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Trump To Revoke Security Clearances For Former U.S. Officials – Obama And Biden?

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According to Sarah Sanders, White House press secretary, President Trump is looking into possibilities to revoke security clearances for people that worked for the government. This would be aimed against those that were criticized him regarding his relationship with Vladimir Putin and his comments about the investigation of Moscow’s involvement in 2016 presidential elections.

Some of the officials that might get their clearances revoked are former FBI director James Comey, former CIA director Michael Hayden, former CIA director John Brennan, former national intelligence director James Clapper, former national security adviser Susan Rice and former deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe.

Source:CNN.com

Here is what Sanders said: “They politicize and in some cases actually monetize their public service and their security clearances in making baseless accusations of improper contact with Russia.” She continued by adding: “making baseless accusations of improper contact with Russia or being influenced by Russia against the president is extremely inappropriate.”

With security clearances that are given, people can work with companies that are involved in classified defense programs and help private contractors. Another good thing here is the fact that former members of the government can talk to their successors on matters that are important for the country.

John Brennan, CIA director under Obama and a senior official in George W. Bush administration had some quite strong words against Helsinki summit that President Trump had with Putin. He used his Twitter account and commented how POTUS’ performance was “nothing short of treasonous.”

Source:washingtonexaminer.com

James Clapper, the former national intelligence director, stated how his clearance is not influencing his opinion about the president. He also added “And I don’t get the briefings. I don’t have access to classified information.”

On the other hand, Melissa Schwartz, a spokeswoman for former deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe stated that his clearance “was deactivated when he was terminated, according to what we were told was FBI policy. You would think the White House would check with the FBI before trying to throw shiny objects to the press corps.”

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., advised POTUS to revoke some of the clearances as he thinks that there are people who are using those for personal gain. According to Republican consultant Liz Mair, this could be viewed as an attempt of Trump’s administration to punish all critics and anyone that is against some of the moves that were made by the president. Since the current head of the state is already well known for a similar approach, this definitely would not help his reputation in this segment.

Sarah Sanders was also asked if Obama and his Vice President Joe Biden might lose security clearances, she answered: “I’m not aware of any plans for that at this point.”

Source:washingtonexaminer.com

One thing that Trump and his administration need to have in mind is that these moves can be seen as vengeance on some of his critics. If they do manage to represent it that way, POTUS might meet heavy resistance.

Source: usatoday.com

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin to Meet in White House in the Fall

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Donald Trump has asked his national security adviser to send an invitation to Russian president Vladimir Putin, asking him to come to the White House after the summer is over. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders posted on Twitter that POTUS had: “agreed to ongoing working-level dialogue between the two security council staffs” on a summit between the two leaders that took place on Monday.

She also said: “President Trump asked (national security adviser John Bolton) to invite President Putin to Washington in the fall and those discussions are already underway.”

On Thursday, Trump stated: “I look forward to our second meeting.” This information became news when the US director of national intelligence Dan Coats revealed that he didn’t know what the two leaders had talked about during their stay in Helsinki, Finland.

Source:politico.com

Mr. Coats said: “I think as time goes by and the president has already mentioned some things that happened in that meeting, I think we will learn more. But that is the president’s prerogative.” He also mentioned the US intelligence assessment regarding the alleged Russian meddling into the US presidential election and Moscow’s “ongoing, pervasive efforts to undermine our democracy.”

Trump has denied that Russia was involved in any way in the US presidential election in 2016 and as he said, he “didn’t see any reason.” POTUS was harshly criticized by the United States public and politicians after the summit, for not attacking Putin to accept Moscow’s involvement. However, the following day, he said that he got confused and used would instead of wouldn’t. So, if we take a look at his speech, Trump said how he didn’t see any reason why Russia wouldn’t be involved in the US elections. He said what he meant “should have been obvious – I thought it would be obvious but would like to clarify in case it wasn’t.”

This was his first clarification, but POTUS had many controversial comments during that press conference. Even this explanation doesn’t seem legit because one cannot misuse these words without correcting themselves immediately since the meaning is completely different.

Trump also mentioned an “incredible offer” made by the Russian president, but the White House attempted to distance themselves from this. The offer was to allow the US to question 12 Russians accused of interfering in the 2016 presidential election. In return, they would have to allow the Russians to interview Americans they had accused of unspecified crimes.

This idea wasn’t well received with the US politicians, causing the White House to step back. “Hopefully President Putin will have the 12 identified Russians come to the United States to prove their innocence or guilt.”

One of the people Kremlin had in mind for questioning was the US ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul who was accused of fraud and corruption by the Moscow. McFaul considered this request from Russia ridiculous, and he received support in the Senate where all 98 politicians voted to support a resolution that would prevent these people from being sent to Russia for questioning.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told The Christian Broadcasting Network on Thursday that this was “not going to happen.”

