The White House said President Trump’s slurred speech at the end of his announcement about Jerusalem was no more than a case of dry mouth.
“His throat was dry. There’s nothing to it,” White House spokesman Raj Shah said when asked to explain why President Trump garbled “God bless the United States” at the end of his remarks on Wednesday recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and announcing plans to build a U.S. Embassy in the disputed city.
Pressed on whether the slurred words might indicate any health concerns, Shah said: “I know what you’re getting at. I’m saying there’s nothing to it.”
Heads and patriarchs of Christian churches in Jerusalem on Wednesday bemoaned President Trump’s decision to recognize the ancient city as Israel’s capital, and urged its international status be retained.
“We are certain that such steps will yield increased hatred, conflict, violence and suffering in Jerusalem and the Holy Land,” the leaders said in a letter to Trump, “moving us farther from the goal of unity and deeper toward destructive division.”
Thirteen heads and patriarchs signed the letter. They represent various branches of the Christian faith, including Greek, Syrian and Armenian Orthodox churches; Episcopalians, Catholics and Lutherans.
Michael T. Flynn was helping a former business partner lay the groundwork for nuclear power plants in the Middle East, a plan that involved a partnership with Russia, despite his role as an advisor to President Trump, according to a purported whistleblower who provided an account to a leading Democrat in Congress.
The whistleblower said Flynn sent text messages to Alex Copson, the managing partner of ACU Strategic Partners, from Trump’s inauguration ceremony on Jan. 20 to say the plan was “good to go.”
Copson said Flynn, who briefly served as Trump’s national security advisor, had promised to end sanctions on Russia that had been imposed by former President Obama in retaliation for the country’s interference in last year’s election, the whistleblower said.
President Trump formally recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and ordered the State Department to move the U.S. Embassy there from Tel Aviv, upending decades of U.S. policy.
“Jerusalem is Israel’s capital,” Trump said. “It is nothing more and nothing less than a recognition of reality.”
Trump’s decision, announced during a speech at the White House, makes good on an election campaign promise but quickly angered allies throughout Europe and the Arab world -- as well as the Palestinians, who seek to claim East Jerusalem as their capital in an eventual independent state.
President Trump said a government shutdown "could happen" Saturday and wants any blame to fall on Democrats for refusing to agree to tougher immigration measures.
"It could happen,” Trump told reporters at the beginning of a Cabinet meeting at the White House. “Democrats maybe will want to shut down this country because they want people flowing into our country,” Trump said.
Lawmakers have hit a stalemate on funding government agencies past Friday, when the current appropriation bills expire. Republicans have been trying to reach a stop-gap deal to fund the government to at least Dec. 22.
Democratic senators, starting with six women, demanded the resignation of Sen. Al Franken on Wednesday, as another woman surfaced to say that the Minnesota senator had kissed her against her wishes.
Within minutes of each other Wednesday morning, Sens. Kamala Harris of California, Patty Murray of Washington, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire and Claire McCaskill of Missouri forcefully called on their colleague to leave office.
Sexual harassment and misconduct should not be allowed by anyone and should not occur anywhere. I believe the best thing for Senator Franken to do is step down.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson insisted Wednesday that President Trump’s move to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel will not ruin efforts to find peace with the Palestinians.
“What I would encourage people to do: Listen carefully to the entirety of the speech, listen to the full content of the speech,” Tillerson said in a news conference in Brussels, where he is attending meetings with European allies — none of which recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
“The president is very committed to the Middle East peace process,” Tillerson continued. “He has a team he put into place. That team has been working very diligently. … We continue to believe there is a very good opportunity for peace to be achieved.”
President Trump will declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel in a speech at the White House on Wednesday, three senior administration officials said.
He will instruct the State Department to begin a multi-year process for building a U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, asking for funding from Congress, choosing a site and designing the building. In the meantime, Trump will sign a waiver to the 1995 law that demanded the State Department move the embassy from Tel Aviv by May 31, 1999, as every president has done.
The embassy won’t be moved immediately, the officials said. They would not commit to a timetable, but one senior official said that opening a new U.S. embassy routinely takes three to four years.
Republican Sen. Jeff Flake put his money behind his principles Tuesday, dashing off a $100 campaign contribution to Democrat Doug Jones in the Alabama Senate race after President Trump endorsed Jones’ opponent, Republican Roy Moore.
Flake has made no secret of his opposition to Moore, who faces accusations of sexual molestation and misconduct decades ago as a young prosecutor who allegedly dated teenagers as young as 14.
And Flake has spoken frequently and forcefully against Trump — penning a book, in fact, loaded with his concerns about the presidency and the party.