MagaNews

Nauert Says She'll Withdraw as Trump's Nominee for UN Ambassador

Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert withdrew from consideration as the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, according to a statement.

Trump had said in early December that he planned to nominate Nauert, 49, to replace Nikki Haley as UN ambassador. Suspicion later mounted that her nomination was running into trouble because the White House never formally submitted her name for Senate confirmation, even after Haley resigned at year end.

State Department officials insisted there was nothing unusual in that delay, arguing that Attorney General William Barr’s nomination went more smoothly because he had already been confirmed once, in 1991. They also blamed the 35-day government shutdown and the complexity of the vetting process.

“I am grateful to President Trump and Secretary Pompeo for the trust they placed in me for considering me for the position of U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations,” Nauert said in the statement. “However, the past two months have been grueling for my family and therefore it is in the best interest of my family that I withdraw my name from consideration.”

Source: NewsMax Politics

Pence Chastises EU, Rejects Merkel's Call to Work with Russia

Vice President Mike Pence rebuked European powers over Iran and Venezuela on Saturday in a renewed attack on Washington's traditional allies, rejecting a call by Germany's chancellor to include Russia in global cooperation efforts.

In speeches and in private talks at the Munich Security Conference, Pence and Chancellor Angela Merkel laid out competing visions for how the West should address world crises.

"America is stronger than ever before and America is leading on the world stage once again," Pence told European and Asian officials in Munich, listing what he described as U.S. foreign policy successes from Afghanistan to North Korea, and urging support from American allies.

"America First does not mean America alone," he said, hailing the results of Donald Trump's presidency as "remarkable" and "extraordinary," and calling on the EU to follow Washington in quitting the Iran nuclear deal and recognizing the head of Venezuela's congress, Juan Guaido, as the country's president.

Addressing an audience that included Trump's daughter Ivanka, Pence's speech was the latest attempt by a Trump administration official to put the president's "America First" agenda into a coherent policy plan.

European leaders are troubled by Trump's rhetoric, which they say is erratic and disruptive, citing his decision to pull out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal as undermining an arms control agreement that prevented Tehran from developing a nuclear bomb.

But Pence — who last week accused Britain, Germany and France of undermining U.S. sanctions on Iran — repeated his demand for European powers to withdraw from the deal.

"The time has come for our European partners to withdraw from the disastrous Iran nuclear deal," he said, and later pressed Merkel over the issue in bilateral talks.

He also reiterated to her Washington's opposition to the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline under construction between Russia and Germany under the Baltic Sea. "We cannot strengthen the West by becoming dependent on the East," Pence said.

Merkel, who made a robust defense of Germany's foreign trade relations and ties with Russia during her speech, said later it was unreasonable to assume that Russia would be an unreliable energy supplier.

"AMERICA WILL BE BACK"

Speaking before Pence, Merkel questioned whether the U.S. decision to leave the Iran nuclear deal and withdrawal from Syria was the best way to tackle Tehran in the region.

During a question-and-answer session, she added that it would be wrong to exclude Russia politically, but Pence said Washington was "holding Russia accountable" for its 2014 seizure of Ukraine and what the West says are efforts to destabilize it through cyber attacks, disinformation and covert operations.

"Geostrategically, Europe can't have an interest in cutting off all relations with Russia," Merkel said.

Pence, who used his trip to Europe to push Trump's policy of favoring sovereign states as opposed to alliances and blocs, took aim at the EU over Venezuela's political crisis.

"Today we call on the European Union to step forward for freedom and recognize Juan Guaido as the only legitimate president of Venezuela," he said, calling President Nicolas Maduro a dictator who must step down.

In his roving address, Pence also stepped up U.S. pressure on Chinese telecoms gear companies such as Huawei Technologies Co, urging allies to avoid the firms and saying Chinese law requires them to give Beijing access to networks and data.

China's top diplomat Yang Jiechi rejected Pence's comments. "Chinese law doesn't require companies to install back doors to collect intelligence," Yang told the conference.

Yang, one of the architects of Chinese foreign policy, echoed Merkel's vision, saying the world should "pull together" to address global challenges, while former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden got a standing ovation for a speech in which he said that after Trump, close traditional U.S.-EU would resume. "America will be back," he said.

Source: NewsMax Politics

Report: Bernie Sanders Records Campaign Announcement Video

Bernie Sanders has recorded a campaign video in which he says he’s running for president in 2020, Politico reports, citing two people familiar. It’s unclear when, or whether, the video will be released, Politico says.

