Trump Administration

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Trump allegedly offered Kim Jong Un a ride on Air Force One following Vietnam summit
Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un in Hanoi, 2019
Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un in Hanoi, 2019 Credit: White House, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

According to a former senior administration official, former President Donald Trump offered orth Korean leader Kim Jong Un a ride home on Air Force One following a summit in Hanoi, Vietnam in 2019.

"President Trump offered Kim a lift home on Air Force One. The president knew that Kim had arrived on a multi-day train ride through China into Hanoi and the president said: 'I can get you home in two hours if you want.' Kim declined," Matthew Pottinger, the top Asia expert on Trump's National Security Council, told the BBC.

Regional News • Americas • United States
US could have averted 40% of Covid deaths, says panel examining Trump's policies

The US could have averted 40% of the deaths from Covid-19, had the country’s death rates corresponded with the rates in other high-income G7 countries, according to a Lancet commission tasked with assessing Donald Trump’s health policy record.

Almost 470,000 Americans have died from the coronavirus so far, with the number widely expected to go above half a million in the next few weeks. At the same time some 27 million people in the US have been infected. Both figures are by far the highest in the world.

The commission condemned Trump’s response to Covid, but emphasized that the country entered the pandemic with a degraded public health infrastructure. Between 2002 and 2019, US public health spending fell from 3.21% to 2.45% – approximately half the share of spending in Canada and the UK.

The commission also noted that historical advances usually follow a period of conflict and struggle and included recommendations for healthcare workers to advance progress in the wake of Trump’s presidency.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Jared Kushner, Avi Berkowitz nominated for Nobel peace prize for negotiating "Abraham Accords" by attorney Alan Dershowitz
Jared Kushner
Jared Kushner Credit: Gage Skidmore (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Former White House senior advisor and Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner and his deputy Avi Berkowitz have been nominated for the Nobel peace prize by for their involvement in negotiating the "Abraham Accords" – a series of four normalisation deals between Arab nations and Israel.

The nomination was submitted by American attorney Alan Dershowitz, who is among thousands of people eligible to nominate candidates.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Trump hires new impeachment defence team; including David Schoen who met with Epstein before his death
Former U.S. President Donald J. Trump
Former U.S. President Donald J. Trump Credit: Gage Skidmore (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Former President Donald Trump has hired a new defence team at his upcoming impeachment trial next week after five members of his previous team had quit. Trial lawyers Bruce L Castor and David Schoen are set to lead Trump's new defence team. Schoen previously met with sex offender Jeffrey Epstein about representing him shortly before his death.

"It is an honour to represent the 45th President, Donald J Trump, and the United States constitution," so Schoen.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Pelosi says Trump impeachment will head to Senate "soon"
Pelosi says Trump impeachment will head to Senate "soon"
Credit: Nancy Pelosi, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that the House will transmit article of impeachment "soon", but did not provide any further details on when the trial might begin.

"I’m not going to be telling you when it is going," so Pelosi. "The other questions are about how a trial would proceed. We are ready."

Regional News • Americas • United States
Biden laid off three Trump appointees on his first day in office
President Biden speaks at an event in Jackson, MS standing in front of an American flag
President Biden speaks at an event in Jackson, MS standing in front of an American flag Credit: The White House (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

President Joe Biden terminated three of Donald Trump's appointees on his first day in office: Michael Pack, the head of the U.S. Agency for Global Media which oversees international broadcaster Voice of America; Kathleen Kraninger, who has been the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau since 2019; and Peter Robb the National Labor Relations Board’s general counsel.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Biden signs 17 executive orders, memorandums and proclamations on his first day in office
Biden signs 17 executive orders, memorandums and proclamations on his first day in office
Credit: The White House, via Twitter (Public Domain)

President Joe Biden has signed 17 executive orders, memorandums and proclamations shortly after his inauguration, including revoking Trump's Muslim ban, rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement, extending federal eviction moratorium, rescinding Census orders to exclude non-citizens, preserving the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and a federal mask mandate.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Trump has handed out last minute series of 143 pardons
Trump has handed out last minute series of 143 pardons

