The couple Palme canceled the Swedish security police's lifeguards, and thought as a married couple going to a cultural cinema show together.
Senate Budget Committee Chairman Mike Enzi on Friday unveiled a federal budget for 2020 that includes some of President Trump's entitlement spending trims but ditches his defense spending gimmicks and rosy economic assumptions.
The Wyoming Republican's plan leaves open the possibility of hitting Mr. Trump's $750 billion goal for defense ...
The lead federal prosecutor in New York supervising Michael Cohen’s case is leaving his job in April, the Justice Department said Friday.
Robert Khuzami, the deputy U.S. attorney in the Southern District of New York, will be replaced by Audrey Strauss, another law enforcement veteran who has also helped oversee the government’s case against President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer and fixer.
Strauss, who rejoined SDNY in February 2018 after a long stint in private practice, will manage a team of DOJ attorneys who have had the Cohen portfolio. The U.S. Attorney in the New York office, Geoffrey Berman, has been recused from the Cohen probe for unknown reasons.
“She is super bright, always well-prepared, and am confident she will leave no stone unturned in pursuing the matters arising out of Michael Cohen’s cooperation,” said Nick Akerman, a former Watergate prosecutor who has worked with Strauss both in government and private practice.
Cohen is scheduled to begin serving a three-year prison sentence in May after pleading guilty to a series of tax fraud and lying charges. The SDNY office is also examining several other aspects of the president’s political operation and business, including donations to his inaugural committee.
In a statement, Manhattan U.S Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said of Khuzami: "While his desire to continue to serve remains strong, he understandably has decided to return home to his family. Audrey Strauss, who has been invaluable as Senior Counsel, will undoubtedly continue the important work of the Deputy U.S. Attorney."
Article originally published on POLITICO Magazine
Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby announced Friday that he will not join the team in visiting President Donald Trump at the White House.
Holtby said he had to stay true to his values and "respectfully decline the offer."
"It's a tough situation for everyone to be in, to be forced ...
NEW YORK (AP) - The prosecutor who led a probe of President Donald Trump's former personal attorney is stepping down.
Robert Khuzami, who presided over the case that led to guilty pleas by attorney Michael Cohen, will leave his post April 12.
A release from U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman ...
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise said Thursday that Democrats are pushing for gun restrictions to "control every aspect of people's lives."
"When you hear liberals in Washington talking about gun control, it's much less about guns and much more about control," the Louisiana Republican said during an interview with Fox ...
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler said Friday that a top health official appears to have misled his panel over his role in dealing with illegal immigrant girls, suggesting that the official was, in fact, tracking pregnancies and menstrual cycles.
Mr. Nadler demanded that Scott Lloyd, who as former chief ...
The Democratic Socialists of America announced Friday its decision to endorse Sen. Bernard Sanders for president, calling him "the only socialist in American history with a serious chance of winning the presidency."
The DSA said its national political committee voted Thursday night to back the Vermont senator in the race ...
WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson denied ties Friday to President Trump's election campaign on the heels of his predecessor, Julian Assange, defying requests for related material from the House Judiciary Committee.
"It's rather pathetic how people are trying to connect the dots about some kind of collaboration," said Mr. Hrafnsson, an ...
President Donald Trump announced his decision to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights on Twitter Thursday, sending a sudden thrill through the Israeli electorate just two weeks ahead of the election on April 9. Israel’s embattled prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, immediately welcomed the announcement – and so, helplessly, did Netanyahu’s election opponents.
Whatever the symbolic power of Trump’s recognition for Israelis – and it is symbolic, as the strategic 500 square-mile plateau has been under Israeli control since 1967, when Israeli troops seized it from Syria – his Golan move will have a fierce afterburn. It damages Israeli security and undermines American interests in the Middle East and beyond, while stirring a hornet’s nest that didn’t need stirring.
Netanyahu, facing voters for the fourth consecutive time in just two weeks, is in the fight of his political life. His re-election quest has run into two major roadblocks. The first is a looming indictment for multiple corruption charges -- Israel’s attorney general has already announced his intent to indict the prime minister. The second is the Blue-White Coalition, an unexpectedly strong challenge from a new electoral alliance headed by three former army chiefs of staff and a former finance minister. Only a decisive electoral victory and the chance to pass a law granting him immunity while in office might rescue Netanyahu from an ignominious fate.
