Politics

WASHINGTON U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis welcomed the naming of Lieutenant General Herbert Raymond McMaster as the new national security adviser, a Pentagon spokesman said on Tuesday. U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday named McMaster as his new national security adviser, choosing a military officer known for speaking his mind and challenging his superiors. “Secretary Mattis has known Lieutenant General McMaster since the late 1990s when his book was published and he has great respect for his strategic perspective, his intellectual rigor and his managerial discipline,” Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis told reporters on Tuesday. (Reporting by Idrees Ali; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

NEW YORK A leading U.S. conservative conference rescinded its invitation to provocative commentator Milo Yiannopoulos and a publisher canceled his book deal on Monday after old internet videos of him recirculated in which he discusses pedophilia. Yiannopoulos, in a Facebook video post, denied he ever condoned pedophilia and said one video of him was edited to give a misleading impression. Yiannopoulos, a Briton who is celebrated by some arch conservatives, was banned from Twitter last year after making highly controversial statements. He has infuriated liberals with provocative comments on race, religion and sex and appears to delight in his ability to offend. The chairman of the American Conservative Union, which sponsors the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, said on Sunday the group rescinded an invitation to this year’s Wednesday-Saturday event “due to the revelation of an offensive video in the past 24 hours condoning pedophilia.” “We realize that Mr. Yiannopoulos has responded on …

HAVANA The Mississippi ports of Pascagoula and Gulfport signed agreements in Cuba on Monday with an eye to future business and with a Republican U.S. senator from the state looking on, despite concerns President Donald Trump might backtrack on improved relations. Senator Thad Cochran is the only Republican among five U.S. senators and a U.S. representative on a three-day visit to the Communist-run Caribbean island to discuss relations and explore business opportunities. The agreements were signed during a business forum to explore future trade attended by Cochran. “There is great potential for business between these ports and Cuba due to the geographical proximity and the excellent fluvial and maritime ways Mississippi has,” state-run media quoted Maria de la Luz B’Hamel, director of commercial policy with the United States at the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Trade and Investment, as saying. The event was closed to foreign journalists. The congressional delegation arrived on Sunday and is being …

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla./WASHINGTON U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday named Lieutenant General Herbert Raymond McMaster as his new national security adviser, choosing a military officer known for speaking his mind and challenging his superiors. McMaster is a highly regarded military tactician and strategic thinker, but his selection surprised some observers who wondered how the officer, whose Army career stalled at times for his questioning of authority, would deal with a White House that has not welcomed criticism. “He is highly respected by everybody in the military and we’re very honored to have him,” Trump told reporters in West Palm Beach where he spent the weekend. “He’s a man of tremendous talent and tremendous experience.” One subject on which Trump and McMaster could soon differ is Russia. McMaster shares the consensus view among the U.S. national security establishment that Russia is a threat and an antagonist to the United States, while the man whom McMaster …

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla./BRUSSELS U.S. President Donald Trump considered his options for a new national security adviser on Monday as his vice president, Mike Pence, said he had been disappointed by the actions of the man ousted from the job and supported his dismissal. Trump asked for Michael Flynn’s resignation on Feb. 13 after reports emerged that the retired lieutenant general misled Pence about having spoken to Russia’s ambassador about U.S. sanctions before Trump’s inauguration. The ouster, coming so early in Trump’s administration, was another upset in a White House that has been battered by miscues, including the controversial roll-out of a travel ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries, since the Republican president took office on Jan. 20. “I was disappointed to learn that the facts that have been conveyed to me by General Flynn were inaccurate,” Pence told reporters during a visit to NATO headquarters in Brussels. Trump’s call for Flynn to go …

Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly speaks during the Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany, Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader) The Homeland Security Department has drafted sweeping new guidelines aimed at aggressively detaining and deporting immigrants living in the U.S. illegally, according to a pair of memoranda signed by DHS Secretary John Kelly. The memos dated Friday seek to implement President Donald Trump’s broad directive to crack down on illegal immigration. Kelly outlines plans to hire thousands of additional enforcement agents, expand on the priority list for immigrants marked for immediate removal and enlist local law enforcement to help make arrests, according to a person briefed on the documents, who confirmed the details to The Associated Press. “The surge of illegal immigration at the southern border has overwhelmed federal agencies and resources and has created a significant national security vulnerability to the United States,” Kelly wrote. He said apprehensions on the southern U.S. …

BRUSSELS U.S. Vice President Mike Pence told senior European Union officials in Brussels on Monday that the Trump administration was looking at ways to “deepen our relationship” with the EU. President Donald Trump alarmed EU leaders by endorsing Britain’s decision to leave the bloc and by suggesting last month that other states might follow. Pence spent the weekend in Germany seeking to reassure Europeans that Trump was committed to the NATO defense pact, but left some unconvinced. Speaking to EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini before meetings with the heads of the European Council, European Commission and NATO, Pence said he was “very grateful to have the opportunity to visit with you and explore ways that we can deepen our relationship with the European Union”. He met Mogherini at the U.S. mission to the EU. The last U.S. ambassador, who was dismissed by Trump as he took office, warned the new administration against reversing decades …

Click below for Tony’s toons: Click below for related story: This Thread Brought To You By The Letter T: In Case You Missed It Dept.: President Trump’s war with the media was measured by an Emerson College poll Thursday. It found that more Americans trust Trump than they trust what the national media says. And no, CNN, President Trump did NOT praise Friday’s blizzard in the Northeast for being white and strong. Washington D.C. went to the barricades Friday over a court ruling on a president’s right to ban entry to potentially dangerous aliens. Trump never had a chance. It’s the same 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that ruled British troops were perfectly within their rights to burn down the White House. Senator Elizabeth Warren used her opposition to the confirmation of Jeff Sessions as Attorney General to vault herself into the Democratic Party’s left-wing. She’s on fire. At the end of her floor speech, …

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla./WASHINGTON President Donald Trump may do another round of interviews for the position of national security adviser with new or existing candidates on Monday as he scrambles to fill the post following the ouster of Michael Flynn. Trump interviewed four finalists on Sunday and may meet with some of them again on Monday, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters. The president interviewed acting adviser Keith Kellogg, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton, Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster and Lieutenant General Robert Caslen at his Mar-a-Lago resort. “We may have some additional meetings and names tomorrow, and may also meet with a couple of those people again,” Sanders said in Florida. Trump returns to Washington on Monday. The national security adviser is one of the most senior jobs at the White House, holding broad influence over U.S. foreign policy across the globe and presiding over the National Security Council staff. …

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