Advertisement
818 posts
(Pablo Martinez Monsivais / Associated Press)

Vice President Mike Pence will travel to Israel, Egypt and Jordan later this month, his office announced on Monday, rescheduling a trip postponed after President Trump’s controversial decision last month to officially recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Trump’s Jerusalem decision, including plans to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv, was warmly received among Jewish Israelis but caused a backlash in the region and stiff opposition from Palestinians, who consider East Jerusalem the capital of a future Palestinian state. For decades, U.S. policy held that Jerusalem’s status was a matter for Palestinians and Israelis to settle as part of a broad peace deal.

Pence was not able to travel to the Middle East in the immediate aftermath of the decision, in part because of protests there but also because Republicans thought Pence would be needed to break a tie vote in the Senate for their tax cut bill. The delay of the trip had raised doubts as to whether Pence would reschedule it.

Advertisement

In great likelihood, Utah will have a new U.S. senator next year by the name of Mitt Romney.

The question isn’t why so many eagerly embrace the peripatetic former presidential hopeful, who grew up in Michigan and made his public life in Massachusetts. He’s the closest thing possible to a native son who wasn’t actually born on Utah soil.

The bigger mystery is how Romney, given his evident disdain, would get on with President Trump: as another in the lockstep Republican ranks or, some hope, a leader of resistance from within the GOP?

Advertisement
  • White House
  • Russia
(European Pressphoto Agency)

White House senior advisor Stephen Miller on Sunday denounced writer Michael Wolff as “the garbage author of a garbage book.”

In a combative interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Miller disputed the broad outlines of Wolff’s portrayal of President Trump while deflecting a number of specific queries posed by host Jake Tapper about episodes depicted in the book.  

Tapper pressed Miller in particular about the book’s characterization of a June 2016 meeting with Kremlin-linked figures at Trump Tower in which the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and son Donald Trump Jr. took part.

  • White House
(Getty Images)

President Trump, who has threatened to annihilate a nuclear-armed North Korea, on Saturday said he would talk to that country’s leadership under certain conditions.

Asked by reporters at the Camp David retreat in Maryland about a renewed rapprochement between North and South Korea that threatens to leave out Washington, Trump said he “always believes in talking.”

Trump said the recent contact between the two Koreas was a “big start” — and again took credit for making it happen.

Advertisement
(Win McNamee / Getty Images)

President Trump woke up ready to tweet Saturday, firing off a slew of comments on African American unemployment, ABC News, the Russia probe and more, and capping it all off by declaring he’s “a very stable genius.”

In one tweet, he says his detractors “are taking out the old Ronald Reagan playbook and screaming mental stability and intelligence.” He then boasts of his transition from businessman to TV star to president, which he offers as evidence of his abilities.

A U.S. citizen being held without charges in Iraq, suspected of fighting for the Islamic State, says he wants the American Civil Liberties Union to challenge his jailing in court.

The man, who has not been named, has been detained without charges for four months, following his capture in Syria by a pro-American militia. The U.S. military calls him an “enemy combatant” but the government apparently doesn’t have enough evidence to charge him with a crime.

In a court filing on Friday, the ACLU says the man said he wants to pursue the case filed in federal court in Washington.

  • White House
(Associated Press)

After threatening to cut off aid, the Trump administration has failed to make a scheduled payment to the United Nations refugee agency that works with Palestinians, a person familiar with the matter said Friday.

A disbursement of about $120 million was scheduled to be made on Jan. 2, and all the paperwork for such a transaction had already been completed. But the payment did not happen, said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity to be able to discuss internal matters.

The U.S. has not formally notified the organization, U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), of a final decision on whether funding will be discontinued or maintained, the person said.

Advertisement
Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), left, and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) meet with President Trump at the White House on Thursday.
Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), left, and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) meet with President Trump at the White House on Thursday. (Jim Watson / AFP/Getty Images)

Two senior Republican senators have urged the Justice Department to open an investigation into Christopher Steele, the former British spy who compiled a dossier of allegations about Donald Trump and Russia during the 2016 campaign.

Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who heads a Judiciary subcommittee on crime and terrorism, said they believe the former MI6 operative lied to U.S. investigators about his contact with reporters. 

“I don’t take lightly making a referral for criminal investigation,” Grassley said in a statement. “But, as I would with any credible evidence of a crime unearthed in the course of our investigations, I feel obliged to pass that information along to the Justice Department for appropriate review.”

A mural of the late President Hugo Chavez overlooks Venezuelans lined up to vote in Caracas.
A mural of the late President Hugo Chavez overlooks Venezuelans lined up to vote in Caracas. (AFP / Getty Images)

The Trump administration on Friday slapped economic sanctions on four senior Venezuelan officials, accusing them of corruption and oppression in the crackdown on anti-government dissidents.

President Nicolas Maduro and his inner circle “continue to put their own interests above those of the Venezuelan people,” Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin said in a statement announcing the latest penalties against members of Maduro’s administration.

The four targeted Venezuelans include  Rodolfo Clemente Marco Torres, the governor of the northern coastal state of Aragua. The retired army general is an oil company executive and former president of the Bank of Venezuela.