US President Donald Trump is again breaking diplomatic norms in backing Israel's capture of the Golan Heights, with experts warning that he risks justifying expansionism by other countries. Israel conquered the Golan from Syria in the Six-Day War of 1967 and annexed it in 1981, but until now, the international community has not accepted the move, hoping the territory could serve as a bargaining chip in a future peace deal between the countries. The move -- which came as Trump's ally, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, faces elections -- has caused dismay even among US allies, with France and Britain both saying that they still considered the Golan Heights to be "occupied" by Israel.
The president has had a long-running feud with the late senator, even resorting to attacking him posthumously Donald Trump drew criticism for his remarks on the late senator John McCain. Photograph: Carolyn Kaster/AP In life and now in death John McCain continues to torment Donald Trump. Trump spent last week posthumously attacking the Arizona senator on Twitter, in interviews and in public remarks at an Army tank plant in Lima, Ohio. “He was horrible,” Trump said in an interview on Fox News on Friday, referring to McCain’s role in the defeat of legislation that would have repealed the Affordable Care Act. “I’m not a fan of John McCain and that’s fine.” Despite pleas from senior Republicans to stop, Trump has continued his verbal assault on McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee and six-term senator who was tortured as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. McCain died seven months ago from brain cancer. The origins of the Trump-McCain feud stretch back to the beginning of the 2016 presidential election. But their hostile relationship came to embody the battle for the soul of the Republican party – a fate sealed in the president’s favor by Trump’s victory and McCain’s death. Nearly a month after Trump launched his presidential bid from his hotel disparaging Mexicans as “rapists” and drug dealers in June 2015, he held a rally in Phoenix. McCain, never one to hold his tongue, had previously expressed disdain for the then-candidate’s rhetoric on immigration and the criticism had reportedly gotten back to Trump. During a stream-of-consciousness performance in Phoenix, Trump promised to “take our country back” and blamed “incompetent politicians” such as McCain for allowing illegal immigration to reach a crisis point. At the mention of the senator’s name, the crowd booed. Though McCain was beloved in his adopted home state, memorialized as it’s “most fascinating son”, McCain has long been more popular in Arizona with Democrats and independent voters than Republicans. Days later, McCain, who was running for re-election, said Trump’s comments on immigration “fired up the crazies”. Trump demanded McCain apologize – and then intensified his attack. He then claimed McCain graduated “last in his class” at Naval Academy – “dummy”. The accusation, which Trump has repeatedly leveled at the senator, is false: McCain graduated fifth from the bottom. Their dispute exploded into a full-blown feud when Trump told an audience in Iowa that McCain wasn’t a “a war hero because he was captured” and that he preferred “people that weren’t captured”. McCain spent more than five years in captivity in Vietnam after his plane was shot down in 1967. He refused an offer of early release. Trump received draft deferments during Vietnam for bone spurs. In October, McCain announced that he would not support Trump after the publication of the 2005 Access Hollywood tape in which he bragged about grabbing women. Trump continues to identify McCain as a central antagonist of his presidency and the source of his greatest woes: blaming him for his role in presenting the FBI with an unverified intelligence report, the so-called “Steele dossier”, after the 2016 election. He has repeatedly and falsely blamed McCain for triggering special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and possible coordination with the Trump campaign. The FBI’s investigation actually began months before it received the “dossier”. The president has also held a grudge against McCain for his decisive vote against repealing the healthcare law. With a dramatic thumbs-down, he denied Trump the chance to fulfill one of his central campaign promises. When he died, McCain’s family requested that Trump not attend the funeral services in Arizona and Washington. Former presidents George Bush, who defeated McCain during the 2000 GOP nomination fight, and Barack Obama, who defeated him in 2008, delivered eulogies. For his part, Trump approved the military transport of McCain’s body, and, after much criticism, ordered the flags to half-staff. Trump’s remarks last week drew a smattering of public denunciations from elected Republican officials, who remain wary of antagonizing the president and his ferociously loyal supporters. Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican of South Carolina who is an ally of the president and was one of McCain’s closest friends, said: “I think the president’s comments about senator McCain hurt him more than they hurt the legacy of senator McCain.” Senator Johnny Isakson, a Republican of Georgia, called the remark, “deplorable” and said he would “continue to speak out” in his former colleagues defense. Republican congressman Dan Crenshaw, a former NAVY Seal, implored Trump to “seriously stop talking about Senator McCain”. Trump’s rolling commentary on McCain has confounded the late politician’s family and friends. “We only said goodbye to him almost 7 months ago,” his daughter Bridget McCain said in a rare public statement. “Even if you were invited to my dad’s funeral, you would have only wanted to be there for the credit and not for any condolences. Unfortunately, you could not be counted on to be courteous, as you are a child in the most important role the world knows.”
