Matters arising: Trump just called to congratulate Pelosi

Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi and her party stands on the brink of recapturing the House of Representatives.

President Donald Trump has called to congratulate Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi as her party stood on the brink of recapturing the House of Representatives.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the president made a series of calls while watching the election results late Tuesday.

Pelosi’s spokesman Drew Hammill said Trump called Pelosi to congratulate her and to note her tone of bipartisanship.

Sanders says Trump also called Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell “to congratulate him on historic Senate gains.”

Trump also called outgoing House Speaker Paul Ryan and Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

And he called several Republican winners for whom he campaigned in recent weeks, including incoming Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley, incoming Ohio governor Mike DeWine and incoming Florida Sen. Rick Scott.

Election day began in the U.S. on Tuesday morning. Control of the U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives and numerous governorships and state and local offices are all at stake. (Nov. 6)


12:20 a.m.

Women will break the current record of 84 serving at the same time in the U.S. House.

With ballots still being counted across the country, women have won 75 seats and are assured of victory in nine districts where women are the only major-party candidates.

From the Women’s March opposing President Donald Trump the day after he was inaugurated in January 2017 through a stream of sexual assault accusations later that year that sparked the #MeToo movement, outrage and organizing by women have defined Democratic Party politics this election cycle.

More than 230 women, many of them first-time candidates, were on the general-election ballots in House races.

Despite the gains, men will continue to hold the vast majority of House seats.


12:15 a.m.

Democrats have picked up at least 23 House seats, putting them on track to reach the 218 needed to seize control from Republicans after eight years.

Democrats knocked off at least 17 GOP incumbents, picking up moderate, suburban districts across the country. Democrats won seats stretching from suburban Washington, New York and Philadelphia to outside Miami, Chicago and Denver. West Coast results were still coming.

Democrat Abigail Spanberger of Virginia defeated Republican incumbent Dave Brat in suburban Richmond to give Democrats the 23rd pickup.

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi is hailing “a new day in America.”


11:30 p.m.

Republican Ron DeSantis will be Florida’s next governor, riding President Donald Trump’s support to a victory over Democrat Andrew Gillum.

The 40-year-old former congressman and Navy officer won Tuesday after Trump came to Florida twice in the final six days of the election to help increase Republican turnout. Gillum was hoping to become Florida’s first black governor.

DeSantis was considered an underdog until Trump injected himself in the Republican primary, helping DeSantis cruise to victory over better-funded and better-known Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam.

DeSantis stumbled after his nomination, most notably by saying Floridians shouldn’t “monkey this up” by electing Gillum. Although he took a more moderate turn after the primary, DeSantis relied heavily on Trump in the campaign’s final days.


11:25 p.m.

President Donald Trump is deeming the election results a “tremendous success,” as Republicans maintain control of the Senate but Democrats make gains in the House.

Trump tweeted Tuesday night: “Tremendous success tonight. Thank you to all!”

Trump spent the evening watching returns in the White House with family and friends. He spent the days leading up to Election Day on a campaign rally blitz, aimed at boosting Republicans running for Senate.


11:15 p.m.

Florida Democratic nominee for governor Andrew Gillum is conceding to his Republican rival Ron DeSantis. AP has not called the race.

The Tallahassee mayor was seeking to become the state’s first black governor and become the first Democrat to win the governor’s race in more than 20 years.

Returns show that DeSantis has a narrow lead in the race. DeSantis was supported by President Donald Trump.

Gillum tells a crowd at Florida A&M University: “I sincerely regret I couldn’t bring it home for you.” But Gillum, who is just 39 years old, vowed to remain involved in politics.

“I can guarantee you this I’m not going anywhere,” said Gillum. “We’re going to fight, we’re going to keep fighting.”

Gillum pulled off an upset when he won the Democratic primary in August.


11 p.m.

Democrats have won half the seats they need to reclaim the House majority, while Republicans were picking up key Senate contests.

Democrats picked up at least 12 Republican-held House seats in early returns but fell short in a closely watched race in Kentucky as they fought to wrest control of the chamber after eight years of GOP rule.

Democrats needed a net gain of 23 seats to control the House and gain a check on President Donald Trump.

Democratic gains included several suburban districts eyed for turnover because they were won by Hillary Clinton, including seats outside Washington, Philadelphia, Miami and Denver.

Meanwhile, Republicans Mike Braun and Kevin Cramer won Democratic-held Senate seats in Indiana and North Dakota, ousting incumbents Joe Donnelly and Heidi Heitkamp.


10:50 p.m.

Republicans have retained Senate control for two more years, shattering Democrats’ dreams of an anti-Trump wave sweeping them into the majority.

The result was all but assured when Republican Kevin Cramer ousted North Dakota Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp and when Republican businessman Mike Braun ousted Sen. Joe Donnelly in Indiana.

Meanwhile, Sen. Ted Cruz fended off a spirited challenge from Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke and Republican Sen. Marsha Blackburn triumphed in Tennessee.

The GOP’s gains come even as the results in Nevada and Arizona have yet to be determined.


10:25 p.m.

Democrats are gaining ground in their fight for control of the House, picking up key seats in Florida, Pennsylvania and Minnesota.

The early wins give Democrats a share of the seats they’ll need for House control. They won two seats in Florida, knocking off two incumbents there, and have won three seats in Pennsylvania, where court-ordered redistricting made the terrain more favorable to Democrats. They have also defeated a Republican incumbent in Minnesota.

Democrats need a net gain of 23 seats to win the House.


9:50 p.m.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders says a Democratic wave may look more like a “ripple.”

Sanders spoke to reporters at the White House Tuesday night, as election returns were still coming in. She says, “Maybe you get a ripple but I certainly don’t think that there’s a blue wave.”

She says there is still a “long way to go,” but the White House feels “good about where we are right now.”

Should Republicans lose the House, Sanders says the president’s agenda is not going to change.

Speaking on Fox News, Sanders said the candidates that Trump campaigned for are doing well. She also said that if Republicans should lose the House, Democrats should try to work across the aisle.


8:10 p.m.

Polls have closed across the East Coast, but the results in some of the most closely watched races remain too close to call.

Polls across six states closed at 7 p.m. EST, including battlegrounds Georgia, Indiana and Kentucky. Polls in other key states including Florida, Pennsylvania and New Jersey closed at 8 p.m. EST.

At least two lower-profile elections with presidential implications were decided after the first major wave of polls closed in the East.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders easily won his third term as he considers another bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. And Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, another potential 2020 contender, also won her race.

Health care and immigration were high on voters’ minds as they cast ballots in the midterm elections, per a wide-ranging survey by The Associated Press.


7:15 p.m.

As polls begin to close, the White House is stressing the effort President Donald Trump put into a political ground game aimed at putting Republicans in the win column for Tuesday’s midterm elections.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says in a written statement that Trump has headlined 50 political rallies, 30 in the past two months. He’s campaigned for dozens of candidates at all levels of government.

Sanders says the Republican National Committee raised more than $250 million under Trump to defy what she calls “midterm history,” which tends to favor the party that does not control the White House.

Sanders says the president and first lady Melania Trump are looking forward to watching election results Tuesday night with friends and family in the White House residence.


4 p.m.

President Donald Trump is spending Election Day calling allies, tweeting endorsements and following news coverage, after concluding a six-day rally blitz in Missouri late Monday.

Trump packed his closing argument with hardline immigration rhetoric and harsh attacks on Democrats as he stared down the prospect of Republican losses that could shadow his presidency.

Faced with the possibility of keeping the Senate but losing the House, aides have begun laying out the political reality to Trump, who could face an onslaught of Democratic-run investigations and paralysis of his policy agenda.

Trump has already been trying out defensive arguments, noting that midterm losses are typical for the party in the White House, pointing out a high number of GOP retirements and stressing that he has kept his focus on the Senate.


11:45 a.m.

Long lines and malfunctioning machines marred the first hours of voting in some precincts across the U.S.

Some of the biggest problems Tuesday were in Georgia, a state with a hotly contested gubernatorial election. Voters reported waiting up to three hours to vote.

At a polling place in Snellville, Georgia, more than 100 people took turns sitting in children’s chairs and on the floor as they waited in line for hours.

Voter Ontaria Woods said about two dozen people who had come to vote left because of the lines.

At a poll site in Atlanta, voters waited in the rain in long lines that stretched around the building.

Hannah Ackermann said officials at the polling site offered various explanations for the delay, including blaming workers who didn’t show up and overloaded machines.


10:50 a.m.

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi says the midterm elections are basically a referendum on Republican efforts to scrap Obamacare.

The California Democrat says at a Tuesday morning press conference that the election is “about health care.”

Pelosi credits Democratic politicians and activists across the country with helping to fend off attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act following 2016 election results that left Republicans in control of Congress and the White House.

Pelosi says that after 2016 Democrats “didn’t agonize, we organized.”

She forecasts Democratic victories across the country, but with a small overall margin of victory. Pelosi says that as few as 25,000 votes nationwide could swing the results.

Pelosi has remained noncommittal amid speculation that she would step aside to make way for new leadership, regardless of the election results.


10:25 a.m.

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says he hopes the outcome of the U.S. midterm election will ease domestic tensions in the United States and enable Washington to focus on global issues.

