Trump Gets Reactions for Syria Blast

U.S. President Donald Trump will not find things easy for now as Congressional Democrats have attacked him for not seeking Congress authorisation before striking Syria on Friday.

While the Democrats call the strikes “unconstitutional” and questioning the strategy, many Republicans, applauded the president’s move.

Sen. Tim Kaine, a Democrat from Virginia, who has pushed Congress to pass a new authorisation for the use of military force, deemed the president’s action “illegal” because he proceeded without approval from lawmakers.

“President Trump’s decision to launch airstrikes against the Syrian government without Congress’s approval is illegal and — absent a broader strategy — it’s reckless,” Kaine, the 2016 Democratic vice presidential nominee, said in a statement.

“Today, it’s a strike on Syria — what’s going to stop him from bombing Iran or North Korea next? The last thing Congress should be doing is giving this president a blank check to wage war against anyone, anywhere.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat representing San Francisco, California, said in a statement that the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons attack was a “brutally inhumane war crime that demands a strong, smart and calculated response.” However, she said Trump must present a more comprehensive strategy on Syria to Congress and seek lawmakers’ approval.

Rep. Eric Swalwell, also representing part of California, tweeted that it was the same as when Trump struck Syria last year without congressional approval.

“What changed? Zero,” Swalwell tweeted. “They’re still using chemical weapons. This is the result of a failure to have a strategy and engage Middle East countries to solve this problem.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, from New York, said “A pinpointed, limited action to punish and hopefully deter Assad from doing this again is appropriate, but the administration has to be careful about not getting us into a greater and more involved war in Syria.”

The president announced in an address to the nation from the White House that U.S. airstrikes, in tandem with the United Kingdom and France, were underway in Syria, in response to an alleged chemical attack near Damascus last weekend.

At a later Pentagon briefing, Defense Secretary James Mattis said that the president had the authority to launch the strikes under Article II of the Constitution because Mattis said Trump was defending U.S. interests.

Key Republicans on Capitol Hill said Friday night that they supported Trump’s decision.

“The United States has taken decisive action in coordination with our allies,” said Speaker Paul Ryan, a Republican representing Wisconsin.

Ryan had said at his weekly news conference Thursday that he believed that Trump had authority to act against Syria with any new congressional approval.

“We are united in our resolve that Assad’s barbaric use of chemical weapons cannot go unanswered. His regime’s unconscionable brutality against innocent civilians cannot be tolerated.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Republican Senator from Kentucky, said he supports “both the action and the objective.”

Senator John McCain, the Arizona Republican Senator who is also the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said “I applaud the president for taking military action against the Assad regime for its latest use of chemical weapons, and for signaling his resolve to do so again if these heinous attacks continue.”

Of note was Florida Democrat Senator Bill Nelson, who faces a tough re-election fight against Florida’s Republican Gov. Rick Scott, and who backed Trump’s response to Syria, tweeting, “I support the attack because Assad must be held accountable for the use of chemical weapons.”

Think Before You Tweet, Obama Advises

The immediate former president of the United States of America, Mr Barack Obama has warned leaders to think before tweeting, saying that the social media tools such as Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter are leading to “snap judgments to complex issues”.

At a symposium in India on Friday, Obama said “I think it’s important to be mindful of both the power of these tools but also its limits. What I would say is Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, all these various platforms are extraordinarily powerful tools, and those tools can be used for good and they tools can be used for ill…

“Don’t say the first thing that pops in your head. Your mother and father knew better. Listen to them. Don’t do things like that. Think before you speak, think before you tweet.”

Obama was more direct in criticising Trump’s threat to leave the 2015 Paris climate accord on slashing global carbon emissions.

“It is an agreement that — even though we have a little bit of a pause in American leadership — is giving our children a fighting chance,” he said.

Trump has threatened several times to withdraw from the Paris accord saying it is crippling US business. He has called for the agreement to be renegotiated.

On what he thinks of the Trump Administration, Obama said ” The thing I love about America and I suspect the thing you love about India is just this cacophony of life and it throws up all kinds of variety,” Obama said in response to one attempt to force a comment on Trump.

“There are political trends in America that I don’t agree with and abide by but I recognise as part of a running thread in American life.”

Trump’s Address: A Cobweb Of Lies And Distraction By Dr. Wumi Akintide

The Trump presidency is a case study in bad and grossly incompetent leadership. The man is simply temperamentally and mentally incompetent to lead a great and powerful nation like America. All he is telling America is to trust him, but how do you trust a weather cock and a pathological liar who can change his mind at any time and reverse himself without any acknowledgment or apology?

