President Donald Trump presented a special U.S.-made trophy to the winner of a sumo tournament Sunday as he got a taste of one of Japan’s most treasured cultural institutions. The honor given to Trump was part of a charm offensive by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as he courted Trump with three things close to the American leader’s heart: wrestling, cheeseburgers and golf. Sumo diplomacy, to sum it up. The president, first lady Melania Trump, Abe and his wife, Akie, joined an estimated 11,500 fans at Ryogoku Kokugikan Stadium to watch massive and muscular men, in bare feet and loin cloths, battle for supremacy in a small ring of dirt. At the match’s end, Trump stepped into the ring and presented the eagle-topped “President’s Cup” to the champion, Asanoyama. Trump, the first American president to participate in such a ceremony, said later it was an “incredible evening.” “That was something to see these great athletes,” Trump said before having dinner with the Abes at a hibachi restaurant. Trump’s four-day state visit to Japan is designed to demonstrate the strength of the U.S.-Japan alliance. Earlier Sunday, Abe warmly welcomed Trump to Mobara Country Club, south of Tokyo, for a round of golf, their fifth since Trump became president. Abe is trying to placate Trump amid growing U.S.-Japan trade tensions and the threat of auto tariffs. Japan also is contending with the continued military threat from North Korea , a concern seemingly heightened by Trump’s apparent dismissal of the North’s recent tests
Nancy Pelosi ’s calling for an “intervention” to save the nation from him. He says she’s “crazy.” The enmity between President Donald Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi deteriorated Thursday into rude-and-then-some questioning of his fitness for office and her sanity, with personal attacks flowing from both the nation’s top elected officials after a dramatic blow-up at the White House. However intended, the exchanges left uncertain ahead of the 2020 election whether Trump and the Democrats will be able to work together on serious, must-pass tasks, such as funding the government and raising the federal borrowing limit, let alone thornier issues such as immigration, national security and more. Pelosi went first, with demure shrugs and practiced sass. Then, as a tornado warning blared across Washington, Trump followed with a derisive nickname — something he had declined to give her, up to now. “She’s a mess,” Donald Trump told reporters at an afternoon news conference in which he lined up White House staff to testify to his calmness the day before when he walked out after three minutes at a meeting with Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Charles Schumer. “Crazy Nancy. … I watched Nancy and she was all crazy yesterday.” As for himself, he declared, “I’m an extremely stable genius.” Pelosi scolded back: “When the ‘extremely stable genius’ starts acting more presidential, I’ll be happy to work with him on infrastructure, trade and other issues,” she tweeted. There was more, before and after that exchange, for political enthusiasts with the
President Donald Trump said that he has been considering pardons for several American military members accused of war crimes, including headline-grabbing cases of shooting unarmed civilians and killing an enemy captive. Trump, leaving the White House for a trip to Japan, said he was “looking” at the pardons after being asked about reports that he was considering clemency for the soldiers around the upcoming Memorial Day holiday. “Some of these soldiers are people that have fought hard and long,” the president said. “You know, we teach them how to be great fighters, and then when they fight, sometimes they get really treated very unfairly.” But, Trump cautioned, “I haven’t done anything yet. I haven’t made any decisions.” “There’s two or three of them right now,” Donald Trump continued. “It’s a little bit controversial. It’s very possible that I’ll let the trials go on, and I’ll make my decision after the trial.” A number of veterans groups have registered opposition to the possible pardons, including one that could reportedly go to Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher, a Navy SEAL. Gallagher is charged with killing a wounded Islamic State prisoner under his care in Iraq in 2017. Dozens of Republican congressmen have championed Gallagher’s cause, claiming he’s an innocent war hero being unfairly prosecuted. Trump got him moved from the brig to better confinement in a military hospital with access to his lawyers and family. Prosecutors said Gallagher fatally stabbed a wounded teenage Islamic State fighter, shot two civilians in Iraq and