Facing these challenges, Netanyahu has pulled out all the stops. He has used his bully pulpit to label the corruption investigation (by his handpicked attorney general) a witch hunt. He has brought even the most extreme parties under his wing – even Otzma Yehudit, widely condemned as racist within Israel and among American Jewish groups – with promises of ministerial portfolios. And he has relentlessly pressed the case that no one can match the respect he wins from world leaders – especially the one in Washington.
Rather than waiting for a dramatic Oval Office moment when Netanyahu visits Washington next week, Trump tweeted out the news Thursday afternoon. The sudden announcement caught fire in Israel and overshadowed a new corruption story about how a distant cousin of Netanyahu’s had bought the prime minister’s shares in a struggling steel company, giving him a suspiciously large profit for what by all indicators seemed like a failed investment.
Netanyahu raised the prospect of U.S. recognition in January, after years in which the issue had lain dormant. After all, Israel has held uncontested control of the Golan for five decades and its continued control there was a matter of exactly zero controversy in most of the world. The Syrian civil war seemed only to strengthen the case for Israeli control. But Trump’s decision to make U.S. approval -- not just of control but of sovereignty -- official has major negative consequences: for Israel, for Arab-Israeli diplomacy and the U.S. leadership role in that endeavor, and for broader U.S. foreign policy interests as well.
Let’s first look at Israel’s interests. In Syria, where another capricious policy-by-tweet undermined the already small U.S. leverage over a political settlement of the war, Trump’s move has now eliminated it completely. Syria’s President Bashar al Assad gets to claim victim status and argue that a country that has approved the permanent acquisition of its sovereign territory by a neighbor should not have any say in Syria’s future governance. Iran and Hezbollah, too, get a windfall: With Israel’s occupation of the Golan now sanctified by the “Great Satan,” they will claim more justification for terrorism and other military operations against Israel -- and it will be harder for the Arab states to back Washington in opposing them.
Israel has been managing a very delicate situation in Syria, winning limited Russian acquiescence for Israeli strikes designed to prevent Iranian entrenchment and weapons transfers to Hezbollah. Trump’s Golan gift to Netanyahu does not come with any additional military backup for Israel in handling its problems to the north, and may even prompt the Russians, under pressure from Assad, Iran, and Hezbollah, to seize this opportunity to further constrain Israel’s freedom of action in Syrian skies. Israel may thus have won a symbolic victory -- but when it comes to the real battle its generals are waging in Syria, they are on their own.
Another serious blow struck by Trump’s apparent policy shift is to the long-awaited peace plan being put together by White House advisers Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt. That’s because this move undermines the prospect of Arab regional cooperation on which their efforts seem to depend. After the 1967 war, the United Nations passed Security Resolution 242, which calls for Israel to withdraw from territories captured in that conflict as part of a just, comprehensive and lasting peace. This has governed Arab-Israeli diplomacy for nearly half a century. Indeed, UNSCR 242 is written into the preambles to both the Egyptian-Israeli and Jordanian-Israeli peace treaties.
Trump’s move raises the question of whether the U.S. stands by those terms of reference, the foundations of Arab-Israeli rapprochement and of U.S. sponsorship and leadership of Arab-Israeli peacemaking. There’s some contention over whether UNSCR 242 applies to the Golan Heights, where neither Syria nor Israel ever had internationally recognized borders. But there’s no question that key Arab governments will read Trump’s move as undermining the U.S. commitment to 242. Given the president’s action, how likely are other Arab states to take on faith any U.S. commitments made on behalf of Jared’s peace plan? How likely are Arab governments to invest in a U.S.-sponsored peace plan now, when Trump has just undermined four decades of U.S.-sponsored Arab-Israeli diplomacy?
This announcement also hurts the Palestinians. In the past two years, Trump “took Jerusalem off the table,” as he put it, closed the Palestinians’ mission in Washington and America’s mission to the Palestinians in Jerusalem, and cut off aid to Palestinian civil society and humanitarian needs. The Golan action now sends a stark new message to Palestinians: Give up on peace. Members of Netanyahu’s party, which Trump is brazenly boosting to re-election, are increasingly speaking about passing a law to annex Area C of the West Bank, which makes up 60 percent of the territory and is currently controlled by the Israel Defense Forces. Such a move would mean an effective end of the two-state solution, but Trump’s actions on the Golan signal he might be preparing to support it.
