The provision lets President Donald Trump circumvent the normal process for congressional approval by declaring an emergency that requires the sales to go through immediately “in the national security interests of the United States.” Secretary of State Michael Pompeo cited the threat from Iran as justification, but said in a later statement that he viewed the decision “to be a one-time event.” Lawmakers were upset regardless. “I am disappointed, but not surprised, that the Trump administration has failed once again to prioritize our long term national security interests or stand up for human rights, and instead is granting favors to authoritarian countries like Saudi Arabia,” Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in a statement Friday.
U.S. President Donald Trump will pick former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli as the head of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the Washington Post reported on Friday. Cuccinelli will replace L. Francis Cissna as the head of the agency, which manages the country's legal immigration system. The White House is still figuring out what exactly Cuccinelli will be doing in his new role, the Post reported.
The Trump administration informed congressional committees that it will go ahead with 22 military sales to the Saudis, United Arab Emirates and Jordan, infuriating lawmakers by circumventing a long-standing precedent for congressional review of major weapons sales. Members of Congress had been blocking sales of offensive military equipment to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates for months, angry about the huge civilian toll from their air campaign in Yemen, as well as human rights abuses such as the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at a Saudi consulate in Turkey. Lawmakers and congressional aides warned earlier this week that Trump, frustrated with Congress holding up weapons deals including the sale of bombs to Saudi Arabia, was considering using a loophole in arms control law to go ahead by declaring a national emergency.
President Donald Trump confirmed Friday he is considering pardons for several military servicemen accused or convicted of war crimes, in what critics say would be an abuse of the powers afforded him under the US Constitution. The New York Times reported, quoting administration officials, that Trump envisaged making the controversial pardons during the Memorial Day weekend, when Americans honor those who died while serving in the military. Reportedly among those being considered is Edward Gallagher, a Navy SEAL accused of shooting unarmed civilians and stabbing a teenage captive to death, who is due to stand trial starting next week.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Intelligence professionals warned Friday that President Donald Trump's decision to give his loyal attorney general carte blanche to disclose still-secret material from the Russia investigation will let William Barr cherry-pick intelligence to paint a misleading picture about what started the probe.
US President Donald Trump doubled down Friday on his claim of an "attempted coup" against him as his battle with Democratic foes entered a vicious new phase of personal insults and strong-arm tactics. Hovering over it all: the looming question of whether or not the Republican leader will be impeached -- "the big I-word," as Trump put it recently. The president said he has given his attorney general wide latitude to declassify intelligence information as he probes the origins of the government's investigation into Trump's 2016 campaign ties to Russia.
President Donald Trump's administration on Friday bypassed Congress to sell $8.1 billion in arms to Saudi Arabia and other Arab allies, citing a threat from Iran, infuriating lawmakers who fear the weapons could kill civilians in Yemen. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the administration would circumvent the required review by Congress to approve 22 arms transfers to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan, saying that the freeze on sales by Congress could affect the Arab allies' operational abilities.
The Trump administration is revising Obamacare rules to remove gender identity from the class of people protected from discrimination in health care.
On Friday, the Trump administration went ahead with those sales over his objections to make a point about the threat from Iran. Section 36 of that law gives the president the authority to over rule Congressional objections to arms sales in case of an emergency. In an interview Friday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo put it like this: "There is an urgency to the matter.
Donald Trump Jr is writing a book and if it’s obsequious enough can expect a sales bump from a glowing tweet by his father ‘There’s a level of obsequiousness and over-statement about these books that’s without parallel. How much truth-speaking can there be when the currency of the Trump court is praise?’ Photograph: Mary Schwalm/APThe Donald Trump book club is about to gain its newest and perhaps most inevitable member.Trump’s eldest son, Don Jr, has struck a book deal with Center Street Press, a Hachette imprint, for a title likely to be published later this year. He will reflect on the “great achievements” of his father’s administration, a press release said.Sign up for the US morning briefingIf past is prologue, it is fair to assume the book will be plugged by President Trump to his 60 million followers on Twitter, offering the kind of publicity that money can’t buy. This is likely to result in a bump in sales, an enhanced profile and perhaps a job offer or two.Such is a bizarre publishing ecology that has developed during the Trump administration. In a sort of literary version of his Fox News feedback loop, authors write paeans to the president, who in turn champions their work, giving a boost to their bank balances and careers and perhaps even their hopes of landing that most coveted prize of the times: a cable news gig.“There’s a Trump deal: you praise me, I praise you,” said Larry Jacobs, director of the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance at the University of Minnesota. “We’ve never seen this before. In another administration, it would have been seen as discrediting. The people trying to kiss the ring would have been mocked.”Jacobs added: “In the past people have written books to make the case for the president, but there’s a level of obsequiousness and overstatement about these books that’s without parallel. How much truth-speaking can there be when the currency of the Trump court is praise?”The latest potential beneficiary is Mark Levin, a lawyer and rightwing broadcaster who defends and describes Trump as “the most abused president in American history”. After his media-bashing book, Unfreedom of the Press, shot to No 1 on Amazon’s charts, Trump tweeted: “Wow, Mark Levin’s new book opened at 1. It is great – keep it there for a long time!”Along with fame and sales, there are other benefits. Last week Conrad Black, author of the glowing Donald J Trump: A President Like No Other, received a full pardon from the president on charges of fraud and obstruction of justice. Chris Whipple, the author of The Gatekeepers: How the White House Chiefs of Staff Define Every Presidency, said: “The abuse of the pardon power is really troubling.”Trump, an avid golfer at weekends, has previously claimed “I don’t have time” to read books and is notorious as a non-reader even of simple briefing documents. Whipple asked: “Where does he find the time to become the blurber-in-chief?”Indeed, last year alone Trump endorsed at least a dozen books written by cheerleaders, commentators and former staff.Sean Spicer, who was Trump’s first press secretary, wrote a memoir called The Briefing that was careful to avoid criticisms of the president. Trump commented: “A story told with both heart and knowledge. Really good, go get it!”Sebastian Gorka’s book, Why We Fight, warning of existential threats to Judaeo-Christian civilisation, earned this accolade: “A very talented man who I got to know well while he was working at the White House, has just written an excellent book … much will be learned from this very good read!”Spicer and Gorka are building careers as pro-Trump broadcasters and pundits. Also angling for attention is Anthony Scaramucci, who was White House communications director for just 11 days, and went on to write Trump: The Blue Collar President.Other books that caught Trump’s eye last year included Liars, Leakers and Liberals by Judge Jeanine Pirro, a broadside against his perceived enemies in the “deep state”, Hollywood and the media. The president’s response: “Our great Judge Jeanine Pirro is out with a new book … which is fantastic. Go get it!”Then there was Mad Politics: Keeping Your Sanity in a World Gone Crazy by Gina Loudon, claiming to have scientific evidence that Trump is “the most sound-minded person to ever occupy the White House”. The president urged his followers: “Go out and get your copy today – a great read!”The Russia Hoax: The Illicit Scheme to Clear Hillary Clinton and Frame Donald Trump by Gregg Jarrett, a Fox News analyst, railed against the former secretary of state and her supposed deep state collaborators. Trump wrote: “It is indeed a HOAX and WITCH HUNT, illegally started by people who have already been disgraced. Great book!”And The Faith of Donald J Trump: A Spiritual Biography by David Brody and Scott Lamb made the improbable case that Trump has discovered God. “A very interesting read,” the president commented. “Enjoy!”But there is another side to the story. Former White House staffers Omarosa Manigault Newman and Cliff Sims wrote unflattering tell-all memoirs of their times in the west wing, portraying chaos, infighting and a cult of personality. Journalists Michael Wolff and Bob Woodward and others have also delivered scathing accounts. Trump has used Twitter to lash out at them, inadvertently boosting their profile and sales too. In the world of Trump publishing, it seems, almost everyone wins.Kurt Bardella, a former spokesperson for Breitbart News and congressional Republicans, said: “When you write a book supportive or critical of him, he’s going to tweet about you. He hate-tweets books he doesn’t like, which contributes to sales.”
The US will order more troops to the Middle East, Donald Trump has said, despite just a day earlier saying he thought further deployments in the region were unnecessary.Mr Trump said around 1,500 troops would be sent amid rising tensions with Iran. Congressional aides confirmed that Congress was notified of the new plan before it was announced. "We want to have protection. The Middle East, we're going to be sending a relatively small number of troops," Mr Trump told reporters at the White House before boarding a plane for Japan. "Mostly protective. Some very talented people are going to the Middle East right now. And we'll see how – we'll see what happens."A defence official later claimed that the actual number of incoming troops was 900, which will be to added to 600 troops whose deployment in the region will be extended.The announcement comes at the end of a week in which several numbers were floated for troop increases in the region.On Thursday, the acting defense secretary, Patrick Shanahan, denied reports that between 5,000 to 10,000 US troops could be sent to defend against the potential threat from Iran. "There is no 10,000, there's no 5,000, and that's not accurate," he told reporters.Representative Adam Smith, who serves as the House Armed Services Committee Chairman, issued a statement calling the increase in troops an “unsettling” move."Without a clearly articulated strategy, adding more personnel and mission systems seems unwise, and appears to be a blatant and heavy-handed move to further escalate tensions with Iran," Mr Smith said."I look forward to hearing from Acting Defense Secretary Shanahan how this decision complements a broader strategy in the region, which focuses on de-escalation and diplomacy first,” his statement continued.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A longtime Utah judge has been suspended without pay for six months after making critical comments online and in court about President Donald Trump, including a post bashing his "inability to govern and political incompetence."
Saying he wants him to be "fair," President Donald Trump on Friday described why he has given Attorney General William Barr sweeping powers to declassify intelligence as part of his review into how the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election began and the resulting surveillance on the Trump campaign. "I'll tell you, declassifying.