Sanders, 77, an independent senator from Vermont who caucuses with Democrats, said earlier this week he would introduce a Medicare for All bill “fairly soon.” In the event of a campaign announcement, he would be joining a widening group of presidential hopefuls including Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, Senator Kamala Harris of California, Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, and Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey

Sanders spokeswoman Sarah Ford didn’t respond to a request for comment from Politico. In January, Politico reported that the Sanders team was in talks with film-making company Means of Production, which created New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign video in the 2018 midterm election.

Source: NewsMax Politics

Pete King: NY Dems Must Stop Leftists After Amazon Loss

Rep. Pete King, R-N.Y., on Saturday urged Democratic leaders in New York to fight far-left members of the party who succeeded in forcing Amazon to pull out of a plan to bring thousands of jobs to Long Island City.

"Amazon's decision to leave Long Island City was a disaster for the entire New York-Long Island Metropolitan region and it was caused entirely by the radical progressive wing of the Democratic Party," King wrote in an email sent to constituents. "It is now absolutely necessary for New York Democrats to take a strong, unequivocal stand against these left wing progressives."

The Republican congressman noted he has long worked with members of both parties for the good of his state and the city, including Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio, both of whom worked with Amazon to bring the headquarters to the city.

Freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was among the leaders of the movement to push Amazon out, citing, among other things, $3 billion in tax breaks offered by the state and local governments.

"Democratic political and governmental leaders must make it clear that radical progressives will not have a veto power over the economic future of New York and Long Island," King warned in his Saturday message. "Not only did Amazon’s decision cost New York tens of thousands of jobs and as much $100 billion in revenues, it sent a signal to the rest of the country that New York is not open for business. And this came at a time when business people and billions of tax dollars were already leaving New York.

"The undoing of their deal was brought about by radical progressives and elected Democrats," King said. "The irresponsible policies and agendas of these radical Democrats can no longer be ignored or romanticized. Too much is at stake. Too many working people are being hurt and their futures put at risk. Democratic leaders must step and speak out."

Source: NewsMax Politics

Trump Emergency Declaration Faces Fights in the Courts

President Donald Trump declared a national emergency along the southern border and predicted his administration would end up defending it all the way to the Supreme Court.

That might have been the only thing Trump said Friday that produced near-universal agreement.

The American Civil Liberties Union announced its intention to sue less than an hour after the White House released the text of Trump's declaration that the "current situation at the southern border presents a border security and humanitarian crisis that threatens core national security interests and constitutes a national emergency."

Nonprofit watchdog group Public Citizen filed suit later, urging the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to "bar Trump and the U.S. Department of Defense from using the declaration and funds appropriated for other purposes to build a border wall."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and several Democratic state attorneys general already have said they might go to court.

The coming legal fight seems likely to hinge on two main issues: Can the president declare a national emergency to build a border wall in the face of Congress' refusal to give him all the money he wanted and, under the federal law Trump invoked in his declaration, can the Defense Department take money from some congressionally approved military construction projects to pay for wall construction?

The Pentagon has so far not said which projects might be affected.

But after weeks of publicly ruminating whether to act, Trump's signature on the declaration set in motion a quick march to the courthouse.

Trump relied on the National Emergencies Act of 1976, which Congress adopted as a way to put some limits on presidential use of national emergencies. The act requires a president to notify Congress publicly of the national emergency and to report every six months. The law also says the president must renew the emergency every year, simply by notifying Congress. The House and Senate also can revoke a declaration by majority vote, though it would take a two-thirds vote by each house to override an expected presidential veto.

Beyond that, though, the law doesn't say what constitutes a national emergency or impose any other limits on the president.

The broad grant of discretion to the president could make it hard to persuade courts to rule that Trump exceeded his authority in declaring a border emergency. "He's the one who gets to make the call. We can't second-guess it," said John Eastman, a professor of constitutional law at the Chapman University School of Law.

Courts often are reluctant to look beyond the justifications the president included in his proclamation, Ohio State University law professor Peter Shane said on a call organized by the liberal American Constitution Society.

But other legal experts said the facts are powerfully arrayed against the president. They include government statistics showing a decades-long decline in illegal border crossings as well as Trump's rejection of a deal last year that would have provided more than the nearly $1.4 billion he got for border security in the budget agreement he signed Thursday. Opponents of the declaration also are certain to use Trump's own words at his Rose Garden news conference Friday to argue that there is no emergency on the border.