Source:newrepublic.com

After the summit, many criticized Trump for becoming too friendly with Vladimir Putin. Even though he received heavy criticism, the US president said that the relationship between the two countries is improving. And now he is inviting his colleague from Moscow to come to Washington. If this is indeed true, then we can consider it a good move. However, I don’t see that the American public is going to support him in such actions and the Democrats cannot wait for Trump to make another mistake.

Source: news.sky.com

Russia is no longer targeting US

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On a meeting of the US President Trump’s Cabinet on Wednesday, an interesting question rose from one of the reporters. The question was – is Russia still “targeting” the United States? President Trump quickly responded “Thank you very much. NO!”

This question, of course, refers to the cyber-attacks that Moscow has allegedly launched against the US, and as it seems, POTUS somehow managed to stop them. According to the White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders it appears that Trump was saying “no” to some other questions, and actually did not answer this specific question about Russia. If you followed the clip to the end, the president really did keep talking to reporters at the Cabinet meeting and he managed to praise himself as a first president who has been really tough on Russia. According to Mr. Trump, “President Putin knows that better than anybody, certainly a lot better than the media.”

What is a bit peculiar in this situation is the fact that members of the president’s cabinet are a bit confused and don’t have their thoughts in line. According to Dan Coats’, Trump’s director of national intelligence, statement from last Monday we heard that – “We have been clear in our assessments of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and their ongoing, pervasive efforts to undermine our democracy.” Last Friday, on the other hand, Mr. Coats changed the tune and said “The warning lights are blinking red again. Today, the digital infrastructure that serves this country is literally under attack.” He basically compared Russia’s current cyber efforts to warning signs that emerged before the 9/11 attacks.

The other interesting thing that came in is the second round of comments President Trump made (and these followed his praise of firm hand over Russia) in which he states “My administration has and will continue to move aggressively to repeal any efforts — and repel — we will stop it, we will repel it — any efforts to interfere in our elections,” on Tuesday in front of members of Congress. He also added, “We’re doing everything in our power to prevent Russian interference in 2018.” If he actually believes that there is no more Moscow’s meddling in the US and no more attacks, what exactly will his administration be doing on that matter? Wait, we know! Nothing! You also need to know that President Trump’s comments about the threat of current and future Russian interfering were basically drowned by his ability to reverse a basic fact about prior meddling – Did it happen at all?

You recall the Helsinki Summit? In Helsinki Trump openly said that he sees no reason why it would have been Russia who interfered. A pretty bold statement given the fact that every intelligence agency in the US confirmed that it was, in fact, Russia. Of course, something had to be done on this matter, which is why we all saw POTUS on Tuesday holding a press conference on which he read from a prepared statement that said that he accepted their (agencies’) conclusion that there was meddling in the 2016 presidential election. But, this wouldn’t be president Trump if he didn’t add a thing of his own like “it could be other people also. Lots of people out there.”

On the famous Monday press conference that Putin and Trump held in Helsinki, we saw something that shocked us all. Basically, POTUS played along with his Russian colleague denial of their election meddling and made them a priority instead of the conclusions reached by his own intelligence agencies. He tried to explain it by saying that Dan Coats, his director of national intelligence, said that “they think it’s Russia” but then Trump said “I have President Putin. He just said it’s not Russia. I will say this: I don’t see any reason why it would be.” This was definitely outrageous, and Trump had to find his way around this mess, which is why he claims that he misspoke in Helsinki and that he had, in fact, meant to say he didn’t see “any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia,” indicating that he gave the benefit of the doubt to his own people, and not to Russia’s president.

On Wednesday, Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), who is a frequent and harsh critic of the president, stated that he was cheered by Trump’s claim that he had misspoken. He also said that the US president’s trip to Europe “wasn’t perfect,” and added “obviously what happened in Helsinki was especially non-perfect. But I thought yesterday was a step forward and I’m glad it occurred.”

Source: cnbc.com

The 2018 Helsinki Summit brings warmer relations between US and Russia

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The entire world revolved around Finland and its capital Helsinki, these past days. Finally, the talking point happened, and we bring you the latest news.

Both the US and Russia presidents agreed yesterday to improve the relationship between these two superpowers and that there is no more need for tensions. This news is something that brings, at least a bit of, ease of mind to everyone since we all know just how the US and Russian policies differ and clashed quite often.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=We5vSlR9Krs

Finish capital Helsinki was the place where the two presidents met and discussed “everything from trade to military to missiles to China.” During the press conference, Putin stated that “There are no objective reasons for difficulties (between Russia and the US). The Cold War is a thing of the past, the situation in the world has drastically changed.” On the other side, just before the summit, Donald Trump pretty much blamed his own country for, as he said, “foolishness and stupidity” that drove a wedge between these two countries.