WASHINGTON (AP) — A look at where the investigations related to President Donald Trump stand and what may lie ahead for him:
Robert Mueller has delivered his long-awaited report on Russian interference to AG William Barr, marking the end of an investigation that has shadowed President Trump.
Attorney General William Barr, who received the report from the former FBI director on Friday, told U.S. lawmakers he may be able to inform them of Mueller's "principal conclusions as soon as this weekend." Under Justice Department regulations, Barr is empowered to decide how much to disclose publicly. The big question is whether the report contains allegations of wrongdoing by Trump or exonerates him. Mueller investigated whether Trump's campaign conspired with Moscow to try to influence the election and whether the Republican president later unlawfully tried to obstruct his investigation.
In this rare public appearance in May 2017, Mueller did not bring up President Donald Trump or the investigation, but offered a clear message stressing the importance of honesty and integrity. "You could be smart, aggressive, articulate, indeed persuasive, but if you are not honest, your reputation will suffer," Mueller said. The saying goes: If you have integrity, nothing else matters, and if you do not have integrity, nothing else matters." On Friday, Mueller handed in the long-awaited report on his investigation.
Trump and Moscow have denied any collusion. Mueller handed in the keenly awaited report on his probe, the Justice Department said on Friday. U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded Russia interfered in the presidential election with a campaign of hacking and propaganda to sow discord in the United States and damage the Republican Trump's Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton.
The closure of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia's role in the 2016 U.S. election does not mark the end of legal worries for President Donald Trump and people close to him. Other ongoing investigations and litigation are focusing on issues including his businesses and financial dealings, personal conduct, charitable foundation and inaugural committee. The special counsel on Friday submitted his confidential report on the investigation to U.S. Attorney General William Barr, who must decide on how much of it to make public.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia's role in the 2016 U.S. election has ensnared dozens of people, including several advisers to President Donald Trump and a series of Russian nationals and companies. Rod Rosenstein, the No. 2 U.S. Justice Department official, in May 2017 appointed Mueller to look into Russian interference, whether members of Trump's campaign coordinated with Moscow officials and whether the Republican president has unlawfully sought to obstruct the probe. Mueller has charged 34 people and three companies.
President Donald Trump on Friday said he’s nominating former campaign adviser Stephen Moore to be a governor of the Federal Reserve -- potentially putting a political loyalist in lockstep with Trump’s view on juicing the economy into the middle of Fed deliberations heading into the 2020 election. Trump has gone from heckling Fed Chairman Jerome Powell on Twitter to trying to give one of his allies a hand on the levers of U.S. monetary policy. As a Fed governor, a position that requires Senate confirmation, Moore would be in a position to espouse his and the White House’s view that the economy can grow much faster without generating inflation.
The Justice Department has notified key lawmakers that Attorney General William Barr has received the report and that he will take some time to review it, according to department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec. It’s only the beginning of a struggle between Barr, lawmakers and the White House over how much of Mueller’s findings -- and the evidence behind them -- will be disclosed to Congress and the public. Before wrapping up his probe, Mueller helped secure guilty pleas from five people involved in Trump’s presidential campaign -- including Paul Manafort, who was his campaign chairman, and Michael Flynn, who became his first national security adviser.
President Donald Trump on Friday abruptly announced the cancellation of sanctions imposed by his own Treasury Department to tighten international pressure on North Korea. "It was announced today by the U.S. Treasury that additional large scale Sanctions would be added to those already existing Sanctions on North Korea. The Thursday sanctions were the first new sign of pressure since talks between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un broke down in Hanoi less than a month ago.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration on Thursday sanctioned two Chinese shipping companies suspected of helping North Korea evade sanctions — the first targeted actions taken against Pyongyang since its nuclear negotiations with the U.S. in Hanoi last month ended without agreement.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Special counsel Robert Mueller closed his long and contentious Russia investigation with no new charges Friday, ending the probe that has cast a dark shadow over Donald Trump's presidency but launching a fresh wave of political battles over the still-confidential findings.