When he fails to deliver on any promise, he quickly declares victory and moves on because he creates his own reality and illusion and that is the way he has operated for much of his adult life as a 5-year-old baby trapped in a 71-year-old’s body.

That you have power like a lion does not mean that you can use that power like a lion does in the wild. A good leader does not start his tenure by trashing and totally discrediting all of his predecessors in office, only to go back to what they did without any feeling of shame or remorse. You would have thought he was going to summarily withdraw American troops from Afghanistan with immediate effect given all of his condemnations of American policy in that country for 16 years. Trump is like a dog going back to his vomit and doing so with shameless levity.

With more than 6 months in the most powerful seat of power in the world, he is still behaving like the hoodlum and the unrepentant and diabolical businessman and risk taker that he was before he walked his way to the presidency.

Trump is so terribly troubled by guilty conscience, if he has any, that he cannot get himself out of the siege mentality he put himself into by pulling off one of the worst upset victories in American election history by subterfuge. He sees every opposition to his victory as a plan to delegitimize his presidency and as fake news, which was the major plank of his victory in that election. Can you imagine Theresa May or Queen Elizabeth describing BBC, the mother of all television stations in the world, as fake news!

Donald Trump has done just that by tarnishing the New York Times, the Washington Post and CNN, the most trusted names in news, as ‘fake news’ just because they totally disagree with his view of the world. Thank God, Americans do not sleep with their heads turned in the same direction. There is always room for a second opinion, but Donald Trump is trying to silence or obliterate that room, which is why the silent majority is vehemently opposed to him and his perverted ideology.

He behaves as if he is still actively at war with Barack Obama, the first black president, and Hillary Clinton who was robbed of her victory by a devious Trump working hand in hand with Moscow to make Trump president by all means, because Russian President Vladimir Putin saw Trump as the weakest link in the American chain and the best possible way to reverse some of the traumatic losses Russia has endured in her endless rivalry and competition with America.

Donald Trump began his presidency by promising America the moon, but has so far woefully failed to deliver on that promise, but the guy would bold-faced tell anyone who cares to listen he is the greatest achiever and problem solver in the world who can make an omelet without breaking an egg. If you believe him, you will believe anything.

He started his Presidency by taking sides with Russia against NATO and the European Union. He started by taking sides with the Christians to vilify and blackmail the Islamic World. When that campaign blew up in his face, he shifted his emphasis to divide and rule by declaring war he can never win with Islam and by siding with the Wahhabi sect of Islam led by Saudi Arabia against the Shiites led by Iran. It is a rivalry that has existed for centuries but Donald Trump in his delusion thinks that taking sides is going to advance his own agenda to change the pillars and the fundamentals that have held the World together under all of his predecessors before Donald Trump showed up his ugly face.

He had to demonize North Korea for aspiring to become a nuclear nation as a leveler to guarantee her own security and sovereignty as a nation. His policy is to incite China, Japan and South Korea against North Korea to perpetually keep the Korean Peninsula in a state of war to make way for the American domination of the Pacific. In doing so he completely forgets that China as the dominant world power in that region has her own economic self-interest which does not want to see a crippled and defeated North Korea which would give America a clear edge in the Korean Peninsula and thereby constitute a bigger threat to China down the road if not immediately.

A crippled North Korea could lead to the influx of refugees to China at an alarming rate that could be very detrimental to China and her progress as the next super power in that region and in the whole world whether America likes it or not. Trump calls himself a uniter but he is truly a divider per excellence and a great threat to world peace, all things considered.

His new policy in the South Asian region with some emphasis on Afghanistan is like pouring gasoline to that region and looking for a match to ignite an inferno by inciting India, a nuclear power against Pakistan, another nuclear nation. The two nations have been rivals for as long as any of us can remember. By trying to lure India into the Afghanistan quagmire, Donald Trump is playing with fire. Afghanistan is not called the “grave of the imperialist” for nothing. Russia with all her power tried to subjugate Afghanistan but it had to beat a retreat with ignominy.

The most troubling aspect of the Trump’s so-called agenda in Afghanistan is his abrasive declaration that Trump is there to win. There is no way in the world that Trump can win the way he has described. He gleefully declares he is not there for nation building but how do you help Afghanistan mend and heal without some element of nation-building strategy which would be devoted to do four goals as listed below:

·         Realistically reduce the level of violence in that country

·         Regain all of the territories already lost to the Taliban

·         Build a workable constitutional Government and the rule of Law

·         Cooperatively work with Pakistan thru whose territory all of the help coming from the rest of the  world must pass thru to reach Afghanistan.

