Tag: Trump

TRUMP INSULTS AFRICAN LEADERS WITH HIS “MY FRIENDS COME TO YOUR COUNTRIES TO GET RICH” SPEECH AT UN MEETING

Following Donald Trump’s speech to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday which made headlines for being bombastic, contradictory and “warmongering”,  the American President decided to go for a different approach when addressing African leaders yesterday.

And he went for highly offensive. Insulting.

 

The President of the United States told a room full representatives of a continent still dealing with the legacies of colonialism, exploitation and slavery that his “friends” go there (to Africa) “trying to get rich”.

 

And then he congratulated them on it.

 

I’ve so many friends going to your countries, trying to get rich.“I congratulate you. They’re spending a lot of money.”

At this point Trump paused briefly, apparently expecting a laugh or round of applause but was met with stone-cold silence.

Among the African leaders on the unfortunate receiving end of Trumps exceedingly thoughtless and highly insulting remarks were Nigeria’s President Buhari and Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo.

Also present at the meeting which was being hosted by Trump were the leaders of South Africa, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Guinea, Senegal, Namibia and Uganda.

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As if that wasn’t enough he then went on to praise health care advancements in the non-existent country of Nambia.

It is unclear if he was referring to Gambia in West Africa, Zambia in southern Africa, or perhaps Namibia in southwest Africa. White House transcripts suggest the latter.

 

In a section on the African economy titled ‘Why Has Africa Failed To Industrialise?‘, the UN’s own website sums up the West’s – i.e. Trump’s friends’ – approach to the continent, using a book by Ha-Joon Chang to illustrate the perspective.


In the book, “Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism,” Mr. Chang, whom The Financial Times describes as “probably the world’s most effective critic of globalization,” argues that rich countries have historically relied on protectionist approaches in their quests for economic dominance. 
In its review of the book, The Publishers Weekly, a US-based news magazine on book publishing, says rich nations that “preach free market and free trade to the poor countries in order to capture larger shares of the latter’s markets and to pre-empt the emergence of possible competitors are Chang’s bad Samaritans.”  

 

So it’s probably not something to brag about, particularly as leader of the world’s capitalist powerhouse.

Gaffes aside, Trump’s underlying point that Africa has great economic potential is valid,


The African Development Bank’s 2017 outlook report states:
Africa continued to experience regional and global headwinds in 2016, resulting in a further slowdown in growth performance. This notwithstanding, the outlook for the medium term is positive.
In 2017 and 2018, Africa will benefit from commodity prices which started to rise in the latter part of 2016, increasing private demand including in domestic markets, sound macroeconomic policy management now entrenched in many countries, a generally improving and favourable business environment, and a more diversified economic structure, particularly towards the services sector and light manufacturing

 

 

 

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TRUMP LIED ABOUT FIRED FBI DIRECTOR COMEY – FBI OFFICIALS

Despite what President Donald Trump said earlier, James Comey did not seek a dinner with the president to retain his job, one current and one former FBI official close to Comey told NBC News Thursday evening.

The January dinner meeting between the two men, the sources said, was requested by the White House. Several sources close to Comey confirm a New York Times account that during the dinner, Trump asked the FBI director a couple of times if he would be loyal to the president .

Comey said he couldn’t promise that — but that he could promise that he would always be honest.

A former official said, “That is exactly how I would expect the director to answer.”

A former senior FBI official also said Comey would never have told the president he was not under investigation — also contradicting what Trump said.

“He tried to stay away from it [the Russian-ties investigation],” said the former official, who worked closely with Comey and keeps in touch with him. “He would say, ‘look sir, I really can’t get into it, and you don’t want me to.'”

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Trump to Lester Holt: I’d been planning to fire James Comey for a while

 

A current FBI official confirmed that Comey did not request the one-on-one dinner, which happened at the White House a few days after Trump was sworn in.

In an exclusive interview with NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt earlier Thursday, Trump said twice that he believed Comey requested the dinner. Trump said Comey asked that Trump keep him on as FBI director, and told the president on three occasions that he was not under investigation as part of the FBI’s inquiry into Russian election interference.

“The president is not correct,” the former official said. “The White House called him out of the blue. Comey didn’t want to do it. He didn’t even want the rank and file at the FBI to know about it.”

But in the end, “He’s still the commander in chief. He’s your boss. How do you say no?

Several sources close to Comey say they heard from him shortly after the dinner that he was asked to come to the White House and did so reluctantly without even telling people at the FBI about it.

Many current and former FBI officials interviewed by NBC News, said the bureau was reeling from the Comey firing. Not everyone agreed with each Comey decision, but he was a popular and well-regarded director, they said.

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White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders claimed Thursday that she had heard from “countless members of the FBI who are grateful for the president’s decision.”

Current and former FBI agents scoffed at what they termed a ridiculous assertion.

“I doubt five people at the FBI even have the [phone] number of the deputy White House press secretary,” the former senior official said.

