Another Europe trip for Melania Trump means forging new relationships

July 6, 2017

(CNN)First lady Melania Trump is back in Europe. “This trip, for me, has been very special, and I will never forget the women and children I met,” the first lady said at the end of the visit, speaking to American troops and their families in Sicily. “As one of the kids at the hospital that I visit said in a picture he drew for me: We are all the same.”…

Read More >>

Trump faces stiff challenge in Merkel, Putin showdowns

July 5, 2017

Washington (CNN)When President Donald Trump visited Europe six weeks ago, he and his counterparts parted ways atop a Sicilian cliff feeling agitated and bruised following a long set of disagreements. Returning to the continent Wednesday, Trump and those same European leaders will give it another go, with expectations of fostering a newly warm relationship far lower. Instead, both sides expect further clashes between the US President and leaders like German…

Read More >>

White House chief usher: equal parts ringmaster, palace guard, and consigliere

July 2, 2017

(CNN)Traditionally, the chief usher of the White House hasn’t been someone who comes and goes with each administration; it’s a position that endures. The White House chief usher as a fixture of the institution is as American as apple pie. First lady Melania Trump recently announced that Timothy Harleth, who worked at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, will be the next White House chief usher. He joins a select…

Read More >>

Trump to get China, Japan leaders on the phone

July 2, 2017

(CNN)US President Donald Trump will make back-to-back phone calls to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sunday, the White House announced Saturday night. No information was provided as to what subjects the calls would cover, but they come after an eventful week in East Asia politics. Trump warns North Korea: US patience is over China’s President issues ‘red line’ warning

Read More >>

Is old the new young for UK politicians? – BBC News

June 30, 2017

Two decades later and leadership has skipped a generation upwards. Sir Vince is 74, Theresa May is 60 and Jeremy Corbyn 68. Image copyright Getty Images Youngest UK party leader and prime minister: William Pitt, the Younger, a Whig who was regarded as a Tory by opponents, became prime minister in 1804 at the age of 24 Oldest UK party leader and prime minister: Liberal Party leader William Gladstone, pictured,…

Read More >>

US, China relations begin to cool as Trump’s honeymoon with Xi ends

June 30, 2017

(CNN)In a flurry of announcements likely to antagonize Beijing, US President Donald Trump’s administration has seemingly thrown its China policy into reverse, cooling relations between the two super powers. Trump and Xi had previously enjoyed an unusually cordial relationship since their first February meeting in Florida, with the US president describing Xi as a “terrific person” with whom he had a “very good relationship.” The arms sale came the same…

Read More >>

Delegitimizing his presidency, one tweet at a time

June 30, 2017

Washington (CNN)It marked a rare presidential moment on a most un-presidential day — Donald Trump stood at a podium flanked by flags as “Stars and Stripes Forever” rang out, after delivering a speech on energy. The controversy was yet another reminder, a few days ahead of America’s birthday, that Trump is a leader like no other in the nation’s 241-year history, who plans to stay true to himself and is…

Read More >>

Top Trump aide warns Syria: ‘I wouldn’t test Donald J. Trump’

June 29, 2017

(CNN)As the White House warned that Syria could possibly be preparing for another chemical weapons attack, and that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad could face a “heavy price” if one is carried out, a top adviser to President Donald Trump issued a stern warning Tuesday night: “I wouldn’t test Donald J. Trump.” Russia responded to the US warning by saying that any threats posed to the “legitimate leadership” of Syria were…

Read More >>

McConnell’s test: Can he do more than obstruct?

June 27, 2017

(CNN)Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is facing a major test this week. Since revealing the details of the Republican health care plan, McConnell has watched as a number of important senators in his own party announced their concerns or opposition. Some, such as Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, have urged him to postpone the vote based on the assumption that, at this moment, it would not pass the upper chamber where…

Read More >>

Trump and Modi reaffirm Indian-US relations with a hug

June 27, 2017

(CNN)The first face-to-face meeting between US President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was sealed with a bear hug Monday, as the two leaders looked to publicly underscore their new found friendship. Declaring the meeting a success, Trump went on to describe the relationship between India and the United States as having “never been stronger, has never been better.” Trump: We are world leaders in social media

Read More >>

Could Trump’s vague plan to expand rural broadband actually work? It’s hard to tell

June 25, 2017

A sign in support of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump hangs on a farming tractor near a polling station in Cave Creek, Arizona. (Photo by )Image: Ralph Freso/Getty Images If you live in the country, there’s a good chance you don’t have broadband-speed internet. Only one in ten Americans lack access to a connection that meets the government’s new standard for the designation, but more than two thirds of them…

Read More >>

Breaking with tradition, Trump White House forgoes Ramadan dinner

June 25, 2017

(CNN)For the first time in nearly two decades, the White House did not host an iftar dinner to commemorate Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting. “Muslims in the United States joined those around the world during the holy month of Ramadan to focus on acts of faith and charity,” they said. “Now, as they commemorate Eid with family and friends, they carry on the tradition of helping neighbors and…

Read More >>

We now live in a world in which White House press briefings must be drawn to be seen

June 25, 2017

CNN sent a sketch artist to cover Spicer's Friday meeting.Image: Bill Hennessy When life gives you off-camera White House press briefings, make your Supreme Court sketch artist draw them. That seems to have been CNN’s thought, anyway. SEE ALSO: Twitter comedian Mike Huckabee burns CNN with 100% flawless joke The network sent its Supreme Court sketch artist Bill Hennessy to visit White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s domain on Friday….

