn’t give Erdogan his approval for the military campaign.

‘Let’s work out a good deal!’ he wrote. ‘You don’t want to be responsible for slaughtering thousands of people, and I don’t want to be responsible for destroying the Turkish economy—and I will.’

The president pledged during the 2016 campaign to disentangle America’s military from what he called ‘forever wars’ – longstanding conflicts that the Pentagon has stabilized, often with thousands, or tens of thousands, of servicemen and women.

He used that pledge to justify his withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria.

Trump’s allies in his own party, including Lindsey Graham, turned on him with that decision.

Graham, who has been a Trump ally in fending off the Russia probe, blasted the president for abandoning Kurdish allies in Syria in an interview with the Christian Broadcast Network, where evangelical leaders have been voicing concern about the risk to minorities including Christians in the region.

‘I will do anything I can to help him, but I will also become President Trump’s worst nightmare,’ Graham vowed. ‘I will not sit along the sidelines and watch a good ally, the Kurds, be slaughtered by Turkey.’

Graham cautioned: ‘This is a defining moment for President Trump. He needs to up his game.’

Trump responded by claiming the Kurds are not ‘angels.’

‘Syria has a relationship with the Kurds – who by the way are not angels,’ Trump told reporters at the White House Wednesday.

‘Who is an angel? There aren’t too many around. But Syria has a relationship with the Kurds. So they’ll come in for their border. And they’ll fight,’ Trump said.

Graham on Thursday called for stricter sanctions against Turkey and introduced legislation that would target Turkish officials, end U.S. military cooperation with the NATO ally and mandate sanctions over Turkey’s purchase of a Russian S-400 missile defense system

‘Congress is going to speak with a very firm, singular voice, that we will impose sanctions in the strongest measure possible against this Turkish outrage that will lead to the re-emergence of ISIS, the destruction of an ally, the Kurds and eventually benefit to Iran to the detriment of Israel,’ he said during a press conference on Capitol Hill.

Meanwhile, a bipartisan majority in the House of Representatives voted Wednesday to condemn the president’s troop-withdrawal decision, where 129 Republicans joined Democrats to condemn Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria in a 354 to 60 vote.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said hours later that they walked out of a meeting with Trump at the White House when he berated them for their views on Syria.

Pelosi said she witnessed a ‘meltdown,’ with Trump telling her some ISIS fighters were communists, and ‘that must make you happy.’

The White House said in a statement that ‘[t]he President was measured, factual and decisive, while Speaker Pelosi’s decision to walk out was baffling, but not surprising.’

The statement claimed Pelosi ‘chose to storm out and get in front of the cameras to whine.’

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7585159/US-Turkey-agree-deal-five-day-ceasefire.html

 

Vice President Pence said Oct. 17 the United States and Turkey had agreed to a five-day cease-fire in northern Syria to allow Kurdish fighters to withdraw. (The Washington Post)
Oct. 17, 2019 at 2:33 p.m. CDT

ISTANBUL — Turkey agreed Thursday to a cease-fire that would suspend its march into Syria and temporarily halt a week of vicious fighting with Kurdish forces, while allowing President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government to carve out a long-coveted buffer zone far beyond its borders.

The agreement, announced by Vice President Pence after hours of negotiations, appeared to hand Turkey’s leader most of what he sought when his military launched an assault on northeastern Syria just over a week ago: the expulsion of Syrian Kurdish militias from the border and the removal of a U.S. threat to impose sanctions on Turkey’s vulnerable economy.

Pence said Turkey had agreed to pause its offensive for five days while the United States helped facilitate the withdrawal of ­Kurdish-led forces, called the ­Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), from a large swath of territory stretching from Turkey’s border nearly 20 miles south into Syria. After the completion of the Kurdish withdrawal, Turkey’s military operation, which began Oct. 9, would be “halted entirely,” Pence said.

The White House agreed to refrain from imposing any new economic sanctions on Turkey and to withdraw sanctions that were imposed earlier this week once “a permanent cease-fire was in effect,” Pence said.

Mapping out Turkey’s invasion of northern Syria
Here’s where chaos unfolded in northern Syria as Turkey launched an invasion following President Trump’s Oct. 6 decision to withdraw U.S. troops from the area. (Joyce Lee, William Neff/The Washington Post)

Pence, who negotiated with the Turkish leader at the presidential palace in Ankara, portrayed the agreement as a hard-won victory and credited President Trump’s leadership and Turkey’s friendship for its success. The deal delivered Erdogan concessions he had been unable to win during years of negotiations with the United States and vindicated, in some way, his decision to pursue military action instead.

“It’s a great day for the United States, it’s a great day for Turkey,” Trump told reporters in Texas after Pence’s announcement. “A great day for the Kurds, it’s a great day for civilization,” he added.

Mazloum Kobane Abdi, the commander of the SDF, said in an interview on a Kurdish television channel that “we accepted this agreement, and we will do whatever it takes to make it work.” But the text of the agreement was “just the beginning,” he said, adding that “the Turkish occupation will not continue.”
Pence, Pompeo meet with Turkish president
Vice President Pence met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara Oct.17 to persuade him to case the military offensive on northeast Syria. (The Washington Post)

Pence’s whirlwind trip to Turkey came just a week after the start of a military operation that had prompted a hasty withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria, led to dire warnings about the resurgence of the Islamic State militant group and abruptly caused a humanitarian crisis. Tens of thousands of people were uprooted from their homes. Dozens were killed in battles, on both sides of the border.

The Trump administration was criticized, even by some of its Republican allies, for abandoning the Syrian Kurdish militias, which partnered with the U.S. military to fight the Islamic State. Trump’s erratic statements about the conflict seemed to make matters worse: On Wednesday, he distanced himself from the conflict altogether, saying the fight between Turkey and the Kurds was “over land that has nothing to do with us.”

As Pence met with Erdogan on Thursday, the two men refused to smile, even a little, as their meeting got underway, as if to communicate failure before their negotiation had begun.

But afterward, a Turkish official briefed by participants in the talks said the Turkish side was surprised and relieved at how easy the negotiations were. “We got everything we wanted,” said the official, an adviser to the Foreign Ministry who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive diplomacy.

Irritated by White House threats over the past week, Erdogan had prepared for a confrontational meeting, but the mood softened when it became clear the U.S. officials were asking only for what the Turks regarded as token concessions. In return for a brief pause in fighting, there would be no U.S. sanctions and no requirement for a Turkish withdrawal.

The request for a temporary cease-fire seemed to be “face-saving, for the U.S. side,” the official said. “It was as easy a negotiation as we’ve ever had,” the official said.

The agreement — aimed at separating hardened foes in a volatile area of Syria — faces obvious obstacles. The text raised a variety of pressing questions, including whether the combatants would honor their commitments.

But while it averted, at least temporarily, the most serious dispute between Turkey and the United States in years, the agreement faced immediate criticism, including from U.S. lawmakers who earlier in the day had introduced sanctions legislation on their own.

Trump’s actions in Syria had infuriated Capitol Hill, where Democrats and Republicans in the House voted earlier this week in large numbers to rebuke the White House for the troop withdrawal. On Thursday, some of Trump’s most vocal critics on Syria met the news of the cease-fire with open skepticism.

In a floor speech, Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) pressed the administration to explain the United States’ future role in the region, the fate of the Kurds and why, in Romney’s view, Turkey will face no consequences after its incursion into Syria

“The announcement today is being portrayed as a victory. It is far from a victory,” Romney said. “Serious questions remain about how the decision was reached precipitously to withdraw from Syria and why that decision was reached.”

Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), a co-sponsor of the bipartisan legislation introduced by Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) and Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), called the agreement “a capitulation to Turkey at the expense of our Kurdish allies.”

“The agreement lets Turkey off the hook for slaughtering innocent civilians and the Kurdish troops who fought alongside American soldiers against ISIS,” an acronym for the Islamic State, Hassan said in a statement. “Moreover, it does nothing to recapture the hundreds of ISIS soldiers who have already escaped from Kurdish-held prisons.”

Spokesmen for Graham and Van Hollen said they would continue to press the sanctions legislation.

Robert Malley, who served as a senior White House official during the Obama administration and is now president of the International Crisis Group, described the agreement as “a capitulation dressed up as a win.”

He said the Trump administration’s announcement validated the Turkish objective in Syria, “putting a gloss on it and claiming it was a deal reached through negotiations.” Malley said the terms appeared so ambiguous that they made possible renewed violence between Turkey and the Kurds.

The cease-fire agreement does not mention any Turkish withdrawal from Syria, where Turkish forces and their Syrian rebel allies have moved about 20 miles across the border over a broad width of territory. Although it says a “safe zone” will be established, the agreement also notes that Turkey’s military will take the lead in patrolling it.

Turkey has described the offensive as a counterterrorism operation directed at militants affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, which has fought an insurgency inside Turkey for decades.

Just weeks before the incursion, Turkey and the United States had agreed after months of negotiations to jointly patrol a zone that would extend no farther than 8.6 miles into Syria. Turkey’s unhappiness with that agreement, both in terms of the amount of Syrian territory it covered and the extent of Turkish control, was one precipitating factor in the decision to invade.

The deal reached Thursday also does not address Turkish-backed Syrian militias, which have been the vanguard of the invasion. U.S. officials consider those fighters to be extremists, and they have been held responsible by international human rights organizations for numerous violations since they entered Syria, including the extrajudicial killing of Kurdish fighters and civilians. It remained unclear whether Turkey had agreed to withdraw those militias or would be able to do so.

International law prohibits returning refugees to their native land without their permission, and it allows the initial return only of those who originally came from that area. U.S. officials have said that those who have fled over the years from the border region, both Kurds and non-Kurds, amount only to several hundred thousand.

DeYoung and Kim reported from Washington. Sarah Dadouch and Asser Khatab in Beirut and Colby Itkowitz, Missy Ryan, Joby Warrick and Carol Morello in Washington contributed to this report.

 

Story 2: Senate Fails To Override Trump’s Veto  of Legislation Approved by the Senate and House of Representatives to Kill His Border Emergency — Videos

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The Senate Fails to Overcome Trump’s Veto on Border Wall

Senate won’t override Trump’s declaration veto

Trump uses veto power to kill bill that would block his border wall emergency

 

Senate Fails to Override Trump’s Veto, Keeping Border Emergency in Place

The vote fell short of the two-thirds majority needed to override President Trump’s veto, allowing him to continue circumventing Congress to fund the border wall.

Credit…Lynsey Addario for The New York Times

WASHINGTON — The Senate on Thursday failed to overturn President Trump’s veto of a resolution that would have terminated the national emergency he declared at the southwestern border. The defeat allows Mr. Trump to continue to defy Congress and divert federal funds to the construction of a border wall, his signature campaign promise.

The override attempt, the second such effort this year, failed when it fell short of the two-thirds majority needed to nullify a veto. But the 53-to-36 vote reflected concern among lawmakers in both parties about protecting Congress’s power to allocate federal funds and opposition to Mr. Trump’s plans to transfer billions of dollars in military construction money to build the border barrier.

Ten Republicans joined Democrats in supporting the measure.

Mr. Trump issued the veto Tuesday night, exactly seven months after using his first presidential veto to turn back a nearly identical resolution. Under the law, Congress can vote on such legislation every six months, and Democrats have used every opportunity to force Republicans to go on the record and choose whether to break with Mr. Trump, defending their prerogatives as legislators, or side with him.

The president declared the national emergency in February, after Democrats and Republicans in Congress rejected his efforts to secure $5 billion for the border wall, including during a 35-day government shutdown in which he repeatedly refused to accept any funding measure that failed to fund the edifice. The declaration, which Democrats have challenged in court, was Mr. Trump’s attempt to unilaterally seize money to pay for it anyway.

The failed attempt to overcome Mr. Trump’s veto comes as lawmakers are grappling with how to designate funds for the administration’s immigration policies, including whether to devote more money to the border wall and replace the funds originally intended for military construction.

Government funds for all agencies will now run out on Nov. 21 after a short-term spending bill passed last month expires and lawmakers are eager to avoid another government shutdown over Mr. Trump’s wall.

But the Senate has yet to approve any of the dozen necessary spending bills, which will need to be reconciled with the House’s versions before Mr. Trump can sign the bills into law.

Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, said on Thursday that the Senate would vote on at least one package of appropriations bills next week.

“Congress has fallen badly behind schedule on appropriations,” Mr. McConnell said. “We need to get moving. The country is watching. It’s time to make progress.”

Lawmakers are eager to advance the bills.

“I’m hoping we can move forward,” Senator Richard C. Shelby, Republican of Alabama and the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, told reporters.

Some of the more contentious bills, including the measure that would fund the Department of Homeland Security, likely face a more contentious path to the president’s desk. Senate Republicans have included $5 billion for Mr. Trump’s wall in that bill while Democrats in both chambers have vowed to vote against any money for the wall.

While White House officials struck a budget agreement with congressional leadership earlier this year, it only set an outline for overall funding levels for military and domestic spending. In recent weeks, both chambers have exchanged offers on how to broadly divide the money among legislation dealing with domestic programs before hammering out the specifics of each of the bills.

Republicans have also objected to efforts from their Democratic counterparts to limit the president’s ability to again transfer money allocated to other agencies to the border wall, arguing that such language would be a violation of the budget agreement.

“I don’t want to say November 21 is a long time, but lots of stuff can happen between now and then,” said Senator Shelley Moore Capito, Republican of West Virginia, who leads the Appropriations subcommittee that funds the Department of Homeland Security.

“My bill’s the problem,” she added.

If lawmakers do not resolve the 12 spending bills before Thanksgiving, when the stopgap spending bill expires, a lapse in funding or efforts to pass another short term spending bill could potentially collide with an impeachment trial, which leaders believe could unfold in December.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/17/us/politics/senate-veto-override-border.html

 

U.S. Senate fails to override Trump veto of bill to end border emergency

WASHINGTON, Oct 17 (Reuters) – President Donald Trump’s emergency declaration, which he says allows him to redirect federal funds to build a U.S.-Mexico border wall, will stay in effect after the U.S. Senate on Thursday failed to override his veto of legislation terminating the executive action.

The Senate voted 53-36 on whether to override the veto that Trump issued on Tuesday of legislation approved by the Senate and House of Representatives to kill his controversial border emergency.

That was well below the two-thirds majority needed in the 100-member chamber to overturn a presidential veto.

This marked the second time since February, when Trump issued the emergency declaration, that Congress failed to override his veto.

Ten Senate Republicans joined with 43 Senate Democrats in the failed veto override attempt.

Trump made the construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border a central promise of his 2016 presidential campaign to stop the flow of people without immigration documents from coming into the United States.

At the time he insisted that Mexico would pay for the wall, an idea the Mexican government never embraced.

Having failed to build the wall at Mexico’s expense, Trump waged several failed attempts to get the U.S. Congress to provide money for what would cost taxpayers an estimated $25 billion or more for a wall.