At the same press conference, after the talks, Trump had words of praise for Putin and his “direct, open and deeply productive dialogue.” He also said that there should be a lot more emphasis on these types of meetings instead of confrontations that do not benefit anyone. He stated, “A productive dialogue is not only good for the United States and good for Russia, but it is good for the world.” Trump continued by saying “Our relationship has never been worse than it is now, however that changed as of about four hours ago… To refuse to engage would not accomplish anything.”

The two presidents spoke on the topic of international security as well, and the overall agreement, according to what Putin said, is that these two countries have to work together to cope with challenges such as terrorism, international crime, the economy and the environment. He also pointed out counterterrorism and cybersecurity as two areas where these two superpowers are already making huge progress. Putin stated: “As major nuclear powers, we bear special responsibility for maintaining international security.” He also pointed out that Russia, together with the US, could “establish peace and reconciliation” in Syria. Trump added that by doing so, they could also “save hundreds of thousands of lives.” They also reached another agreement and it is to secure Israel’s border with Syria in accordance with the 1974 Agreement on Disengagement between Israel and Syria.

The big topic that should rise during the talks of the two presidents is the alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 Presidential campaign in the US. On the press conference, Putin once again denied the alleged Russian meddling into the democratic process in America and stated: “The Russian state has never interfered and is not going to interfere in internal US affairs.” He openly offered readiness to analyze any findings together with Washington.

Source:thenational.ae

Trump was not holding back as well, and clearly criticised the ongoing US investigation of the accusations and categorized it as a “disaster.” He said, “If they had (evidence), it would have been out long ago.”

According to the two presidents the Helsinki Summit was a very important first step towards better and warmer relations between the US and Russia. “We were not able to clear all the backlog, but I think we made a first important step in this direction” Putin stated. Apparently, just before the start of the summit, Putin told Trump that “the time has come to talk thoroughly about bilateral relations, as well as various hotspots in the world.”

On the other side, the US Congress, including some Republicans were not satisfied with where the summit went and openly criticised Trump and his comments. According to Senator McCain, the press conference is “one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory.” Arizona Republican basically said that the Helsinki Summit was a big mistake and that POTUS willingly decided to “defend a tyrant.” Others like House Speaker Paul Ryan still clinch for what they believe, and that is that there’s “no question” that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election. Ryan continued by stating “The president must appreciate that Russia is not our ally” and continued by saying that Moscow “remains hostile to our most basic values and ideals.”

The high-ranking Republicans also continued to show their dismay, and one of them was Senator Jeff Flake who Tweeted “I never thought I would see the day when our American president would stand on the stage with the Russian president and place blame on the United States for Russian aggression. This is shameful.”

Source: aljazeera.com

Trump’s No Love For NATO Can Help Putin

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Looking at all that has been said by President Trump regarding NATO it is clear that he doesn’t appreciate all that much the alliance and what it has done since its inception in terms of preserving democracy and peace all the way from World War II.

It is clear that the new president doesn’t see the alliance the way his predecessors looked at it. What NATO managed to achieve over these last few decades of its existence is to hold off Russia, contain Germany’s expansionism, projecting American power and securing democracy on the Old Continent and all over the world. It looks like he doesn’t remember all those boys that went to Europe in two world wars and he clearly doesn’t appreciate the fact that there weren’t any major conflicts on the EU soil since the NATO has been established.

Source:channelnewsasia.com

Before becoming the president of the US, Trump was a businessman, and it appears that he looks at the alliance as a contracting service requesting other members to pay a lot more than they are paying at this moment. Here is what Nicholas Burns, former US Ambassador to NATO stated regarding presidents politics: “I felt the President treated the NATO allies almost with contempt.” He continued by adding “It is important that we not normalize this. He is the first American president since Harry Truman … to not believe that NATO is central to American national security interests.”

Knowing all this, it is unclear what is the main goal of POTUS and what he wants to do with America’s long-time allies. On top of that, he is set to meet with Russian President Putin in Helsinki on Monday, right after the summit with NATO.

Source:yle.fi

For other NATO countries, it is important to take Trump’s words seriously as he is the most important leader in the alliance. The good thing is that he already announced that other members are already increasing their spending which makes him satisfied.

While we do not think that the US will leave the alliance, there is no doubt that this type of behavior is damaging its power level. On top of that, all disputes between traditional allies are allowing Putin to strengthen the position of Russia in other regions and impose governments that are either controlled by Kremlin or are more eager to work with them.

Trump and Putin – possible meeting in mid-July

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The Presidents of the USA and Russia, Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, are planning to meet in mid-July when president Trump visits the UK for NATO summit, says the diplomatic source. Even though Trump’s administration insisted that the meeting should be held in Washington, Moscow decided that the talks should be on neutral ground. The representatives said that it would probably be Vienna, but no official announcement has been made.