Read More >>

White House responds to Comey tape inquiry with Trump tweet

June 24, 2017

Washington (CNN)The White House is letting President Donald Trump’s tweet Thursday — asserting that he had not taped former FBI Director James Comey — stand as the President’s official statement. “In response to the Committee’s inquiry, we refer you to President Trump’s June 22, 2017, statement regarding this matter: “With all of the recently reported electronic surveillance, intercepts, unmasking and illegal leaking of information, I have no idea whether there…

Read More >>

Amid partisanship, lawmakers unite for White House picnic

June 23, 2017

Washington (CNN)Lawmakers took a rare break from bitter partisan politics and went to the White House Thursday evening for a good old-fashioned picnic. “We’ve gotten to know many of you over the last weeks and months, and developed many friendships with politicians,” Trump said in brief remarks to lawmakers. “Can you believe it? Some really great people, I have to say, mostly. Mostly. A couple of bad ones, but that’s…

Read More >>

No tapes? Trump has us through the looking glass

June 23, 2017

(CNN)As the Mad Hatter of the White House tweeted his response to Congress’s questions on Thursday about the existence of audiotapes related to James B. Comey’s firing as FBI director, he stayed true to character. “I did not make, and do not have, any such recordings,” President Trump announced. But he also added that “with all of the recently reported electronic surveillance, intercepts, unmasking and illegal leaking of information, I…

Read More >>

New US sanctions on Russia inflame old tensions

June 22, 2017

Washington (CNN)Russia’s frustration with the Trump administration boiled over Wednesday, with Moscow abruptly canceling talks designed to improve ties with the US and threatening retaliation for sanctions the White House renewed Tuesday. Analysts say that Russia’s leaders also want to convey in no uncertain terms that, after waiting for Trump to establish warmer ties, they’re now ready to get more adversarial if need be.

Read More >>

Rep. Quigley: Kushner’s clearance ‘absolutely’ should be suspended

June 22, 2017

(CNN)President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and top aide Jared Kushner should “absolutely” have his security clearance suspended, Rep. Mike Quigley told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer in an interview Wednesday afternoon. Cummings’ letter criticized the White House for allowing fired national security adviser Michael Flynn to keep a security clearance despite concerns raised by then-acting Attorney General Sally Yates that he could be vulnerable to blackmail based on intelligence assessments that she reviewed;…

Read More >>

Warmbier death raises pressure on White House

June 20, 2017

Washington (CNN)Otto Warmbier’s death as a result of his treatment in North Korea could increase calls for the US to take a tougher line on China, as the two nations prepare to meet in Washington on Wednesday. It’s an approach that resembles the Obama administration strategy and, observers say, has shown no greater success in slowing Pyongyang’s steady march towards developing nuclear weapons and the missile capability to deliver them…

Read More >>

Florida governor: Zuckerberg missed out by skipping Trump meeting

June 20, 2017

(CNN)Many of the nation’s top tech CEOs met with President Donald Trump again at the White House on Monday, but there were some notable exceptions: Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk of Tesla and SpaceX. Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott, himself a former businessman, said that created a “missed opportunity” for them. The interview comes as Scott faces growing speculation about whether he will run for the US Senate next…

Read More >>

DREAMers get well-deserved reprieve from Trump — for now

June 17, 2017

(CNN)Score a partial victory for immigration activists. Donald Trump’s administration has announced that the so-called DREAMers — young people who were brought to this country illegally as children — will be allowed to stay and work here legally after all. These young people were beneficiaries of President Barack Obama’s 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which celebrated its fifth anniversary this week. This is welcome news for the…

Read More >>

Rosenstein must recuse himself from involvement in Mueller probe

June 17, 2017

(CNN)The President’s latest Twitter attack on the special counsel investigation by Robert Mueller is likely to claim a new victim: Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the lawyer at least nominally in charge of the investigation. Shortly thereafter, the President shocked the nation with the announcement that he had fired the controversial FBI director he had only recently praised. The White House press office immediately pointed to Rosenstein’s detailed memo as…

Read More >>

Trump gives away his most consequential decision to the Pentagon

June 16, 2017

(CNN)President Trump has given Secretary of Defense James Mattis full authority to set US troop levels in Afghanistan. Fair enough. But there are — and should be — honest concerns about the degree to which the President’s hands-off approach to the military provides for a proper set of checks and balances and is healthy for civil-military relations in this country. This is not a man, let’s remember, well known for…

Read More >>