As a result, he used his executive powers to shift money from the military budget, including appropriated funds for housing, schools and childcare for soldiers and their families.

Democrats have maintained that the action is illegal as Congress has the constitutional authority to decide how federal funds are spent.

Most Democrats and many Republicans in Congress argue that there are more effective, less expensive ways of controlling the southern border, where large numbers of immigrants from troubled Central American countries and elsewhere arrive each year.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/reuters/article-7586279/U-S-Senate-fails-override-Trump-veto-bill-end-border-emergency.html

 

Story 3: Secretary of Energy Rick Perry Resigns End Of Year — Going Home Texas — Videos

Energy Secretary Rick Perry resigns

Rick Perry announces plans to resign as energy secretary

Sec. Rick Perry Explains ‘Expansive Relationship’ With Ukraine: ‘God as My Witness Not Once Was Biden

“The Coolest Job I’ve Ever Had” – Secretary of Energy Rick Perry

“My dear DOE family, I’ve said many times that I have the coolest job in the world and a big reason for that has been you, the men and women, who serve alongside me at one of the most innovative places on earth, the Department of Energy. You know, from my first day on the job in March of 2017, you welcomed me with open arms even though you probably didn’t know what to expect from this born-and-bred Texan who had just arrived in Washington, D.C.
But since that time, you and I have worked diligently to advance our DOE mission. And the great thing is, we succeeded and we continue to push the boundaries of what is possible each and every day. You know, some people wake up every day, and they wonder if they’re making a difference. The men and women who work at this Department do not have to worry about that – you are literally changing the world.
So, it’s with profound emotion and gratitude that I am announcing my resignation effective later this year as your Energy Secretary.
There is much work to be done in these upcoming weeks, and I remain fully committed to accomplishing the goals that I set out to accomplish at the beginning of my tenure. And then, I will return to my favorite place in the world, Texas, but I’ll treasure the memories of what we’ve accomplished together.
During my time here at DOE, we pursued a truly “all-of-the-above” strategy. We deployed all of our fuels from renewables to fossil fuels to nuclear energy. We led the world in producing oil and gas and in reducing energy-related carbon emissions at the same time. We achieved the magnificent goal of energy independence. We became a net exporter of natural gas for the first time in more than 60 years, offering freedom to our friends and allies from energy coercion by some powerful adversaries out there. And we’re ready to export our energy technology to deliver electricity to more than one billion human beings mired in energy poverty. We strengthened our national security by bolstering our nuclear security. We cleaned up numerous sites as we tackled America’s post-Cold War environmental legacy. We stood up our CESER office to deal with threats to the reliable delivery of electricity. We created an office of Artificial Intelligence to coordinate the amazing work that we’re doing in this game-changing arena.
I’ve been blown away by the amazing work done at what I call the Nation’s crown jewels, our 17 National Labs. I’ve had the opportunity to visit all of them. In my travels abroad, people everywhere wanted to know about this Department, because our footprint and impact is global. And that is a testament to each and every one of you today.
I thank President Trump for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime. I am so glad that I said “yes.” And I thank all of you my colleagues, my friends, my family for making that opportunity a grand success. May God bless you as you continue to pursue DOE’s great calling and mission. And may God continue to bless this great Country of America.” – Secretary of Energy Rick Perry

US Energy Secretary Rick Perry on why he decided to step down

Watch CNBC’s full interview with outgoing US Energy Secretary Rick Perry

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Rick Perry TRASHES Trump Over Ukraine Call

Rick Perry says he did push Ukraine talks on Trump

Trump says Energy Secretary Rick Perry asked him to call Ukrainian president

Finding Rick Perry: The Missing Secretary Of Energy

Ukraine’s natural gas issues are hard to resolve amid tensions with Russia

Russia Imposes Natural Gas Hike on Ukraine

Apr 2, 2014

Rick Perry QUITS as Energy Secretary 24 hours after revealing Donald Trump told him to talk to Rudy Giuliani about ‘corruption’ in Ukraine

  • Rick Perry will be stepping down from his position as Trump’s Energy secretary
  • He sent a written notification to the president of his impending departure while Donald Trump was traveling on Air Force One Thursday 
  • Just 10 days ago, Perry denied that he would be departing the administration in the near future 
  • Perry said Trump told him this past spring to ‘talk to Rudy’ Giuliani about his concerns regarding Ukrainian corruption 
  • Perry, who has acted as a liaison between Trump and his new Ukrainian counterpart, was attempting to facilitate a meeting between the two 
  • Trump wouldn’t agree to the sit down until Giuliani’s concerns were addressed
  • Perry said Joe Biden was never brought up during  his talks with Giuliani 

He sent a written notification to the president as Trump was traveling aboard Air Force One, two people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.

Trump confirmed Perry’s departure and said he was planning to announce the move at his rally Thursday night in Dallas, Texas.

‘We already have his replacement. Rick has done a fantastic job. But it was time,’ Trump told reporters in Texas, adding that his departure would come ‘at the end of the year.’

The president said that he has already has picked Perry’s replacement and will be announcing the new Energy secretary shortly.

‘We have the man that we’re going – in this case it’s a man – that we’re going to be putting in Rick’s place. We’ll be announcing it very shortly,’ he said.

Trump said he wasn’t surprised by Perry’s departure as the Energy secretary had informed him months ago that he was planning to leave the administration to pursue something else.

‘I knew six months ago. He told me at the end of the year he’d like to go and he’s got some ideas about doing something else. He’s a terrific guy,’ Trump lauded Perry.

‘Rick and I have been talking for six months. In fact I thought he might go a bit sooner. But he’s got some very big plans. He’s going to be very successful. We have his successor we’ll announce it pretty soon,’ he continued.

Rick Perry said Donald Trump told him to ‘talk to Rudy’ Giuliani about his concerns regarding Ukrainian corruption before he would agree to a sit down with his new counterpart

 The news come just 10 days after Perry, who has been with Trump since March 2017, denied that he was planning to resign his position in the immediate future.

Trump denied that Perry’s replacement would be Texas Governor Greg Abbott or Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy.

Perry has found himself at the center of the Ukraine scandal engulfing the presidency after he became one of the top liaisons between Trump and his new Ukrainian counterpart.

The former Texas governor announced earlier this month he was staying with the administration despite the controversy, although he did not rule out leaving at a later date.

‘They’ve been writing the story for at least nine months now,’ he said at the time of the media and his rumored departure. ‘One of these days they will probably get it right, but it’s not today, it’s not tomorrow, it’s not next month,’ Perry said while traveling in Lithuania.

Politico had reported last week that he was planning to resign at the end of November, citing three anonymous sources.

His departure will add to the extensive and ever-growing list of Trump administration officials who have left the White House.

Perry revealed in an interview published Wednesday night that he was directed by Trump to approach Rudy Giuliani to address the president’s concerns about corruption in Ukraine.

He told The Wall Street Journal that he contacted Giuliani in the spring to help clear the way for a meeting between the president and his newly elected Ukrainian counterpart.

Although Perry admitted that during his phone call earlier this year Giuliani outlined several potential instances of interference by Ukraine in the 2016 presidential elections, he said the president’s personal attorney never brought up Joe Biden or his family.

He also said he didn’t hear Trump, any of his appointees or the Ukrainian government ever mention probing the former vice president and his son, Hunter Biden’s business dealings there.

‘As I recall the conversation, he said, ‘Look, the president is really concerned that there are people in Ukraine that tried to beat him during this presidential election,’ Perry said. ”He thinks they’re corrupt and…that there are still people over there engaged that are absolutely corrupt.”

Perry said Giuliani didn’t make any explicit demands on the call.

‘Rudy didn’t say they gotta do X, Y and Z,’ Perry continued in his interview. ‘He just said, ‘You want to know why he ain’t comfortable about letting this guy come in? Here’s the reason.’

The House opened an impeachment inquiry into the president following revelations of a July 25 phone call where Trump urged Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to dig up dirt on his political rival.

Democrats allege the president set a quid pro quo in freezing millions in military aid in exchange for the Ukrainian regime’s investigation into the Bidens.

Perry’s talks and coordination with Giuliani show the widespread reach of the president’s attorney’s involvement in foreign policy. Giuliani is currently being investigation for potential foreign lobbying violations.

Giuliani confirmed his call with Perry and said he was telling the president’s energy secretary to be careful in dealing with Zelensky, who took office in May.

‘Everything I said there I probably said on television 50 times,’ Giuliani told the Journal.

The former New York City Republican mayor has accused Ukraine, under then-President Petro Poroshenko, of interfering in the U.S. elections on Hillary Clinton’s behalf.

Since Zelensky was elected, U.S. officials have been attempting to facilitate a meeting between and his new Ukrainian counterpart.

Perry and Giuliani’s call followed a White House meeting, which included Perry and then-U.S. envoy for Ukraine negotiations Kurt Volker, who resigned last month after revelations of Trump’s call with Zelensky.

In the meeting, Trump’s advisers urged him to meet with Zelensky, but people familiar with the matter said the president told them they needed to resolve Giuliani’s concerns before he would agree to the meeting.

‘Visit with Rudy,’ Perry said the president told him at the time.

Perry has been one of the administration’s top liaisons with the new Ukrainian president, which has put him under intense scrutiny as the president faces impeachment proceedings into whether he abused his power as president to dig up dirt on Biden.

Trump claims his call with Zelensky this summer was ‘perfect,’ and insists it was an attempt to help weed out corruption from the European nation. He also claims he has a duty, as president, to stop corruption, including from the Bidens.

Giuliani, the president’s personal attorney, is being investigated in relation to his role in U.S.-Ukraine relations – especially his claims of corruption and election interference by the previous administration there
Hunter Biden accepted a board position with Ukrainian natural gas firm Burisma Holdings in 2014 – while his father was still serving as Obama’s vice president. He reportedly was paid $50,000 per month in his post at Burisma.

The attorney and lobbyist stepped down from Burisma’s board earlier this year and also announced over the weekend he was leaving his position on the board of a Chinese-backed equity firm where he made millions.

Perry said Trump has dismissed his requests to meet with Zelensky in an effort to show U.S. support for the new administration – which Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, who is leading the impeachment inquiry, said is another potential of a quid pro quo.

Schiff said if Trump were to set an investigation into the Bidens as a condition for meeting with Zelensky, it could be another instance of him using his presidency to attempt to better his chances in 2020.

Perry revealed that Giuliani was also in contact with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Volker and U.S. ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland.

Perry to Resign as Energy Secretary

Rick Perry, the former governor of Texas who has become enmeshed in the Ukraine scandal, said he would resign as secretary of energy.

Rick Perry, the energy secretary, on Thursday in Fort Worth.
CreditCreditAnna Moneymaker/The New York Times

Rick Perry, the energy secretary who has drawn scrutiny for his role in the controversy surrounding President Trump’s efforts to push Ukraine officials to investigate the son of a political rival, told the president on Thursday that he would resign from the cabinet.

The Perry resignation had been anticipated for several weeks, even before the news emerged of his involvement in efforts to pressure the new president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, to investigate a company that had worked with Hunter Biden, the younger son of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.

In the ensuing weeks, Mr. Perry has been drawn deeper into the questions around the pressure campaign on Mr. Zelensky, which has spurred an impeachment inquiry that threatens to engulf Mr. Trump’s presidency.

Mr. Perry told The Wall Street Journal in an interview published on Wednesday night that he was in contact with Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani about Ukraine-related matters at the direction of Mr. Trump.

Mr. Perry has been instrumental in supporting what President Trump has called a policy of American “energy dominance,” which includes increasing the exports of United States fossil fuels to Ukraine and elsewhere.

As energy secretary, Mr. Perry oversaw a sharp increase in the production of fossil fuels, particularly liquefied natural gas, and promoted it with a patriotic fervor — even dubbing the fossil fuel “freedom gas” and likening its export to Europe to the United States efforts to liberate the continent during World War II.

“The United States is again delivering a form of freedom to the European continent,” Mr. Perry told reporters in Brussels in May, according to Euractiv.com. “And rather than in the form of young American soldiers,” Mr. Perry said, “it’s in the form of liquefied natural gas.”

Mr. Perry also led a failed effort to engineer a federal bailout for struggling coal and nuclear power plants. Though the plan ultimately ran afoul of White House advisers, Mr. Perry has continued to maintain that the government still has the option of keeping aging plants operating, even as he asserted that incentives might be a better path forward.

A former Texas governor, Mr. Perry also avoided many of the personal scandals that had bested his counterparts at other agencies. In part because of that, those who know Mr. Perry have said at various points throughout the administration Mr. Trump has considered his energy secretary to fill other cabinet vacancies, including secretary of veterans affairs.

Mr. Trump also considered Mr. Perry, 69, to become his chief of staff after John F. Kelly resigned, and more recently to take over the Department of Homeland Security after Kirstjen Nielsen’s resignation, according to two people close to Mr. Perry.

Maggie Haberman is a White House correspondent. She joined The Times in 2015 as a campaign correspondent and was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize in 2018 for reporting on Donald Trump’s advisers and their connections to Russia. Previously, she worked at Politico, The New York Post and The New York Daily News. @maggieNYT

Lisa Friedman reports on climate and environmental policy in Washington. A former editor at Climatewire, she has covered nine international climate talks. @LFFriedman

A Guide to Impeachment

    • What Impeachment Is: Impeachment is charging a holder of public office with misconduct. Here are answers to seven key questions about the process.
    • What the Accusation Is: President Trump is accused of breaking the law by pressuring the president of Ukraine to look into former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., a potential Democratic opponent in the 2020 election. A second person, this one with “firsthand knowledge” of Mr. Trump’s dealings with Ukraine, came forward and is now protected as a whistle-blower.
    • What Was Said: The White House released a reconstructed transcript of Mr. Trump’s call to President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine.
    • A Visual Timeline: Here are the key figures and dates as Mr. Trump and his allies pressured Ukraine to investigate his political opponents.
    • Why Now: A whistle-blower complaint filed in August said that White House officials believed they had witnessed Mr. Trump abuse his power for political gain. Here are 8 takeaways from the complaint.
    • How Trump Responds: The president said the impeachment battle would be “a positive” for his re-election campaign. Mr. Trump has repeatedly referred to the whistle-blower as “crooked” and condemned the news media reporting on the complaint. At the beginning of October, Mr. Trump publicly called on China to examine Mr. Biden as well.

om/2019/10/17/us/politics/rick-perry-energy-secretary-resigns.htmlhttps://www.nytimes.c

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1276, June 18, 2018, Story 1: President Trump Orders Rounding Up The 30-60 Million Illegal Aliens In The United States Starting Soon — Trump Supporters Still Waiting For Trump’s Promise To Be Kept By Rolling Back The 33 Year Invasion of United States — Enforce Immigration Laws — Deport and Remove All Illegal Aliens — It Is The Law — Send Them Home — Videos — Story 2: Tension Mount Between United States and Islamic Republic of Iran — Neocons Banging The War Drums — Trump’s War? — Videos — Story 3: President Trump Press Opportunity on Way To Orlando, Florida Rally Starting 2020 Presidential Re-Election Campaign — Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan Resigns and Army Secretary Mark Esper Named Acting Secretary of Defense — Videos

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Pronk Pops Show 1276 June 18, 2019

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Pronk Pops Show 1232 April 1, 2019 Part 2

Pronk Pops Show 1232 March 29, 2019 Part 1

Pronk Pops Show 1231 March 28, 2019

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Pronk Pops Show 1219 March 4, 2019

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Story 1: President Trump Orders Rounding Up The 30-60 Million Illegal Aliens In The United States Starting Soon — Trump Supporters Still Waiting For Trump’s Promise To Be Kept By Rolling Back The 33 Year Invasion of United States — Enforce Immigration Laws — Deport and Remove All Illegal Aliens — It Is The Law — Send Them Home — Videos —

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President Trump outlines four-pillar immigration plan

Trump: Illegal immigrants must leave and apply for entry

Donald Trump on illegal immigration in the U.S.