"I could do the wall over a longer period of time," Trump said. "I didn't need to do this, but I'd rather do it much faster."

Republican Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan said Congress made a conscious choice not to give Trump what he wanted. "A prerequisite for declaring an emergency is that the situation requires immediate action and Congress does not have an opportunity to act," Amash said on Twitter.

ACLU executive director Anthony Romero said Trump's remarks are an admission that there is no national emergency. "He just grew impatient and frustrated with Congress," Romero said in a statement that also said the rights group would file a lawsuit next week.

Trying to turn the president's words against him failed in the challenge to Trump's ban on travel to the United States by citizens of several mostly Muslim countries. The ban's opponents argued that Trump's comments as a candidate and as president showed the ban was motivated by anti-Muslim bias, not concern about national security. Lower courts struck down the ban, but the Supreme Court upheld it in a 5-4 vote last year.

Trump said he expected to lose in lower courts that he claims have been unfair to him, particularly if lawsuits are filed in California. "Hopefully, we'll get a fair shake and we'll win in the Supreme Court, just like the ban," he said.

Beyond the challenge to Trump's authority to declare an emergency, lawsuits also are expected to focus on the military construction project law that allows the re-allocation of money in a national emergency.

Eastman said he doubts that the Supreme Court would try to interfere with Trump's decision to send the military to the border and then authorize the use of money from other Defense Department construction projects to build miles of a border wall. "The president is authorized to make those judgments, not some judge in San Francisco," Eastman said.

But the ACLU's suit will argue that Congress allowed for flexibility in using money it appropriated for projects needed to support the emergency use of the military forces, like overseas military airfields in wartime.

Several legal experts said claims that the building of the wall is not the kind of project contemplated in the military construction law could be more difficult to rebut because border security is more like a law enforcement issue than a military emergency.

But Shane, the Ohio State professor, said, "It's hard to know how exactly this is going to unfold politically or judicially."

Source: NewsMax Politics

Trump Emergency Declaration Faces Fights in the Courts

President Donald Trump declared a national emergency along the southern border and predicted his administration would end up defending it all the way to the Supreme Court.

That might have been the only thing Trump said Friday that produced near-universal agreement.

The American Civil Liberties Union announced its intention to sue less than an hour after the White House released the text of Trump's declaration that the "current situation at the southern border presents a border security and humanitarian crisis that threatens core national security interests and constitutes a national emergency."

Nonprofit watchdog group Public Citizen filed suit later, urging the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to "bar Trump and the U.S. Department of Defense from using the declaration and funds appropriated for other purposes to build a border wall."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and several Democratic state attorneys general already have said they might go to court.

The coming legal fight seems likely to hinge on two main issues: Can the president declare a national emergency to build a border wall in the face of Congress' refusal to give him all the money he wanted and, under the federal law Trump invoked in his declaration, can the Defense Department take money from some congressionally approved military construction projects to pay for wall construction?

The Pentagon has so far not said which projects might be affected.

But after weeks of publicly ruminating whether to act, Trump's signature on the declaration set in motion a quick march to the courthouse.

Trump relied on the National Emergencies Act of 1976, which Congress adopted as a way to put some limits on presidential use of national emergencies. The act requires a president to notify Congress publicly of the national emergency and to report every six months. The law also says the president must renew the emergency every year, simply by notifying Congress. The House and Senate also can revoke a declaration by majority vote, though it would take a two-thirds vote by each house to override an expected presidential veto.

Beyond that, though, the law doesn't say what constitutes a national emergency or impose any other limits on the president.

The broad grant of discretion to the president could make it hard to persuade courts to rule that Trump exceeded his authority in declaring a border emergency. "He's the one who gets to make the call. We can't second-guess it," said John Eastman, a professor of constitutional law at the Chapman University School of Law.

Courts often are reluctant to look beyond the justifications the president included in his proclamation, Ohio State University law professor Peter Shane said on a call organized by the liberal American Constitution Society.

But other legal experts said the facts are powerfully arrayed against the president. They include government statistics showing a decades-long decline in illegal border crossings as well as Trump's rejection of a deal last year that would have provided more than the nearly $1.4 billion he got for border security in the budget agreement he signed Thursday. Opponents of the declaration also are certain to use Trump's own words at his Rose Garden news conference Friday to argue that there is no emergency on the border.

