NOMINATIONS SENT TO THE SENATE:
Callista L. Gingrich, of Virginia, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Holy See.
George Nesterczuk, of Virginia, to be Director of the Office of Personnel Management for a term of four years, vice Katherine Archuleta, resigned.
NOMINATIONS SENT TO THE SENATE:
Richard Ashooh, of New Hampshire, to be an Assistant Secretary of Commerce, vice Kevin Wolf, resigned.
J. Paul Compton, Jr., of Alabama, to be General Counsel of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, vice Helen R. Kanovsky, resigned.
Brett Giroir, of Texas, to be Medical Director in the Regular Corps of the Public Health Service, subject to the qualifications therefor as provided by law and regulations, and to be an Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services, vice Howard K. Koh, resigned.
Robert R. Hood, of Georgia, to be an Assistant Secretary of Defense, vice Stephen C. Hedger.
David S. Jonas, of Virginia, to be General Counsel of the Department of Energy, vice Steven Croley, resigned.
Gilbert B. Kaplan, of the District of Columbia, to be Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, vice Stefan M. Selig, resigned.
Karen Dunn Kelley, of Pennsylvania, to be Under Secretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs, vice Mark Doms, resigned.
Heather L. MacDougall, of Florida, to be a Member of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission for a term expiring April 27, 2023. (Reappointment)
Neal J. Rackleff, of Texas, to be an Assistant Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, vice Mercedes Marquez.
Michael Arthur Raynor, of Maryland, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.
WITHDRAWAL SENT TO THE SENATE:
James Donovan, of Virginia, to be Deputy Secretary of the Treasury, vice Sarah Bloom Raskin, which was sent to the Senate on May 16, 2017.
NEWT GINGRICH: “THE PRESIDENT JUST MADE A TITANIC FOREIGN POLICY SHIFT. THE MEDIA MISSED IT.”
“While the media focused on the ephemeral questions … they largely missed the real drama of the moment: a titanic shift in U.S. foreign policy occurring right before their eyes.”
The President Just Made A Titanic Foreign Policy Shift. The Media Missed It.
By Newt Gingrich
May 24, 2017
While the media focused on the ephemeral questions — whether the president would use campaign rhetoric in a diplomatic setting, or how the trip would affect the Obama legacy — they largely missed the real drama of the moment: a titanic shift in U.S. foreign policy occurring right before their eyes.
Trump stood before an unprecedented gathering of leaders to do something far more significant than utter a single phrase or undermine his predecessor’s record. He was there to rally the Muslim world, in his words, “to meet history’s great test” — defeating the forces of terrorism and extremism. He did so in a way that no American president ever had before. While extending a hand of friendship to Muslim nations, he also issued them a clear challenge: to take the lead in solving the crisis that has engulfed their region and spread across the planet. “Drive out the terrorists and extremists,” he urged them, or consign your peoples to futures of misery and squalor.
To find a comparably dramatic moment in the history of U.S. foreign policy, we have to look all the way back to 1982. That June, 35 years ago next month, President Ronald Reagan stood in the Royal Gallery at the Palace of Westminster in London and called on the West to rally in defense of freedom and against communist aggression.
Never before has an American president tried so clearly to unite the civilized world, including the nations of the Middle East and Africa, against the forces of terrorism. Never before has an American president issued so direct a challenge to those nations to do more in the fight. And never before has an American president so plainly put the ultimate responsibility for eradicating terrorism on the nations of the region. In doing so, Trump’s speech implicitly repudiated the approaches of his two immediate predecessors and promised instead what he characterized as a “principled realism,” based on a clear-eyed view of America’s interests, security and limits.
That this decisive shift in U.S. foreign policy occurred on a foreign trip within the first four months of the administration is all the more impressive. Reagan didn’t take his first international trip until well into his second year. And unlike President Barack Obama’s early speech to the Muslim world in 2009, Trump backed up his words with action.
Read the full op-ed here.
Yesterday, President Donald J. Trump visited the Royal Palace in Brussels to meet with King Philippe and Queen Mathilde and with Prime Minister Charles Michel of Belgium. This visit marked the President's first engagement with Belgian leadership.
At the Royal Palace, President Trump and the First Lady first met with the King and Queen and expressed their appreciation for the hospitality and their long personal support for better economic relations between Belgium and the United States. This year is the centennial year of the Commission for Relief in Belgium, which kept millions of Belgians from starving during World War I and currently supports Belgian educational exchanges with the United States.
In a subsequent meeting with Prime Minister Charles Michel, the President praised Belgian contributions to the Global Coalition to Counter ISIS, noting the critical importance of Belgian F-16s flying missions in Iraq and Syria. On the eve of the NATO Leaders Meeting, the President discussed the responsibility of all nations to share our common defense burden, including the need for all NATO members to meet the Wales commitment to spend 2 percent of their Gross Domestic Product on defense. The President expressed sympathy for Belgium’s suffering at the hands of terrorists, and the two leaders explored how to improve their cooperation on counterterrorism. The President reaffirmed his desire for a productive economic and security relationship with Europe and promised to continue strengthening cooperation with Belgium on these and other important issues.
President Donald J. Trump met today in Brussels with European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. The leaders reaffirmed the strong bond between the United States and Europe, anchored in shared values and longstanding friendship.