Much of what Donald Trump is saying is easier said than done. I could not care less what Paul Ryan and Lindsey Graham say about the so-called Trump Doctrine which he says is condition-based.  Much of what he is saying is contradictory in practical terms, and would prove totally unworkable when the rubber meets the road. Trump is setting no time frame for American disengagement and no fixed number of troops in a country that is war-weary and in a country that quickly turns against those in authority when the coffins start returning home draped with American flags.

Americans like most humans want to go to Heaven but they hate to die but there is no way you get to Heaven without first tasting Death. If the going gets tough, America would simply beat a retreat pretty much like the Russians did when they faced a similar cul-de-sac in Afghanistan or when America faced a similar conundrum in Vietnam. Donald Trump told a bogus lie when he says Americans have never lost a war. They sure did in Vietnam and even arguably so in Japan which they had to rebuild after destroying the country. The same thing could presumably happen to North and South Korea if America succeeds in destroying it like they did to Germany after the Second World War. Those who fail to learn from History are doomed to repeat it. The so-called Trump Doctrine is a time bomb waiting to explode. It is not a strategic or realistic doctrine as far as I am concerned. It is a doctrine based on quicksand.

The good part is that Donald Trump owns the Afghanistan policy right now and he would have no one but himself to blame if things turn ugly as they sure will. The scary part is that Donald Trump always finds some way to blame others but himself when things get ugly. A good leader takes responsibility for his actions to regroup and re-strategize. “Mad Dog” General Mathis, his Defense Secretary and brain box dodged the bullet when he tactically forced his boss to own up to the Afghanistan policy and to make it impossible for Donald Trump to put all the blame on the Generals if things don’t work out as envisaged.

My hypothesis is that Trump is not that kind of a trustworthy leader. He is all beef but no cattle. He remains a pathological liar so temperamentally unqualified to lead the best experiment in human history and the most powerful nation on Earth.

I rest my case.

Donald Trump Arrives In Bethlehem For Talks With Abbas

Donald Trump has met with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank as the US president seeks to restart peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians.

“I am truly hopeful that America can help Israel and the Palestinians forge peace and bring new hope the region and its people,” Trump said at a joint press conference with Abbas on Tuesday.

“If Israelis and the Palestinians can make peace, it will begin a process of peace throughout the Middle East,” he said without elaborating on any plans to restart talks.

Abbas said Palestinians “are committed to working with [Trump] to reach a historic peace deal between us and Israel,” adding that the “main problem is with the occupation and settlements”.

Al Jazeera’s Hoda Abdel-Hamid, reporting from Bethlehem, said Trump’s remarks regarding the link between the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and stability in the rest of the region was significant, adding, however, that many Palestinians will be disappointed by what Trump did not say.

“Trump didn’t speak of their right to self-determination. he didn’t speak of the two state solution … and they will probably be disappointed that Trump did not say what his plans were or his vision was,” Abdel-Hamid said.

The short visit in Bethlehem came a day after Trump met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as Palestinians held a general strike in support of hundreds of hunger-striking prisoners held in Israeli jails.

Meetings between Trump and Netanyahu concluded on Monday with Trump promising to help broker an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, but gave little indication of how he could revive negotiations that collapsed in 2014.

“It’s not easy. I have heard it is one of the toughest deals of all, but I have a feeling that we are going to get there eventually. I hope,” Trump said after the meeting, without elaborating.

The last round of peace talks, led by then-President Barack Obama and his secretary of state, John Kerry, fell apart in 2014.

One point of contention is the fate of occupied East Jerusalem, which Israel captured in 1967.

Trump Becomes First Sitting US President to Visit Western Wall

Donald Trump made by history by becoming the first sitting US president to visit the sacred Western Wall, vowing to try and secure peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

The President wore a traditional yarmulke as he pressed his right hand against the wall, highly sacred to Jews, and closed his eyes. Later, he said it had been a “great honour”.

But as Mr Trump posed for photographs with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying he felt a peace deal between the two sides could he achieved “eventually”, there was little indication that he had any sort of road map to hand on how to move forward a challenge that has vexed US administrations for decades.

“I thank the prime minister for his commitment to pursuing the peace process,” Mr Trump said of Mr Netanyahu, who stood next to him at a joint press conference in Jerusalem.

“He’s working very hard at it – it’s not easy. I’ve heard it’s one of the toughest deals of all. But I have a feeling that we’re going to get there eventually. I hope.”

For his part, Mr Netanyahu brushed aside the controversy over Mr Trump’s alleged leaking of sensitive intelligence material from Israel to the Russian foreign minister. He said cooperation between the two countries had never been better.