"I could do the wall over a longer period of time," Trump said. "I didn't need to do this, but I'd rather do it much faster."

Republican Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan said Congress made a conscious choice not to give Trump what he wanted. "A prerequisite for declaring an emergency is that the situation requires immediate action and Congress does not have an opportunity to act," Amash said on Twitter.

ACLU executive director Anthony Romero said Trump's remarks are an admission that there is no national emergency. "He just grew impatient and frustrated with Congress," Romero said in a statement that also said the rights group would file a lawsuit next week.

Trying to turn the president's words against him failed in the challenge to Trump's ban on travel to the United States by citizens of several mostly Muslim countries. The ban's opponents argued that Trump's comments as a candidate and as president showed the ban was motivated by anti-Muslim bias, not concern about national security. Lower courts struck down the ban, but the Supreme Court upheld it in a 5-4 vote last year.

Trump said he expected to lose in lower courts that he claims have been unfair to him, particularly if lawsuits are filed in California. "Hopefully, we'll get a fair shake and we'll win in the Supreme Court, just like the ban," he said.

Beyond the challenge to Trump's authority to declare an emergency, lawsuits also are expected to focus on the military construction project law that allows the re-allocation of money in a national emergency.

Eastman said he doubts that the Supreme Court would try to interfere with Trump's decision to send the military to the border and then authorize the use of money from other Defense Department construction projects to build miles of a border wall. "The president is authorized to make those judgments, not some judge in San Francisco," Eastman said.

But the ACLU's suit will argue that Congress allowed for flexibility in using money it appropriated for projects needed to support the emergency use of the military forces, like overseas military airfields in wartime.

Several legal experts said claims that the building of the wall is not the kind of project contemplated in the military construction law could be more difficult to rebut because border security is more like a law enforcement issue than a military emergency.

But Shane, the Ohio State professor, said, "It's hard to know how exactly this is going to unfold politically or judicially."

Source: NewsMax Politics

Trump to Nominate Satterfield Ambassador to Turkey

President Donald Trump intends to nominate David Satterfield, a veteran diplomat with deep experience in the Middle East, to be U.S. ambassador to Turkey, the White House said on Friday.

Satterfield has been the acting assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern Affairs since 2017. He has previously served as the deputy U.S. chief of mission in Iraq, ambassador to Lebanon, director for Near Eastern affairs on the National Security Council, as well as in Syria, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.

Turkey, a Muslim-majority NATO ally, borders Syria, Iraq and Iran and is a major player in the region.

The conflict in Syria following Trump's announcement of a U.S. pullout, the fallout from the murder of a Saudi journalist in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, and Turkey's demand for the extradition of a Muslim cleric from the United States are among the main issues in the two countries' relations.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan welcomed Trump's decision in December to withdraw American troops from Syria. Washington has backed Syrian Kurdish YPG fighters while Turkey brands the group a terrorist organization.

Erdogan said in November Turkey would not abide by renewed U.S. sanctions on Iran's oil and shipping industries because they were aimed at "unbalancing the world."

Trump and Erdogan have also taken different tacks in their response to the Oct. 2 killing of U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Trump has said he wants Washington to stand by the Saudi government and its de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, despite a CIA assessment it was likely the prince had ordered the killing. Saudi Arabia has said the prince had no prior knowledge of the murder.

Trump said in November that he was not considering extraditing Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Turkey blames for a failed 2016 coup.

Source: NewsMax Politics

Trump to Nominate Satterfield Ambassador to Turkey

President Donald Trump intends to nominate David Satterfield, a veteran diplomat with deep experience in the Middle East, to be U.S. ambassador to Turkey, the White House said on Friday.

Satterfield has been the acting assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern Affairs since 2017. He has previously served as the deputy U.S. chief of mission in Iraq, ambassador to Lebanon, director for Near Eastern affairs on the National Security Council, as well as in Syria, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.

Turkey, a Muslim-majority NATO ally, borders Syria, Iraq and Iran and is a major player in the region.

The conflict in Syria following Trump's announcement of a U.S. pullout, the fallout from the murder of a Saudi journalist in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, and Turkey's demand for the extradition of a Muslim cleric from the United States are among the main issues in the two countries' relations.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan welcomed Trump's decision in December to withdraw American troops from Syria. Washington has backed Syrian Kurdish YPG fighters while Turkey brands the group a terrorist organization.