The leaders discussed the United States’ and the European Union’s shared challenges in fighting global terrorism and protecting our homelands. They agreed on the need to work together to deepen our security cooperation in fighting ISIS, combating radicalization, and responding to other common threats. They also discussed the threat from North Korea and agreed to work together to further isolate the North Korean regime politically and economically.
The leaders agreed that the United States and the European Union should deepen our strong economic relationship. They also discussed the need to protect American and European industries against unfair competition.
4:39 P.M. CEST
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you very much, Secretary General Stoltenberg. Chancellor Merkel, thank you very much. Other heads of state and government, I am honored to be here with members of an alliance that has promoted safety and peace across the world.
Prime Minister May, all of the nations here today grieve with you and stand with you. I would like to ask that we now observe a moment of silence for the victims and families of the savage attack which took place in Manchester. (A moment of silence is observed.) Thank you. Terrible thing.
This ceremony is a day for both remembrance and resolve. We remember and mourn those nearly 3,000 innocent people who were brutally murdered by terrorists on September 11th, 2001. Our NATO allies responded swiftly and decisively, invoking for the first time in its history the Article 5 collective defense commitments.
The recent attack on Manchester in the United Kingdom demonstrates the depths of the evil we face with terrorism. Innocent little girls and so many others were horribly murdered and badly injured while attending a concert -- beautiful lives with so much great potential torn from their families forever and ever. It was a barbaric and vicious attack upon our civilization.
All people who cherish life must unite in finding, exposing, and removing these killers and extremists -- and, yes, losers. They are losers. Wherever they exist in our societies, we must drive them out and never, ever let them back in.
This call for driving out terrorism is a message I took to a historic gathering of Arab and Muslim leaders across the region, hosted by Saudi Arabia. There, I spent much time with King Salman, a wise man who wants to see things get much better rapidly. The leaders of the Middle East have agreed at this unprecedented meeting to stop funding the radical ideology that leads to this horrible terrorism all over the globe.
My travels and meetings have given me renewed hope that nations of many faiths can unite to defeat terrorism, a common threat to all of humanity. Terrorism must be stopped in its tracks, or the horror you saw in Manchester and so many other places will continue forever. You have thousands and thousands of people pouring into our various countries and spreading throughout, and in many cases, we have no idea who they are. We must be tough. We must be strong. And we must be vigilant.
The NATO of the future must include a great focus on terrorism and immigration, as well as threats from Russia and on NATO’s eastern and southern borders. These grave security concerns are the same reason that I have been very, very direct with Secretary Stoltenberg and members of the Alliance in saying that NATO members must finally contribute their fair share and meet their financial obligations, for 23 of the 28 member nations are still not paying what they should be paying and what they’re supposed to be paying for their defense.
This is not fair to the people and taxpayers of the United States. And many of these nations owe massive amounts of money from past years and not paying in those past years. Over the last eight years, the United States spent more on defense than all other NATO countries combined. If all NATO members had spent just 2 percent of their GDP on defense last year, we would have had another $119 billion for our collective defense and for the financing of additional NATO reserves.
We should recognize that with these chronic underpayments and growing threats, even 2 percent of GDP is insufficient to close the gaps in modernizing, readiness, and the size of forces. We have to make up for the many years lost. Two percent is the bare minimum for confronting today’s very real and very vicious threats. If NATO countries made their full and complete contributions, then NATO would be even stronger than it is today, especially from the threat of terrorism.
I want to extend my appreciation to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum in New York for contributing this remnant of the North Tower, as well as to Chancellor Merkel and the German people for donating this portion of the Berlin Wall. It is truly fitting that these two artifacts now reside here so close together at the new NATO Headquarters. And I never asked once what the new NATO Headquarters cost. I refuse to do that. But it is beautiful.
Each one marks a pivotal event in the history of this Alliance and in the eternal battle between good and evil. On one side, a testament to the triumph of our ideals over a totalitarian Communist ideology bent on the oppression of millions and millions of people; on the other, a painful reminder of the barbaric evil that still exists in the world and that we must confront and defeat together as a group, as a world.
This twisted mass of metal reminds us not only of what we have lost, but also what forever endures -- the courage of our people, the strength of our resolve, and the commitments that bind us together as one.
We will never forget the lives that were lost. We will never forsake the friends who stood by our side. And we will never waiver in our determination to defeat terrorism and to achieve lasting security, prosperity and peace.
Thank you very much. It’s a great honor to be here. Thank you.
4:48 P.M. CEST
President Donald J. Trump hosted French President Emmanuel Macron for a working lunch today at the official residence of the United States Ambassador to Belgium. The meeting marked the first in-person engagement between the two presidents, and follows on their initial telephone call on May 9.
In advance of the NATO Leaders Meeting, President Trump urged President Macron to meet the NATO defense spending pledge and ensure that NATO is focused on counterterrorism. The President thanked President Macron for France’s leadership in counterterrorism efforts in Africa. The leaders agreed on the critical importance of defeating ISIS in Iraq and Syria. President Trump discussed his recent travel to Saudi Arabia and Israel and his hope for Middle East peace. The two leaders committed to maintaining and building on the already strong alliance between the United States and France as they cooperate on these and other vital issues.
The alleged leaks coming out of government agencies are deeply troubling. These leaks have been going on for a long time and my Administration will get to the bottom of this. The leaks of sensitive information pose a grave threat to our national security.
I am asking the Department of Justice and other relevant agencies to launch a complete review of this matter, and if appropriate, the culprit should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
There is no relationship we cherish more than the Special Relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom.