January 7 to February 28, 2017
Trump Nominates Former Senator Coats as Intelligence Director
Jennifer Jacobs and Nafeesa Syeed - Bloomberg – January 7, 2017
(Bloomberg) – “President-elect Donald Trump nominated former Indiana Senator Dan Coats as U.S. director of national intelligence, giving the retired lawmaker oversight of the spy agencies that have drawn skepticism from Trump.
Coats, 73, probably would face close questioning by both Republicans and Democrats about how he views the intelligence community’s conclusions that Russia hacked Democratic Party computer systems in order to meddle in the U.S. presidential campaign, which Trump has repeatedly questioned. The current director of national intelligence, James Clapper, who briefed Trump on Friday, testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee Thursday that U.S. intelligence agencies now have “very high” confidence in their assessment.
“Dan has clearly demonstrated the deep subject matter expertise and sound judgment required to lead our intelligence community,” Trump said Saturday in a statement. “He will provide unwavering leadership that the entire intelligence community can respect, and will spearhead my administration’s ceaseless vigilance against those who seek to do us harm.”
In a series of tweets starting late Tuesday evening, Trump suggested intelligence agencies delayed briefing him on the hacking to build their case, calling it “very strange.” He later cited remarks by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in a Fox News interview that cast doubt on the intelligence assessment. “Also said Russians did not give him info!”
After the Friday briefing, which he described as “constructive,” Trump said he’ll seek a plan to “aggressively combat and stop cyberattacks.”
Having served as a senator, ambassador and lobbyist, Coats is a known quantity in Washington. As the DNI, he would oversee coordination of 17 intelligence agencies, including the Central Intelligence Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency, tasked with tracking everything from terrorist operations to foreign military maneuvers.
If confirmed by the Senate, Coats will join a team expected to include retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn as national security adviser, Republican Representative Mike Pompeo as CIA chief and former General James Mattis at the Pentagon.
“If confirmed, I will ensure our national security decision-makers have every piece of information they need to protect the American people from the threats facing our nation,” Coats said. “There is no higher priority than keeping America safe, and I will utilize every tool at my disposal to make that happen.”
Trump also considered Fran Townsend, President George W. Bush’s former homeland security adviser; Admiral Mike Rogers, the current director of the National Security Agency; and former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton.
As a member of the Homeland Security Appropriations and Intelligence Committees, Coats in 2014 laid out what he termed a more effective strategy to combat Islamic State terrorists, calling for having law enforcement working more collaboratively with domestic Muslim communities; pushing Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other Gulf allies to cut off financial support for groups that support terrorism; and expanding bombing of Islamic State camps in Syria.
He also has made comments similar to Trump’s about the need for what the president-elect has called “extreme vetting” of people coming into the country from areas where terrorists are active. Coats said the U.S. needs to review its Visa Waiver Program, which lets citizens of about three dozen nations to enter the U.S. for as many as 90 days without getting visas in advance, saying it might have to be eliminated for national security reasons. “Similar reviews of our refugee and asylum policies are necessary– The Washington Post – John Wagner, Ashley Parker – January 9, 2017
“Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of President-elect Donald Trump and one of his closest confidants, will join the White House as a senior adviser to the president, Trump announced Monday, while a lawyer assisting the family said that Kushner's wife, Ivanka Trump, will not immediately take on a formal role.
Kushner, who will not take a salary, is expected to have a broad portfolio that includes government operations, trade deals and Middle East policy, according to a member of Trump's transition team. In a statement, the transition office said Kushner would work closely with White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon to execute Trump’s agenda.
Trump relied heavily on Kushner's advice during the campaign, and his move to the White House was expected. But ethics experts have raised questions about whether Kushner's role in the new administration will run up against a federal anti-nepotism law and about how he will separate himself from his real estate business to avoid conflicts of interest.
Kushner’s attorney, WilmerHale partner Jamie Gorelick, said in an interview Monday that Kushner is prepared to resign from his business and divest substantial assets, including foreign investments, before taking a White House position. Gorelick said she is confident that the anti-nepotism statute does not cover Trump's appointment of Kushner, though she acknowledged that some lawyers take the opposite view.
Ivanka Trump plans to resign from the Trump Organization and step away from her clothing company but will focus — at least in the short term — on settling the family into its new home in Washington, a lawyer working with the family said.”
Trump moves to build border wall, cut sanctuary city funds
Associated Press - By JULIE PACE, VIVIAN SALAMA and RACHEL ZOLL
“WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump moved aggressively to tighten the nation's immigration policies Wednesday, signing executive actions to jumpstart construction of a U.S.-Mexico border wall and block federal grants from immigrant-protecting "sanctuary cities."
"We've been talking about this right from the beginning," Trump said during a brief signing ceremony at the Department of Homeland Security.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the White House had not circulated copies of the documents or briefed reporters on the details, as has been typical practice in past administrations. But Trump cast his actions as fulfillment of his campaign pledge to enact hard-line immigration measures, including construction of a wall paid for by Mexico. U.S. taxpayers are expected to pay for the upfront costs, though Trump continues to assert that Mexico will reimburse the money through unspecified means.
In an interview with ABC News earlier Wednesday, Trump said, "There will be a payment; it will be in a form, perhaps a complicated form."
While Trump has repeatedly said the border structure will be a wall, his spokesman Sean Spicer said more generally Wednesday the president was ordering construction of a "large physical barrier."
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, who has insisted his country will not pay for a wall, is to meet with Trump at the White House next week.
The orders Trump signed Wednesday also increase the number of border patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to be hired. And the president ordered the end of what Republicans have labeled a catch-and-release system at the border. Currently, some immigrants caught crossing the border illegally are released and given notices to report back to immigration officials at a later date.
Later in the week, Trump is expected to sign orders restricting the flow of refugees into the United States. His current proposal includes at least a four-month halt on all refugee admissions, as well as a temporary ban on people coming from some Muslim-majority countries, according to a source from a public policy organization that monitors refugee issues. The person was briefed on the details of that proposed action by a government official and outlined the plan to The Associated Press. http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/trump-moves-to-build-border-wall-cut-sanctuary-city-funds/ar-AAmcqxz?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=iehp
February 4, 2017
Now that Obama is no longer President, in between Golf swings, he can communities organize women against Trump or the truth is, women against abortion.
A split country on that issue. Personally, I think a lot of woman wants the exclusive right over life and death of their baby.
I don't want to see women guilty of murder if she looses a baby, if a baby is ever declared a life in the wound, yet 7, 8 or nine months, surely suggest the Supreme Court must weigh in on the issue again.
With Trumps choice of Supreme Court, at least were back where we were.
Firing the active AG was absolutely correct, although she probably feels vindicated when the Federal Judge ordered a temporary hold on the Muslim Ban until the proper venting system is created or supporting refugee camps. I know what to offer the President of Russia in order to support refuge camps and regional separation of Syria.
Even Israel would agree.
The AG Appointment an absolute.
Cancellation of the The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), or the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), is a trade agreement between Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States (until January 23, 2017) and Vietnam
MEANS less trade deficits and no navy anchored in the port of Vietnam.
The ACA approach Trump is taking is seeing the GOP Soften up a bit.
Trump's appointments I think will survive.
President Trump doesn't need to start out with Russia's President badly so softening of those Senate penalties for spying on corruption is ok by me, as 11 million people dis located a midst a civil war and ISIS, are depending on Russia and the USA to do something quickly.
Some times you must give a little for the betterment of the many.
Negotiating is often more favorable when your opponent has violated their agreement.
Trump orders review that could relax Dodd-Frank bank rules
February 3, 2017
The peso has regained a little strength.
I happy with President Trumps direction thus far and looking forward to some new federal EPA Laws once the Federal Court hears new arguments, a slow process, while many have to do with clean air act, emission standards, coal cap and trade and a distinction between clean coal technologies and coal and oil burring furnaces, i.e. syn gas.
I think the points you make SOT are all true. Under a Democrat rule I think those issues you raise like wages,
Stimulus was not spent wisely. A stimulus is suppose to restore. A trillion dollars didn’t do that, the highest GDP at 1.4% in 8 years for example testifies to Obama economics.
If you spread out stimulus revenue to many industries that create jobs for many years, like ship and submarine construction, aircraft development and more advanced for sure aircraft, but ouch, a little cheaper please.
Highways and Bridges a short time, a couple years at most, but construct a few toll bridges or pay to use speedways, now that would help a lot.
New Power Plants, a fleet of disaster relief ships and revamping property insurance protection, so when a Hurricane comes in, days before, everybody’s valuables are hauled to safety in huge storage lots inside containers, etc., rather then loosing vehicles, paints, chemicals, personal property, etc. into the environment.
Canals to transfer rain or storm waters from one region of the U. S. to other regions that need water, to include the river that the USA and Mexico share, that finds Mexico with empty rivers most the time.
More water, more crops.
Tax cuts merely increase consumer spending as fewer save enough to invest or save, yet the level of consumer spending determines business growth or for that matter, more jobs.
Restaurants have always been for the ones with extra cash. If you want to eat Fast foods then you will end up with high cloistral, heart problems, etc., but one thing for sure, you can measure inflation by the raise in prices to include store bought consumables.
“Money in your bank is losing buying power as inflation outstrips whatever paltry interest rate the bank offers you on your savings.”
That’s because no one is making any money besides the Stock Market folks because of Obama Economics that says starve out the little guy. Just recent SOT posted banks with 150 million to 350 million in assets that were forced to close.
Just a sampling from many, which suggest banks are no longer allowed to operate unless they have billions, no doubt to limit the governments 250,000 insurance coverage on your cash in the bank.
High tech, cell phones, tablets, IPod, etc., have created demand that with it as a huge price tag that involves more power plants for servers hosting your phone or device.
The demand for drugs is on the rise, both illegal and not. The demand for alcohol and arms is on the rise.
Often, more cash on hand creates its own demand.
When President Obama came into office his master plan with the ACA, the Stimulus plan, that included fiber optic cable, highways, Junker cars, etc., also included a $200.00 or $250.00 check to us on SS, and no annual increase for years.
I’d be happy with any increase.
“the exchange of money in the U.S., the Euro zone and elsewhere,” loosing its value is do mostly to less consumer spending as result of less jobs, while our present system doesn’t adequately measure the jobless other then those receiving unemployment checks.
President Oban extended Federal Unemployment for years and the Feds had his back buying TB’s and mortgages.
Eventually, the economy will grow and when it does, we will see 2 to 3 and eventually 4 percent GDP, a game changer that will allow investors to create wealth again for even savings account holders.
“Companies and heavy equipment manufacturers like Caterpillar are hurting,” because there is no new development, PCD’s, DPUDE, Power Plants, etc., offered up for public investment through various forms of municipal bonds.
Very true, suggesting many interstates and bridges must be maintained and rebuilt, so eventual if fuel taxes isn’t enough, then tolls will be necessary, especially new construction.
A Union can break a company and protects the rights of employees, but the market dictates the direction of a company that carters to public sales.
Liberals for the most part pricing them selves out of a pension, in a rush to retire at the expense of the public. No one ever gave my father a pension as a contractor, but some how public service demands 20 years of wages and 60 years of pension.
“The average American has less expendable income than a decade ago. It's harder for small and medium businesses. Then there's always the automation factor that is indeed removing jobs from the workforce. But that's a two-edged sword...look at Apple i-Phone sales...tanking. Consumers are hanging on to their cell phones longer or are buying cheaper alternatives.”
The next cool device will bring out the high tech lovers and cell phones are a dime a dozen. Inflation during a recession eats at your cash and we have been in a moderate recession, averaging no more then 1.4% GDP for at least 6 years, while the Seaquester 3% of projected revenue cuts were badly disbursed among the departments.
When capital investment disappears from the market place because of uncertainty among banks, them selves limited under Obama economics, in a country that didn’t favor small businesses, evident by the creation of mandatory business expenses buying condoms for employees, birth control and abortions to mention only a few, as well as tens of thousands of regulations, no wonder why everyone as less cash these days.
If President Trump does half of what he said he would do, presently on track keeping his promises with voters, then SOT, you will, like others, start earning 3% on your saving accounts, because once investment capital is freed up, by over turning present banking regulations that tighten up the risk of investment loss, you bring back development ventures, which doesn’t necessarily mean loans will be defaulted on if a development project is delayed in sales of units, homes, business properties for rent or lease, etc.
Mass municipal bond investments in FRRD Projects in 660 counties and perishes will curtail the stock markets deception as the economies beacon of light and measurement of wealth.
The fact is, IRA’s were designed for the health of the stock k market and brokers like loads for independent truckers and the cost to go through brokers for loads.
IRA Holders should be allowed to invest in anything they want to, rather then be restricted to a limited amount of choices and no control of your wealth creation that might include health saving accounts.
May be, yet the buying power of your targeted countries is projected, just like we project incoming tax revenue from “Stimulus Plans, import taxes (Whoops, there are none, only trade deficits like 60 billion with Mexico, China, etc.), Federal Business and Employee Taxes and federal land leases (mostly limited under Obama).
When you take into consideration the change in the wind, business affairs both domestically and internationally in the USA, the world is on hold to bust out, and President Trump will lead the way to wealth creation.
China can see the future that will see a stronger America, although a year a head of time, but consider the impact of President Trump’s statement that the dollar was to strong. The next day, the US Dollar lost 1.4% of its value and the Mexico peso tanked, but since rebounded to a still awful 21 plus to the dollar.
By President Trump’s statement, just his statement, the dollar lost its value and at least 16 other countries relying on the strength of the US Dollar to prop of the value of their dollar, tanked, to include South America countries, Common Wealth States and Pacific Island nations.
It also gave China the wiggle room to not manipulate its currency in the immediate future, so increasing the sales of exports makes since, but based on projecting Americas buying power among consumers to increase for the anticipated future while most likely accounts for higher wages, yet Chinas inflation is also a factor.
“Many Americans have to think twice about buying that Wal-Mart product made in China because their Dollars simply aren't going as far and they have smaller incomes:
90 million are SS Clients or on the government toll, so Wall Mart will be appealing until America recovers its economy.
Yet, as inflation eats at Chinas workforce, and as the cost of business increases, higher wages is the result, which is actually a great thing to see happen.
The reason NAFTA type agreements hurt the US economy, is because huge trade deficits between the US and China, Japan, Mexico, chiefly is the side affect and consumer spending at Wall Mart is the resulting end when cheap labor dictate prices.
While you can argue how an American Company in China is helpful to America, the facts don’t support the benefit a car manufacture in China has for anyone in America and profits earned don’t even return to America to the extent desired or for that matter, you must hand over trade secrets to operate in China.
Once President Trump negotiates a trade agreement with China, watch prices increase on exported Chinese goods
You see, the way in which our government negotiates trade deals determine a lot of things, to include the price index of items in comparison to other equal products by name only sold in America, but obviously not exported to the extent America receives in ports.
When America makes a deal favorable to other countries, were robbed of our very blood and sweat, entrepreneurship stifled because your government sold you down the river, in favor of a billion dollar corporation to profit in China or allow China to strangle the USA Economy by making it easy and legal to export stuff free into America, former President Clinton knowing all to well, who NAFTA helped, claiming it would be good for America to go broke over the long haul.
Yet your government calls on your sons and daughters, fathers and mothers to defend an un grateful government who can’t even set enough funds away to heal the troops properly, those that can be, once the decision to go to war is voted on by the congress.
My character is un touchable, as I have no red stains on my hands, and neither does Trump beside some possible reckless conduct, alleged mind you at that, the least of his worries now, as the alligator is hungry and every day our President will be attacked for not only his Cabinet and executive branch picks but his policies, initiated investigations into corruption, daring to drain the swap has found the GOP running for cover but voicing differences of how it should be done, just not my way and international affairs will really heat of the kettle.
I say, go get ‘em Tiger, adopt FRRD and let’s allow Americans an investment opportunity in every county.
I’ve put together a brief report that gives any one some in site into the future with China. Articles are not copyrighted and author has posted either share or facebook or tweet forward, etc.
Many articles have charts. You can see the differences in annual wages, etc., i.e., manufacturer wages, minimum wages, etc.
I’ve posted the following on this Thread:
Chinas wages for their work force should increase and products and devices will be higher, allowing US Businesses to compete.
“Wages in China increased to 62029 CNY/Year in 2015 from 57361 CNY/Year in 2014. Wages in China averaged 8822.05 CNY/Year from 1952 until 2015, reaching an all time high of 62029 CNY/Year in 2015 and a record low of 445 CNY/Year in 1952.”
Wages in Manufacturing in China increased to 55324 CNY/Year in 2015 from 51369 CNY/Year in 2014. Wages in Manufacturing in China averaged 12698.00 CNY/Year from 1978 until 2015, reaching an all time high of 55324.00 CNY/Year in 2015 and a record low of 597.00 CNY/Year in 1978.” http://www.tradingeconomics.com/china/wages-in-manufacturing
by Kazuaki Nagata, Staff Writer
“Despite a number of unclear factors surrounding the global economic situation, including U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s fiscal and trade policies, Japan will likely see its economy grow this year on the back of the weak yen and government steps to stimulate sluggish consumption, economists have said.
They predict that 2017 will be a rather positive year for the nation’s economy, as the government looks to craft more measures to help boost consumption. These moves are likely to include lowering social insurance premiums, creating scholarships and rasing wages for nursery school teachers. The yen’s weaker trend against the dollar will also help boost Japanese exporters’ revenues, the economists noted.
On the subject of trade, however, they say Japan will need a rethink of its strategy.
With the apparent death of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement — once heralded as the new global standard — Japan must now take the leadership reins to coordinate a new multinational free trade deal. In order to bolster its export numbers, such as deal could come in the form of the China-backed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), they added.
Last month, the government revised upward its assessment of the country’s economy for the first time since March 2015. Currently, the economy is seeing a moderate recovery, and the outlook for household spending and exports is positive, it said.
Economic research bodies also say that the prospects for this year are relatively bright.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development projects 1 percent growth in real terms while Bank of America Merrill Lynch estimates growth at a 1.4 percent clip and the Japan Research Institute predicts 0.9 percent.
Experts say these predictions, however, are quite high given Japan’s potential growth rate stands at some 0.2 to 0.3 percent.
Hideki Matsumura, a senior economist at the Japan Research Institute, said it appears that while the economy will maintain a moderate recovery this year, it has not fully established a steady economic growth cycle.
“The only issue regarding the domestic economy is how to drive consumption,” Matsumura said. The economy would not really see a healthy domestic cycle that can withstand unseen factors from abroad, unless consumption is strengthened, he added.
“Since the beginning of Abenomics, the government’s economic policy has benefited companies but has been tough on households,” Matsumura said.
The government lowered the corporate tax rate from 32.11 percent to 29.97 percent for this fiscal year to March, while the Bank of Japan has been committed to the ultraloose monetary policy that has pulled down the yen against major currencies and resulted in boosting export-driven firms’ profits.
Abe started his economic policy mix known as Abenomics when he became the prime minister in December 2012 and has been urging corporate leaders to boost wages. Many have actually complied and income has concurrently been increasing.
However, economists point out that households have been hit hard by an increase in social security premiums as well as the 3 percentage point consumption tax hike in 2014. Those decisions, they said, have offset rising incomes.
“(The government) took a quite austerity stance on its fiscal policy” due to these tax burdens on the households in the past few years, said Shunsuke Kobayashi, an economist at the Daiwa Institute of Research.
Yet the Abe administration has made a shift that focuses on benefiting households to stimulate household spending, he said.
For instance, the record ¥97.45 trillion draft budget for fiscal 2017 includes raising wages for nursery school teachers and workers at nursing care facilities, creating scholarships and lowering unemployment insurance premiums.
“As for when the effects of these measures will emerge, if the fiscal policy is headed in this direction, I think consumption could be accelerated in fiscal 2018. We may not see the impact in fiscal 2017,” Kobayashi said.
He added that this year is important for the government to start taking measures to back up the economy, before the next planned sales tax hike in 2019.
The government had planned to raise the tax to 10 percent from the current 8 percent this coming April, but last year Abe decided to delay it by two years.
While strengthening the domestic economy, Japan will also have to look out for outside factors, especially Trump’s economic policies.
It remains unclear whether the new U.S. leader will be able to completely implement his campaign pledges, including to lower corporate taxes, but he will do so to a certain extent, economists said.
Trump said that his government will lower the corporate tax rate to 15 percent from 35 percent and invest $1 trillion in infrastructure.
Under such measures, the U.S. economy would likely grow in the coming years — a positive factor for Tokyo, as it could support Japanese exports to the U.S.
Since the United States is expected to quickly introduce measures to boost its economy while also raising interest rates this year, economists say the yen is likely to remain weak and, supporting Japanese exporters — also a positive factor for the Japanese economy, economists said, adding that stock prices are expected be pushed up, too.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch estimates that the average yen exchange rate will be around ¥120 this year.
On Wednesday, the first trading day this year, the benchmark Nikkei index jumped to a 13-month high at 19,594.16, up 2.51 percent.
Kobayashi said Sino-U.S. relations could also be a major factor that influences the Japanese economy.
While it remains unknown how the Trump administration will deal with China, if the new president acts on campaign threats against Beijing, he may impose tariffs on exports from the country. When that happens, profits by Japanese firms that have factories there or those who provide parts to other firms’ assembly plants in China will be hurt, he said.
Other than Trump, there are a number of other factors that could produce large-scale volatility in markets, said Kobayashi. These include progress on Britain’s exit from the European Union and a presidential election in France, in which right-wing nationalist candidate Marine Le Pen is a strong contender.
Ultimately, trade will remain a big question mark for Japan.
Trump’s economic measures are likely to have a net positive impact on the Japanese economy, the Japan Research Institute’s Matsumura said, but one key area will be the new administration’s trade policies.
“What to do with free trade is a big topic,” Matsumura said. “It’s nearly certain that the TPP deal is over, so Japan will have to make its stance clear on how it will proceed with its free trade strategy,” he said.
This may prove difficult for Tokyo, which has traditionally been hesitant to enter free trade deals let alone play leadership roles in pushing them.
In the past, the U.S. and Europe had been at the vanguard of the free trade movement.
But amid Britain bolting the EU and the ascension of Trump, a skeptic of globalism and free trade deals associated with it, the landscape has shifted.
“Now it is Japan that is calling for free trade deals,” Matsumura said. “I think it’s important that it takes a leadership role.”
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — “President Trump has long been effusive in his praise for Russian President Vladimir Putin, despite criticism from Republicans and Democrats alike.
In an interview with Fox News's Bill O'Reilly, which will air ahead of the Super Bowl on Sunday, Trump doubled down on his “respect” for Putin — even in the face of accusations that Putin and his associates have murdered journalists and dissidents in Russia.
“I do respect him. Well, I respect a lot of people, but that doesn’t mean I’ll get along with them,” Trump told O'Reilly.
O'Reilly pressed on, declaring to the president that “Putin is a killer.”
Unfazed, Trump didn't back away, but rather compared Putin's reputation for extrajudicial killings with the United States'.
“There are a lot of killers. We have a lot of killers,” Trump said. “Well, you think our country is so innocent?”
Trump added that he thinks the United States is “better” getting along with Russia than not.
“If Russia helps us in the fight against ISIS, which is a major fight, and Islamic terrorism all around the world, major fight. That’s a good thing,” Trump said. ISIS is another name for the Islamic State.
It wouldn't be the first time Trump has brushed aside the topic of Putin's political killings.
In a 2015 interview on “Morning Joe,” Trump was pressed on the same issue and gave a similar answer.
“He kills journalists that don't agree with him,” the show's host, Joe Scarborough, pointed out.
“Well, I think that our country does plenty of killing, too, Joe,” Trump said.
As recently as this week, a prominent Putin critic exhibited symptoms of poisoning for the second time since 2015. The incident drew the attention of Republican Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), a staunch Russia critic, who tweetedtwo newspaper editorials that call for the United States to denounce the incident as an act of political retribution. He called both editorials “a must-read.”
As you can see, President Trump and I think a like. Some times in life you run across an obstacle hugely monumental, like ISIS and 11 million refugees as a result of a civil war in Syrian in which Russia choosing a side, President Assad's with Obama doing nothing that resulted in much other than sending in Special Forces, loosing one I believe in my memory served, preceded by a 500 million 50 man training program in which 5 actually lived.
Now if its Communism you don't like, then why have we been partnering with China?
The U. S. watched for decades the Shaw of Iran brutally murder those that opposed his rule and we made his Air Force great supplying F 14's.
We did nothing when 750,000 Africans were thrown over a water fall by others of their same race or genocide in African States.
The CIA was involved in some pretty entangled deals in years past to include the Laos during the Vietnam era.
I'm not condoning any alleged judicial assignations' that may have been ordered by the President of a Communist Government or any government, yet we have little control over the actions of other governments judicial or intelligent agencies hit list un less you can actually prove something, but even then, how would you enforce your will, through sanctions, war or judicial law suits?
Our government has long past set aside ideological reasons why not to do business with communist governments, although I reckon the cancellation of the TPP will prevent a trade marriage with Vietnam and other south east Asian countries.
If were going to be the policeman of the world, then how about interfering in Burma or North Korea's government.
Better yet, leave the world's problems to the United Nations, support our allies and work with any country willing to better society as a whole.
Reddening the world of ISIS by not funding them first off, accepting the fact that Obama gave Russia and Iran control over a bunch of regions, Assad and Russia fighting rebels and ISIS we've been financing along with Israel, must stop,
Now, I know what the President of Russia wants and since great minds think a like, I'm thinking President Trump also knows, so if you come out the gate like a roaring tiger, your level of achieving any agreement favorable to your interest, by merely enforcing limited sanction's or symbolic measures and statements by attacking the human rights, in justice or alleged murders of Westerns I'm reading, the latter requiring hugely accurate and provable evidences, would under mine the effort of solving huge issues.
Its just not the Presidents job to condone other country leaders of wrong doings in respect to the internal preceding's of how justice is administered within Russian Judicial systems to include the intelligence agency of Russia, once the KGB, while I read Putin him self was KGB.
President Trump of course can say anything he wants to or boldly go where no one has gone before, and yet, from time to time, U. S. Presidents have slashed out at our enemies leaders in the past, for astoundingly good reasons to be sure, and there may be a day ahead into the unknown when President Trump may feel the judicial need to weigh in on something that may occur.
Like when President Obama wouldn't speak about the Christian Muslim pregnant women raped in her house by many men and thrown in prison, whipped many times consecutively and forced to have berth in prison awaiting a death sentence for being a Christian Muslim.
Sickening. Now I'm willing to bet President Trump would say something rather economically assertive to the government of any such country that would do this again.
There is nothing to gain by being like Senator McCain if your the President and you must work with Russia on levels a Senator can't negotiate in order to secure refugee camps, regional hubs of commerce, military presence to keep the peace amongst regional sectors, within a divided Syria.
This is the only way 11 million folks will be able to return home.
And Russia, the U. S. and Iran, eventually working together fighting ISIS, while the U. S. must stop supporting the rebels in their military fight against Assad, bringing forth an cease fire with greater UN presence and the carving up of Syria, regional hubs of government and commerce.
There would be no further fighting and guess what Russia would get?
A Navy Base, not a lease, ownership to include say 75 km to a greater distance agreed upon.
Assad stays where he is at and in power, ruling his people.
President Trumps Sectary of State pic was brilliant and correct for many reasons, mostly related to oil.
What seems to allude Senator McCain, is the fact that a Communist government is much different then our democratic processes of law and judicial over reach.
Russians don't have rights protection like Americans.
Should we discontinue fellowship with Singapore because they hang folks for crimes warranted for such punishment.
A clear playing field is all any ball player can ask for, so President Trump deserves no less.
Peace through strength.
For those of you slow on the draw, paintence, good will, and forward and aggressive proposals centered on solutions is only possible when an individual focuses on the business at hand, un less an offense is so grievance, that dis fellowship is necessary, but that would be the call of President Trump, if ever he felt the need to severe relations of another countries government leadership.
Iran will most likely, be such an hard case, violating the nuclear agreement a while back, with increasing discussions that a U. S. Naval Ship was the target of a recently launched missile.
So, no matter how you crack the nut, sometimes nuts are hard to crack with out a nut cracker.
Iran won't take much of the U. S. dis agreeing with what their doing be hind closed doors.
David Brock’s Shareblue to Be ‘Nucleus’ of Multi-Platform Anti-Trump Media Entity
"Brock plans to use Shareblue as the "nucleus" to disseminate information to the public to damage Trump and his allies."
Could be considered treason to target a standing President, an attempt by liberals, to smear, rather then solve issues, especially when you consider intentional segregation, kind of like, no Black People in public restrooms years ago.
Division among the political classes can grow if nourished, but more alarming is this liberal movement that ignores the importance of a social environment that debates its differences of opinion or policy, in open public view for all to disagree with or promote.
Add segregation among Muslims entering the U. S. who can't accept the constitution or even desire liberty or freedoms other then to believe in a religion that has its own political and judicial mannerisms different then their host country.
Very dangerous to have very powerful people attempting to over turn an executive government even before they see it begin to improve in all areas.
Duly elected means nothing these days. There are the courts and law suits.
Then there is the media and deception.
Cash is still King though, after all, if you can solicit 5,000 men to pay $5,000.00 to come to a big hall to have sex with one Chinese Women, so she can have her name in the Genesis Book of Records for the most sexual acts performed in a 24 hour period, around three minutes a whack, while those waiting in line are receiving blow jobs by the dozen at a time, you can get folks to do anything if you're a good con artist.
Preparation essential for this job I guess, so if you can get enough dummies to chat with other dummies and have them pay to have the opportunity, not too have to be confronted with in difference from others, while attempting to manipulate the out come as a spear head to over throw our government, then another Club will be created, but with a PAC.
Freedom in the USA allows for Nazi Clubs, KK, and Socialist and as it turns out, even communist, yet the laws were given to the congress and as it turns out, if the President can't governor without the congress, executive orders rule the day as it was in the days of Obama.
Now President Trump must issue executive orders to stop and over turn the legacy of Obama.
So if you don't want a country, just keep allowing folks that want to over throw our government in America in favor of socialism, communism, and fascism in the door.
JULIE PACE, ERIC TUCKER and JILL COLVIN, Associated Press - February 14, 2017
WASHINGTON (AP) — "President Donald Trump's embattled national security adviser Michael Flynn resigned late Monday night, following reports that he had misled Vice President Mike Pence and other officials about his contacts with Russia. His departure upends Trump's senior team after less than one month in office.
In a resignation letter, Flynn said he held numerous calls with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. during the transition and gave "incomplete information" about those discussions to Vice President Mike Pence. The vice president, apparently relying on information from Flynn, initially said the national security adviser had not discussed sanctions with the Russian envoy, though Flynn later conceded the issue may have come up.
The revelations were another destabilizing blow to an administration that has already suffered a major legal defeat, botched the implementation of a signature policy and stumbled through a string of embarrassing public relations missteps.
Trump on Monday named retired Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg as the acting national security adviser. Kellogg had previously been appointed the National Security Council chief of staff and advised Trump on national security issues during the campaign. Trump is also considering former CIA Director David Petraeus and Vice Admiral Robert Harward, a U.S. Navy SEAL, for the post, according to a senior administration official.
The Trump team's account of Flynn's discussions with the Russian envoy changed repeatedly over several weeks, including the number of contacts, the dates of those contacts and, ultimately, the content of the conversations.
Last month, the Justice Department warned the Trump administration that Flynn could be in a compromised position as a result of the contradictions between the public depictions of the calls and what intelligence officials knew to be true based on recordings of the conversations, which were picked up as part of routine monitoring of foreign officials communications in the U.S.
An administration official and two people with knowledge of the situation confirmed the Justice Department warnings on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. It was unclear when Trump and Pence learned about the Justice Department outreach.
The Washington Post was the first to report the communication between former acting attorney general Sally Yates, a holdover from the Obama administration, and the Trump White House.
Even before the Post report, the White House was signaling that Flynn's future was in doubt. White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Trump was "evaluating the situation" and consulting with Pence on Monday about his conversations with the national security adviser.
Asked whether the president had been aware that Flynn might have discussed sanctions with the Russian envoy, Spicer said, "No, absolutely not."
Trump, who comments on a steady stream of issues on his Twitter feed, had been conspicuously silent about the matter since The Washington Post reported last week that Flynn had discussed sanctions with the Russian envoy. A U.S. official told The Associated Press that Flynn was in frequent contact with Ambassador Sergey Kislyak on the day the Obama administration slapped sanctions on Russia for election-related hacking, as well as at other times during the transition.
Flynn's discussions with the Russian raised questions about whether Flynn offered assurances about the incoming administration's new approach. Such conversations would breach diplomatic protocol and possibly violate the Logan Act, a law aimed at keeping citizens from conducting diplomacy.
Earlier Monday, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said Trump had "full confidence" in Flynn, though her assertions were not backed up by other senior Trump aides.
Flynn was spotted near the Oval Office just after 10 p.m. Monday. Amid the uncertainty over Flynn's future, several of the president's top advisers, including chief of staff Reince Priebus and counsel Don McGahn, ducked in and out of late-night meetings in the West Wing.
Several House Democrats called on Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, to launch an investigation into Flynn's ties to Russia. House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi called for Flynn to be fired, saying he "cannot be trusted not to put Putin before America."
Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine said that if Pence were misled, "I can't imagine he would have trust in Gen. Flynn going forward." She said it would also be "troubling" if Flynn had been negotiating with a foreign government before taking office.
It's illegal for private citizens to conduct U.S. diplomacy. Flynn's conversations also raise questions about Trump's friendly posture toward Russia after U.S. intelligence agencies concluded that Moscow hacked Democratic emails during the election.
Flynn's resignation comes as Trump and his top advisers seek to steady the White House after a rocky start. The president, who seeks input from a wide range of business associates, friends and colleagues, has been asking people their opinions on his senior team, including Spicer and Priebus.
Advisers have privately conceded that the White House spit out too many disparate messages in the first few weeks, though they also note that the president's own tweets sometimes muddy the day's plans before most of the White House staff has arrived for work.
Trump voiced support for Priebus Monday, saying the chief of staff was doing, "not a good job, a great job." But he did not make a similar show of support for his national security adviser.
Flynn sat in the front row of Trump's news conference with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau earlier Monday. The president did not receive a question about Flynn's future from the two reporters who were called upon, and he ignored journalists' shouted follow-up inquiries as he left the room.
Over the weekend, Trump told associates he was troubled by the situation, but did not say whether he planned to ask Flynn to step down, according to a person who spoke with him recently. Flynn was a loyal Trump supporter during the campaign, but he is viewed skeptically by some in the administration's national security circles, in part because of his ties to Russia.
In 2015, Flynn was paid to attend a gala dinner for Russia Today, a Kremlin-backed television station, and sat next to Russian President Vladimir Putin during the event.
Flynn spoke with the vice president about the matter twice on Friday, according to an administration official. The official said Pence was relying on information from Flynn when he went on television and denied that sanctions were discussed with Kislyak.
Kellogg takes the helm of the National Security Council at a time when the young administration is grappling with a series of national security challenges, including North Korea's reported ballistic missile launch. The president, who was joined at his Mar-a-Lago estate by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe over the weekend, voiced solidarity with Japan.
The White House is also dealing with fallout from the rocky rollout of Trump's immigration executive order, which has been blocked by the courts. The order was intended to suspend the nation's refugee program and bar citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.”
Associated Press writers Catherine Lucey and Matthew Daly in Washington and Jonathan Lemire in New York contributed to this report.
Follow Julie Pace at http://twitter.com/jpaceDC and Eric Tucker at http://twitter.com./etuckerAP
The Hill - Timothy Cama, February 14, 2017
“President Trump signed legislation Tuesday to repeal a controversial regulation that would have required energy companies to disclose their payments to foreign governments.
The legislation is the first time in 16 years that the Congressional Review Act (CRA) has been used to repeal a regulation, and only the second time in the two decades that act has been law. It is the third piece of legislation Trump has signed since taking office three weeks ago.
It is the start of one front in an aggressive deregulatory effort that the Trump administration and the GOP Congress are undertaking to roll back Obama-era rules on fossil fuel companies, financial institutions and other businesses that they say have suffered for the last eight years.
The resolution repeals a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rule written under the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law.
It was meant to fight corruption in resource-rich countries by mandating that companies on United States stock exchanges disclose the royalties and other payments that oil, natural gas, coal and mineral companies make to governments.
At a signing ceremony in the Oval Office, Trump said the legislation is part of a larger regulatory rollback that he and congressional Republicans are undertaking with the goal of economic and job recovery.”
The Hill - Jessie Hellmann, February 14, 2017
“Republicans are taking their first shot of 2017 at Planned Parenthood.
The House is expected this week to vote on a resolution that would rescind an Obama-era regulation barring states from defunding the organization for political reasons.
Because the measure is being moved through a law that allows Congress to rescind recently finalized rules, the bill cannot be filibustered in the Senate, raising its odds for success.
Republicans framed the move to rescind the regulation as a way to give back to the states the power to determine how federal funds should be spent on women's healthcare.
"It is not the role of politicians in Washington to usurp the states' 10th Amendment rights and subject our judgment for that of state and local leaders," said Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.), sponsor of the resolution.
But Democrats call the move a thinly shrouded attack on abortion providers.
"It's really about getting at Planned Parenthood, and this is the first salvo in doing so," said Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.)
The House Rules Committee passed the resolution Tuesday along a party-line vote, 7-4, and the full House will likely vote on it later this week.
Now that Republicans have majorities in both chambers and a GOP president, they're facing increased pressure from anti-abortion groups to move quickly on their promises to cut funds to Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers.
Republicans are also considering whether language defunding abortion providers will be included in a bill that repeals ObamaCare.
Anti-abortion protesters have gathered outside Planned Parenthood clinics across the country over the past week to call for an end to federal funding for the organization.
Obama's rule specifically requires that state and local governments distribute federal Title X funding for services related to contraception, fertility, pregnancy care and breast and cervical cancer screeners to health providers, regardless of whether they also perform abortions.
It was issued by the Obama administration after a string of states tried to block funding for Planned Parenthood and its affiliated clinics.
Supporters of Planned Parenthood argue that it provides essential services to low-income women, including birth control, STD tests and preventive care that could be at risk if defunded.”
By LAURIE KELLMAN and CATHERINE LUCEY, Associated Press – February 15, 2017
WASHINGTON — “President Donald Trump's nominee for labor secretary abruptly withdrew his nomination Wednesday after Senate Republicans balked at supporting him, in part over taxes he belatedly paid on a former housekeeper not authorized to work in the United States.
Fast food executive Andrew Puzder said in a statement provided to The Associated Press that he was "honored to have been considered by President Donald Trump to lead the Department of Labor."
Democrats and their allies rejoiced over Puzder's withdrawal, saying his corporate background and opposition to such proposals as a big hike in the minimum wage made him an unfit advocate for American workers at the top of an agency charged with enforcing protections.
They also made it clear that Puzder's statements about women and his own workers would be major issues at his planned confirmation hearing Thursday.
"Workers and families across the country spoke up loud and clear that they want a true champion for all workers in the Labor Department," said Sen. Patty Murray, the ranking Democrat on the panel that was to handle the hearing.
What troubled majority Republicans most of all was Puzder's acknowledgement that he had not paid taxes on the housekeeper until after Trump nominated him to the Cabinet post Dec. 9 — five years after he had fired the worker.
They also grumbled about the Trump administration's failure to more thoroughly check its nominee's background. It wasn't immediately clear whether Puzder had been up front with the White House about the housekeeper when Trump picked him, and a spokesman did not immediately return a call for comment.
Ultimately, Republicans made it clear that Puzder did not have the votes for confirmation.
One senator, speaking on condition of anonymity because the conversations were private, said six senators had asked the White House to call off Puzder's scheduled Thursday hearing because they couldn't see themselves voting for him. That would have put the nomination in jeopardy, since Senate Republicans have only a 52-48 majority and Democrats are solidly opposed.
Puzder's spokesman said the nominee had paid the taxes as soon as he found out he owed them. But the discrepancy remained a growing political problem for Republicans and the Trump White House, which has taken a hard line on immigration and taxes.
"I want to hear what he has to say about that," said Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who added he had moved from endorsing the nominee to joining the ranks of GOP senators who weren't committing to vote for Puzder before the scheduled hearing.
"There are concerns" over "the immigration issue," said Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., who said he shared those concerns and said the Republicans discussed the matter in their caucus meeting Wednesday.”
Associated Press Writers Alan Fram and Erica Werner contributed to this report.
PRESIDENT TRUMP'S ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Trump nominated Judge Neil M. Gorsuch to the Supreme Court
Trump signed an Executive Order instructing Federal agencies to "minimize the burden" of Obamacare
Trump signed an Executive Order to improve security by enabling the construction of a wall on the southern border
Trump signed an Executive Order to protect Americans by limiting admission of refugees from several terrorist hotspots
Trump signed an Executive Order to make sure Federal immigration laws are enforced and that Americans' tax dollars do not go to sanctuary cities
Under Trump's leadership, the Department of the Treasury sanctioned 25 entities and individuals involved in Iran's ballistic missile program
Trump has required that for every new Federal regulation, two existing regulations by eliminated
Trump directed the Commerce Department to streamline Federal permitting processes for domestic manufacturing
Trump signed an Executive Order expediting the environmental review and approval process for infrastructure projects
Trump signed a Presidential Memorandum to clear roadblocks to construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline and the Dakota Access Pipeline
Trump signed legislation to block the so-called "Stream Protection Rule" from causing further harm to the coal industry
Trump signed an Executive Order establishing new ethics commitments for all Executive branch appointees, putting in place a five-year lobbying ban and a permanent ban on lobbying for foreign governments
Trump put in place a hiring freeze for Federal civilian employees
Reuters - By Jeff Mason and Patricia Zengerle – February 20, 2017
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla./WASHINGTON, Feb 20 (Reuters) – “U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday named Lieutenant General Herbert Raymond McMaster as his new national security adviser, choosing a military officer known for speaking his mind and challenging his superiors.
McMaster is a highly regarded military tactician and strategic thinker, but his selection surprised some observers who wondered how the officer, whose Army career stalled at times for his questioning of authority, would deal with a White House that has not welcomed criticism.
"He is highly respected by everybody in the military and we're very honored to have him," Trump told reporters in West Palm Beach where he spent the weekend. "He's a man of tremendous talent and tremendous experience."
One subject on which Trump and McMaster could soon differ is Russia. McMaster shares the consensus view among the U.S. national security establishment that Russia is a threat and an antagonist to the United States, while the man whom McMaster is replacing, retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, appeared to view it more as a potential geopolitical partner.
Trump in the past has expressed a willingness to engage with Russia more than his predecessor, Barack Obama.
Flynn was fired as national security adviser on Feb. 13 after reports emerged that he had misled Vice President Mike Pence about speaking to Russia's ambassador to the United States about U.S. sanctions before Trump's inauguration.
The ouster, coming so early in Trump's administration, was another upset for a White House that has been hit by miscues, including the controversial rollout of a travel ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries, since the Republican president took office on Jan. 20.
The national security adviser is an independent aide to the president and does not require confirmation by the U.S. Senate. He has broad influence over foreign policy and attends National Security Council meetings along with the heads of the State Department, the Department of Defense and key security agencies.”
USA TODAY - Michael Collins - 2/25/2017
WASHINGTON – “President Trump took to Twitter on Saturday morning to claim the media ignored some good news about his administration.
“The media has not reported that the National Debt in my first month went down by $12 billion vs a $200 billion increase in Obama first mo,” he tweeted.
In a follow-up tweet, he added: “Great optimism for future of U.S. business, AND JOBS, with the DOW having an 11th straight record close. Big tax & regulation cuts coming!”
Trump didn't indicate where he got the numbers, but some of his supporters have been making the same argument. The Gateway Pundit, a far-right website, published an article Thursday citing figures from the Treasury Department that show the national debt stood at $19,947 billion the day Trump took office but fell to $19,935 billion by Feb. 21 – a drop of $12 billion.
However, Business Insider reported the situations aren’t comparable.
While it’s true that the debt probably ticked down, “this is mostly due to the federal government rebalancing its intra-governmental holdings,” the publication reported. “Debt outstanding to the public has barely budged since Inauguration Day."
In addition, the federal government is still operating under the budget passed before Trump came into office, so even if the overall debt decreased, his administration had little to do with it, the publication said.
“Finally,” the Business Insider noted, “the economic circumstances during his and Obama's first month in office are vastly different and make the comparison totally off base.
“When Obama took office in January 2009, the country was in the midst of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. The US economy lost 702,000 jobs in February 2009 and 832,000 in March 2009, GDP growth collapsed, and foreclosures soared.
“In response to this crisis, Obama did what presidents typically do during recessions: took on debt to stimulate the economy.”
The Congressional Budget Office projected national debt will grow by $9.4 trillion over the next decade, even without further spending.
But, “based on his campaign pledges, many analysts say Trump’s policies would be likely to significantly widen the budget deficit,” the Council on Foreign Relations reported Friday.
The report cited Trump’s promises to forgo any cuts to entitlements, rebuild the military, spend $1 trillion on infrastructure and cut corporate and individual taxes.”
The Washington Post - Philip Rucker, Sean Sullivan, Abby Phillip - February 28, 2017
“President Trump sought to repackage his hard-line campaign promises with a moderate sheen in his first joint address to Congress Tuesday night, ushering in what he termed “a new chapter of American greatness” of economic renewal and military might.
Seeking to steady his presidency after a tumultuous first 40 days, Trump had an air of seriousness and revealed flashes of compassion as he broadly outlined a sweeping agenda to rebuild a country he described as ravaged by crime and drugs, deteriorating infrastructure and failing bureaucracies.
Trump’s speech touched on his plans to overhaul the nation’s health-care system and tax code, but was short on specifics. Struggling to steer a bitterly divided nation with his job approval ratings at historic lows, Trump effectively pleaded with the American people to give him a chance and to imagine what could be achieved during his presidency.
“We are one people, with one destiny,” Trump said quietly near the end. “The time for small thinking is over. The time for trivial fights is behind us. We just need the courage to share the dreams that fill our hearts.”
Trump extended olive branches to his opponents. He called on Congress to pass paid family leave, a reference to a long-held Democratic Party priority that brought liberal lawmakers to their feet to applaud. And he pledged to work with Muslim allies to extinguish Islamic State terrorists, going so far as to acknowledge the killings of Muslims as well as Christians in the Middle East.
Still, Trump did not back away from his most controversial policies. He used typically bellicose language to describe the fight against the Islamic State, calling it “a network of lawless savages that have slaughtered Muslims and Christians, and men, women and children of all faiths and all beliefs.”
The president forcefully defended his travel ban — an executive order that was halted in federal court — as necessary to prevent the entry of foreigners who do not share America’s values.
“We cannot allow a beachhead of terrorism to form inside America,” Trump said. “We cannot allow our nation to become a sanctuary for extremists.”
President Donald Trump speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017, during his address to a joint session of Congress.
President Donald Trump speaks during a joint session of Congress on Feb. 28, 2017, in Washington.
President Donald Trump, flanked by Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis., gestures on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017, before his address to a joint session of Congress.
President Donald Trump greets Chief Justice John Roberts on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017, before his address to a joint session of Congress.
President Donald Trump arrives to a joint session of Congress on Feb. 28, 2017, in Washington.
Senators, from left, Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., front, center, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., rear, center, and Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore. wait on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017, for President Donald Trump to arrive for his address a joint session of Congress.
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) arrive to a joint session of the U.S. Congress with U.S. President Donald Trump on February 28, 2017 in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol in Washington. Trump's first address to Congress is expected to focus on national security, tax and regulatory reform, the economy, and healthcare.
First lady Melania Trump is applauded as she arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017, for President Donald Trump's speech to a joint session of Congress.
U.S. President Donald Trump's limo is seen upon his arrival to address a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., February 28, 2017.
Female Democratic members of the House of Representatives wearing white wait for President Donald Trump to arrive at a joint session of Congress on Feb. 28, 2017, in Washington.
US Vice President Mike Pence, left, confers with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan prior to US President Donald Trump's address before a joint session of the US Congress on February 28, 2017 at the Capitol in Washington.
Police officers stand outside the U.S. Capitol building ahead of a joint session of Congress in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017. President Donald Trump will press Congress to carry out his priorities for replacing Obamacare, jump-starting the economy and bolstering the nations defenses in an address eagerly awaited by lawmakers, investors and the public who want greater clarity on his policy agenda.
Pulling from his campaign speeches and others since taking office, the president ran off a list of accomplishments since taking office and issued promises for the year ahead.
“Above all else, we will keep our promises to the American people,” he said.
He touted “billions” in new investments by American companies in the weeks since his inauguration, seeking to highlight the actions his administration has taken to keep his campaign promises.
He vowed to usher in “historic” tax reform, as he appeared to nod to a House Republican “border adjustment” plan, but did not explicitly endorse it.
“Currently, when we ship products out of America, many other countries make us pay very high tariffs and taxes — but when foreign companies ship their products into America, we charge them nothing or almost nothing,” said Trump.
The “border adjustment” is shorthand for a House GOP proposal to tax imports, which some Republicans oppose. Trump didn’t use those words in his address. But his remarks could be seen as a hopeful sign for those Republicans hoping he will back it unequivocally.
Trump’s comments were received with some bipartisan applause and some jeers from Democrats, especially during his mention of a lobbying restriction that some feel does not go far enough.
While his speech pulled upon many of his earlier themes, the president seemed more subdued in his delivery, sticking more to the teleprompter and avoiding the bombastic rhetoric of the campaign.
Reiterating a much-repeated campaign promise, Trump vowed midway thorough his speech to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act but stopped short of resolving disagreements among Republicans about how to do that.
While Trump did not explicitly endorse a specific step-by-step approach to repealing and replacing the federal health-care law, he did say that a replacement plan must utilize “tax credits,” which is a victory for House Republicans leaders who have looked at replacing the Obamacare subsidies with such credits.
“We should help Americans purchase their own coverage, through the use of tax credits and expanded Health Savings Accounts — but it must be the plan they want, not the plan forced on them by our government,” said Trump.
Some House and Senate conservatives oppose the idea of creating tax credits. But supporters of it can now turn to Trump’s words as they seek to build support for the idea.
In one of the speech’s tenser moments, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) who was seated in the audience, looked on, shaking her head as Trump criticized the law. Pelosi helped then-President Barack Obama pass the law and has sharply criticized Republicans for trying to undo it. Trump appeared to be pointing someone out in the crowd when he called the law a “disaster.” It was not immediately clear whether he was singling out Pelosi or someone else.
Trump told a series of stories to highlight his calls for reforms to the Food and Drug Administration and public education.
He pointed to two women who sat in the gallery as a guest of first lady Melania Trump. One who was diagnosed with a rare disease and treated with a new drug. A second who was able to attend a private school and become the first person in her family to graduate from high school and college.
Both anecdotes drew bipartisan applause from members of Congress in the audience.
He also pressed his policies on immigration, including his controversial proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
“We want all Americans to succeed —- but that can’t happen in an environment of lawless chaos. We must restore integrity and the rule of law at our borders,” said Trump. “For that reason, we will soon begin the construction of a great wall along our southern border. It will be started ahead of schedule and, when finished, it will be a very effective weapon against drugs and crime.”
Trump challenged members of Congress who disagree with him: “I would ask you this question: what would you say to the American family that loses their jobs, their income, or a loved one, because America refused to uphold its laws and defend its borders?”
He did call for Republicans and Democrats to work toward reforming the immigration system into a merit-based program focused on the “well-being of American citizens.”
Trump argued that the country’s current focus on low-skilled immigration hurts American workers and strains the country’s finances.
The comments come hours after Trump said in a meeting with journalists that he would support comprehensive immigration reform efforts with a pathway to legalization for law abiding immigrants.
At his remarks before Congress, Trump did not specify the parameters of a compromise he would be willing to accept. But he outlined a preference for a system that favors immigrants who are able to support themselves financially.
“I believe that real and positive immigration reform is possible, as long as we focus on the following goals: to improve jobs and wages for Americans, to strengthen our nation’s security, and to restore respect for our laws,” Trump said.
Trump also vowed to take on “radical Islamic terrorism,” a divisive term that many have taken issue, arguing it unfairly singles out the Muslim religion.
President Donald J. Trump also pledged to announce new steps to bolster national security and “keep out those who would do us harm,” weeks after his executive order barring immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries was halted by a federal judge.
Pointing to statistics on terror convictions by foreigners from the Department of Justice, Trump said that it was “reckless” to allow foreigners into the country who could then perpetrate attacks on Americans.
“We cannot allow a beachhead of terrorism to form inside America — we cannot allow our Nation to become a sanctuary for extremists,” Trump said.
The comments drew mixed reaction from the gathered lawmakers.
Though Trump did not specifically mention the travel ban, he suggested that new efforts to put in place “improved vetting procedures” would be forthcoming.
Later in his speech, there were some audible groans in the crowd as Trump announced that he has ordered the Department of Homeland Security to create on office to address victims of crimes committed by undocumented immigrants. The office is called “VOICE” -- which stands for “Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement.”
As he often did on the campaign trail, Trump mentioned Jamiel Shaw, whose teenage son was killed by an undocumented immigrant.
Central to Trump’s promise to strengthen the nation’s security is a proposal to massively infuse the military with new spending, including eliminating the defense sequester, which had put caps on military spending.
Trump this week announced that his budget would include a request for a $54 million increase in military spending accompanied by corresponding cuts in other parts of government.
“To keep America safe we must provide the men and women of the United States military with the tools they need to prevent war and —- if they must —- they have to fight and they only have to win,” Trump said.
In a highly emotional moment, President Trump lead an extended tribute to a U.S. Navy SEAL William “Ryan” Owens, the first U.S. service member to die in the line of duty during Trump’s administration.
With Owens’s widow, Carryn, sitting in the audience, Trump called him “a warrior and a hero” who gave his life for his nation.
“Ryan’s legacy is etched into eternity,” Trump said. “For as the Bible teaches us, there is no greater act of love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
“Ryan laid down his life for his friends, for his country, and for our freedom — we will never forget Ryan,” Trump added.
The comments, which were received with protracted applause, come in the midst of a tense time for Trump. Owens died during a raid in Yemen that left him and civilians dead, prompting a series of investigations by the Defense Department.
Owens’s father, William Owens, has also spoken out against the raid, questioning why it was authorized so quickly after Trump came into office.
Trump defended the raid on Tuesday, saying that his Defense Secretary Jim Mattis recently told him that it was a “highly successful raid that generated large amounts of vital intelligence that will lead to many more victories in the future against our enemies.”
As Trump spoke, Owens’ widow stood and wept openly as the room applauded her.
While not delving too much into foreign policy during his speech, the president said the United States was willing to “find new friends” and noted that the U.S. has forged relationships with former enemies.
The comment came as growing intrigue rises about possible ties his campaign had to Russia and its efforts to influence the election.
While he did not mention Russia explicitly, the comments were reminiscent of what Trump often said on the campaign trail — that it would be a good thing for the United States to have a productive relationship with Russia, even as many U.S. lawmakers in both parties remain deeply skeptical of the Russian government’s intentions.
Trump began the night by strongly denouncing recent threats to Jewish community centers across the country and condemned a recent attack on Indian immigrants in Kansas.
“We are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all its forms,” Trump said.
His speech quickly turned, however, as he declared that the “earth shifted beneath our feet” in 2016 as he took a victory lap over his election victory and nodded to his signature campaign themes.
“The chorus became an earthquake — and the people turned out by the tens of millions, and they were all united by one very simple, but crucial demand, that America must put its own citizens first,” said Trump.
The president closed his speech with a call for unity and an end to “trivial fights,” a comment that, coming from a president known for carrying out small feuds with his detractors on social media, elicited groans from some lawmakers.
Trump seemed to indicate that his speech represented a dawning of a new phase for the country and for his presidency.
“We will look back on tonight as when this new chapter of American Greatness began,” Trump said. “I am asking all citizens to embrace this Renewal of the American Spirit. I am asking all members of Congress to join me in dreaming big, and bold and daring things for our country.
“And I am asking everyone watching tonight to seize this moment,” Trump concluded.
Mike DeBonis and Kelsey Snell contributed to this report.”
January 7 to February 28, 2017