President Donald Trump on Friday celebrated the launch of Space Force, the first new military service in more than 70 years. In signing the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act that includes Space Force, Trump claimed a victory for one of his top national security priorities just two days after being impeached by the House. It is part of a $1.4 trillion government spending package — including the Pentagon’s budget — that provides a steady stream of financing for Trump’s U.S.-Mexico border fence and reverses unpopular and unworkable automatic spending cuts to defense and domestic programs. “Space is the world’s new war-fighting domain,” Donald Trump said Friday during a signing ceremony at Joint Base Andrews just outside Washington. “Among grave threats to our national security, American superiority in space is absolutely vital. And we’re leading, but we’re not leading by enough, and very shortly we’ll be leading by a lot.” Later Friday, as he flew to his Florida resort aboard Air Force One, Trump signed legislation that will keep the entire government funded through Sept. 30. Space Force has been a reliable applause line at Trump’s political rallies, but for the military it’s seen more soberly as an affirmation of the need to more effectively organize for the defense of U.S. interests in space — especially satellites used for navigation and communication. Space Force is not designed or intended to put combat troops in space. Defense Secretary Mark Esper told reporters Friday, “Our reliance on space-based capabilities has grown dramatically, and
Donald John Trump Sr. (born June 14, 1946). Donald Trump on Wednesday 18 December 2019. Donald J. Trump is the very definition of the American success story, setting the standards of excellence in his business endeavors, and now, for the United States of America.
“We will make America strong again. We will make America proud again. We will make America safe again. And we will Make America Great Again!” – President Donald J. Trump.
Russian President Vladimir Putin called the U.S. impeachment process “far-fetched” Thursday, making a seemingly obvious prediction that Donald Trump will be acquitted in the Senate. Putin said Thursday at his annual news conference in Moscow that the move is a continuation of the Democrats’ fight against Trump. “The party that lost the (2016) election, the Democratic Party, is trying to achieve results by other means,” Vladimir Putin said. He likened Trump’s impeachment to the earlier U.S. probe into collusion with Russia, which Putin downplayed as being groundless. Putin noted that the impeachment motion “is yet to pass the Senate where the Republicans have a majority.” He added that “they will be unlikely to remove a representative of their own party from office on what seems to me an absolutely far-fetched reason.” Trump was impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives, becoming only the third American chief executive to be formally charged under the Constitution’s ultimate remedy for high crimes and misdemeanors. The historic vote split along party lines Wednesday night in the U.S., much the way it has divided the nation, over a charge that the 45th president abused the power of his office by enlisting a foreign government to investigate a political rival ahead of the 2020 election. The House then approved a second charge, that he obstructed Congress in its investigation. The articles of impeachment, the political equivalent of an indictment, now go to the Senate for trial. Putin spoke on a variety of issues during the marathon
President Donald Trump was impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives, becoming only the third American chief executive to be formally charged under the Constitution’s ultimate remedy for high crimes and misdemeanors. The historic vote split along party lines Wednesday night, much the way it has divided the nation, over a charge that the 45th president abused the power of his office by enlisting a foreign government to investigate a political rival ahead of the 2020 election. The House then approved a second charge, that he obstructed Congress in its investigation. The articles of impeachment, the political equivalent of an indictment, now go to the Senate for trial. If Trump is acquitted by the Republican-led chamber, as expected, he still would have to run for reelection carrying the enduring stain of impeachment on his purposely disruptive presidency. “The president is impeached,” Nancy Pelosi declared after the vote. She called it “great day for the Constitution of the United States, a sad one for America that the president’s reckless activities necessitated us having to introduce articles of impeachment.” Trump, who began Wednesday tweeting his anger at the proceedings, pumped his fist before an evening rally in Battle Creek, Michigan, boasting of “tremendous support” in the Republican Party and saying, “By the way it doesn’t feel like I’m being impeached.” The votes for impeachment were 230-197-1 on the first charge, 229-198-1 on the second. Democrats led Wednesday night’s voting, framed in what many said was their duty to protect the Constitution and
Donald Trump’s relations with his own intelligence services have never been so fraught: The U.S. president doesn’t listen to his spy chiefs, doesn’t seem to rank his sources and makes snap decisions without giving them any warning. The two sides have clashed repeatedly, including in May when, as part of efforts to defend himself against collusion accusations, Trump agreed that files on the investigation into Russian election meddling in 2016 could be declassified. A few weeks later, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats announced he would step down as head of the 17 agencies that make up the intelligence community. Trump proposed as Coats’ replacement John Ratcliffe, a member of Congress known for repeating conspiracy theories on Fox News. Under withering criticism, Ratcliffe withdrew his nomination. But the president passed over Coats’s deputy Sue Gordon, who was in line to serve as acting director. Gordon, who spent a quarter century in the CIA, told the Women’s Foreign Policy Group this month that Trump was the first president “in my experience that had no foundation or framework to understand what the limits of intelligence are, what the purpose of it was and the way that we discuss it.” She said Trump’s typical response in briefings was, “I don’t think that’s true.” Her experience was borne out by a former CIA analyst who now works at a prestigious institution in Washington. “When I was in the CIA, the big thing to do was to get an article in the presidential daily brief.