Trump vows to deport criminal illegal immigrants

Dobbs: Illegal immigrants are a ‘preferred group’ in the US

Trump: Deport immigrants without ‘judges or court cases’

Trump Doubles, Triples Down on Immigration Plans

Trump: It is realistic to deport all illegal immigrants

Trump: Undocumented immigrants ‘have to go’

Donald Trump explains his immigration plan

How to solve the illegal immigration problem

 

 

Trump says US will begin deporting millions

Trump says US will begin deporting millions

an hour ago

President Donald Trump is threatening to deport millions of people living in the United States illegally, heralding a plan that could help energize his supporters just ahead of formally announcing his reelection bid .

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement next week will “begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States,” Trump said in a pair of tweets Monday night.

“They will be removed as fast as they come in,” he wrote.

An administration official said the effort would focus on the more than 1 million people who have been issued final deportation orders by federal judges but remain at large in the U.S. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to explain the president’s tweets.

Other U.S. officials with knowledge of the preparations have said the operation was not imminent, and that ICE officials were not aware the president would make public sensitive law enforcement plans on Twitter. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

It is unusual for law enforcement agencies to announce raids before they take place. Some in Trump’s administration believe that decisive shows of force — like mass arrests — can serve as effective deterrents, sending a message to those considering making the journey to the U.S. that it’s not worth coming.

Mexico deployed more troops to its southern border with Guatemala on Monday amid growing evidence that the heightened military presence was deterring some migrants from trying to cross the border. (June 18)

The acting head of ICE Mark Morgan said in an interview with journalists earlier this month that there would be enforcement action coming that would include deporting families, and that it would be done humanely.

Trump has threatened a series of increasingly drastic actions as he has tried to stem the flow of Central American migrants crossing the southern border, which has risen dramatically on his watch. He recently dropped a threat to slap tariffs on Mexico after the country agreed to dispatch its national guard and step-up coordination and enforcement efforts.

A senior Mexican official said Monday that, three weeks ago, about 4,200 migrants were arriving at the U.S. border daily. Now that number has dropped to about 2,600.

Immigration was a central theme of Trump’s 2016 campaign and he is expected to hammer it as he tries to fire up his base heading into the 2020 campaign.

Trump will formally launch his re-election bid Tuesday night at a rally in Orlando, Florida — a state that is crucial to his path back to the White House.

https://apnews.com/e32b4a65baf74afab5bb5b2aa061f734

 

 

Trump says U.S. agency will begin removing millions of illegal immigrants

President Donald Trump said on Monday that U.S. authorities would begin next week removing millions of immigrants who are in the United States illegally.

“Next week ICE will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States,” Trump tweeted, referring to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. “They will be removed as fast as they come in,” he said. He did not offer specifics.

There are an estimated 12 million immigrants who are in the United States illegally, mainly from Mexico and Central America.

Under a deal reached earlier this month, Mexico has agreed to take Central American immigrants seeking asylum in the United States until their cases are heard in U.S. courts.

The agreement, which included Mexico pledging to deploy National Guard troops to stop Central American immigrants from reaching the U.S. border, averted a Trump threat to hit Mexican imports with tariffs.

Trump also said in the tweet that Guatemala “is getting ready to sign a Safe-Third Agreement.”

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence suggested last week that Guatemala could receive asylum seekers from its neighbors as a so-called safe third country.

Details of the plan have not been made public, and Guatemala has not publicly confirmed talks that the U.S. State Department said were taking place in Guatemala on Friday.

U.S. rights group Human Rights First said, however, it was “simply ludicrous” for the United States to assert that Guatemala was capable of protecting refugees, when its own citizens are fleeing violence.

Mexico has agreed that if its measures to stem the flow of migrants are unsuccessful, it will discuss signing a safe third country agreement with the United States.

(Reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by Mohammad Zargham and Peter Cooney)

 

Story 2: Tension Mount Between United States and Islamic Republic of Iran — Neocons Banging The War Drums — Trump’s War? — Videos

 

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Trump orders 1,000 more troops to Middle East over Iran fears

Trump: I don’t want war with Iran

Iran says it will breach nuclear deal ‘in days’ as its uranium stockpile limit nears

CrossTalk BULLHORNS: ‘Iran Mania’

US-Iran: “Trump has already parted ways with Bolton”

President Trump condemns Iran for suspected attack on oil tankers | 5 News

Trump’s war whisperer John Bolton | The Weekly with Wendy Mesley

John Bolton Beats War Drums Again In US-Iran Standoff | Hardball | MSNBC

John Bolton says “hell to pay” if Iran crosses US

Trump threatens Iran with retaliation if attacked | DW News

Is The U.S. Going To War With Iran? | AJ+

Trump’s Iran War? | Bigger Than Five

 Iran’s Zarif warns US of ‘consequences’ over oil sanctions | Al Jazeera English

Bolton: My view of America’s greatest threat

U.S. sending aircraft carrier, bomber to Middle East to warn Iran

 Iran: US naval deployment is “psychological warfare” | Al Jazeera English

Tucker: An Iran war would destroy Trump’s presidency

U.S vs IRAN – WHY IRAN WON’T LAST EVEN A FEW DAYS IN A WAR WITH THE U.S ?

HOW THE U.S. MILITARY WOULD STRIKE IRAN: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW || RHINO 2019

The State Department’s War On Americans Against War On Iran

Who is John Bolton? Trump’s 3rd National Security Advisor | NowThis

This Is What a Nuclear War Would Actually Look Like (HBO)

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“American neoconservatives: a history and overview” Jim Lobe

War Party : Documentary on the Neoconservative War Party

The Neoconservative Agenda | John F. McManus

The Neocons: Who They Are, and What They’re Up To

Intro to Neoconservatism

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NEOCONS – Who are they? – Ryan Dawson

Congressman Ron Paul, MD – We’ve Been NeoConned

US to send 1,000 additional troops to the Middle East as tensions escalate with Iran

The United States is sending 1,000 additional troops to the Middle East, amid rising tensions between the U.S. and Iran. The decision follows last week’s attack on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman that the U.S. blamed on Tehran, with the Pentagon releasing new images on Monday that officials said show Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) members removing an unexploded mine from one of the ship’s hulls.

Interested in Iran?

Add Iran as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Iran news, video, and analysis from ABC News.

“In response to a request from the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) for additional forces, and with the advice of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and in consultation with the White House, I have authorized approximately 1,000 additional troops for defensive purposes to address air, naval, and ground-based threats in the Middle East,” acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said in a statement on Monday.

The additional personnel are mostly part of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and force protection units, a U.S. official told ABC News.

PHOTO: Airmen conduct flight control checks during preflight of a Reaper drone launch at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia, Feb. 21, 2019.Staff Sgt. Arielle Vasquez/U.S. Air Force
Airmen conduct flight control checks during preflight of a Reaper drone launch at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia, Feb. 21, 2019.more +

The U.S. has already accelerated the deployment to the Middle East of the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier strike group and sent B-52 bombers after what it said were credible threats by Iran against U.S. forces and interests in the region. Since then, the U.S. has sent an additional 1,500 troops and increased defensive capabilities to continue to help deter Iran.

“The recent Iranian attacks validate the reliable, credible intelligence we have received on hostile behavior by Iranian forces and their proxy groups that threaten United States personnel and interests across the region,” Shanahan said.

“The United States does not seek conflict with Iran,” the statement continued. “The action today is being taken to ensure the safety and welfare of our military personnel working throughout the region and to protect our national interests. We will continue to monitor the situation diligently and make adjustments to force levels as necessary given intelligence reporting and credible threats.”

Iran attempted to shoot down a U.S. drone that was surveilling the attack on one of two tankers hit in the Gulf of Oman last week, CENTCOM said. The attempt missed the MQ-9 Reaper by “approximately one kilometer.”

The U.S. has also blamed Iran for an attack on four commercial vessels off the coast of the United Arab Emirates in May.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement that Congress must be briefed on the plans.

“Americans must have no illusions about the Iranian regime, and must remain committed to holding Iran accountable for its dangerous activities in the region. But we must be strong, smart and strategic – not reckless and rash – in how to proceed,” Pelosi said in a statement. “The Congress must be immediately briefed on the Administration’s decisions and plans”

“This deeply concerning decision may escalate the situation with Iran and risk serious miscalculations on either side. Diplomacy is needed to defuse tensions, therefore America must continue to consult with our allies so that we do not make the region less safe,” the statement added.

https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/us-send-1000-additional-troops-middle-east-tensions/story?id=63772858

 

 

Key events raising tensions in the Persian Gulf

FILE - In this May 29, 2019 file photo released by the U.S. Air Force, United Arab Emirates Air Force Desert Falcons fly in formation with U.S. F-35A Lightning IIs in an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia. Tensions between the United States and IThe Associated Press
FILE – In this May 29, 2019 file photo released by the U.S. Air Force, United Arab Emirates Air Force Desert Falcons fly in formation with U.S. F-35A Lightning IIs in an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia. Tensions between the United States and Iran have soared in recent weeks, with Washington dispatching warships and bombers around the Persian Gulf, and Tehran threatening to resume higher uranium enrichment. The tensions come a year after President Donald Trump withdrew from Iran’s 2015 nuclear accord with world powers and restored crippling sanctions. (Staff Sgt. Chris Drzazgowski/U.S. Air Force via AP, File)more +

Tensions between the United States and Iran have soared in recent weeks, with Washington dispatching warships and bombers around the Persian Gulf, and Tehran threatening to resume higher uranium enrichment. The tensions come a year after President Donald Trump withdrew from Iran‘s 2015 nuclear accord with world powers and restored crippling sanctions.

A timeline of recent events:

May 5: John Bolton, the White House national security adviser and a longtime Iran hawk, announces the deployment of the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group and a bomber task force in response to “a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings,” without providing details. He threatens “unrelenting force” in response to any attack.

———

May 8: Iran vows to enrich its uranium stockpile closer to weapons-grade levels, starting July 7, if world powers fail to negotiate new terms for its nuclear deal. The U.S. responds by imposing sanctions on Iran’s metal industry.

———

May 9: The European Union urges Iran to respect the nuclear deal and says it plans to continue trading with the country despite U.S. sanctions. Trump says he would like Iran’s leaders to “call me.”

———

May 10: The U.S. says it will move a Patriot missile battery into the Middle East to counter threats from Iran.

———

May 12: The United Arab Emirates says four commercial ships off its eastern coast “were subjected to sabotage operations,” just hours after Iranian and Lebanese media outlets air false reports of explosions at a nearby Emirati port.

———

May 13: European foreign ministers urge the United States and Iran to show restraint, while U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo briefs his counterparts on the alleged threats from Iran. Trump warns that if Tehran does “anything” in the form of an attack, “they will suffer greatly.”

———

May 14: Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi rebels launch a drone attack on Saudi Arabia, striking a major oil pipeline and taking it out of service.

— The New York Times reports the White House is reviewing military plans that could result in sending 120,000 U.S. troops to the Middle East if Iran attacks American forces or steps up work on nuclear weapons. Trump says it’s “fake news,” but that he would “absolutely” be willing to send troops if necessary.

— Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says “no one is seeking war,” but that it wouldn’t be difficult for Iran to enrich uranium to weapons-grade levels.

— A senior military officer in the U.S.-backed coalition fighting the Islamic State group says “there’s been no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces in Iraq and Syria.” In a rare public rebuttal, U.S. Central Command says his remarks “run counter to the identified credible threats.”

———

May 15: The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad orders all nonessential government staff to leave Iraq immediately. The Netherlands and Germany say they are suspending their training of Iraqi forces.

———

May 16: Saudi Arabia blames Iran for the drone attack on its pipeline and an English-language newspaper close to the palace calls for the U.S. to launch “surgical” strikes in retaliation.

—Trump says he hopes the U.S. is not on a path to war with Iran amid fears that his two most hawkish advisers could be angling for a conflict with the Islamic Republic. Asked if the U.S. was going to war with Iran, the president replied, “I hope not” — a day after he repeated a desire for dialogue, tweeting, “I’m sure that Iran will want to talk soon.”

———

May 19: A rocket lands near the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, without harming anyone. It’s not clear who is behind the attack, but after the initial reports, Trump tweets: “If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!” Iran’s foreign minister responded by tweeting that Trump had been “goaded” into “genocidal taunts.”

———

May 20: Semi-official media in Iran report that it has quadrupled its production of low-enriched uranium, which is used for civilian applications but not nuclear weapons. Iran is allowed to enrich uranium to the low level of 3.67%, but increased production could lead it to exceed the stockpile limits in the nuclear deal.

———

May 24: Trump says the U.S. will bolster its military presence in the Middle East with an additional 1,500 troops. He says the troops will have a “mostly protective” role.

— Senior Pentagon officer Vice Admiral Michael Gilday says the U.S. has a high degree of confidence that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard was responsible for the explosions of the four tankers in the Gulf of Oman, and that Iranian proxies in Iraq fired rockets into Baghdad.

———

May 31 and June 1: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman hosts three high-level summits in Mecca, drawing heads of state from across the Middle East and Muslim countries to present a unified Muslim and Arab position on Iran. The monarch calls on the international community to use all means to confront Iran and accuses the Shiite power of being behind “terrorist operations” that targeted Saudi oil interests.

———

June 12: Saudi Arabia says 26 people were wounded in an attack by Yemen’s Houthi rebels targeting an airport in kingdom’s southwestern town of Abha. The Houthis claim they’d launched a cruise missile at the airport.

———

June 13: Two oil tankers near the strategic Strait of Hormuz are hit in an alleged assault that leaves one ablaze and adrift as 44 sailors are evacuated from both vessels and the U.S. Navy rushes to assist. America later blames Iran for the attack, something Tehran denies.

———

June 17: Iran says it will break the uranium stockpile limit set by Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers in the next 10 days.

https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/key-events-raising-tensions-persian-gulf-63758209?cid=referral_taboola_feed

THE NEOCONS

WAR WITH IRAN WOULD BECOME ‘TRUMP’S WAR’

Pat Buchanan identifies usual suspects pushing for military action against Tehran


Read more at https://www.wnd.com/2019/06/war-with-iran-would-become-trumps-war/#g2uQZVM20y58K1f0.99

President Donald Trump cannot want war with Iran.