Erdogan said in November Turkey would not abide by renewed U.S. sanctions on Iran's oil and shipping industries because they were aimed at "unbalancing the world."

Trump and Erdogan have also taken different tacks in their response to the Oct. 2 killing of U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Trump has said he wants Washington to stand by the Saudi government and its de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, despite a CIA assessment it was likely the prince had ordered the killing. Saudi Arabia has said the prince had no prior knowledge of the murder.

Trump said in November that he was not considering extraditing Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Turkey blames for a failed 2016 coup.

Source: NewsMax Politics

Trump to Nominate Satterfield Ambassador to Turkey

President Donald Trump intends to nominate David Satterfield, a veteran diplomat with deep experience in the Middle East, to be U.S. ambassador to Turkey, the White House said on Friday.

Satterfield has been the acting assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern Affairs since 2017. He has previously served as the deputy U.S. chief of mission in Iraq, ambassador to Lebanon, director for Near Eastern affairs on the National Security Council, as well as in Syria, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.

Turkey, a Muslim-majority NATO ally, borders Syria, Iraq and Iran and is a major player in the region.

The conflict in Syria following Trump's announcement of a U.S. pullout, the fallout from the murder of a Saudi journalist in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, and Turkey's demand for the extradition of a Muslim cleric from the United States are among the main issues in the two countries' relations.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan welcomed Trump's decision in December to withdraw American troops from Syria. Washington has backed Syrian Kurdish YPG fighters while Turkey brands the group a terrorist organization.

Erdogan said in November Turkey would not abide by renewed U.S. sanctions on Iran's oil and shipping industries because they were aimed at "unbalancing the world."

Trump and Erdogan have also taken different tacks in their response to the Oct. 2 killing of U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Trump has said he wants Washington to stand by the Saudi government and its de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, despite a CIA assessment it was likely the prince had ordered the killing. Saudi Arabia has said the prince had no prior knowledge of the murder.

Trump said in November that he was not considering extraditing Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Turkey blames for a failed 2016 coup.

Source: NewsMax Politics

Trump to Nominate Satterfield Ambassador to Turkey

President Donald Trump intends to nominate David Satterfield, a veteran diplomat with deep experience in the Middle East, to be U.S. ambassador to Turkey, the White House said on Friday.

Satterfield has been the acting assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern Affairs since 2017. He has previously served as the deputy U.S. chief of mission in Iraq, ambassador to Lebanon, director for Near Eastern affairs on the National Security Council, as well as in Syria, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.

Turkey, a Muslim-majority NATO ally, borders Syria, Iraq and Iran and is a major player in the region.

The conflict in Syria following Trump's announcement of a U.S. pullout, the fallout from the murder of a Saudi journalist in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, and Turkey's demand for the extradition of a Muslim cleric from the United States are among the main issues in the two countries' relations.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan welcomed Trump's decision in December to withdraw American troops from Syria. Washington has backed Syrian Kurdish YPG fighters while Turkey brands the group a terrorist organization.

Erdogan said in November Turkey would not abide by renewed U.S. sanctions on Iran's oil and shipping industries because they were aimed at "unbalancing the world."

Trump and Erdogan have also taken different tacks in their response to the Oct. 2 killing of U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Trump has said he wants Washington to stand by the Saudi government and its de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, despite a CIA assessment it was likely the prince had ordered the killing. Saudi Arabia has said the prince had no prior knowledge of the murder.

Trump said in November that he was not considering extraditing Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Turkey blames for a failed 2016 coup.

Source: NewsMax Politics

Trump Says Japan's PM Nominated Him for Nobel Peace Prize

President Donald Trump said Friday that Japan's prime minister had nominated him for a Nobel Peace Prize for opening a dialogue with North Korea.

Trump also complained about President Barack Obama's Nobel Peace Prize and doubted he would be similarly honored.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe "gave me the most beautiful copy of a letter that he sent to the people who give out a thing called the Nobel Prize," Trump said at a White House news conference when asked about his late February summit in Vietnam with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. "He said, 'I have nominated you, respectfully, on behalf of Japan. I am asking them to give you the Nobel Peace Prize.'"

The Associated Press could not immediately confirm Trump's claim.

Japan's Foreign Ministry said Saturday that it was aware of Trump's remark but cannot comment on details of the exchanges between Trump and Abe.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who also has credited Trump with starting negotiations with the reclusive North, has endorsed the U.S. leader for the Nobel Peace Prize as well.