NBC News reported Thursday that the White House abandoned an initial idea for Trump to visit FBI headquarters, after learning he would not be greeted warmly there.

NBC

 


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TRUMP MADE ELECTION PROMISES TO DONATE HIS PRESIDENTIAL SALARY TO THE TREASURY …BUT DECLINES TO CONFIRM IF HE HAS

President Donald Trump pledged to forgo a presidential salary, but as his second payday approaches, the White House is declining to say if the president has donated any of his earnings yet.

During the campaign, Trump promised he would take “no salary” if elected — a pledge he reiterated after he won.

“I’m not going to the take the salary,” he said on CBS’ 60 Minutes”

The Constitution, however, requires that the president receive a salary, and that it not be reduced during his term. Federal law mandates the president receive a $400,000 annual salary, paid out once a month.

Trump aides have previously said Trump would donate his salary to the Treasury Department or a charity.

MSNBC requested details and documentation about any salary donations from the White House, the Treasury Department and the Office of Personnel Management, which all declined to say whether Trump has donated any of his salary to date. (OPM referred questions to the White House.)

Last month, White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders told the website Politifact that Trump “will be giving” his salary “back to Treasury or donating.” The site noted the White House “declined to answer several inquiries into whether Trump has gotten a paycheck already.”

Under the law, Trump would receive his first monthly paycheck for $33,333 in February, and another $33,333 on March 20.

Salary donations are not the only area where Trump’s pledges to donate revenue are lacking transparency.

During the transition, Trump also unveiled a plan to “donate all profits from foreign governments’ patronage of his hotels and similar businesses” to the Treasury Department. The plan was released by Trump’s private law firm, Morgan Lewis, but no system or accounting has been released for how or when such donations will be processed or disclosed.

NBC

 

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TRUMP’S VP PENCE USED PRIVATE EMAILS FOR HOMELAND SECURITY BUSINESS

In a wicked twist of irony, it has now emerged that Trump’s Vice President Mike Pence used a private email account to discuss homeland security and other sensitive issues.

Emails released under a public records law show that while Mr Pence was the governor of Indiana he regularly used the AOL address to speak to advisers about state business, the Indianapolis Star reports.

The account was later hacked by a scammer asking Mr Pence’s contacts for money, the newspaper said.

On the campaign trial, the Vice President hit out at Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server and email account for state business – calling her “the most dishonest candidate for President of the United States since Richard Nixon”.

hILARYThe FBI investigated Mrs Clinton over her use of a private email account

In September, he claimed the former secretary of state “knew or should have known that she was placing classified information in a way that exposed it to being hacked and being made available in the public domain, even to enemies of this country”.

In a statement, Mr Pence’s office confirmed he “maintained a state email account and a personal email account” while governor of Indiana.

It added: “Mr Pence fully complied with Indiana law regarding email use and retention.

“Government emails involving his state and personal accounts are being archived by the state consistent with Indiana law, and are being managed according to Indiana’s Access to Public Records Act.”

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Woodbury Estate Lekki, Lagos. www.woodbury-estate.com

Under Indiana law public officials are allowed to use personal email accounts, but the statute is interpreted to mean that any official business conducted must be retained to comply with public record laws.

The Indianapolis Star said it had obtained more than 30 pages of emails, but many more were withheld as they were considered confidential.

According to the newspaper, the scammer who hacked the account in May 2015 sent an email which claimed Mr Pence and his wife had been robbed in the Philippines.

The Vice President later sent an email which read: “Although I hear the Philippines is lovely this time of year, you may be relieved to know that we are safely in the Hoosier state and quite well.”

Mr Pence’s spokesman said the Vice President had then set up a different AOL account with additional security measures, but has stopped using it since he was sworn in.

He added that any comparisons between him and Mrs Clinton were “absurd”.

 

SKY NEWS

 

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McCAIN WARNS OF DICTATORSHIP HERALDED BY PRESS SUPPRESSION

Republican Sen. John McCain took a veiled swipe at President Donald Trump’s attacks on the media, cautioning that suppressing the press “is how dictators get started.”

McCain, who has broken with Trump on several issues, made the comments in an exclusive interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd, after being asked about the president’s condemnation of several media outlets as “fake news” and “an enemy of the American people.”

“I hate the press. I hate you especially,” McCain joked. “But the fact is we need you. We need a free press. We must have it. It’s vital.”

“If you want to preserve — I’m very serious now — if you want to preserve democracy as we know it, you have to have a free and many times adversarial press,” McCain said. “And without it, I am afraid that we would lose so much of our individual liberties over time. That’s how dictators get started.”

The Arizona Republican cautioned that he was not accusing Trump of trying to be a dictator. He made the comments during a discussion of the post-World War II world and America’s role in it.

“They get started by suppressing free press,” McCain said of dictators. “In other words, a consolidation of power when you look at history, the first thing that dictators do is shut down the press. And I’m not saying that President Trump is trying to be a dictator. I’m just saying we need to learn the lessons of history.”