Finally, the Trump administration’s view on the Golan Heights contravenes not only U.N. resolutions on the Arab-Israeli conflict, but the United Nations Charter itself -- specifically, Article 2’s principles regarding the peaceful resolution of diplomatic disputes and the rejection of threats to the territorial integrity of member states. In conflict zones around the world, U.S. diplomacy has relied on these core principles to press other states to negotiate instead of fight, and to end wars that have cost lives and destabilized regions.
So the fallout from Trump’s abandonment of these principles will extend well beyond the Golan Heights. Take American opposition to Moscow’s annexation of Crimea—Trump now has no leg to stand on. Moscow can likewise call out American hypocrisy in its refusal to recognize the Russian-sponsored “independence” of Abkhazia and South Ossetia from the Republic of Georgia. Morocco and Algeria can now dismiss the U.N. mediator for the Western Sahara, whose work Trump’s administration has sought to bolster. Or what if Saudi Arabia waltzes into Qatar? If Washington stops upholding the core international principle opposing the acquisition of territory by force, we should expect more states to seize territory they covet from their neighbors.
This dark prospect also suggests that any future American president will face an enormous challenge in seeking to restore U.S. strength and project U.S. power in a post-Trump era. Republican or Democrat, his successor will need to cooperate with multilateral institutions and like-minded governments. By overturning decades of U.S. investment in multilateral tools as instruments for peace, Trump has just made that work much harder.
Article originally published on POLITICO Magazine
The Treasury and State Departments issued sanctions against 14 individuals and 17 entities linked to the Iran Ministry of Defense’s unit responsible for nuclear weapons development, senior administration officials said Friday.
Iran’s Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research, also referred to by the acronym SPND, maintains technical experts and critical ties from Iran’s previous nuclear efforts — notably to Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, head of Iran’s pre-2004 nuclear weapons program, officials said.
They added that Tehran-based SPND may not currently be working to develop nuclear weapons, but the connections to Iran’s previous nuclear programs increase the threat of the country developing weapons of mass destruction.
The sanctions come amid U.S. efforts to pressure the Iranian regime and prevent the country from developing weapons of mass destruction, almost a year after President Donald Trump withdrew from the Iran Nuclear Deal claiming the international agreement was not doing enough to stop nuclear proliferation.
“Anyone considering dealing with the Iranian defense industry in general, and SPND in particular, risks professional, personal, and financial isolation,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement Friday.
Article originally published on POLITICO Magazine
WASHINGTON (AP) - A government watchdog says there was an 85 percent increase in the backlog of crime scene DNA analysis at labs around the U.S. between 2011 and 2017.
The Government Accountability Office released a report Thursday finding demands for DNA analysis outpaced crime labs' ability to complete the ...
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - The North Carolina county at the heart of a ballot-collection scandal that forced a new congressional election is getting a clean slate of elections overseers.
The State Board of Elections picked three new members to Bladen County's elections board. They opted against picking a fourth member ...
President Trump on Friday said he has "no idea" when special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling and the potential obstruction of justice will drop, as tension around Washington ratchets up.
The conventional wisdom is that Mr. Mueller is wrapping up his work and will deliver his the fruits ...
President Trump said he "could dream about" running against Beto O'Rourke in the 2020 presidential race, even though the former congressman from Texas enjoys significant approval within the ranks of the news media.
"My attitude is, I wouldn't mind...I mean, I'd love to have Biden. I'd love to have Bernie, ...
President Donald Trump says imports of autos and auto parts do not pose a threat to national security, but the U.S. balance sheet with the rest of the world does.
"Well, no," Trump told Fox Business News' Maria Bartiromo in an interview aired Friday when asked if the automotive imports pose a national security threat. "What poses a national security risk is our balance sheet. We have to have — we need a strong balance sheet. Otherwise you don’t have national security."
Last year, the Commerce Department launched an investigation into whether imports of autos and auto parts pose a national security threat to the United States. A positive finding would allow Trump to impose restrictions on the imports, similar to the tariffs and quotas he imposed last year on steel and aluminum imports.
Still, Trump's answer seemed to suggest the still-confidential Commerce Department report, delivered to the White House last month, did not find a specific threat from automotive imports, but a more general threat from the trade imbalance that the United States runs with the rest of the world.