Trump said early exchanges with Kim were filled with "fire and fury," but that the two have established a good relationship since their first meeting last year in Singapore. He said claimed Abe nominated him because he was worried about North Korea conducting missile tests over Japan.

Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009, his first year in office, for laying out the U.S. commitment to "seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons."

Trump complained Friday that Obama was there "for about 15 seconds" before he was awarded the prize.

"I'll probably never get it, but that's OK," Trump said. "They gave it to Obama. He didn't even know what he got it for."

Source: NewsMax Politics

Trump Picks Former Alabama Official to Lead FEMA

President Donald Trump says he will nominate a former Alabama official to head the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Jeffrey Byard held several positions with the Alabama Emergency Management Agency before he joined FEMA in 2017 during the agency's response to Hurricanes Harvey in Texas and Irma in Florida. Byard is currently the associate administrator for the Office of Response and Recovery.

If confirmed by the Senate, Byard would succeed Brock Long, who resigned this week after a two-year tenure in which he managed the response to historic wildfires and major hurricanes. Long was also dogged by questions about his use of government vehicles to and from his North Carolina home.

Long said he wants to spend more time with his family. His last day is March 8.

Source: NewsMax Politics

Trump Picks Former Alabama Official to Lead FEMA

President Donald Trump says he will nominate a former Alabama official to head the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Jeffrey Byard held several positions with the Alabama Emergency Management Agency before he joined FEMA in 2017 during the agency's response to Hurricanes Harvey in Texas and Irma in Florida. Byard is currently the associate administrator for the Office of Response and Recovery.

If confirmed by the Senate, Byard would succeed Brock Long, who resigned this week after a two-year tenure in which he managed the response to historic wildfires and major hurricanes. Long was also dogged by questions about his use of government vehicles to and from his North Carolina home.

Long said he wants to spend more time with his family. His last day is March 8.

Source: NewsMax Politics

Trump Declares Emergency for Border Wall, First Lawsuit Filed

President Donald Trump on Friday declared a national emergency in a bid to fund his promised wall at the U.S.-Mexico border without congressional approval, an action Democrats vowed to challenge as a violation of the U.S. Constitution.

The Republican president's move to circumvent Congress represented an escalation in his efforts to make good on a 2016 presidential campaign pledge to build a wall to halt the flow into the country of illegal immigrants, who Trump says bring crime and drugs.

Three Texas landowners and an environmental group filed the first lawsuit on Friday challenging the declaration aimed at freeing up billions of dollars to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico, the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen said.

The lawsuit, brought in federal court in the District of Columbia, claims the south Texas landowners were told by the U.S. government that it would seek to build a border wall on their properties if money for the project were available in 2019, Public Citizen said in a statement.

Earlier in the day, the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives' Judiciary Committee said it had launched an investigation into the emergency declaration.

In a letter to Trump, committee Democrats asked him to make available for a hearing White House and Justice Department officials involved in the action. They also requested legal documents on the decision that led to the declaration, setting a deadline of next Friday.

"We believe your declaration of an emergency shows a reckless disregard for the separation of powers and your own responsibilities under our constitutional system," said the letter signed by Chairman Jerrold Nadler and other top Democrats on the panel.

Trump on Friday also signed a bipartisan government spending bill that would prevent another partial government shutdown by funding several agencies that otherwise would have closed on Saturday.

The funding bill represented a legislative defeat for him since it contains no money for his proposed wall – the focus of weeks of conflict between him and Democrats in Congress.

Trump made no mention of the bill in comments to reporters in the White House's Rose Garden.

He had demanded that Congress provide him with $5.7 billion in wall funding as part of legislation to fund the agencies. That triggered a historic, 35-day December-January government shutdown that hurt the U.S. economy and his opinion poll numbers.

By reorienting his quest for wall funding toward a legally uncertain strategy based on declaring a national emergency, Trump risks plunging into a lengthy legislative and legal battle with Democrats and dividing his fellow Republicans – many of whom expressed grave reservations on Friday about the president's action.

Fifteen Democrats in the Republican-controlled Senate introduced legislation on Thursday to prevent Trump from invoking emergency powers to transfer funds to his wall from accounts Congress has already committed to other projects.

'EXCLUSIVE POWER'

Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic speaker of the House, and top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer swiftly responded to Trump's declaration.

"The president's actions clearly violate the Congress’s exclusive power of the purse, which our Founders enshrined in the Constitution," they said in a statement. "The Congress will defend our constitutional authorities in the Congress, in the courts, and in the public, using every remedy available.”