Such a war, no matter how long, would be fought in and around the Persian Gulf, through which a third of the world’s seaborne oil travels. It could trigger a worldwide recession and imperil Trump’s reelection.

 

It would widen the “forever war,” which Trump said he would end, to a nation of 80 million people, three times as large as Iraq. It would become the defining issue of his presidency, as the Iraq War became the defining issue of George W. Bush’s presidency.

And if war comes now, it would be known as “Trump’s War.”

For it was Trump who pulled us out of the Iran nuclear deal, though, according to U.N. inspectors and the other signatories – Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China – Tehran was complying with its terms.

Trump’s repudiation of the treaty was followed by his reimposition of sanctions and a policy of maximum pressure. This was followed by the designation of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard as a “terrorist” organization.

Then came the threats of U.S. secondary sanctions on nations, some of them friends and allies, that continued to buy oil from Iran.

U.S. policy has been to squeeze Iran’s economy until the regime buckles to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s 12 demands, including an end to Tehran’s support of its allies in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen.

Sunday, Pompeo said Iran was behind the attacks on the tankers in the Gulf of Oman and that Tehran instigated an attack that injured four U.S. soldiers in Kabul, though the Taliban claimed responsibility.

The war hawks are back.

“This unprovoked attack on commercial shipping warrants retaliatory military strikes,” said Sen. Tom Cotton on Sunday.

But as Trump does not want war with Iran, Iran does not want war with us. Tehran has denied any role in the tanker attacks, helped put out the fire on one tanker and accused its enemies of “false flag” attacks to instigate a war.

If the Revolutionary Guard, which answers to the ayatollah, did attach explosives to the hull of the tankers, it was most likely to send a direct message: If our exports are halted by U.S. sanctions, the oil exports of the Saudis and Gulf Arabs can be made to experience similar problems.

Yet if the president and the ayatollah do not want war, who does?

Not the Germans or Japanese, both of whom are asking for more proof that Iran instigated the tanker attacks. Japan’s prime minster was meeting with the ayatollah when the attacks occurred, and one of the tankers was a Japanese vessel.

Writing in the Wall Street Journal Monday were Ray Takeyh and Reuel Marc Gerecht, a senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, a neocon nest funded by Paul Singer and Sheldon Adelson.

In a piece titled, “America Can Face Down a Fragile Iran,” the pair make the case that Trump should squeeze the Iranian regime relentlessly and not fear a military clash, and a war with Iran would be a cakewalk.

“Iran is in no shape for a prolonged confrontation with the U.S. The regime is in a politically precarious position. The sullen Iranian middle class has given up on the possibility of reform or prosperity. The lower classes, once tethered to the regime by the expansive welfare state, have also grown disloyal. The intelligentsia no longer believes that faith and freedom can be harmonized. And the youth have become the regime’s most unrelenting critics.

“Iran’s fragile theocracy can’t absorb a massive external shock. That’s why Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has, for the most part, adhered to the JCPOA (the nuclear pact) and why he is likely angling for negotiation over confrontation with the Great Satan.”

This depiction of Iran’s political crisis and economic decline invites a question: If the Tehran regime is so fragile and the Iranian people are so alienated, why not avoid a war and wait for the regime’s collapse?

Trump seems to have several options:

  • Negotiate with the Tehran regime for some tolerable detente.
  • Refuse to negotiate and await the regime’s collapse, in which case the president must be prepared for Iranian actions that raise the cost of choking that nation to death.
  • Strike militarily, as Cotton urges, and accept the war that follows, if Iran chooses to fight rather than be humiliated and capitulate to Pompeo’s demands.

One recalls: Saddam Hussein accepted war with the United States in 1991 rather than yield to Bush I’s demand he get his army out of Kuwait.

Who wants a U.S. war with Iran?

Primarily the same people who goaded us into wars in Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen, and who oppose every effort of Trump’s to extricate us from those wars.

Should they succeed in Iran, it is hard to see how we will ever be able to extricate our country from this blood-soaked region that holds no vital strategic interest save oil, and America, thanks to fracking, has become independent of that.

 

https://www.wnd.com/2019/06/war-with-iran-would-become-trumps-war/

Story 3: President Trump Press Opportunity on Way To Orlando, Florida Rally Starting 2020 Presidential Re-Election Campaign — Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan Resigns and Army Secretary Mark Esper Named Acting Secretary of Defense — Videos

ILLEGALS MUST GO: President Trump Says Millions Of Illegals Will Be Removed

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Tucker Carlson Tonight 6/18/2019 – FOX NEWS TODAY JUNE 18,2019

Patrick Shanahan drops out of running to be defense secretary

Shanahan out at Pentagon, Mark Esper named new acting defense secretary

Army Secretary Mark Esper on 2020 budget

Trump campaign gives sneak peek to official 2020 campaign ad

Ingraham: The president’s relaunch

Newt Gingrich breaks down Trump’s reelection chances in 2020

As Trump’s defense pick withdraws, he addresses violent domestic incidents

June 18 at 1:15 PM

Shanahan: ‘I’d be happy to serve’

Asked Feb. 12 if he would keep his post “for the long run,” acting defense secretary Patrick Shanahan said he would act “in any capacity” Trump asked him to do. 

In the months that he has served as President Trump’s acting secretary of defense, Patrick Shanahan has worked to keep domestic violence incidents within his family private. His wife was arrested after punching him in the face, and his son was arrested after a separate incident in which he hit his mother with a baseball bat. Public disclosure of the nearly decade-old episodes would re-traumatize his young adult children, Shanahan said.

On Tuesday, Trump announced in a tweet that Shanahan would not be going through with the nomination process — which had been delayed by an unusually lengthy FBI background check — “so that he can devote more time to his family.”

Shanahan spoke publicly about the incidents in interviews with The Washington Post on Monday and Tuesday.

 

“Bad things can happen to good families . . . and this is a tragedy, really,” Shanahan said. Dredging up the episode publicly, he said, “will ruin my son’s life.”

In November 2011, Shanahan rushed to defend his then-17-year-old son, William Shanahan, in the days after the teenager brutally beat his mother. The attack had left Patrick Shanahan’s ex-wife unconscious in a pool of blood, her skull fractured and with internal injuries that required surgery, according to court and police records.

Two weeks later, Shanahan sent his ex-wife’s brother a memo arguing that his son had acted in self-defense.

“Use of a baseball bat in self-defense will likely be viewed as an imbalance of force,” Shanahan wrote. “However, Will’s mother harassed him for nearly three hours before the incident.”

Details of the incidents have started to emerge in media reports about his nomination, including a USA Todayreport Tuesday about the punching incident in 2010.

In an hour-long interview Monday night at his apartment in Virginia, Shanahan, who has been responding to questions from The Post about the incidents since January, said he wrote the memo in the hours after his son’s attack, before he knew the full extent of his ex-wife’s injuries. He said that it was to prepare for his son’s initial court appearance and that he never intended for anyone other than his son’s attorneys to read it.

“That document literally was, I sat down with [my son] right away, and being an engineer at an aerospace company, you write down what are all of the mitigating reasons something could have happened. You know, just what’s the list of things that could have happened?” he said.

As he wrote in an ongoing custody battle stemming from their divorce, Shanahan said Monday that he does not believe there can be any justification for an assault with a baseball bat, but he went further in the interview, saying he now regrets writing the passage.

“Quite frankly it’s difficult to relive that moment, and the passage was difficult for me to read. I was wrong to write those three sentences,” Shanahan said.

“I have never believed Will’s attack on his mother was an act of self-defense or justified. I don’t believe violence is appropriate ever, and certainly never any justification for attacking someone with a baseball bat,” he said.

Kimberley Shanahan, who has since changed her name to Kimberley Jordinson, has not responded to repeated efforts by reporters since January to contact her via email, text, phone and social media seeking comment about the incidents.

Patrick Shanahan’s response when his family was split by acts of domestic violence — including steps he took to manage his son’s surrender to police and attempt to keep him out of jail — is detailed in court filings that have not been previously reported. Court records also contain an earlier episode in which both Shanahan and his wife alleged they were assaulted by one another, and she was arrested.

The Defense Department has long struggled with its own responses to domestic violence, and it has faced a fresh wave of criticism since shortly after Shanahan became deputy secretary of defense in July 2017.

In November of that year, an airman who had been court-martialed for assaulting his wife and stepson killed 26 people and wounded 22 others in a Texas church. A Defense Department investigation later faulted the Air Force for repeatedly failing to submit the serviceman’s fingerprints to a civilian database, which it said should have prevented him from purchasing the firearms used in the mass shooting.

Last month, the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General admonished the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps, saying they failed for decades to consistently follow policies requiring military police to thoroughly process crime scenes and interview witnesses following allegations of nonsexual domestic abuse. The watchdog said that in 180 of 219 cases it reviewed, the branches failed to submit criminal histories and fingerprints of offending servicemen to civilian authorities.

Shanahan said his personal experience with domestic violence has taught him there are no simple policy prescriptions. He said domestic violence rates in the military will improve only if the services can change the way they talk about the stresses of serving in the armed forces in a more honest and natural way.

“There’s not one size that fits all — I mean, it’s a very complicated issue,” he said. “It’s not as simple as take this training class or apply these resources or, you know, look for these kinds of symptoms. I mean, it’s not that simple. There are all sorts of dimensions, whether it’s mental health or addiction or stress in the home. It’s a very toxic concoction.

“The thing that’s probably, like a lot of other issues . . . is having a buddy system of people who really care about you and can intervene,” he said. “What I’ve learned is extremely important.”

‘I was seeing stars’

Patrick Shanahan, 56, climbed the ranks at Boeing over more than two decades, becoming vice president and general manager of the corporation’s commercial airplane program in 2008. An exacting, hard-charging executive who worked grueling hours, he earned the sobriquet “Mr. Fix It” for his ability to turn around sputtering projects worth billions of dollars, such as the aerospace giant’s delayed 787 Dreamliner program. 

By 2010, Shanahan was earning more than $935,000 annually in salary and bonuses, court records show. 

But there was turbulence in Shanahan’s personal life with his wife of 24 years. Shanahan and two of his children interviewed by The Post said Kimberley Shanahan was growing more erratic. One Thanksgiving, she threw the entire dinner on the floor, saying the family did not appreciate her efforts, they said. A birthday cake his daughter baked for Patrick Shanahan was similarly destroyed, they said.

Things culminated with a physical dispute in August 2010. According to Patrick Shanahan, the incident began when he was lying in bed, following an argument with his wife about their oldest child.

Shanahan said he had his eyes closed, trying to fall asleep, when his wife entered the bedroom and punched him in the face before landing blows to his torso.

“I was seeing stars,” Shanahan said, but he didn’t react, saying he believes that only further enraged his wife.

She then began throwing her husband’s clothes out of a window, according to police and court records, and tried to set them on fire with a propane tank she couldn’t dislodge from a barbecue grill, attempting again later by burning paper towels.

Another physical altercation ensued, with police records indicating that Kimberley Shanahan swung at Patrick Shanahan. She called the police and claimed he punched her in the stomach, an allegation he denies.

When officers arrived, they found him with a bloody nose and scratches on his face, police records show. Authorities charged his wife with domestic violence.

Patrick Shanahan soon filed for divorce and dropped the charges. The file would grow to more than 1,500 pages.

‘It was a hard time to see your son’

Kimberley Shanahan won custody of the children and moved to Florida. Patrick Shanahan remained in Seattle, but the couple’s eldest daughter would soon rejoin him to attend college.

Shortly after midnight on Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2011, Kimberley Shanahan and William got into “a verbal dispute” over her suspicion that the 17-year-old was in a romantic relationship with a 36-year-old woman, according to a police report.

According to police, just after 1:30 a.m., William “shoved and pinned his mother against a bathroom wall” before grabbing a $400 Nike composite baseball bat “to swing at her head,” striking her multiple times.

“I attempted to run away from Will, but as I reached the laundry room, he struck me with the bat in the back of my head,” Kimberley Shanahan wrote in a court filing in the custody case. “The last thing I remember from before I lost consciousness is the impact of the bat, and blood gushing everywhere.”

William, Sarasota police wrote, struck several blows to his mother’s head and torso and left her “to lie in a pool of blood” and then “unplugged the landline phone cord depriving the victim and [the younger brother] the use of 911 to render aid.”

As William fled the home, situated in an exclusive barrier-island development called Bird Key just outside Sarasota, he “tossed a bottle of rubbing alcohol” to his younger brother and told him “you clean her up,” according to the police report.

The younger brother called 911 from a neighbor’s phone, according to police records.

Within hours, William contacted his father, who immediately booked a predawn flight to Florida, according to court records and documents provided by Shanahan.

Kimberley Shanahan was hospitalized early that morning and later required surgery, she wrote in a filing. Among her injuries were a fractured skull and elbow, according to the police report.

While she was in the hospital, authorities began to search for William, according to records released to The Post by Sarasota police.

Police distributed a photo of William to patrol cars on Bird Key. They tried to track the young man’s cellphone, but it appeared to be turned off, police wrote. They canvassed a local park and bridges to the mainland. They searched a local yacht club. But there was no trace of him, according to records.

Patrick Shanahan landed in Florida just before 5 p.m. on Wednesday. He arranged to stay with William in a hotel.

“Mr. Shanahan’s response when he learned of the assault was to book Will a hotel room,” Kimberley Shanahan wrote.

Patrick Shanahan said it’s a bit of a blur.

“It was a hard time to see your son — hopefully you’ll never be in that spot someday,” he said. “I wasn’t hiding. We got a hotel and talked to the attorney, and we just camped out.”

Shanahan did not visit the hospital where his ex-wife was taken, she later wrote in a custody filing. Instead, over four days that included Thanksgiving, he worked to assemble a defense team and enlist family members and friends to attend an initial hearing to try to persuade a judge to let his son stay out of jail while he fought the charges.

Derek Byrd, head of a well-known Sarasota defense firm hired by Patrick Shanahan to represent his son in the criminal case, said in an interview that the elder Shanahan acted appropriately by not contacting police until his son could consult a defense attorney, a process that was delayed by the Thanksgiving holiday.

Byrd also said that Patrick Shanahan was not aware that police were searching for his son in the days after the attack.

“I don’t think Pat handled that time frame inappropriately,” Byrd said in an interview. “I think he was just doing what a reasonable dad should probably do. I’m sure the timeline looks bad on paper, but he didn’t do anything that I consider out of the ordinary, and he wasn’t hiding Will.”

Byrd said Patrick Shanahan first contacted his firm within a day of arriving in Florida, either Wednesday night or Thursday, which was Thanksgiving. He said a lawyer from the firm could not meet with the Shanahans until Friday morning, after the holiday.