Whatever the actual finding, Trump indicated he still remained interested in imposing tariffs on cars from Europe and possibly other destinations — unless those companies invest more in the U.S.
"I’ll tell you what the end game is. They’ll build their plants in the United States, and they have no tariffs," Trump said.
The tariffs that Trump has imposed on steel and aluminum have boosted prices of those key materials and made the U.S. a less attractive place to build cars.
The United States and the European Union are currently in the process of preparing for negotiations on a trade agreement, although the effort remains stalled over the EU's refusal to include agriculture.
Still, in those proposed talks, the EU is offering to reduce its 10 percent tariff on autos to zero in exchange for the U.S. cutting its tariffs to 2.5 percent tariff on autos and 25 percent tariff on trucks to zero as well.
Trump, though, says he wasn't interested in that deal.
"The problem is that the Chevrolet will never be accepted in Europe like the Mercedes is accepted here, so it’s not a good deal," Trump said. "I wouldn’t do that deal. They’ve offered me that deal,"
"So you wouldn’t do zero tariffs?," Bartiromo asked.
"I would do it for certain products, but I wouldn’t do it for cars — because they have BMW, they have Mercedes, they have a lot of very good cars that come in, and they make them here," Trump said. "I want them to make them here. Instead of making them over there, make them here. If you’re going to sell them to the Americans, make them here."
Article originally published on POLITICO Magazine
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The Poor People's Campaign is launching a national bus tour of poverty-stricken areas to bring attention to what they call the "real crises" or "interlocking injustices" afflicting the country including systematic racism, poverty, voter suppression and ecological devastation.
"The war on poverty is not over. It ...
President Trump said Friday the "people will not stand for" an unfavorable report from special counsel Robert Mueller, Fox Business reported.
In an interview with "Mornings with Maria," the president touted his election win in 2016 before he chastised former Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein....
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) - Catalonia's regional government has removed eye-catching pro-independence banners from its headquarters in Barcelona, hours before police were due to take them down on orders from the country's electoral board.
Workers removed Friday a large banner from a balcony on the front of the centuries-old palace, which ...
President Trump said Friday the Federal Reserve prevented the country's 2018 gross domestic product from hitting 4 percent, Fox Business reported.
"If we didn't have somebody raising interest rates and do quantitative tightening, we would have been over 4 [percent] instead of at 3.1 [percent]" in terms of growth, Mr. ...
President Donald Trump said Friday he hopes Attorney General William Barr will “do what’s fair” with regards to opening investigations to perceived crimes by his 2016 opponent Hillary Clinton, former FBI Director James Comey, former intelligence chief James Clapper and former CIA Director John Brennan.
Trump, who offered Clinton something of an olive branch after his election victory and pledged to move forward instead of demanding another investigation into her use of a personal email server as secretary of State, asserted in an interview on Fox Business News’ “Mornings with Maria” he’d been treated “very unfairly” by investigators probing his ties to Russia.
“So when I won, I made my opening speech, everyone's shouting, ‘Lock her up! Lock her up! Lock her up!’ I said, ‘No, no, no, let's forget her. Let's get on to the future,’” the president recalled Friday. “But they have treated me so viciously, and they have treated me so badly and we did nothing wrong — you look at the others — and all of these people you hear about, that had nothing to do with Russia, Russia collusion, nothing.”
While Trump maintained that no one on his presidential campaign conspired with Russian agents to influence the 2016 election, one subject of special counsel Robert Muller’s probe, he complained that “nobody does anything” in the face of alleged evidence of “stone cold crimes” by former Obama officials.
He accused Comey, Clapper and Brennan of telling “absolute lies” to Congress, declining to provide proof of his claim or elaborating further on their alleged lies.
Trump also revived the false claim that his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, was never actually accused of lying by the FBI itself.
Trashing his former Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ recusal from the investigation, Trump bemoaned that the Russia investigation “destroy[ed] a man who is a general and a respected man for many years. ... All because Jeff Sessions didn't have a clue.”
Trump called it an “interesting question” whether he thought Barr should look into Trump’s accusations against Clinton and the other Obama officials, despite two Trump-appointed attorney generals so far declining to do so.
“I think — look, I have a lot of respect for him. I've never known him. He's a very, very smart, respected man,” he said of Barr. “Hopefully he'll do what's fair. ... All I can ask is what's fair.”
Article originally published on POLITICO Magazine