New York state's attorney general, Letitia James, said her office would also challenge Trump in court. California's governor, Gavin Newsom, also pledged to file suit.

"We won't stand for this abuse of power & will fight back with every legal tool at our disposal," James wrote on Twitter.

The president acknowledged his order would face a lengthy court fight.

"I expect to be sued. I shouldn't be sued … We'll win in the Supreme Court," Trump predicted.

Trump may have also undermined his administration's argument about the urgency of the situation when he told reporters, "I didn't need to do this. But I'd rather do it much faster."

In their letter to Trump, House Judiciary Democrats said that language had left them "troubled."

Both the House and the Senate could pass a resolution terminating the emergency by majority vote. However, that measure would then go to Trump, who would likely veto it. Overriding the veto would require a two-thirds vote in both chambers.

Trump says a wall is needed to curb illegal immigrants and illicit drugs coming across the border. But statistics show illegal immigration via the border is at a 20-year low and that many drug shipments come through legal ports of entry.

Confronted with those statistics by reporters at the Rose Garden event, Trump said they were "wrong."

Also present were a half-dozen women holding poster-sized pictures of family members killed by illegal immigrants. Trump noted their presence in announcing the emergency declaration.

He estimated his emergency declaration could free up as much as $8 billion to pay for part of the wall. Estimates of its total cost run as high as $23 billion.

As a candidate, Trump repeatedly promised Mexico would pay for the wall. It was one of his biggest applause lines at his campaign rallies. Mexico firmly refused to pay, and now Trump wants U.S. taxpayers to cover the costs.

REPUBLICANS CONCERNED

Some congressional Republicans expressed dismay following Trump's announcement.

Greg Walden, a senior House Republican, said on Twitter he was "deeply concerned about the precedent that this action sets."

Republican Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina said in a statement that Trump' declaration was not a solution.

"It wouldn't provide enough funding to adequately secure our borders, it would likely get tied up in litigation, and most concerning is that it would create a new precedent that a left-wing president would undoubtedly utilize to implement their radical policy agenda while bypassing the authority of Congress," Tillis said.

Other Republicans, such as Senator Lindsey Graham, were supportive.

With an emergency formally declared, Trump left Washington to travel to his Mar-a-Lago golf resort in Florida for a holiday break.

Source: NewsMax Politics

Trump Declares Emergency for Border Wall, First Lawsuit Filed

President Donald Trump on Friday declared a national emergency in a bid to fund his promised wall at the U.S.-Mexico border without congressional approval, an action Democrats vowed to challenge as a violation of the U.S. Constitution.

The Republican president's move to circumvent Congress represented an escalation in his efforts to make good on a 2016 presidential campaign pledge to build a wall to halt the flow into the country of illegal immigrants, who Trump says bring crime and drugs.

Three Texas landowners and an environmental group filed the first lawsuit on Friday challenging the declaration aimed at freeing up billions of dollars to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico, the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen said.

The lawsuit, brought in federal court in the District of Columbia, claims the south Texas landowners were told by the U.S. government that it would seek to build a border wall on their properties if money for the project were available in 2019, Public Citizen said in a statement.

Earlier in the day, the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives' Judiciary Committee said it had launched an investigation into the emergency declaration.

In a letter to Trump, committee Democrats asked him to make available for a hearing White House and Justice Department officials involved in the action. They also requested legal documents on the decision that led to the declaration, setting a deadline of next Friday.

"We believe your declaration of an emergency shows a reckless disregard for the separation of powers and your own responsibilities under our constitutional system," said the letter signed by Chairman Jerrold Nadler and other top Democrats on the panel.

Trump on Friday also signed a bipartisan government spending bill that would prevent another partial government shutdown by funding several agencies that otherwise would have closed on Saturday.

The funding bill represented a legislative defeat for him since it contains no money for his proposed wall – the focus of weeks of conflict between him and Democrats in Congress.

Trump made no mention of the bill in comments to reporters in the White House's Rose Garden.

He had demanded that Congress provide him with $5.7 billion in wall funding as part of legislation to fund the agencies. That triggered a historic, 35-day December-January government shutdown that hurt the U.S. economy and his opinion poll numbers.

By reorienting his quest for wall funding toward a legally uncertain strategy based on declaring a national emergency, Trump risks plunging into a lengthy legislative and legal battle with Democrats and dividing his fellow Republicans – many of whom expressed grave reservations on Friday about the president's action.