Later on Friday, another attorney from the firm contacted the detective handling the case, Kenneth Halpin.

According to the detective’s report, the attorney said he would arrange for the younger Shanahan to turn himself in — after two more days, on Sunday evening, Nov. 27.

“Detective Halpin trusted us to do that,” Byrd told The Post. “He said, ‘Fine.’ ”

Halpin told The Post that he could not recall the conversation but probably would have cast it differently:

“If someone calls and says they’re going to turn in a suspect on a Sunday night, and he’s already lawyered up with someone who has a reputation like Byrd, for being on TV, what can you do? You can’t force an attorney to turn in his client,” Halpin said, adding: “I’m sure I would have also told him that there’s paper out for him, so they’re still going to snatch him up if he’s found.”

That Sunday night, Patrick Shanahan drove William to a police station to surrender, according to police records and a timeline of events prepared by a Shanahan spokesman.

His mother attended his court appearance the next morning.

“My neighbor took me to the court hearing, and both of us were shocked to see Pat in the courtroom,” she wrote in the filing, saying she had believed until then that he had been in Seattle.

‘He doesn’t believe in violence’

Patrick Shanahan and Byrd came to the hearing prepared to plead for the younger Shanahan to remain out of custody, citing his baseball career at an exclusive youth sports academy and prep school attended by sons and daughters of major league athletes.

“He’s a college baseball prospect. He has dreams. He has a future. His father is an executive of Boeing,” Byrd said, according to an audio recording that the court released to The Post. “If he has to sit in jail for 21 days, not only is that going to traumatize him, he’s not going to finish the semester, probably get kicked off the baseball team . . . everything is going to be over for him.”

Patrick Shanahan also vouched for his son.

“He doesn’t believe in violence,” he told the judge. “I’ve never seen him act aggressively toward his brother or any other family members, so it’s a shock to me what has happened.”

The judge declined to release William Shanahan, calling pictures of the crime scene “horrendous.”

He was initially charged with two felonies, aggravated battery and tampering with a victim, and faced up to 15 years in prison.

In the custody filing is the four-page memo Patrick Shanahan wrote at the time.

It lists “mitigating circumstances” that should be considered in evaluating the alleged assault.

A Shanahan spokesman provided a copy of the email containing the memo retained by Shanahan’s brother-in-law, showing it had been sent on Dec. 8, 2011, two weeks after the attack, and 10 days after Patrick Shanahan was present at the court hearing with his injured ex-wife.

First, Patrick Shanahan wrote, his 17-year-old son had “acted in self-defense.”

“She fueled the situation by berating him repeatedly in his room in a manner that escalated emotionally and physically,” he wrote.

The memo continues, alleging a history of substance abuse, emotional abuse and violent tendencies by Kimberley Shanahan. “Over the last 7+ years I have worked as much as possible, partially out of a desire to avoid inevitable conflicts with Kim,” Shanahan wrote. It casts his ex-wife as the instigator in conflicts with him and their children. “It appears that when I was not around to yell at, she started becoming intensely focused on berating, terrorizing and beat them down emotionally.”

Kimberley Shanahan disputed those characterizations.

“I have always been a very loving and dedicated mom,” she wrote in a court filing responding to the memo, “and I have never emotionally abused any of my children for any period of time.”

Kevin Cameron, Kimberley Shanahan’s brother, said he was not bothered by Patrick Shanahan’s memo because he believed Shanahan wrote it before he had all of the facts about the assault.

“If anything, I believe Pat fully understands and is better equipped to deal with domestic violence than most people,” Cameron wrote in a letter to The Post. “He has seen it. He has lived it. He understands that domestic violence is real and prevalent. He understands that it can impact anyone of any age, gender, race and socioeconomic status.”

‘We moved on’

Kris Roberts, a police officer who assisted in the search for William Shanahan, recalled that after the arrest, his father was a “hindrance” in a follow-up matter, as police investigated whether there had been an inappropriate relationship between the adult woman and William. Under Florida law, William was too young at the time to have had a consenting sexual relationship with the woman. Roberts, a retired detective with the Longboat Key Police Department, said the father, whom she could not remember by name, would not turn over his son’s cellphone.

After the surrender to police, “his father would not talk to me; he wasn’t helping,” Roberts said. “I remember he had a West Coast address, Seattle maybe, and when he left, the son’s cellphone was just gone.” Roberts said she believes Patrick Shanahan took his son’s cellphone back to Seattle with him.

Roberts said that without the cooperation of the father, the investigation fell apart. “We only had one love letter between them, but it didn’t speak to anything sexual,” Roberts said. The adult woman “soon lawyered up, too, and we moved on.”

Byrd, the attorney for William Shanahan; an attorney who represents Patrick Shanahan in Seattle; and a Shanahan spokesman said they were not aware of a formal request for the cellphone.

Prosecutors would go on to charge William as an adult with one felony: aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. He pleaded down to a third-degree felony, and in 2012, a state prosecutor agreed to a “withhold of adjudication,” curtailing the length of the sentence and probation. The post-sentencing maneuver is not recognized outside of Florida, and William’s record could not be sealed or expunged in the state because it involved a violent domestic assault.

William was ordered to spend 18 months at a Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranch and sentenced to four years’ probation. Both penalties were later reduced.

The following year, in 2013, William enrolled at the University of Washington, according to his LinkedIn page. His father had recently joined the university’s board of regents. The family had other ties to the school. Patrick Shanahan’s father, Michael, had served as police chief for the university for more than two decades.

William graduated last June with a degree in political science, a university spokesman said.

Kimberley Shanahan lost custody of the couple’s youngest child in 2014, when a judge wrote that she had “engaged in abusive use of conflict that is seriously detrimental” to the child. According to multiple accounts, she is now estranged from all three of her children. At his last confirmation hearing, to become deputy secretary of defense in June 2017, all three children were sitting behind Patrick Shanahan.

None of the senators asked him about domestic violence.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/06/18/troubling-questions-raised-by-patrick-shanahans-pulled-nomination/?utm_term=.3210169d99a0

The troubling questions raised by Shanahan’s aborted nomination

June 18 at 4:31 PM

Patrick Shanahan’s bid to become defense secretary has been withdrawn, and The Washington Post’s Aaron C. Davis and Shawn Boburg have the big story about why. Reports about two incidents of domestic violence — one in which Shanahan’s then-wife was charged with assaulting him and another in which his then-teenage son hit her with a baseball bat in the head — have led President Trump to announce Shanahan’s withdrawal.

The first, inescapable emotion one has to have while reading the story is sadness. It’s an extremely messy family situation that sounds awful and painful.

But thing I felt is curiosity: How is it possible Shanahan thought he could become secretary of defense without this being publicized and litigated? And beyond that, how was he picked for the job in the first place, and how was he previously confirmed as deputy secretary of defense?

There are certainly many questions here — regarding Shanahan, the White House that picked him, the FBI that conducts background checks, and the Senate, which confirmed him in the deputy position.

From Shanahan’s perspective, it’s important to emphasize that he was never charged with becoming violent himself, though his wife did accuse him of that. But in interviews with The Post, he admitted fault for having suggested his son’s assault of his mother was justified as an act of self-defense. He had initially suggested she had drawn the attack by harassing the teenager over a period of hours. “I was wrong to write those three sentences,” he said of a memo in which he made that case.

Shanahan would surely have been forced to account for that situation and others. Now, he has pulled out before he could even really attempt to.

But why was he in contention in the first place? In the vetting process, the first things to check are divorce records, police records and court records. The Post’s reporting relied upon all three. The White House has never been big on actually vetting its nominees — even for top Cabinet posts — but is it really possible it didn’t check these very basic boxes? And it would seem very likely that an FBI background check was conducted that would provide such information to the White House counsel. Was that done? Either someone was negligent, or someone turned a blind eye.

And even setting that aside, did the GOP-controlled Senate dig into these things when it was confirming Shanahan as deputy defense secretary in July 2017? Shanahan was confirmed 92 to 7, despite some concerns about installing a former Boeing executive as a top Pentagon official. As Davis and Boburg noted, all three of his children sat behind him at the hearing; domestic violence didn’t come up once.

At least one Democratic senator, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, is already raising the prospect that Shanahan might have withheld this information on his disclosure forms.

“I feel there was a deliberate concealment here,” Blumenthal, a member of the Senate Armed Service Committee, told reporter Matt Laslo. “This is potentially a violation of criminal law.”

Matt Laslo

@MattLaslo

“I feel there was a deliberate concealment here,” Armed Services member Sen. Blumenthal says of Shanahan. “This is potentially a violation of criminal law” by Shanahan for lying on disclosure forms, he adds

113 people are talking about this

This is merely the latest vetting failure from the White House. It previously employed Rob Porter as staff secretary despite two ex-wives having accused him of physical abuse. It nominated and then withdrew Ronny L. Jackson for Veterans Affairs secretary despite some very serious accusations that quickly came to light. Trump’s first labor secretary nominee, Andy Puzder, quickly succumbed to accusations of domestic violence and employing an undocumented worker. And you could even throw now-Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh in there; even though he wound up winning confirmation, it was made much more difficult by sexual assault allegations against him.

In some of these instances, it’s perhaps somewhat understandable how these things could have slipped through the cracks; Kavanaugh had never been accused publicly, for example, and Jackson’s reputation was solid from when he served in the Obama White House. In the case of Shanahan, these are public records. The Washington Post has been asking Shanahan about these incidents since January, when he became acting secretary, and he was still nominated last month.

It’s a remarkably sad story — and one that many people involved probably should have prevented from ever needing to be told in the context of a Cabinet nomination.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/06/18/troubling-questions-raised-by-patrick-shanahans-pulled-nomination/?utm_term=.3210169d99a0

 

 

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1222, March 7, 2019, Story 1: Biden Running For President in 2020 with Launch In April 2019 — Videos — Story 2: Keeping Promises and Getting Results Are What The American People Want In A President — Trump Must Deliver on Promises To Stop and Reverse The 30-60 Million Illegal Alien Invasion of United States By Completing Border Barrier or Wall and Deporting All Illegal Aliens or Lose in 2020 — Videos

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Story 1: Biden Running For President in 2020 with Launch In April 2019 — Videos

Joe Biden Close To Making A Decision On Running For President

Biden: My family wants me to run in 2020

CNN poll: Most Democrats want Joe Biden in 2020

 

Story 2: Keeping Promises and Getting Results Are What The American People Want In A President — Trump Must Deliver on Promises To Stop and Reverse The 30-60 Million Illegal Alien Invasion of United States By Completing Border Barrier or Wall and Deporting All Illegal Aliens or Lose in 2020 — Videos

 

Trump: There Will Be No Amnesty

Donald Trump: ‘We need to keep illegals out’ | Fox News Republican Debate

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Donald Trump explains his immigration plan

Trump: Undocumented immigrants ‘have to go’

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Judicial Watch president: Illegal immigrants are getting special treatment for crimes

 

Story 3: U.S. Trade Deficit Explodes Into Massive Trade Deficits in 2019 — Videos

US trade deficit soars to record high

Record Trade Deficit Hits Consumers Hard

Trump Pushes Trade Team for a Deal With China

Trump Says China Trade Talks Going Well, Predicts ‘Good Deal’ Or No Deal

 

 

Is the US trade deficit a bad thing?

 

As trade deficit explodes, Trump finds he can’t escape the laws of economics


President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping leave a business leaders event at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Nov. 9, 2017. (Nicolas Asfouri/AFP/Getty Images)

March 6 at 7:40 PM

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

The results were a sobering reminder that the laws of economics still apply to a president who had promised to supercharge economic growth while simultaneously shrinking the chronic U.S. trade deficit.

Those twin promises proved incompatible, as economists had predicted.

By cutting taxes and taking the lid off government spending, Trump gave the economy a shot of adrenaline. By thinning government regulations, he sought to further spur growth and hiring.

But as these efforts boosted take-home pay, Americans spent more on foreign-made iPhones, Toyotas and Heinekens. And as the U.S. economy surged ahead of Europe’s and Japan’s, four Federal Reserve interest rate hikes lifted the dollar, making American exports more expensive.

“Macroeconomics end up ruling. You can’t wish it away. You can’t tariff it away,” said William Reinsch, a former Commerce Department official now at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

What is a trade deficit, anyway?

Tariffs became a key part of Trump’s strategy for shrinking the trade deficit, the difference between the country’s high import bill and its lower export sales. He used the import taxes — on solar panels, washing machines, steel, aluminum and assorted Chinese goods — to force China and other countries into negotiations, with the aim of rebalancing trade flows.

But while negotiations remain underway — with hopes of a deal with China this month — the data released Wednesday showed that significant improvement in the nation’s trade balance remains an ambition rather than an achievement.

Even with China, which has been hit hardest by U.S. tariffs, the trade gap reached a record $419 billion last year.

Administration officials say they are working to overcome decades of poor trade policy.

Trump this month labeled the trade deficit a “disaster,” blaming “horrible deals” negotiated by his predecessors and rampant cheating by U.S. trading partners. The president told a cheering crowd that he was “standing up for the American worker,” something a president was doing “for the first time in many, many decades.”

His chief trade negotiator, Robert E. Lighthizer, said last week that the administration has taken steps toward “a more balanced and sustainable trading system” by renegotiating agreements with South Korea, Canada and Mexico, seeking a new deal with China and by increasing enforcement of U.S. trade laws.

But if the president’s goal is to close the trade deficit, the Commerce Department’s final 2018 report, which was delayed by the partial government shutdown, showed how ambitious a goal that is.

Last year’s goods shortfall topped the 2006 record of $838.3 billion, which was set as the housing bubble was peaking, and marked the third consecutive year of rising deficits.

A broader measure, which includes the services sector, showed a $621 billion deficit — more than $100 billion greater than the figure Trump inherited from President Barack Obama.

It has been evident for months that Trump was not shrinking a trade gap that he calls “unsustainable” and says represents a major transfer of wealth from Americans to foreigners.

The president now begins his reelection drive with a core campaign promise unfulfilled — and with a recent flurry of economic research showing that his embrace of tariffs is damaging the U.S. economy.

“During the campaign, Donald Trump claimed that large trade deficits represented failed leadership and flawed trade policies,” said House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.). “It is time for President Trump to acknowledge that his scattershot approach to trade policy is failing and explain how he intends to change course and reverse these record deficits.”

The president often cites the trade deficit as an indicator of U.S. decline and a sign that other nations discriminate against American companies. Many economists see it as far less consequential, except as it reflects Americans’ collective overspending.

Just as he vowed to eliminate the trade deficit, Trump had also promised to trim the U.S. federal budget deficit, a perennial Republican goal. During the 2016 campaign, he had pledged to balance the budget “relatively quickly.”

But instead, the tax cut and boom in government spending has spawned more red ink, with the budget gap expected to hit $900 billion this year and the national debt nearing $18 trillion.

All that borrowing enables Americans to ramp up their spending, including on imported goods, widening the trade deficit.