United States President Donald Trump has handed out 143 pardons shortly before leaving office. The list includes former advisor Steve Bannon, rappers Lil Wayne and Kodak Black (illegal gun possession), Kwame Kilpatrick the former mayor of Detroit (corruption), Elliott Broidy the ex-Vice-Chairman of the Republican Party (illegal lobbying for Malaysia), Solomon Melgen a prominent ophthalmologist and Trump's neighbour from Palm Beach, Florida (health insurance fraud against senior citizens) and Paul Erickson, conservative activist and ex-boyfriend of alleged Russian spy Maria Butina (money laundering).

Regional News • Americas • United States
Capitol Hill mob was "fed lies" and "provoked" by Trump, Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell says
President Donald J. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence walk with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Senator Roy Blunt, R-Mo., Tuesday, March 10, 2020
President Donald J. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence walk with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Senator Roy Blunt, R-Mo., Tuesday, March 10, 2020 Credit: The White House from Washington, DC, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor that President Donald Trump helped provoke the mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol, blaming the president directly for the attack on the Capitol.

"The mob was fed lies. They were provoked by the president and other powerful people," so McConnell.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Trump leaves the White House for the last time, hours before Biden's inauguration

Donald Trump has left the White House for the last time of his presidency, hours before President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration. Trump boarded Marine One accompanied by Melania Trump and left for the Joint Base Andrews where he's attending his departure ceremony.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Giuliani says he can't defend Trump at impeachment trial due to him being a witness
Giuliani says he can't defend Trump at impeachment trial due to him being a witness
Credit: Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

Rudy Giuliani has announced he won't be part of Donald Trump's legal team when Trump faces his second impeachment trial for "incitement of insurrection" in the US Senate, citing to his involvement in the "Save America Rally" on January 6 where he called for a "trial by combat".

“Because I gave an earlier speech. I am a witness and therefore unable to participate in court or Senate chamber,” Giuliani told ABC News.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Pelosi opposes installing Trump loyalist as new NSA General Counsel
Pelosi opposes installing Trump loyalist as new NSA General Counsel
Credit: Nancy Pelosi, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has demanded acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller to "immediately cease" installing Trump's National Security Council staffer Michael Ellis as new NSA General Counsel.

"I ask that you immediately cease plans to improperly install Michael Ellis as the new NSA General Counsel. Additionally, with a copy of this letter to the Acting Inspector General, I am also requesting an investigation into the circumstances of the NSA General Counsel selection process. I have serious concerns about your statement that this process was free from political interference," Pelosi wrote. "Public reporting indicates that Mr. Ellis, a relatively recent law school graduate with a limited resume, was selected due to interference by the White House, and was chosen over much more qualified candidates. Moreover, Mr. Ellis has been reportedly involved in highly questionable activities that are disqualifying – including the infamous 2017 “midnight run” to launder intelligence information through Rep. Devin Nunes and with efforts to shield information about President Trump’s July 2019 call with the President of Ukraine."

Regional News • Americas • United States
US House impeaches Donald Trump for the second time
US House impeaches Donald Trump for the second time
Credit: Courtesy of C-SPAN

The United States House has voted in favor of impeaching President Donald Trump. The resolution has been brought to a vote following the storming of the Capitol building.

Regional News • Americas
The U.S. added Cuba back to the list of state sponsors of terrorism
Mural in Havana, Cuba
Mural in Havana, Cuba Credit: flippinyank (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The Trump administration added Cuba to a list of state sponsors of terrorism Monday, reversing a signature policy move of the Obama administration and potentially hampering President-elect Joe Biden’s ability to broker a rapprochement to Havana quickly.

A U.S. economic embargo of Cuba already curbs Americans’ ability to do business with or visit the communist island. But the new terrorism label could hinder commercial deals with third countries. Cuba relies on to import essential goods and turn off foreign investors in its all-important tourism industry.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused Cuba of "repeatedly providing support for acts of international terrorism in granting safe harbour to terrorists."