Fifteen Democrats in the Republican-controlled Senate introduced legislation on Thursday to prevent Trump from invoking emergency powers to transfer funds to his wall from accounts Congress has already committed to other projects.

'EXCLUSIVE POWER'

Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic speaker of the House, and top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer swiftly responded to Trump's declaration.

"The president's actions clearly violate the Congress’s exclusive power of the purse, which our Founders enshrined in the Constitution," they said in a statement. "The Congress will defend our constitutional authorities in the Congress, in the courts, and in the public, using every remedy available.”

New York state's attorney general, Letitia James, said her office would also challenge Trump in court. California's governor, Gavin Newsom, also pledged to file suit.

"We won't stand for this abuse of power & will fight back with every legal tool at our disposal," James wrote on Twitter.

The president acknowledged his order would face a lengthy court fight.

"I expect to be sued. I shouldn't be sued … We'll win in the Supreme Court," Trump predicted.

Trump may have also undermined his administration's argument about the urgency of the situation when he told reporters, "I didn't need to do this. But I'd rather do it much faster."

In their letter to Trump, House Judiciary Democrats said that language had left them "troubled."

Both the House and the Senate could pass a resolution terminating the emergency by majority vote. However, that measure would then go to Trump, who would likely veto it. Overriding the veto would require a two-thirds vote in both chambers.

Trump says a wall is needed to curb illegal immigrants and illicit drugs coming across the border. But statistics show illegal immigration via the border is at a 20-year low and that many drug shipments come through legal ports of entry.

Confronted with those statistics by reporters at the Rose Garden event, Trump said they were "wrong."

Also present were a half-dozen women holding poster-sized pictures of family members killed by illegal immigrants. Trump noted their presence in announcing the emergency declaration.

He estimated his emergency declaration could free up as much as $8 billion to pay for part of the wall. Estimates of its total cost run as high as $23 billion.

As a candidate, Trump repeatedly promised Mexico would pay for the wall. It was one of his biggest applause lines at his campaign rallies. Mexico firmly refused to pay, and now Trump wants U.S. taxpayers to cover the costs.

REPUBLICANS CONCERNED

Some congressional Republicans expressed dismay following Trump's announcement.

Greg Walden, a senior House Republican, said on Twitter he was "deeply concerned about the precedent that this action sets."

Republican Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina said in a statement that Trump' declaration was not a solution.

"It wouldn't provide enough funding to adequately secure our borders, it would likely get tied up in litigation, and most concerning is that it would create a new precedent that a left-wing president would undoubtedly utilize to implement their radical policy agenda while bypassing the authority of Congress," Tillis said.

Other Republicans, such as Senator Lindsey Graham, were supportive.

With an emergency formally declared, Trump left Washington to travel to his Mar-a-Lago golf resort in Florida for a holiday break.

Source: NewsMax Politics

House Panel Announces Probe of Trump's Emergency Declaration

A key committee in the U.S. House of Representatives announced on Friday it was launching an immediate investigation into President Donald Trump's national emergency declaration, saying his move to fund his promised wall at the U.S.-Mexico border raised constitutional and statutory issues.

In a letter to Trump, Democrats who control the House Judiciary Committee asked the Republican president to make available for a hearing White House and Justice Department officials involved in the action. They also requested legal documents on the decision that led to the declaration, setting a deadline of next Friday.

"We believe your declaration of an emergency shows a reckless disregard for the separation of powers and your own responsibilities under our constitutional system," said the letter signed by committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler and other top Democrats on the panel. (Reporting by David Morgan; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

Source: NewsMax Politics

House Panel Announces Probe of Trump's Emergency Declaration

A key committee in the U.S. House of Representatives announced on Friday it was launching an immediate investigation into President Donald Trump's national emergency declaration, saying his move to fund his promised wall at the U.S.-Mexico border raised constitutional and statutory issues.

In a letter to Trump, Democrats who control the House Judiciary Committee asked the Republican president to make available for a hearing White House and Justice Department officials involved in the action. They also requested legal documents on the decision that led to the declaration, setting a deadline of next Friday.

"We believe your declaration of an emergency shows a reckless disregard for the separation of powers and your own responsibilities under our constitutional system," said the letter signed by committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler and other top Democrats on the panel. (Reporting by David Morgan; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

Source: NewsMax Politics

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