President Donald Trump has granted Attorney General William Barr new powers to review and potentially release classified information related to the origins of the Russia investigation, a move aimed at accelerating Barr’s inquiry into whether U.S. officials improperly surveilled Trump’s 2016 campaign. Trump on Thursday directed the U.S. intelligence community to “quickly and fully cooperate” with Barr’s investigation of the origins of the multiyear probe of whether his campaign colluded with Russia. Former intelligence officials and Democratic lawmakers criticized Trump’s move, which marked an escalation in his efforts to “investigate the investigators” as he works to undermine the findings of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe . Trump’s announcement came amid mounting Democratic calls to bring impeachment proceedings against him. Press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement that Trump is delegating to Barr the “full and complete authority” to declassify documents relating to the probe, which would ease his efforts to review the sensitive intelligence underpinnings of the investigation. Such a move could create fresh tensions within the FBI and other intelligence agencies, which have historically resisted such demands. Trump is giving Barr a new tool in his investigation, empowering him to unilaterally unseal documents that the Justice Department has historically regarded as among its most highly secret. Warrants obtained from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, for instance, are not made public — not even to the person on whom the surveillance was authorized. Trump explicitly granted Barr declassification power — noting it would not automatically extend to another attorney
“We hereby make it clear once again that the United States would not be able to move us even an inch with the device it is now weighing in its mind, and the further its mistrust and hostile acts toward the DPRK grow, the fiercer our reaction will be,” the statement said, referring to North Korea’s formal name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
House Democrats are facing yet another brazen attempt by President Donald Trump to stonewall their investigations, this time with former White House counsel Donald McGahn defying a subpoena for his testimony on orders from the White House. A lawyer for McGahn said he would follow the president’s directive and skip Tuesday’s House Judiciary hearing, leaving the Democrats without yet another witness — and a growing debate within the party about how to respond. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, backed by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, is taking a step-by-step approach to the confrontations with Trump. Nadler said the committee would vote to hold McGahn in contempt, and take the issue to court. “You face serious consequences if you do not appear,” Nadler warned McGahn in a letter on the eve of the hearing. Democrats are encouraged by an early success on that route as a federal judge ruled against Trump on Monday in a financial records dispute with Congress. But that hasn’t been swift enough for some members of the Judiciary panel who feel that Pelosi should be more aggressive and launch impeachment hearings that would make it easier to get information from the administration. Such hearings would give Democrats more standing in court and could stop short of a vote to remove the president. The issue was raised in a meeting among top Democrats Monday evening, where some members confronted Pelosi about opening up the impeachment hearings, according to three people familiar with the private conversation who requested anonymity
U.S. Rep. Justin Amash, a frequent critic of President Donald Trump, on Saturday became the first Republican lawmaker to say the president has engaged in impeachable behavior. Special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election reveals that Trump “engaged in specific actions and a pattern of behavior that meet the threshold for impeachment,” Justin Amash, who has signaled he would consider running as a libertarian against Trump in the 2020 election, wrote on Twitter. Mueller’s report “identifies multiple examples of conduct satisfying all the elements of obstruction of justice, and undoubtedly any person who is not the president of the United States would be indicted based on such evidence,” Amash wrote. Trump has said Mueller’s report concluded there no obstruction of justice. Mueller’s report made no formal finding on that question, leaving the matter up to Congress. Amash also wrote that “it is clear” that Attorney General William Barr intended to mislead the public about Mueller’s report in his conclusions and congressional testimony about it. In his letter to Congress, Barr said he and his deputy Rod Rosenstein determined there was insufficient evidence to establish that the president committed criminal obstruction of justice, or acted unlawfully to impede the investigation. Amash’s comments echoed the conclusions of many Democrats. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said May 8 that Trump was moving closer to impeachment with his efforts to thwart congressional subpoenas and obstruct lawmakers’ efforts to oversee his administration. Still, Democrats are divided about impeachment