The second ingredient in the swollen trade deficit is the high dollar, which acts as a price increase for American exporters, making it harder to compete with foreign rivals. Today, the dollar is 19 percent above its 10-year average against the currencies of major U.S. trading partners, according to Federal Reserve data.

The Commerce report comes amid indications that negotiations with China may be in their final weeks.Trump has been more eager for a deal as markets gyrated in recent months and forecasters said his tariff wars were threatening U.S. economic growth.

China has offered to buy a reported $1.2 trillion in additional American products over the next six years in a deal that reportedly would ease each side’s tariffs, usher in changes to Beijing’s state-led economic model and include tough new enforcement mechanisms.

“One thing is for certain,” wrote Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist for MUFG Union Bank, wrote in a note to clients. “There will be a U.S. and China agreement on trade as the administration cannot allow the uncertainty to take a toll on economic growth any longer. Not when the presidential election is less than two years away.”

But any such deal may not change the dynamics widening the trade deficit, many economists say.

Increased Chinese purchases of U.S. goods would probably mean fewer sales to other countries, shrinking the trade gap with China but leaving the global balance largely unchanged. With the economy at or close to full employment, U.S. farms and factories have a limited ability to sharply increase output to meet a sudden increase in Chinese orders.

“That reality is not going to change,” said economist Matthew J. Slaughter, dean of the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.

In a 2016 campaign speech, Trump called the trade deficit a “politician-made disaster” and promised swift change. “We can turn it all around — and we can turn it around fast,” he said.

Trump has used tariffs more aggressively than any other American president since the 1930s. In a speech Saturday, he called them “the greatest negotiating tool in the history of our country” and credited them with bringing trade partners such as China to the bargaining table.

“Billions of dollars, right now, are pouring into our Treasury,” he told the Conservative Political Action Conference, adding that Chinese exporters are absorbing almost the entire burden of the tariffs.

But a pair of new studies concludes that he is wrong. “When we impose a tariff, it is the domestic consumers and purchasers of imports that bear the full cost of the tariffs,” said David Weinstein, an economics professor at Columbia University, who co-wrote one of the papers.

Weinstein said the president appears to be relying on a 2018 analysis of data from the 1990s, when the United States represented a larger share of the global economy and enjoyed more leverage over exporters in other countries.

Weinstein’s study, co-written with Mary Amiti of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and Princeton University’s Stephen J. Redding, reviewed what actually occurred last year after U.S. tariffs took effect. It concluded that Americans paid the entire tariff bill.

second study — by four economists from the University of California at Los Angeles, Yale University, the University of California at Berkeley and Columbia University — reached the same conclusion.

The best chance of the trade deficit shrinking anytime soon would require an economic downturn that no one wants. In 2009, amid the Great Recession, the trade deficit fell 40 percent from the peak three years earlier, to about $506 billion.

“If you want to lower the trade deficit, have a recession,” Reinsch said.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/trump-promised-to-shrink-the-trade-deficit-instead-it-exploded/2019/03/05/35d3b1e0-3f8f-11e9-a0d3-1210e58a94cf_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.ce80c8ba2bc9

 

Story 3: Keeping Promises and Getting Results Are What The American People Want In A President — Videos

Trump’s 2019 State of the Union address | Full Speech

Rep. Jordan: Do we need an endless migrant caravan before we say it’s an emergency?

President Donald Trump’s Key Campaign Issues Coming Back To Bite | Deadline | MSNBC

Trump struggles to defend his record amid setbacks on immigration, trade, North Korea

 Published 

President Donald Trump proclaimed in a freewheeling speech to a conference of conservatives last weekend that “America is winning again.” But his administration has been on a pronounced losing streak over the past week.

Trump is losing ground on top priorities to curb illegal immigration, cut the trade deficit and blunt North Korea’s nuclear threat – setbacks that complicate his planned reelection message as a can-do president who is making historic progress.

Trump helps dying man’s wish come true

North Korea airs documentary glorifying Kim’s summit with Trump

Republican senator says she was raped in the Air Force

Late last week, Trump flew home empty-handed from a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Hanoi, Vietnam – and, within days, new satellite images appeared to show the North was secretly rebuilding a rocket launching site.

On Tuesday, the Department of Homeland Security announced that unauthorized border crossings have spiked to the highest pace in 12 years – despite Trump’s hard-line rhetoric and new policies aimed at deterring migrants.

And on Wednesday, the Commerce Department said the nation’s trade deficit is at a record high – in part due to punitive tariffs Trump imposed on allies and adversaries. Trump vowed throughout his 2016 campaign and during his presidency to shrink the trade deficit, which he views as a measure of other nations taking advantage of the United States.

“The president hasn’t shown much of an ability to cut good deals with Congress or anyone else,” said Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, who is mulling a Senate run in 2020. “Almost the only time he has been successful at one of his goals is when he can set the terms unilaterally. That’s why he’s done a lot of executive orders, executive actions, like the travel ban, deregulations, emergency declaration. Those are things that don’t require any negotiation at all.”

Yet as he has struggled to fulfill some of his signature campaign promises, Trump has consistently blamed others for his woes.

He has criticized the administrations of Barack Obama and George W. Bush for not reforming the immigration system or reining in North Korea. He has railed at Democrats for failing to support his proposed border wall and implored them to ratify new trade deals. And he has even attacked fellow Republicans, obliquely slamming former House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin during a Rose Garden news conference last month for not having pushed faster to get a deal on the wall.

White House officials argued that rather than being a setback, the immigration trends could bolster Trump’s argument that he is justified in taking unilateral action on the border. Federal authorities detained 76,103 migrants at the southern border in February, up from 58,207 a month earlier.

Press secretary Sarah Sanders said Wednesday the numbers were clear evidence that Trump was right to declare a national emergency last month.

“If that doesn’t define crisis, I don’t know what does,” she told reporters. “Congress should have fixed this problem. The president tried multiple times to get Congress to work with him to address the crisis. They failed to do so, and now the president has to do what is absolutely necessary.”

Republican allies praised the president for eliminating business regulations, helping pass a major tax cut in 2017, appointing two conservative Supreme Court Justices and scores of lower level judges and nurturing an economy with low unemployment.

They emphasized that difficult challenges such as North Korea will take time and chided Democrats for blocking Trump’s agenda.

“The House is just involved in investigations and really not concerned about legislation,” said Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis.

Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., said Trump is “very frustrated right now with all of us. He wants to get results and we’re looking at a two-year period where it’s pretty obvious the other side doesn’t want to do anything.”

But Trump’s critics said his policies have made things worse.

On immigration, the administration has sought to block asylum seekers at legal ports of entry along the border, prompting them to try to find alternative pathways into the country. The president shut down parts of the federal government for 35 days – the longest closure in history – in an ill-fated fight for border wall funding, even though experts said the surge of migrant families is not a threat to national security and that a wall would do little to curb it.

On trade, Trump’s tariff war with China has harmed U.S. farmers as Beijing slashed agricultural imports. Although the president has signaled that a trade deal is close, analysts said an accord would not fundamentally alter the U.S. trade relationship with the world’s second-largest economy.

And on North Korea, the president’s decision to rush forward with bilateral summits with Kim have led to difficulties for U.S. negotiators engaging with their counterparts over technical and complicated nuclear matters, as Kim has preferred to deal directly with Trump.

Simon Rosenberg, founder of NDN, a liberal think tank, noted that the tax cut has not met GOP projections for economic growth and could add significantly to the ballooning federal deficit.

“The reality is he can’t point to a single thing that’s better today than when he came to office,” Rosenberg said.

Though he has projected confidence, Trump has fretted in private over his difficulties. During the government shutdown, the president’s approval ratings dipped to 37 percent in a Washington Post/ABC News poll, one of the lowest marks of his tenure.

Since then, his numbers have fluctuated. This week, a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll put his approval at 46 percent, while a Quinnipiac University survey pegged it at 38 percent.

During a marathon speech Saturday to the Conservative Political Action Committee, Trump veered off script, spending much of the time attacking his rivals, including congressional Democrats, special counsel Robert Mueller III and news organizations. Trump spent less time on his governing record.

On trade, he defended his use of tariffs and suggested the United States had accrued large trade deficits because past administrations were afraid to use that tool as leverage. On North Korea, he blamed the Obama administration for allowing the Kim regime to send “rockets flying all over the place” and said his team was “making a lot of progress.” On immigration, Trump called current U.S. laws “crazy” and said he felt empowered to declare a national emergency “because our Congress can’t act.”

“Not my fault I inherited this mess, but we’re fixing it,” he said during the speech.

Trump at times also appears determined to prove that he is making progress. He publicly contradicted his own intelligence chiefs who testified to Congress in January that there is no evidence that North Korea is willing to give up its nuclear program.

Asked by a reporter Wednesday about the satellite images that showed construction work at the Sohae Satellite Launching Station, Trump said he would be “very disappointed” if the news is confirmed, but he added that it was “a very early report.”

Senior White House aides have sought to cast the Hanoi summit as a sign of Trump’s negotiating fortitude and unwillingness to settle for a bad deal. Yet Trump has grown frustrated by the largely negative coverage of the summit, a senior White House official said, and his aides briefed lawmakers this week to explain his goals.

“He thought they closed the gap on some issues,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said. “He just said, ‘North Korea isn’t ready to make a deal.’ ”

Last year, Trump berated Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen over the rising border crossings. Though he no longer blames Nielsen, aides said, Trump told his staff that the shutdown dispute sent an important message to his conservative base that he is fighting for them.

On trade, Trump postponed a March 1 deadline to impose another round of tariffs on China in hopes of a deal. White House aides are planning events for Trump and Vice President Pence in the Midwest this spring to tout an updated trade deal reached last year with Canada and Mexico that Congress has yet to ratify.

Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., said in an interview that farmers support Trump but are growing antsy.

“These folks are with you, they want to see you be successful,” Rounds said, speaking as if he was sending a message to Trump. “But you’re gonna have to deliver some results.”

https://www.ctpost.com/news/article/Not-my-fault-Trump-struggles-to-defend-his-13668725.php

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The Pronk Pops Show 1207, February 13, 2019, Story 1: There Was No Evidence of Russian Collusion With Trump Campaign Concludes Senate Intelligence Committee — Massive Lying By Democrats and Big Lie Media To Cover-up Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy — Videos — Story 2: President Trump Will Double The Human Border Barrier By Adding 300 Miles of Human Border Barrier Next To Existing 300 Miles of Vehicle Barrier Plus 50 More Miles — Videos — Story 3: Central Banks Buying Gold and Dumping Dollars and Other Fiat Currencies — A Return To The Gold Standard? — Videos

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Story 1: Senate Intelligence Committee Finds No Evidence of Russian Collusion With Trump Campaign — Massive Lying By Democrats and Big Lie Media To Cover-up Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy — Videos

Senate Intelligence Chairman says no sign of Russia collusion yet

Senate Intel chair Richard Burr speaks to CBS News on Russia probe

Nunes reveals criminal referral plans once Barr is AG

FBI emails show officials coordinating Hillary, Weiner probes

Senate Has Found No Direct Evidence Of Collusion Between Trump And Russia | Hallie Jackson | MSNBC

Tucker: There was no Russian collusion

Trump and Russia: An Introduction to What We Know (and What We Don’t)

New insight into the Senate’s Russia investigation

Senate Intel Committee is run by the Democrats: Tom Fitton

Steyn: Hillary just can’t accept she lost to Trump

Hume: Hillary just can’t own up to her mistakes

Steyn: Hillary was the ‘entitled candidate’

Dems now don’t think Russia collusion is a big deal?

Did Hillary Clinton collude with the Russians to get ‘dirt’ on Trump to feed it to the FBI?

Story 2: President Trump Will Double The Human Border Barrier By Adding 300 Miles of Human Border Barrier Next To Existing 300 Miles of Vehicle Barrier Plus 50 More Miles —

Rove: Trump has the authority reprogram border security funding

The Wall – A Nation Divided

Walls of Shame: The US-Mexican Border l Featured Documentaries

McCarthy sees border deal as down payment on border wall

The Wall: A 2,000-mile border journey

The Wall: Violence on ranchers’ land

The No Man’s Land Beneath the Border Wall

Watch The New Vehicle wall formed by Texas Police to Help Border Wall.

Construction for new Texas border wall begins

The Wall – A Nation Divided

Close look at a Mexican border wall in Hidalgo, Texas

The wall of eyes trained on the US – Mexico border

Ranching in No Man’s Land

Border security US rancher’s warning on immigration reform

(Part II) A Day in the Life of an Arizona Rancher: Fences, Illegal Aliens, and One Man’s Watchtower

Story 3: Central Banks Buying Gold and Dumping Dollars and Other Fiat Currencies — A Return To The Gold Standard? — Video

David Stockman – Central Banks Created Fiscal Doomsday Machine

Central Banks Are Buying Gold – That is All I Need To Know!

Central Banks Gold Buying Hits Highest Level In Half A Century

Gold Alert: Central Bank Increases Reserves By 1000% – Mike Maloney

Central Banks Are Stocking Up On Gold

Keiser Report: Crypto-collateralized contracts (E1344)

Keiser Report: Are We Back on a Gold Standard? (E1342)

[yotuube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s0BQ2H8zc6c]

Why Are Central Banks Buying GOLD & SILVER At Record Pace?? Paradigm Shift Imminent!

Jim Rickards – The New Axis of Gold – How emerging market central banks are accumulating gold

David Stockman Warns “Gold Is The Only Safe Asset Left”

 

Central banks are buying the most gold since the end of World War II — here’s why

gold bars

Gold is in vogue.

 REUTERS/Beawiharta

  • Central banks have bought the most gold since the end of World War II, with the commodity becoming an increasingly valuable hedge against growing global instability.
  • The near-record buildup in government debt globally, particularly in the US, makes other perceived risk-free assets less attractive.
  • Gold is seen to have returns similar to equities in the current cycle, and a dip in supply makes it a more valuable asset for central banks and investors alike.

Central banks have been buying up gold at a rate not seen since World War II as concerns about geopolitics and the strong dollar see a shift in appreciation for the quintessential risk-free asset.

A broad combination of factors have led to gold’s resurgence, according to the research firm Bernstein. They include geopolitical risk, concerns about government debt, supply issues, and the perception that gold gives better returns over other assets.

“Beyond just the threat of inflation, it is also remarkable that, for the first time since the end of Bretton Woods and, indeed, since the end of the Second World War, central bank buying of gold has actually increased,” a note sent to clients by the firm said on Monday.

Equally, the case for gold purchases is boosted by the near-record levels of government debt in the US, which makes other potential risk-free assets more questionable and could increase inflation figures.

Gold is trading at $1,310 an ounce, up nearly 10% from its recent low in September.

As well as its value related to inflation, gold is likely to see demand increase, while supply will stay “flat at best,” Bernstein said, boosting its value to central banks and investors alike. “As with any other commodity, robust demand and weak supply implies price appreciation,” Bernstein’s analysts wrote.

Gold holdings had been on the decline for years but have seen a clear boost recently.