House Democrats are poised to unveil two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — with an announcement expected early Tuesday. Democratic leaders say Trump put U.S. elections and national security at risk when he asked Ukraine to investigate his rivals, including Joe Biden. Speaker Nancy Pelosi declined during an evening event Monday to discuss the articles or the coming announcement. Details were shared by multiple people familiar with the discussions but unauthorized to discuss them and granted anonymity. When asked if she has enough votes to impeach the president, the Democratic leader said she would let House lawmakers vote their conscience. “On an issue like this, we don’t count the votes. People will just make their voices known on it,” Nancy Pelosi said at The Wall Street Journal CEO Council. “I haven’t counted votes, nor will I.” The outcome, though, appears increasingly set as the House prepares to vote, as it has only three times in history against a U.S. president. Trump spent part of the day tweeting against the impeachment proceedings, but did not immediately respond late Monday. The president and his allies have railed against the “absurd” proceedings. Pelosi convened a meeting of the impeachment committee chairmen at her office in the Capitol late Monday following an acrimonious, nearly 10-hour hearing at the Judiciary Committee, which could vote as soon as this week. “I think there’s a lot of agreement,” Rep. Eliot Engel of New York, the Democratic chairman
House Democrats moved aggressively to draw up formal articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump on Thursday, with Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying he “leaves us no choice” but to act swiftly because he’s likely to corrupt the system again unless removed before next year’s election. A strictly partisan effort at this point, derided immediately by Trump and other leading Republicans as a sham and a hoax, it is a politically risky undertaking. Democrats say it is their duty, in the aftermath of the Ukraine probe, while Republicans say it will drive Pelosi’s majority from office. Congress must act, Nancy Pelosi said. “The democracy is what is at stake.” “The president’s actions have seriously violated the Constitution,” she said in a somber address at the Capitol. “He is trying to corrupt, once again, the election for his own benefit. The president has engaged in abuse of power, undermining our national security and jeopardizing the integrity of our elections.” Trump has insisted he did nothing wrong. He tweeted that the Democrats “have gone crazy.” At the core of the impeachment probe is a July phone call with the president of Ukraine, in which Trump pressed the leader to investigate Democrats, including political rival Joe Biden. At the same time the White House was withholding military aid from Ukraine, an ally bordering an aggressive Russia. Youtube video thumbnail Drafting articles of impeachment is a milestone moment, only the fourth time in U.S. history Congress has tried to remove a president, and it intensifies
The Trump administration is withholding more than $100 million in U.S. military assistance to Lebanon that has been approved by Congress and is favored by his national security team, an assertion of executive control of foreign aid that is similar to the delay in support for Ukraine at the center of the impeachment inquiry. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday congratulated Lebanon as the country marked its independence day but made no mention of the hold-up in aid that State Department and Pentagon officials have complained about for weeks. It came up in impeachment testimony by David Hale, the No. 3 official in the State Department, according to the transcript of the closed-door hearing released this week. He described growing consternation among diplomats as the administration would neither release the aid nor provide an explanation for the hold. “People started asking: What’s the problem?” Hale told the impeachment investigators. The White House and the Office of Management and Budget have declined to comment on the matter. The $105 million in Foreign Military Funding for the Lebanese Armed Forces has languished for months, awaiting approval from the Office of Management and Budget despite congressional approval, an early September notification to lawmakers that it would be spent and overwhelming support for it from the Pentagon, State Department and National Security Council. As with the Ukraine assistance, OMB has not explained the reason for the delay. However, unlike Ukraine, there is no suggestion that President Donald Trump is seeking “a favor” from