The Trump administration is preparing to send Central American migrants caught along the southern border to Border Patrol stations “across the entire nation,” according to a senior Border Patrol official who confirmed the plans Friday. With more than 4,500 people being caught each day crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, the agency has run out of room at its Border Patrol facilities in the four border states. The agency has started looking at its facilities around the country, which are mostly along the northern border with Canada and coastal states. That means states from Oregon to North Dakota to Maine may begin receiving planeloads of migrant families in the weeks to come. On Tuesday, Customs and Border Protection sent its first plane full of migrants from Texas to San Diego. The official confirmed reports on Thursday that the Florida counties of Broward and Palm Beach are under consideration given the size and capabilities of Border Patrol stations in the South Florida region. But he did not say if the decision is final or when the flights would start. More: Record number of migrants puts ‘severe pressure’ on Border Patrol facilities Asked whether any federal funds would be provided to help local communities deal with the relocation of migrants, the CBP official on Friday said he was not “aware” of any such plans. The CBP official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to brief reporters on the agency’s internal discussions, said politics is not playing a role in its search for places
President Donald Trump says he hopes the U.S. is not on a path to war with Iran amid fears that his two most hawkish advisers could be angling for such a conflict with the Islamic Republic. Asked Thursday if the U.S. was going to war with Iran, the president replied, “I hope not” — a day after he repeated a desire for dialogue, tweeting, “I’m sure that Iran will want to talk soon.” The tone contrasted with a series of moves by the U.S. and Iran that have sharply escalated tensions in the Middle East in recent days. For the past year, national security adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have been the public face of the administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Tehran. The friction has rattled lawmakers who are demanding more information on the White House’s claims of rising Iranian aggression. Top leaders in Congress received a classified briefing on Iran Thursday, but many other lawmakers from both parties have criticized the White House for not keeping them informed. Iran poses a particular challenge for Trump. While he talks tough against foreign adversaries to the delight of his supporters, a military confrontation with Iran could make him appear to be backtracking on a campaign pledge to keep America out of foreign entanglements. Lawmakers and allies, however, worry that any erratic or miscalculated response from Trump could send the U.S. careening into conflict. Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear deal last year and reinstated
President Donald Trump, in what’s become a staple of his rallies, accuses doctors of executing babies who are born alive after a failed abortion attempt. His comments, meant to taint Democrats, have been embraced by many anti-abortion activists, and assailed as maliciously false by many medical professionals. What’s clear is that he is oversimplifying a deeply complex issue. It’s already a crime to kill babies, but not necessarily a crime to forgo sophisticated medical intervention in cases where severe fetal abnormalities leave a newborn with no chance of survival. A look at his rhetoric, similarly framed from one event to the next, and the reality behind it: TRUMP: “Democrats are aggressively pushing late-term abortion allowing children to be ripped from their mother’s womb, right up until the moment of birth. The baby is born and you wrap the baby beautifully and you talk to the mother about the possible execution of the baby.” — rally in Panama City Beach, Florida, on Wednesday. THE FACTS: Federal data suggests that very few U.S. babies are born alive as a result of a failed abortion. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recorded 143 deaths between 2003 and 2014 involving infants born alive during attempted abortions. Anti-abortion politicians and activists have been pushing for state and federal legislation this year that would impose criminal penalties on doctors who fail to give medical care to babies born alive after a failed abortion. Organizations representing obstetricians and gynecologists say existing laws already provide protections to
The Pentagon is shifting $1.5 billion in funds originally targeted for support of the Afghan security forces and other projects to help pay for construction of nearly 80 miles (130 kilometers) of wall at the U.S.-Mexican border, officials said Friday.
Congress was notified of the move Friday. It follows the Pentagon's decision in March to transfer $1 billion from Army personnel budget accounts to support wall construction. Some lawmakers have been highly critical of the Pentagon shifting money not originally authorized for border security.
The combined total of $2.5 billion is in response to President Donald Trump's declaration of a national emergency at the border, where Customs and Border Protection personnel are struggling to cope with increasing numbers of Central American families attempting to gain entry. Trump vetoed Congress' attempt to reverse his emergency declaration.
In all, the Pentagon is expected to shift about $6.1 billion to help build a border wall, including about $3.6 billion from military construction projects, some of which will be delayed. The Pentagon has not yet announced which projects will be delayed in order to free up those funds.