Bernstein also pointed out that beyond the conversation about central banks’ holdings of gold was its increase in use over jewelry. Both private and public “monetary” holding of gold have overtaken jewelry demand as the primary source of demand growth for gold in recent years, according to Bernstein.

https://www.businessinsider.com/central-banks-buy-gold-at-rate-not-seen-since-wwii-2019-2

Central bank gold buying hits highest level in half a century

  • in 2018, Central banks bought the most gold by volume since 1967.
  • The Russian central bank is leading the way as it looks to reduce its reliance on dollar reserves.

Gold bars sit in a vault at the Perth Mint Refinery, operated by Gold Corp., in Perth, Australia, on Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018.

Carla Gottgens | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Gold bars sit in a vault at the Perth Mint Refinery, operated by Gold Corp., in Perth, Australia, on Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018.

The amount of gold bought by central banks in 2018 reached the second highest annual total on record, according to the World Gold Council (WGC).

Central banks bought the most gold by volume since 1967, according to the industry research firm, which also highlighted it was the largest amount since former U.S. President Nixon Richard’s decision to end the dollar’s peg to bullion in 1971.

Central bank net purchases reached 651.5 metric tons in 2018, 74 percent higher than in the previous year when 375 tons were bought. The WGC has estimated that central banks now hold nearly 34,000 tons of gold.

The Federal Reserve is reported to hold the most, amounting for almost three quarters of the nation’s foreign-exchange reserve pot.

Futures Now: Gold's gleaming rally

Futures Now: Gold’s gleaming rally  

Taking the current spot price of $1,321.15 per troy ounce, gold purchases by central banks in 2018 amounted to a $27.7 billion spending splurge on the precious metal.

“Heightened geopolitical and economic uncertainty throughout the year increasingly drove central banks to diversify their reserves and re-focus their attention on the principal objective of investing in safe and liquid assets,” said the report released on Thursday.

The WGC said the bulk of the buying was carried out by a handful of central banks with Russia leading the way as it looks to swap out dollars from its portfolio. The Russian central bank sold almost all of its U.S. Treasury stock to buy 274.3 tons of gold in 2018.

The central bank of Turkey increased gold reserves by 51.5 tons in 2018. That marked a second consecutive year of net purchases but was 40 percent lower than the volume it bought in 2017.

Other big central bank buyers were Kazakhstan, India, Iraq, Poland and Hungary.

Net sales of gold from central banks remained small, totaling less than 15 tons. Australia, Germany, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Ukraine accounted for almost all of that figure.

WGC said total gold demand in 2018 reached a total of 4,345.1 tons. The biggest demand came from jewelry which, while flat on the 2017 figure, accounted for just over half of the total. Bars and coins contributed 1,090 tons in 2018, marking a 4 percent rise from the previous year. Gold used in technology climbed marginally to 334.6 tons.

The price of gold has risen around 9 percent in the last three months.

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/01/31/world-gold-council-central-banks-buy-most-gold-since-1967-.html

Central Banks Buy Their Most Gold In Years As They Look To Reduce Risk

Adem Tumerkan November 2, 2018
Category: Research

– This is a repost of the recent Palisade Weekly Letter –

 

Less than a month ago  – Hungary’s Central Bank announced that they increased their gold holdings from 3.1 metric tons to over 31 metric tons.

That’s a tenfold increase – meaning 1,000%. . .

The Hungarian Central Bank governor – Gyorgy Matolcsy – called this a significant move of “economic and national strategic importance”. He also boldly stated that this was a way to improve the security of the small nation’s wealth.

This news comes right after Poland’s recent decision to charge into gold as well. . .

Poland also added nearly 10 metric tons of gold to the country’s reserves in July and August as prices fell.

This marks the country’s largest gold purchase since 1998. And bullion reserves now sit at the highest they have since 1983.

True – Poland and Hungary both still rank outside the world’s top 30 largest gold holders.

And to give you a little context – Russia’s adding 20 tons of gold on average each month to their vaults. . .

So – in the bigger macro picture – their recent gold purchases aren’t that noticeable. And is probably why many mainstream analysts didn’t care much about it.

But it actually is a big deal. . . 

This highlights the trend we’ve seen by central banks charging in to gold since after the 2008 crisis.

I wrote two weeks ago (click here if you missed it) that post-2008, central banks – especially the Emerging Markets – have insatiable gold appetite. And I believe this is helping to put a floor under the price of gold.

Just look for yourself. . .

After two decades of selling – throughout the 1990’s and early 2000’s – central banks worldwide are now diversifying their dollar reserves with gold.

The latest report by the World Gold Council (WGC) showed that central bank gold reserves grew 150 tons in the third-quarter 2018.

That’s up 22% from 2017 – one year ago.

This marks the 8th straight year of central bank gold buying – and the highest level of net purchases since 2015 – both quarterly and year-to-date.

But most importantly – the number of central banks doing the buying was notable.

To name just a few: India – Turkey – Kazakhstan – China – Russia – Poland – Hungary – Iraq – and Mongolia. . .

What did all this buying from various central banks have in common? It was the lower price of gold triggered a buying opportunity. Meaning central bankers wanted to take advantage of the stronger dollar and buy cheaper gold.

Remember – when the dollar’s stronger, gold costs less (i.e. it takes fewer dollars to buy that same gold ounce – vice versa.)

And this trend of heavy central bank buying doesn’t seem like it will be slowing down anytime soon.

According to JP Morgan Chase & Co – central banks will buy another 300-plus tons in 2019. And I expect that to continue throughout the 2020’s.

So – here’s the bigger question. . .

Is all this central bank gold buying signaling trouble in the global economy?

I think so.

Let’s just go over a few troubling issues:

We’ve seen slowing growth in the Emerging Markets, European Union, and China. All while the Federal Reserve continues tightening – spurring a global dollar shortage (read more here).

There’s also the three-plus trillion in Emerging Market debt coming due (i.e. bonds maturing) over the next two-and-a-half years (I just wrote about this problem – you can read here).

With short-term rates rising and a stronger dollar – these debtors will have trouble rolling the debt over (refinancing it). Now markets must worry about a wave of dollar-debt defaults – like we’ve already seen in China this year (read more here).

We also can’t ignore the market beginning to worry about next year’s corporate earnings – which I fully believe will be horrid (more here). Equity prices have been volatile because of this – leaving the NYSE nearly down on the year.

Another troubling indicator is the Chinese currency – the yuan – has devalued significantly over the past few months. It’s getting close to breaking through the $7.00 USD-to-yuan mark.

The last time we saw the yuan devalue so much – August 2015 – global markets imploded.

So yes – it’s no surprise central banks and retail investors are buying gold.

Going back to what Gyorgy Matolcsy – the Hungarian Central Bank Governor – said. . .

‘Gold is key for risk reduction’

Having a certain amount of gold in a portfolio works well to protect against sudden market drops – as I’ve shown previously (read here).

As I wrote then – Just look at the average price of gold during times when the S&P 500 fell more than 15% over the last 20 years. . . You can see that during times when market’s collapse more than 15%, gold positions would do very well. The gold mining equities and warrants do even better. . .”


Therefore – we see that during large market drops – the price of gold increases enough to offset any losses.

But that’s not all. . .

Having gold also improves a portfolio’s Sharpe Ratio.

For those of you that don’t know – the Sharpe Ratio is a popular metric that helps investors understand the return of an investment compared to its risks. Meaning it measures a portfolio’s risk-adjusted returns relative to peers based on a ‘standard deviation’ (a black swan event).

Thus the higher the ratio – the better the risk adjusted returns. . .

And as New Frontier Advisors and U.S. Global Investors discovered – an institutional portfolio with at least 6% weighting in gold has a significantly higher Sharpe Ratio compared to portfolio’s that didn’t have any gold at all.

What this means is – gold in a portfolio greatly reduces volatility without hurting overall returns. . .

Now that we know this – It’s not hard to see why Hungary’s Central Bank Governor increased gold holdings tenfold.

This also helps explain why other central bankers worldwide are opting for gold as well.

That’s because of Balance Sheet Theory – coined by Michael Pettis (one of my favorite economists). 

Balance Sheet Theory basically means that investors – during a crunch period – look at governments and central banks as if they are looking at a corporate balance sheet.

The better the assets are against the liabilities – the more robust things are. . .

But the worst the assets are against growing liabilities – the more fragile things are. . .

And as we watch the Emerging Markets get slaughtered this year in 2018 – it’s not hard to see why. They have horrid balance sheets with mounting liabilities against diminishing assets.

So keep all this in mind when you ask yourself, ‘why are central banks buying so much gold since 2008?’

They are doing it to protect themselves. .

https://palisade-research.com/central-banks-buy-gold/

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/02/12/national-debt-tops-22-trillion-first-time-ever/2849978002/

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The Pronk Pops Show 1190, December 18, 2018, Story 1: President Trump’s Apparent Surrender To The Washington Establishment — The Democratic and Republican Parties Refusal To Fund $5 Billion of $25 Billion Needed To Build Border Barrier or Trump Wall — Betrayal of The American People By Political Elitist Establishment — 2020 Presidential Race Starts Today — Videos — Story 2: Start A New Viable Limited Government Party of Independents To Replace Big Government Democrats and Republican — Story 3: The Day They Drove Old Dixie Down — Videos

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Story 1: President Trump’s Apparent Surrender To The Washington Establishment — The Democratic and Republican Parties Refusal To Fund $5 Billion of $25 Billion Needed To Build Border Barrier or Trump Wall — Betrayal of The American People By Political Elitist Establishment — 2020 Presidential Race Starts Today — Videos

Updated December 20, 2018

 

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Trump makes his case for border wall funding in Senate spending bill

BORDER 🔴 President Trump URGENT Press Briefing on the Wall at Farming Bill Signing Event

What $5 billion in border wall funding pays for

Republicans in the dark about Trump’s shutdown strategy

Trump: Wall will go up fast and save billions

Tucker Carlson Tonight 12/18/18 | Breaking Fox News December 18, 2018

Will Republicans fund Trump’s wall?

Nobody in Washington Wants Trump’s Wall

Conway: Trump is not ‘softening his stance’ on border security

Rep. Jordan: We have to fund Trump’s border wall now

Ann Coulter on Trump’s wall funding showdown

24Hrs After GoFundMe Started To Pay For Wall – Americans Give Trump HUGE Christmas Gift!

Steve Scalise’s message for Democrats on border wall funding

Is The Wall Around Nancy Pelosi’s House Immoral? | Huckabee

Politicians On Border Wall Funding | TIME

Construction for new Texas border wall begins

Where Does Trump’s Border Wall Stand Today? | NYT News

Arizona Border Ranchers Torn in Support for Trump’s Wall

Rand Paul: Government shutdowns ‘more hype than reality’

Pelosi: Democrats will not support $5 billion for wall

2020 Election – 5 Republicans Who Might Run For President (Why Donald Trump will be the GOP Nominee)

Congress needs to fund Trump’s wall: Diamond & Silk

Trump: It is realistic to deport all illegal immigrants

Donald Trump explains his immigration plan

Trump vows to deport criminal illegal immigrants

The Truth About What Actually Shuts Down During a Gov’t Shutdown Is Depressing

Donald Trump slams illegal immigration in RNC speech

What the US-Mexico border really looks like

Mexico – Fear of Trump’s wall | DW Documentary

The Wall: A 2,000-mile border journey

Stephen Miller weighs in on border wall fight

Stephen Miller: WH ‘absolutely’ will shut down government to get border wall

Trump: We’re getting $1.6 billion for the border wall this year

President Donald Trump’s border wall with Mexico takes shape

 

 

White House suggests it could back down on $5 billion border wall demand

  • The White House could back down from its demand for $5 billion in border wall funding in a year-end spending bill, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says.
  • Parts of the government will shut down on Saturday if lawmakers don’t pass spending bills.
  • Trump has threatened to let funding lapse if he cannot secure money for the border wall.

Trump reportedly agrees to dissolve foundation, signals willingness to avoid government shutdown
Trump reportedly agrees to dissolve foundation, signals willingness to avoid government shutdown  

The White House suggested Tuesday that President Donald Trumpcould back down from his demand for $5 billion to fund his proposed border wall in a year-end spending bill.

Trump’s push for the money has threatened a partial government shutdown when funding for seven agencies lapses after midnight Friday. Last week, the president said he would be “proud” to close parts of the government over border security.

“We have other ways that we can get to that $5 billion” and will “work with Congress” to do so, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told Fox News on Tuesday morning. She added that the Trump administration could support $1.6 billion in border security funding proposed by Senate Democrats, as long as it can “couple that with other funding resources” to get to $5 billion.

WATCH: These virtual walls could be the cheaper and more effective alternative to Trump’s $5 billion border wall

These virtual walls could be the cheaper and more effective answer to Trump’s $5 billion border wall  

She added that “at the end of the day, we don’t want to shut down the government. We want to shut down the border.” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi have cast the potential lapse in funding as the “Trump shutdown.” When Pelosi goaded Trump into an Oval Office fracas last week, the characterization appeared to irritate the president.

Sanders’ comments mark a de-escalation in the White House’s rhetoric about the proposed barrier on the U.S.-Mexico border. Trump has repeatedly threatened to force a shutdown if he cannot secure money for the wall. As a candidate, he promised to force Mexico to fund the barrier. Mexico has refused.

Still, Trump himself has not weighed in Tuesday on how much money he would accept. As always, a comment or tweet from the president could trample on the message administration officials try to send. On Tuesday afternoon, Trump told reporters it is “too early to say” if parts of the government will shut down.

Later Tuesday, Sanders put the burden on Congress to find a solution, even though GOP lawmakers have said they do not know what Trump would accept. The White House wants to “see what the Senate can pass” and then the administration will “make a determination” on whether to sign it, she said. Sanders added that Trump has directed agencies to see if they have money to put toward border security, though Schumer flatly said Tuesday afternoon that such an effort would not get congressional approval.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders speaks to the media in the White House driveway after appearing on a morning television show on December 18, 2018 in Washington, DC.

Mark Wilson | Getty Images
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders speaks to the media in the White House driveway after appearing on a morning television show on December 18, 2018 in Washington, DC.

Schumer met with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday. The Kentucky Republican proposed an appropriations bill that includes money for border security fencing, as well as what a Senate Democratic aide described as a $1 billion “slush fund” that Trump could use on his immigration policies. Democrats rejected the deal.

A McConnell spokesman later told NBC News that the “hypothetical slush fund” would not go toward a wall. Speaking to reporters Tuesday afternoon, McConnell said he offered a plan to Schumer that he “thought was reasonable to both sides.” He later heard back from the Democratic leader “that the offer was not acceptable,” McConnell said.

On Tuesday afternoon, Schumer told reporters that he thought the “Republican offer today would not pass either chamber.” However, he said Democrats would “very seriously consider” a short-term measure to keep the government open if McConnell offered it.