They’ve heard enough. With stunning testimony largely complete, the House, the Senate and the president are swiftly moving on to next steps in the historic impeachment inquiry of Donald J. Trump. “Frankly, I want a trial,” Trump declared Friday, and it looks like he’s going to get it. Democratic House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff’s staff and others are compiling the panel’s findings. By early December, the Judiciary Committee is expected to launch its own high-wire hearings to consider articles of impeachment and a formal recommendation of charges. A vote by the full House could come by Christmas. A Senate trial would follow in 2020. Congress’ impeachment inquiry, only the fourth in U.S. history, has stitched together what Democrats argue is a relatively simple narrative, of the president leveraging the office for personal political gain, despite Republicans’ assertions that it’s complex, contradictory and unsupported by firsthand testimony. House Democrats may yet call additional witnesses first, notably John Bolton, Trump’s former national security adviser. But Senate Republicans are already looking ahead to their turn, the January trial that would follow House approval of impeachment charges. Should they try to dispatch with such a trial in short order, which they may not have the votes to do, despite holding 53 seats in the 100-member Senate. Or should they stretch it out, disrupting the Democrats’ presidential primaries under the assumption that it helps more than hurts the GOP and Trump. At this point it seems very unlikely the 45th president will be removed
Democratic presidential candidates clashed in a debate over the future of health care in America, racial inequality and their ability to build a winning coalition to take on President Donald Trump next year. The Wednesday night faceoff came after hours of testimony in the impeachment inquiry of Trump and at a critical juncture in the Democratic race to run against him in 2020. With less than three months before the first voting contests, big questions hang over the front-runners, time is running out for lower tier candidates to make their move and new Democrats are launching improbable last-minute bids for the nomination. But amid the turbulence, the White House hopefuls often found themselves fighting on well-trodden terrain, particularly over whether the party should embrace a sweeping “Medicare for All” program or make more modest changes to the current health care system. Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Bernie Sanders of Vermont, the field’s most progressive voices, staunchly defended Medicare for All, which would eliminate private insurance coverage in favor of a government-run system. “The American people understand that the current health care system is not only cruel — it is dysfunctional,” Sanders said. Former Vice President Joe Biden countered that many people are happy with private insurance through their jobs, while Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, complained about other candidates seeking to take “the divisive step” of ordering people onto universal health care, “whether they like it or not.” Democrats successfully campaigned on health care last year, winning
U.S. State Department officials were informed that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy was feeling pressure from the Trump administration to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden even before the July phone call that has led to impeachment hearings in Washington, two people with knowledge of the matter told The Associated Press. In early May, officials at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, including then-Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, were told Zelenskiy was seeking advice on how to navigate the difficult position he was in, the two people told the AP. He was concerned President Donald Trump and associates were pressing him to take action that could affect the 2020 U.S. presidential race, the two individuals said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because of the diplomatic and political sensitivity of the issue. State Department officials in Kyiv and Washington were briefed on Zelenskiy’s concerns at least three times, the two sources said. Notes summarizing his worries were circulated within the department, they said. The briefings and the notes show that U.S. officials knew early that Zelenskiy was feeling pressure to investigate Biden, even though the Ukrainian leader later denied it in a joint news conference with Trump in September. Congressional Republicans have pointed to that public Zelenskiy statement to argue that he felt no pressure to open an investigation, and therefore the Democrats’ allegations that led to the impeachment hearings are misplaced. “Both presidents expressly have stated there was no pressure, no demand, no conditions, no blackmail, no corruption,” one Republican lawmaker, John Ratcliffe