Regional News • Americas • United States
US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos resigns after Capitol insurrection
US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos resigns after Capitol insurrection
Credit: Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America / via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

Betsy DeVos says Trump "rhetoric" was "inflection point." She has become the second Cabinet secretary to resign a day after a pro-Trump insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Regional News • Americas • United States
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao resigns
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao resigns
Credit: @SecElaineChao via Twitter

On Thursday, the U.S. Secretary of Transportation andwife of the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Elaine Chao, announced her resignation on Twitter.

"Yesterday, our country experienced a traumatic and entirely avoidable event as supporters of the President stormed the Capitol building following a rally he addressed. As I'm sure is the case with many of you, it has deeply troubled me in a way that I simply cannot set aside," Chao wrote. "Today, I am announcing my resignation as U.S. Secretary of Transportation, to take effect on Monday, January 11, 2020." Chao added she would help announced successor Mayor Pete Buttigieg with "taking on the responsibility of running this wonderful department."

Regional News • Americas • United States
Matthew Pottinger, Mick Mulvaney, Stephanie Grisham and other White House staffers resign after violent protests

Various Trump administration staffers resigned following the violent protests of Pro-Trump supporters at the US Capitol Wednesday.

Among those who resigned are President Donald Trump's former acting chief of staff and U.S. special envoy to Northern Ireland Mick Mulvaney, deputy national security adviser Matthew Pottinger, White House social secretary Anna Cristina "Rickie" Niceta, White House Council of Economic Advisers Tyler Goodspeed and First Lady Melania Trump's chief of staff and a former press secretary to the president Stephanie Grisham.

Regional News • World
Eurasia Group finds politically divided US is biggest ‘risk’ to the world in 2021
United States Capitol
United States Capitol Credit: Bernt Rostad (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Ian Bremmer, president of the political risk consultancy Eurasia Group, has found that the United States' political situation poses a key risk for 2021, additionally to the Covid-19 pandemic, global data control and cyber conflicts, as well as the US-China conflicts.

"When you think about 2021, of course, you know, coronavirus is going to dominate the news continually. But the United States today is not only the most powerful country in the world, but it's also the most politically divided and economically unequal of all of the world's wealthy democracies. And President-elect Biden will take office in that environment. He will be seen as illegitimate by almost half of the country," Brenner said in an interview with NPR, adding in a Eurasia Group report that a "superpower torn down the middle cannot return to business as usual. When the world’s most powerful country is so divided, everybody has a problem."

Regional News • Americas • United States
Georgia Secretary of State says Trump could potentially face criminal probe over Georgia phone call
Georgia Secretary of State says Trump could potentially face criminal probe over Georgia phone call
Credit: The White House from Washington, DC, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Brad Raffensperger, the Secretary of State in Georgia, has stated that it would be unlikely for his office to open an investigation into the weekend phone call he had with the US President Donald Trump.

According to him a criminal probe by the Atlanta-area district attorney could still be launched. In addition, he stated "the Fulton County District Attorney wants to look at it. Maybe that’s the appropriate venue for it to go".

Regional News • Americas • United States
Trump claims Covid-19 number of the "China Virus is far exaggerated", US Surgeon General contradicts claim
Trump claims Covid-19 number of the "China Virus is far exaggerated", US Surgeon General contradicts claim
Credit: @realDonaldTrump via twitter

After President Donald Trump claimed Sunday that the number of Covid-19 infections and deaths of the "China Virus is far exaggerated" because of the CDC's "ridiculous method of determination", US Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams responded that there was "no reason to doubt" the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's statistics.

"From a public health perspective, I have no reason to doubt those numbers," Adams said in an interview with CNN. "And I think people need to be very aware that it's not just about the deaths, as we talked about earlier. It's about the hospitalizations, the capacity. These cases are having an impact in an array of ways and people need to understand there's a finish line in sight, but we've got to keep running toward it."