The National Security Council confirmed that John Bolton, White House national security adviser, is scheduled to visit Moscow later this month, to discuss the potential meeting between two leaders. The spokesperson of the National Security Council didn’t want to comment on president’s plans for the summit.

Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General, welcomed the potential meeting, calling this summit “important,” and also saying that “NATO is in favour of dialogue.”

Source:bustle.com

Putin and Trump have already met twice, and the Russian President says that he talks with Trump regularly over the phone, which was confirmed by White House readouts of the calls. Two leaders spoke eight times over the phone.

Due to the investigation about potential ties between Russia and Trump’s campaign associates, led by special counsel Robert Mueller, the relationship between the two leaders has been under supervision.

Whiles the USA President suggested that Russia should be reinstated to the G7, the Congress pressured Trump’s administration to impose sanctions on Moscow for its “election interference,” including individuals mentioned in Miller’s investigation.

Source: edition.cnn.com

Dennis Rodman On Human Rights in North Korea

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Dennis Rodman, the former controversial basketball player, was interviewed by TODAY’s Megyn Kelly. He said that his relationship with Kim was strictly social and that he didn’t discuss the human rights with the North Korean leader. Also, he brought a present to the host – a basketball that features the faces of Rodman, Trump, and Kim with the message for peace. What else did Rodman say?

Famous basketball player, who has been arrested 17 times in his life has now become an international diplomat. He is thankful to be in this position, and he has been trying to connect the two countries. Kim has been accused of multiple crimes, but Bulls #91 said that he was always kind to him. Moreover, Dennis claimed that all those accusations could be false because nobody saw those things happening.

He then started talking about the Singapore summit and the fact that Trump and Kim shook hands. He wants to see the USA avoid nuclear war with North Korea at any cost. Rodman also pointed out that he didn’t have any role with setting up the summit.

Interestingly enough, ex-basketball star was in Singapore during the long-anticipated summit. He acknowledged that he would be going back to North Korea soon, but we might also see him in the White House as well. At one point during the talks between Rodman and Kim, the North Korean leader made him a promise. This is what Kim said, in Rodman’s word: “No matter where you are in the world; we love you and we will make sure you are ok.”

The basketball legend has taken a lot of heat over the years for his relationship with Kim. Kelly went on to ask Rodman whether he could do something about human rights in North Korea. He explained he couldn’t do it all and that human rights problem is something that the White House should tackle with and the people who are experts.

At the end of the interview, he gave Megyn Kelly the basketball with faces of him Trump and Kim, proposing peace and love and not war. What do you think of the friendship between Kim and Rodman?

If Iran Leaves Nuclear Deal Oil Price Could Jump Significantly

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It is clear that a lot of things in our world depends on the black gold, and the majority of the reserves are located in the Middle East region. With that being said, it is important for this region to enjoy peace and stability. Latest developments suggest that things might turn badly for the world’s economics.

After Donald Trump decided to pull out America from the Iran deal, there is a possibility for this country to leave the 50-year-old United Nations treaty that prevents future spread of nuclear weapons. If this happens, and if Tehran decides to drop the 2015 deal then the sanctions would be again imposed to the Middle East state, and it would mean reduced production of oil allowing Saudi Arabia to effectively control the market.

With Iran continuing development of the nuclear weapons we could see a start of the arms race in that region. Semi silent war is already going on between some of the countries there, and it is only a matter of time when it will turn into a full-scale conflict.

Source:outsidethebeltway.com

Uncertainty and instability caused oil prices to go up and reach the figures that were not seen for more than three years. Some of the countries announced that they would increase the production, but that stopped surge for only a moment, and we are not sure for how long current prices will remain at this position.

European Union and other signatories of the Iran deal from 2015 are working hard to keep the agreement alive and well, but it might be hard as the influence of the US on the world economics is big. The first thing that leaders of America mentioned are the sanctions, only this time much stronger than the previous ones. If you remember, Iran was criticised for nuclear weapons development that was heavily supported by the government in the early 2000s, and the measures were taken to limit the possibilities of the country to trade on the world market.

Sanctions were lifted after the deal was signed and Tehran decided to stop further uranium enrichment for military purposes and allow inspectors to control their facilities. Stockpiles that were already produced were sent off to the Russia and Iran continued to work on a peaceful energy program.

With Venezuela reducing its production and Iran getting sanctions, the US and other markets will need other countries to pump more. As a result, it would be required from Saudi Arabia to provide more oil to the market as Texas will not be able to compensate for the reduction with Tehran out of the picture. We know what that means. Prices will go up, and this time we are not sure where it will stop and if they will return to the previous state.

Source: cnbc.com

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