 

Watch video of Sen McCain defending free press:  https://www.youtube.com/shared?ci=TcLsAlh3kik

 

McCain was also asked about calls in Congress for investigations into Russia’s alleged role in a campaign to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, and what contacts former Trump’s national security adviser Michael Flynn had with Russia’s ambassador to the United States prior to the inauguration. Flynn resigned Monday.

“Can be Americans be confident that a Republican-controlled Congress can investigate this president thoroughly if necessary?” Todd asked.

McCain replied: “I hope so. And I have to believe so.” McCain then added, “More hope than belief.”

McCain at the Munich Security Conference on Friday warned a “of an increasing turn away from universal values and toward old ties of blood, and race, and sectarianism,” in the West, as well “the growing inability and even unwillingness to separate truth from lies.”

McCain said European leaders he’s spoken with have been reassured by speeches by Defense Secretary James Mattis and Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly.

“They have a lot of trust in these individuals,” McCain said. “We’ve just got to have a consistent message to these people who are seriously threatened, particularly our friends in the Baltics.”

McCain repeated his confidence in Trump’s national security team. When asked how much confidence he has in Trump as commander-in-chief, McCain expressed some doubts — pointing to the chaotic implementation of Trump’s travel restrictions on those from seven predominantly Muslim nations.

“I worry about the president’s understanding of some of these issues and his contradictory articulations. And I think the rollout of the, quote, immigration reform was an example of a need for an orderly decision-making process in the White House,” McCain said.

McCain said he was troubled by Trump’s response to a recent challenge in a Fox News interview that Russian President Vladimir Putin is “a killer” — in which Trump said “What, do you think our country’s so innocent?”

“I guess it was Bill O’Reilly who said, ‘But Putin is a killer.’ And he basically said, ‘So are we,'” McCain said. “That moral equivalency is a contradiction of everything the United States has ever stood for in the 20th and 21st century.”

McCain added later about his confidence in Trump as commander in chief: “I think we should give the president the benefit of the doubt. But at the same time, we have our responsibilities of advise and consent.”

STEVE BANON: THE BRAINS BEHIND THE ALL-TRAUMA-TRUMP’S ADMINISTRATION

That didn’t take long. From no-drama Obama to all-trauma Trump: the shift has been seismic, leaving millions in this country and abroad frightened and struggling to make sense of America’s new political landscape.

Some of the upheaval appears to be the consequence of incompetence, the predictable result of an under-qualified real estate mogul struggling to master the most powerful and demanding job on the planet.

But not so with the travel ban. In this case, upheaval was the intent – not to the degree we have seen; that clearly caught the administration off guard. But it was upheaval nonetheless.

As we now know, the drafting and rollout of the travel ban was largely the work of Steve Bannon, the president’s chief political strategist. It was Bannon who reportedly overruled the proposal to exempt green card holders from the ban.

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And it was Bannon who pushed the order through without consulting experts at the Department of Homeland Security or at the state department.

The Nacht und Nebel quality of the ban’s announcement makes clear that the president’s chief strategist wanted to send tremors through the world. Here was bold proof that the portentous accents of Trump’s inaugural address, also Bannon’s work, was not mere rhetoric.

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Now the world would know what “America First” means – not first in democracy or human rights; not first in recognizing an obligation to victims of humanitarian crisis (some of which we have helped create). No, this was America first in pugilism, parochialism and misplaced protectionism.

Some insist that all this is simply Bannon throwing meat to the president’s base, plucking a page from Karl Rove’s playbook. Rove, the chief strategist for George W Bush (for whom many are now feeling a once inconceivable nostalgia), famously sought to consolidate his boss’s power not by tacking toward the middle but by feeding the base.

Only it would be wrong to see Bannon as Rove 2.0. At his heart, Rove was a consummate political operator, for whom ideology was a tool, not an article of belief. Rove was a careerist and an opportunist, whose principal goal was the preservation and expansion of Republican political power.

 

Bannon is an altogether different creature. Listen to his early speeches. Bannon is a crusader, fighting to redeem a corrupt country betrayed by its feckless and greedy leaders. He once described himself as a “Leninist”, intent on destroying “all of today’s establishment”.

For Bannon, America is engaged in a pitched struggle against threats from within and without. It is a battle that will last years, and requires iron resolve and steely determination. If the free press, a bastion of democratic self-governance, does not grasp these elusive truths, then it should “keep its mouth shut”, he says.

 

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But Bannon, in contrast to the president, is not easily distracted. He is intelligent, articulate, focused in his ideology and dedicated to the struggle. And he has now been catapulted by an undisciplined president to the inner precincts of the National Security Council and its principals’ committee, assuming a position senior to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the director of national intelligence.

Unvetted, unconfirmed but immensely powerful, Bannon may just be the most dangerous man in America.

GUARDIAN

 


 

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