Speaking to reporters in Madrid on Tuesday, Lavrov lamented that Russian-American ties have become “hostage to internal political squabbles in America.”

Lavrov said he is hopeful that the election will help stabilize domestic politics in the U.S. “so that Washington could concentrate on some positive steps on the international arena.”

Lavrov also reiterated Moscow’s position that it is not meddling in U.S. elections.

He said, “All the accusations that we will be meddling in today’s elections turned out to be empty statements.”


9 a.m.

Severe weather in several Southern states could affect voter turnout on Election Day.

A line of storms moved through the Deep South overnight and early Tuesday morning, knocking down trees and power lines from Louisiana to South Carolina. There were no serious injuries but an estimated 11,000 residents were left without electricity.

A separate storm front in central Tennessee overnight killed one person, injured two others and also left thousands without power.

The National Weather Service warned of a possibility of high winds, severe thunderstorms and possible tornadoes Tuesday around Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and the Mid-Atlantic region.

Dry weather was forecast for the West and Southwest, but significant snow accumulations were expected across the northern Rockies.


1 a.m.

A turbulent election season that has tested President Donald Trump’s slash-and-burn political style against the strength of the Democratic resistance comes to a close as Americans cast ballots in the first national election of the Trump era.

As voters head to the polls Tuesday, nothing was certain.

Anxious Republicans have privately expressed confidence in their narrow Senate majority but fear the House is slipping away.

Democrats’ very relevance in the Trump era depends on winning at least one chamber of Congress. They remain laser-focused on health care as they predict a nationwide “awakening” that will break up the GOP’s monopoly in Washington and state governments.

The first polls close at 6 p.m. EST.

How Meghan McCain, Obama knock Trump at John McCain’s funeral service: ‘America was always great’

Meghan McCain and President Barack Obama took apparent swipes at President Trump on Saturday in a eulogy for John McCain — who sparred with Trump on a number of occasions before his death last week of brain cancer.

“The America of John McCain has no need to be made great again because America was always great,’ McCain’s daughter said, in what appeared to be a reference to Trump’s presidential campaign slogan: “Make America Great Again.”

The remarks were made during a funeral service at Washington National Cathedral for the Arizona Republican, who died last week of brain cancer.

Obama’s jabs were more subtle but still appeared to be directed at the current occupant of the White House. He derided those in politics who traffic in “bombast and insult and phony controversies and manufactured outrage.”

He also attacked “a politics that pretends to be brave and tough but in fact is born of fear.”

“John called on us to be bigger than that. He called on us to be better than that,” he said.

It was Meghan McCain who had the most searing swipes at the president however. Notably she said that her father’s passing represented the passing of “American greatness. The real thing, not cheap rhetoric from men who will never come near the sacrifice he gave so willingly, nor the opportunistic appropriation of those who lived lives of comfort and privilege while he suffered and served.”

The casket of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., is carried down the steps of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018, in Washington, for a departure to the Washington National Cathedral for a memorial service. (Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post via AP, Pool)

Former presidents will be among those paying tribute to John McCain.  (AP)

Former President George W. Bush also paid tribute to McCain.

“John – as he was the first to tell you – was not a perfect man. But he dedicated his life to national ideals that are as perfect as men and women have yet conceived,” he said. “He was motivated by a vision of America carried ever forward, ever upward, on the strength of its principles.”

The funeral service notably did not feature President Trump, who had feuded with McCain, particularly during the presidential campaign. In 2015, after McCain had said Trump’s platform had “fired up the crazies,” Trump had mocked McCain’s imprisonment in the Vietnam War, saying: “I like people that weren’t captured.” Trump has also fumed about McCain’s vote last year to kill off a bill to reform ObamaCare.

Both Trump’s daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner were in attendance. Trump, meanwhile, went to the Trump National Golf Club in Virginia. He also tweeted about subjects including the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Russian investigation.

A six-term senator and a Vietnam veteran who was held as a prisoner of war for more than five years, McCain pushed for bipartisanship on the Hill. He ran against Bush for the Republican presidential nomination in 2000. He clinched the nomination in 2008 but was defeated in the presidential election by Obama.


Other notable speakers included former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and former Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman.

“His death seems to have reminded the American people that these values are what makes us a great nation, not the tribal partisanship and personal attack politics that have recently characterized our life, ” Lieberman, who McCain considered for his vice-presidential nominee, said.

McCain’s pallbearers included actor Warren Beatty and Russian dissident Vladimir Kara-Murza, as well as former Vice President Joe Biden and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Earlier Saturday, his casket traveled to the cathedral after stopping at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, where McCain’s wife Cindy laid a wreath. Defense Secretary James Mattis and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly accompanied her.