Mr Trump’s visit to Israel came a day after he spoke before more than 50 Muslim and Arab leaders at a summit in Saudi Arabia, where he denounced Shia Iran and called on the mostly Sunni audience to act against extremism.

His flight alone to Israel made history. Reports suggest no American leader has before flown directly between the two nations.

Independent UK

Al Green Calls For Trump Impeachment, Then Receives Death Threat Calls

Congress man  Al Green (D-Texas) on Saturday said that he has been threatened with lynching following his call for President Trump’s impeachment.

The lawmaker held a town hall event and played several recorded messages left at his offices in Texas and D.C., as first reported by The Houston Chronicle.

“You’ll be hanging from a tree,” one caller said in a voicemail.

“You ain’t going to impeach nobody,” the caller added. “Try it and we will lynch all of you.”

The callers often used racial slurs and called Green the n-word for his firm position on Trump.

“We are not going to be intimidated,” Green said Saturday as reported by CBS News. “We are not going to allow this to cause us to deviate from what we believe to be the right thing to do and that is to proceed with the impeachment of President Trump.”

Trump Says He Has ‘Absolute Right’ To Share Intelligence With Russia

U.S. President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he had an “absolute right” to share intelligence information with Russia.

“As President, I wanted to share with Russia (at an openly scheduled W.H. meeting) which I have the absolute right to do, facts pertaining … to terrorism and airline flight safety,” he wrote on Twitter.

“Plus I want Russia to greatly step up their fight against ISIS & terrorism,” he continued.

The Washington Post reported Monday that Trump revealed highly classified information about the Islamic State extremist group during a meeting last week with Russian envoys in the Oval Office.

White House officials denied the allegations and called the story “false.”

The Russian Foreign Ministry on Tuesday denied the reports, calling them “yet another fake” by the U.S media.

NAN reports that a Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman on Tuesday advised that people don’t read American newspapers, in response to U.S. media reports that President Donald Trump had disclosed classified intelligence at a meeting with Russian officials.

The spokesperson, Maria Zakharova, said she had received dozens of messages asking about the reports, which have been denied by the White House.

“Guys, have you been reading American newspapers again?” she wrote on her Facebook page. “You shouldn’t read them.

“You can put them to various uses, but you shouldn’t read them. Lately it’s become not only harmful, but dangerous too.”

Sources: (dpa/NAN)

 

Trump Says He Has ‘Absolute Right’ to Share Info With Russia

President Donald Trump is using Twitter to defend his sharing of information with the Russians.

Trump says he wanted to share with Russia “facts pertaining to terrorism and airline flight safety.” He notes that as president, he has an “absolute right” to do this.

The Washington Post reported Monday that Trump divulged highly classified “code word” information that could enable the Russians to trace the source of the intelligence.

Trump added a line in his tweet suggesting why he did it: “Humanitarian reasons, plus I want Russia to greatly step up their fight against ISIS & terrorism.”

‘Yet another fake’

Russia’s foreign ministry spokesman has denied reports that President Donald Trump revealed classified information to senior officials during the Russian minister’s visit to the Oval Office last week.

The Washington Post reported on Monday that the revelation put a source of intelligence on the Islamic State at risk.

Maria Zakharova, spokeswoman for the Russian foreign ministry, on Facebook on Tuesday described the reports as “yet another fake.” The reports came several days after the White House faced criticism for a possible security breach after it allowed a Russian news service photographer into the Oval Office to snap photos of Trump with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak last week.

AP

Sources Claim Trump Shared Highly Classified Info With Russians Last Week

Looks like some folks are looking for reasons to remove the new president from office. Read the report from Washington Post, who first broke the story below…

President Trump revealed highly classified information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador in a White House meeting last week, according to current and former U.S. officials, who said Trump’s disclosures jeopardized a critical source of intelligence on the Islamic State.

The information the president relayed had been provided by a U.S. partner through an intelligence-sharing arrangement considered so sensitive that details have been withheld from allies and tightly restricted even within the U.S. government, officials said.

The partner had not given the United States permission to share the material with Russia, and officials said Trump’s decision to do so endangers cooperation from an ally that has access to the inner workings of the Islamic State. After Trump’s meeting, senior White House officials took steps to contain the damage, placing calls to the CIA and the National Security Agency.

“This is code-word information,” said a U.S. official familiar with the matter, using terminology that refers to one of the highest classification levels used by American spy agencies. Trump “revealed more information to the Russian ambassador than we have shared with our own allies.”

The revelation comes as the president faces rising legal and political pressure on multiple Russia-related fronts. Last week, he fired FBI Director James B. Comey in the midst of a bureau investigation into possible links between the Trump campaign and Moscow. Trump’s subsequent admission that his decision was driven by “this Russia thing” was seen by critics as attempted obstruction of justice.

One day after dismissing Comey, Trump welcomed Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak — a key figure in earlier Russia controversies — into the Oval Office. It was during that meeting, officials said, that Trump went off script and began describing details of an Islamic State terrorist threat related to the use of laptop computers on aircraft.

For almost anyone in government, discussing such matters with an adversary would be illegal. As president, Trump has broad authority to declassify government secrets, making it unlikely that his disclosures broke the law.
White House officials involved in the meeting said Trump discussed only shared concerns about terrorism.
“The president and the foreign minister reviewed common threats from terrorist organizations to include threats to aviation,” said H.R. McMaster, the national security adviser, who participated in the meeting. “At no time were any intelligence sources or methods discussed, and no military operations were disclosed that were not already known publicly.”
McMaster reiterated his statement in a subsequent appearance at the White House on Monday and described the Washington Post story as “false,” but did not take any questions.

In their statements, White House officials emphasized that Trump had not discussed specific intelligence sources and methods, rather than addressing whether he had disclosed information drawn from sensitive sources.
The CIA declined to comment, and the NSA did not respond to requests for comment.
But officials expressed concern about Trump’s handling of sensitive information as well as his grasp of the potential consequences. Exposure of an intelligence stream that has provided critical insight into the Islamic State, they said, could hinder the United States’ and its allies’ ability to detect future threats.

No ‘Clean Slate’ Between American And Russia, Tillerson Says

Relations between the United States and Russia, at their lowest level since the Cold War, will not restart “with a clean slate,” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Sunday.

The former ExxonMobil CEO, who was decorated in 2013 by Russian President Vladimir Putin, had said previously that the relationship between the two nuclear powers had hit its lowest point since the Soviet collapse in 1991.

His Russian counterpart, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov — whom Trump hosted at the White House on Wednesday — said the same.

 

Speaking on NBC on Sunday, Tillerson reiterated that relations had fallen to “an all-time low point since the end of the Cold War, with a very low level of trust.”“It is not healthy for the world,” he said. “It’s certainly not healthy for us, for the American people, our national security interest and otherwise, for this relationship to remain at this low level.”

However, “whether we can improve it or not remains to be seen,” he added.

Although Tillerson said he is “committed” to improving relations — which have been especially tense since 2012 thanks to differences over Syria and, later, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine — he expressed deep skepticism about the prospects for doing so.

He ruled out relaunching relations with a “clean slate,” similar to the attempt at a “reset” by former president Barack Obama and his secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, in 2009.

“We’re starting with the slate we have,” he said, “all the problems that are on that slate. We don’t dismiss any of them.”

President Donald Trump, who has expressed admiration for Putin, has repeatedly said that Washington should try to improve its relations with Moscow to tackle terrorism and other pressing problems around the world.

“I think terms like having a reset are overused,” Tillerson said. “You cannot reset. You cannot erase the past.”

Asked about US intelligence reports that Russia meddled in last year’s US presidential election campaign, Tillerson said, “I don’t think there’s any question that the Russians were playing around in our electoral processes.”

However, “it’s inconclusive as to what, if any, effect it had,” he added.

Still, “we have to look at this relationship in its broadest contours,” Tillerson said. “There are many, many important areas which require our attention if we are to bring it back to a relationship that we believe is necessary for the security of the US.”

See This Outrageous Picture Of Trump

A life-size mural depicting Pope Francis with a saintly halo kissing U.S. President Donald Trump sprouting devil’s horns appeared on a wall near the Vatican on Thursday, less than two weeks before they are due to meet.

The mural, which was painted on paper and pasted on to the wall during the night, was the latest work by street artists depicting the pope to appear in Rome in recent months.

This one shows Francis, wearing a simple crucifix around his neck, embracing Trump, who wears a gold watch and sports a pistol in a holster. The pope’s halo is the same bright yellow color as Trump’s hair. The two are locked in a mouth-to-mouth kiss.

The caption written on the sash of the pope’s cassock reads “The Good Forgives the Evil.” It is signed “TVBoy,” who is believed to be Italian street artist Salvatore Benintende.

“It is very provocative but not too shocking for someone coming from America,” said a tourist from Burbank, California who gave only his first name, Victor.

The mural was pasted on a wall on a street named “Way of the Bank of Holy Spirit” across the Tiber River from the Vatican.

Francis and Trump are due to meet at the Vatican on May 24 while the president is on a tour Saudi Arabia, Israel, Italy and Belgium.