Despite the lack of a deal, the Senate GOP leader said he is confident the government will not shut down. McConnell said he is consulting the White House on how to move forward, and he hopes to hear more later Tuesday about what the president would support. He called the Trump administration “extremely flexible” on the issue.

In proposing $1.6 billion in border security funding, Schumer has said it would go to building new or repairing existing fences, rather than the wall as Trump has proposed it. The White House appears to want to claim that funding as “wall” money to promote a victory.

Trump has also claimed his administration has built large portions of the wall. But Congress has only authorized money to build fencing similar to existing structures. The president has also contended that the military could build the wall — though the Pentagon has said it has no plans to do so, yet.

On Tuesday, Pelosi told reporters that “we’ll see” if negotiations with the White House make any progress. She said the wall “is not about money,” but rather “about morality.”

“It’s the wrong thing to do. It doesn’t work. It’s not effective. It’s the wrong thing to do and it’s a waste of money,” the California Democrat said, according to NBC News.

The president has already signed spending bills for five government agencies, including the massive departments of Defense and Health and Human Services, into law. Lawmakers still have not passed spending bills for five agencies. Trump’s push for wall money as part of Department of Homeland Security funding has snagged talks to dodge a shutdown.

Schumer said Tuesday morning that he and Pelosi had not heard from the White House on two offers Democrats made to avoid a shutdown. One includes appropriations bills for six agencies and a yearlong continuing resolution to fund DHS. The other would pass a continuing resolution to keep all seven departments running.

Schumer again urged Republicans to support one of those plans on Tuesday afternoon.

Leaving McConnell’s office Tuesday, the New York Democrat said he had not heard a “peep” from the White House, according to NBC News.

As only about a quarter of the government would shut down this weekend, it would have only limited effects. Along with Homeland Security, the unfunded agencies are the departments of Transportation, Commerce, Interior, Agriculture, Housing and Urban Development and Justice.

While some functions like national parks would close down, some employees and law enforcement officers at those agencies would continue working without getting paid temporarily. Those would include employees such as FBI, border patrol and Transportation Security Administration agents.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/12/18/white-house-suggests-it-will-back-down-on-5-billion-border-wall-demand.html

White House cites ‘options’ for funding U.S. border wall

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House said on Tuesday it was searching for ways to unilaterally fund the building of a controversial wall on the U.S.-Mexico border that Congress is balking at, possibly easing chances of a government shutdown this weekend.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters President Donald Trump has asked his Cabinet agencies to “look and see if they have money that can be used” to begin building the wall.

Previously, Trump had demanded that Congress approve $5 billion in new funds for the wall that he argues is needed to stop illegal immigrants and drugs from entering through the southwest border.

On Tuesday, Trump said it was too early to say whether a partial government shutdown will be averted by a Friday midnight deadline when existing funds for several agencies expire. “We’ll see what happens,” he told reporters.

But some Republican senators said they thought the president could be persuaded to sign a bill that does not fund his wall, and several Republican and Democratic senators spoke of the possibility of a stop-gap funding bill passing this week that would simply extend government operations into the new year.

The new Congress that convenes on Jan. 3 would then have to grapple with the budget impasse.

Given the continued uncertainty, however, federal agencies began publicizing their plans in case of a partial government shutdown.

The State Department, for example, said its consular operations, both domestic and abroad, would continue “as long as there are sufficient fees to support operations.” However, passport agencies might not operate if they are located in government buildings affected by the lapse in appropriations.

Earlier on Tuesday, Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had proposed a plan that would have had Congress approve $1 billion in unspecified money that Trump could use to advance his border security priorities.

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer called it a “slush fund” that was promptly rejected.

Previously, Trump had demanded that Congress approve $5 billion in new funds for the wall that he argues is needed to stop illegal immigrants and drugs from entering through the southwest border.

On Tuesday, Trump said it was too early to say whether a partial government shutdown will be averted by a Friday midnight deadline when existing funds for several agencies expire. “We’ll see what happens,” he told reporters.

But some Republican senators said they thought the president could be persuaded to sign a bill that does not fund his wall, and several Republican and Democratic senators spoke of the possibility of a stop-gap funding bill passing this week that would simply extend government operations into the new year.

The new Congress that convenes on Jan. 3 would then have to grapple with the budget impasse.

Given the continued uncertainty, however, federal agencies began publicizing their plans in case of a partial government shutdown.

The State Department, for example, said its consular operations, both domestic and abroad, would continue “as long as there are sufficient fees to support operations.” However, passport agencies might not operate if they are located in government buildings affected by the lapse in appropriations.

Earlier on Tuesday, Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had proposed a plan that would have had Congress approve $1 billion in unspecified money that Trump could use to advance his border security priorities.

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer called it a “slush fund” that was promptly rejected.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-taxcuts/middle-class-tax-cut-not-focus-of-trump-administration-efforts-bloomberg-idUSKBN1OH2J3

POLITICS

Immigration Up Sharply as Most Important U.S. Problem

BY JUSTIN MCCARTHY
Immigration Up Sharply as Most Important U.S. Problem

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Mentions of immigration as top problem rise, from 13% to 21%
  • Mentions of healthcare also increase in November, from 6% to 11%
  • 35% are satisfied with how things are going in the U.S.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Americans’ perceptions of the biggest problem facing the U.S. shifted a bit over the past month, with increased percentages mentioning immigration and healthcare, and fewer citing government leaders or poor government, generally.

Americans’ Views of the Top Problem Facing the U.S.
Problems mentioned by at least 3% of respondents in November
October November Change
% % (pct. pts.)
Immigration/Illegal aliens 13 21 +8
Dissatisfaction with government/Poor leadership 27 18 -9
Healthcare 6 11 +5
Unifying the country 6 9 +3
Race relations/Racism 6 9 +3
Lack of respect for each other 5 6 +1
Ethics/Moral/Religious/Family decline 3 4 +1
Economy in general 3 4 +1
Unemployment/Jobs 3 3 0
Education 2 3 +1
GALLUP

Americans are more likely to name immigration as the top problem facing the U.S. in November than they were in October — it surged to 21% from 13%. Mentions of healthcare as the most pressing issue also increased, from 6% last month to the current 11%. Meanwhile, the proportion who name government and poor leadership decreased by nine percentage points to its current 18%, but this remains among the top problems.

These data are from a Nov. 1-11 poll, which spanned the days before and after the Nov. 6 midterm elections.

The current 21% who cite immigration or illegal aliens is about as high as the record 22% Gallup recorded in July. The issue’s move to the top of the list comes after a large group of Central American immigrants, widely described in the media as a caravan, formed last month with intentions of crossing the U.S. border. It became politicized by President Donald Trump, who declared the caravan a “national emergency” and sent 5,000 troops to the border to try to prevent illegal entries.

Immigration had already ranked among the top-named issues in the months leading up to the caravan’s formation, but the issue’s politicization in the weeks before the midterm elections appears to have elevated it further.

The issue is of particular concern to Republicans, 37% of whom name it as the most important problem — an increase of 17 points from the prior month. This well exceeds the 18% of independents and 10% of Democrats citing immigration as the top issue.

Line chart, June through November 2018. U.S. adults’ view that immigration is the most important problem in U.S., by party.

Another major issue in the midterms, healthcare, also gained prominence in November, with mentions rising to 11% — up from 6% in October. There were small increases in mentions of this problem among all party groups, with 8% of Republicans saying healthcare is the biggest problem, along with 12% of both Democrats and independents.

Meanwhile, nearly one in five Americans (18%), down from 27% in October, cite some aspect of government or poor leadership as the top issue — keeping this near the top of the list of named problems, as it has been for almost a decade. This decrease occurred among all party groups, especially Republicans — 14% of whom name dissatisfaction with government and leadership, compared with 16% of independents and 22% of Democrats.

Satisfaction With the Direction of U.S. Higher in 2018 Than in 2017

Currently, 35% of Americans are satisfied with the way things are going in the U.S. — consistent with the 33% to 38% range for this issue since May. Twin 38% readings, recorded in June and October, marked a 12-year high for the measure. The latest poll shows the typical polarization among partisans, with satisfaction among Republicans (63%) much greater than that of independents (37%) and especially Democrats (8%).

The average level of satisfaction with the country’s direction for 2018 so far is 34%, an improvement from the average of 27% for 2017.

Line chart, January 2017 to November 2018. U.S. adults’ satisfaction with the way things are going in the U.S.

Bottom Line

Depending on what the incoming Congress prioritizes after being sworn in on Jan. 3, issues like healthcare — on which the soon-to-be House Democratic majority heavily campaigned and is likely to act first — could remain at the top of Americans’ minds in terms of the most pressing issues facing the country.

It’s possible that immigration could retreat from the top of the list, as the caravan of migrants’ journey becomes arguably more difficult now that it has reached Tijuana, Mexico, and is receiving less news coverage in the U.S. But the issue will likely remain an important one for many — particularly Republicans — as Trump’s pledges on the issue, including a border wall, remain unfulfilled.

Next month’s reading on Americans’ satisfaction with the direction of the country could be more revealing of what the public’s mood will be in 2019, as the current figure is based on responses that were given both before and after the midterm elections. Though the federal government itself remains a commonly named problem, satisfaction with the country’s general direction is relatively high compared with where it was in the recent past.

https://news.gallup.com/poll/244925/immigration-sharply-important-problem.aspx?g_source=link_NEWSV9&g_medium=TOPIC&g_campaign=item_&g_content=Immigration%2520Up%2520Sharply%2520as%2520Most%2520Important%2520U.S.%2520Problem

Officials baffled by large migrant groups at remote crossing

33 minutes ago
Claudia Maquin, 27, shows a photo of her daughter, Jakelin Amei Rosmery Caal Maquin in Raxruha, Guatemala, on Saturday, Dec. 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Oliver de Ros)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Large numbers of Guatemalan families and unaccompanied children are surrendering to U.S. immigration agents in an extremely remote and dangerous stretch of New Mexico desert, a new smuggling route that has baffled authorities.

It is where 7-year-old Jakelin Caal and her father were found Dec. 6 with 161 others near a border crossing in Antelope Wells. Caal started vomiting on the bus ride to the nearest Border Patrol station 94 miles (150 kilometers) away and had stopped breathing by the time she arrived. She died at a hospital in El Paso, Texas.

U.S. authorities this week encountered groups of 257 and 239 people consisting of families and unaccompanied children, Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan said Tuesday. The Border Patrol found groups of more than 100 people along the entire U.S. border with Mexico about eight times during the budget year that ended Sept. 30 and encountered nearly four times that amount since Oct. 1.

“This is a brand new phenomenon,” McAleenan told reporters in a conference call. “It’s really challenging our resources.”

Antelope Wells is the site of one of about three dozen Border Patrol “forward operating bases” in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas — bare-bones facilities designed to increase enforcement in remote areas. About four agents are assigned to Antelope Wells and they sleep at the base on eight-day shifts to avoid having to drive home every day.

Migrants have told agents that they took commercial buses from Guatemala to New Mexico in four or five days straight, a sharp contrast to the traditional route that can take 25 to 30 days to reach the U.S. border and includes rest stops at “stash houses” along the way, McAleenan said.

It’s unclear why Guatemalans are choosing such a remote spot, but McAleenan said it may be less expensive for smugglers to pay other criminal organizations fees to pass through. The U.S. is working with Mexico to determine the reasons behind it, hoping to redirect traffic to the nearest cities, El Paso and Nogales, Arizona.

Families began arriving in large groups about once or twice a week since mid-October and the trend has accelerated in recent weeks, McAleenan said.

The families are generally seeking out U.S. agents to turn themselves in, raising questions about why they would go to such lengths when they could do so in large cities. All along the border, migrants are increasingly turning themselves in to U.S. authorities to seek asylum or other form of humanitarian protection.

The U.S. has shifted additional medical personnel and more vehicles to Lordsburg and Antelope Wells to help manage.

“In a group as large as 250 you’re going to have medical issues,” McAleenan said. “You’re going to have people that have the flu, and people that have scabies or lice or other skin conditions, and so we are making hospital runs with pretty much every group that arrives at this time.”

Only about 30 vehicles a day enter the U.S. at the Antelope Wells, compared to tens of thousands at San Diego’s San Ysidro crossing, the nation’s busiest. McAleenan said buses typically drop off Guatemalans near Antelope Wells and they cross a barbed-wire fence to reach the U.S.

McAleenan gave a tour of the area to members of the Democratic Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, said the group had seen many young children and their parents in the facility, and called for a congressional investigation into the conditions at the facility and the girl’s death.

Caal’s body was expected to be returned to Guatemala Thursday, and then taken to her hometown of San Antonio Secortez. Her death touched off a firestorm. Border Patrol agents said they did all they could do to help the girl who seemed healthy when she first reached encountered them. But it’s not clear if there was a translation issue. Border Patrol agents were speaking to her father in Spanish, as they are required to do, but his first language is the Mayan tongue known as Q’eqchi’.

Attorneys in Texas representing the girl’s father criticized U.S. officials for asking him to sign a form that asks questions with check boxes of “yes” or “no.” ″Claims good health” was handwritten in the “additional comments” section.

Her cause of death has not been released.

The family also disputed the accounts by U.S. officials that the girl walked for days in the desert without food or water before crossing. The father’s lawyers said Caal took care of his daughter, giving her sufficient water and food, and she appeared to be in good health.

___

Spagat reported from San Diego.

https://www.apnews.com/f3bf396116574f9b9bd0c0f017e39983

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Story 3: The Day They Drove Old Dixie Down — Videos

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Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 732-737

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 727-731

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 720-726

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 713-719

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 705-712

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 695-704

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 685-694

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 675-684

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 668-674

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 660-667

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 651-659

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 644-650

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 637-643

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 629-636

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 617-628

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 608-616

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 599-607

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 590-598

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 585- 589

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 575-584

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 565-574

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 556-564

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 546-555

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 538-545

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 532-537

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 526-531

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 519-525

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 510-518

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 500-509

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 490-499

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 480-489

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 473-479

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 464-472

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 455-463

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 447-454

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 439-446

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 431-438

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 422-430

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 414-421

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 408-413

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 400-407

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 391-399

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 383-390

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 376-382

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 369-375

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 360-368

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 354-359

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 346-353

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 338-345

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 328-337

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 319-327

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 307-318

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 296-306

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 287-295

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 277-286

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 264-276

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 250-263

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 236-249

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 222-235

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 211-221

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 202-210

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 194-201

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 184-193

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 174-183

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 165-173

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 158-164

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 151-157

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 143-150

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 135-142

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 131-134

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 124-130

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 121-123

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 118-120

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 113 -117

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 112

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 108-111

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 106-108

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 104-105

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 101-103

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 98-100

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 94-97

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 93

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 92

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 91

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 88-90

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 84-87

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 79-83

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 74-78

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 71-73

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 68-70

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 65-67

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 62-64

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 58-61

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 55-57

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 52-54

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 49-51

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 45-48

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 41-44

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 38-40

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 34-37

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 30-33

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 27-29

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 17-26

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 16-22

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 10-15

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 1-9

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