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast / Photos GettyThe Trump-Pence administration today took another step toward creating two separate and unequal healthcare systems in America: one for straight people protected by law, and another in which transgender people, women, and gays can be refused service, discriminated against, and thrown out on the street, even if their lives are in danger.2020 Democrats Slam ‘Cruel’ Trump Administration Policy Denying Citizenship to Kids of LGBT CouplesThe proposed new rule undoes an Obama-era policy that protected discrimination against gay and transgender people as part of the Affordable Care Act’s provisions against sex discrimination. Under the new proposed rule, it would be perfectly legal for a doctor, hospital, insurance plan, or pharmacist to refuse to cover transgender people, to provide coverage for gender-confirmation hormones or surgery, to fill prescriptions, or to treat trans people in emergency rooms.It would also be legal to discriminate against gays, lesbians, and bisexuals, because the same provision of the ACA, Section 1557 had been understood as prohibiting “sex stereotyping,” or discriminating against gays and lesbians. Already, there have been numerous cases of doctors refusing to treat the children of same-sex parents and pharmacists refusing to fill prescriptions for HIV medication once they learned the recipient was gay.In addition, Axios reported that the Trump administration is considering a nationwide religious exemption to allow adoption and foster-care agencies to discriminate against LGBT people, rather than place children according to the best interests of the child.Even before today’s news, trans people already faced a horrific medical system that, outside of a few enclaves, is several decades behind the scientific understanding of gender identity.70 percent of transgender people say that they have experienced some form of a discrimination in a health care setting. In a 2018 survey conducted by the Center for American Progress, 29% of trans respondents said that a doctor or other health care provider refused to see them because of their actual or perceived gender identity, 21% said the doctor “used harsh or abusive language” when treating them, and 29% said they experienced unwanted physical contact “such as fondling, sexual assault, or rape.”Meanwhile, a 2017 NPR poll found that 31% of trans Americans lack regular access to health care, with 22% saying that they avoided doctors out of fear of being discriminated against.Those at the poverty line, people of color, and especially trans women of color, are disproportionately affected. Moreover, because trans (especially trans-feminine) populations experience disproportionate employment discrimination (perfectly legal in 28 states), they are more likely to struggle economically, even before the steep expense of treatments for gender dysphoria.What is the government doing to address this crisis in transgender healthcare? Making it easier for hospitals, insurance plans, doctors, and pharmacists to turn them away.“No person should be deprived from receiving life-saving treatment simply for being who they are,” said Andy Marra, executive director of the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, in a statement. “Yet today’s proposed rule invites health care professionals, hospitals, and insurance companies to selectively determine who is deserving of medically necessary care. There is nothing conscionable or humane about placing transgender people in harm’s way when we already face immense barriers.”The directive emanates from Roger Severino, the religious fundamentalist and longtime anti-LGBT activist placed in charge of “civil rights” at the Department of Health and Human Services. As we predicted a year ago, his office has issued a series of regulations that allow corporations and individuals to discriminate against women and LGBT people if they proffer a religious rationale for doing so.While conservative religious organizations have invented hypothetical stories of religious medical providers being forced to perform gender-confirmation surgery or face costly lawsuits, in fact a 2017 study of discrimination investigations completed between 2012 and 2016—just 31 over the course of the period—found that the most common complaint was simply denial of service.“Complaints included a transgender woman being denied a mammogram because of her gender identity; transgender people being denied sexual assault medical forensic examinations; and a transgender man being refused a screening for a urinary tract infection because the clinic claimed it only provided those screenings to women,” according to a summary of the study.Five of the complaints addressed transition-related medical care. One was filed by a woman separated from her wife for over two hours during an emergency room visit. And all were addressed by corrective action, not litigation. As of today, all of the complained-of actions would be perfectly legal. I could be rushed to a hospital tomorrow and my husband could be prevented from seeing me. My doctor could prescribe medications and the pharmacist could refuse to fill them. And, God forbid, if my daughter needed medical care, any hospital could simply refuse to treat her because she had two fathers.All this thanks to the “Office of Civil Rights.”This week’s action also comes on the heels of a broad “religious exemption” implemented on May 2 that would allow a wide range of healthcare workers to refuse to provide reproductive healthcare, including but not limited to abortion. That exemption implements twenty-five separate ‘conscience clauses’ that make reproductive healthcare harder to access. Although unrelated, that HHS exemption coincided with restrictive anti-abortion laws passed in Alabama, Missouri, Georgia, Mississippi, and Ohio, meant to either erode women’s rights under Roe v. Wadeor overturn the precedent entirely.In the topsy-turvy world of Roger Severino and Mike Pence, the real victims of discrimination are healthcare providers who seek to discriminate against others rather than fulfill their obligations under both American law and the Hippocratic Oath. When the government requires healthcare professionals to provide healthcare to all, in this rationale, it is discriminating against companies and people who prefer not to do so.It’s an interesting worldview, thought it might be hard to explain to the 70% of trans people who have experienced real discrimination at the doctor’s office, or the couple whose child dies because their ER doctor’s religious beliefs, or the three trans women of color murdered in the last week alone. Some people just don’t understand civil rights, I guess.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday he felt bad for British Prime Minister Theresa May, who said on Friday she would quit after failing to deliver Brexit. Speaking to reporters at the White House, Trump said May was a good woman and had worked very hard, and that he would see her when he visits Britain next month. (Reporting by Roberta Rampton; writing by Mohammad Zargham; editing by Jonathan Oatis)