On Friday colleagues, family and friends paid tribute to his service both in the military and the Congress as he lay in state underneath the Capitol rotunda.


With members of McCain’s family in attendance, Vice President Mike Pence said Americans “marveled at the iron will of John McCain” and praised him for holding fast “to his faith in America through six decades of service.”

“Generations of Americans will continue to marvel at the man who lies before us, the cocky, handsome naval aviator who barely scraped through school, and then fought for freedom in the skies; who witnessed to our highest values, even through terrible torture; and who became a generational leader in the United States Senate, where our nation airs its great debates,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said.

Tributes have poured in from both sides of the aisle for the Republican senator and 2008 presidential nominee. On Thursday, former Vice President Joe Biden remembered McCain as a brother, and said the two were “cockeyed optimists” in a memorial service for McCain at a church in Phoenix.

Biden, a Democrat, declared that McCain’s “legacy is going to continue to inspire generations.”

McCain is to be buried Sunday at his alma mater, the U.S. Naval Academy, next to his best friend from the Class of 1958, Adm. Chuck Larson.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Donald Trump’s tight, lonely corner

You’re president of the United States, running the most powerful nation on earth — stock markets soaring, joblessness sinking, the world in a season of relative peace and prosperity.

The bottom line: But President Trump has never been more isolated from allies he needs most.

Show less
  • The public is against him: A new Washington Post/ABC News poll found a record 60% of Americans view him unfavorably.
  • Guess who those same people like a lot better: Robert Mueller (63% support his investigation) and Attorney General Jeff Sessions (64% say he shouldn’t be fired; 62% side with him on the Mueller probe).
  • His legal team is shrinking. Not only is top White House lawyer Don McGahn leaving soon, but McGahn deputy counsel Annie Donaldson is expected to leave soon after. “[T]he White House Counsel’s Office has dwindled to about 25 lawyers, down from roughly 35,” per the WashPost.
  • His allies are buckling, with embarrassing admissions in the plea deal by personal lawyer Michael Cohen.
  • Immunity has been granted to his gossip shield, David Pecker, CEO of the National Enquirer’s publisher; and Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg.
  • Tensions with staff run high as ever. He has never been close to many of his top staffers, and this is more true than ever.
  • The N.Y. Times’ Maggie Haberman tweets: “His aides say he is behaving as if he is cornered.”

Be smart … Everything in Trump’s life has been about going big: The buildings got bigger, the deals got bigger, the bankruptcies got bigger —which only made the comebacks bigger, which made winning the presidency all the bigger.

  • The corner feels small, and he keeps being told the one big move he fantasizes about making — staring down Mueller under the bright lights, one on one — could destroy it all.

♦ Culled from Axios (Author, Mike Allen) Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Omarosa Claims Melania Trump Can’t Wait to Divorce the President: She’s ‘Counting Every Minute’

Former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman‘s new book has dominated headlines for days, and it has as much dirt on President Donald Trump’s personal relationships as it does his administration. In Unhinged: An Insider’s Account of the Trump White House, which came out Tuesday, Manigault Newman writes that Trump’s relationship with wife Melania is so strained that, “in [her] opinion,” the first lady is “counting every minute until he is out of office and she can divorce him.”

In the book, the 44-year-old former reality star writes that “Trumpworld intimates” often talked about the possibility that Trump had helped his wife, a former model, secure an Einstein (EB-1) visa. They questioned if Mrs. Trump had the “extraordinary ability” required to obtain such a visa and suggested that her husband used his wide network of connections to “secure or expedite it,” according to the book. Manigault Newman does not name any of these “Trumpworld intimates.”

In her book, Manigault Newman suggests that one of the reasons why Mrs. Trump stays in her marriage is for fear that Trump might find a way to “invalidate” the visa if she left him.

“Since Donald is fully aware of however she acquired her permanent citizenship, he could, if there were anything fishy around it, expose the methods and somehow invalidate it,” Manigault Newman writes. “He is a vindictive man, and I would not put anything past him.”

Trump Calls Omarosa Manigault Newman a ‘Dog’ After She Claims He’s Racist and in ‘Mental Decline’

She continues, “If Melania were to try to pull the ultimate humiliation and leave him while he’s in office, he would find a way to punish her. This is a man who has said he could pardon himself from the Mueller investigation. Why not pardon himself over an alleged visa payoff?”

“In my opinion,” Manigault Newman adds, “Melania is counting every minute until he is out of office and she can divorce him.”

Immigration lawyers told The New York Times in March 2018 that Mrs. Trump probably did qualify for such a visa on her own.

Mrs. Trump’s communications director, Stephanie Grisham, said in a statement to PEOPLE on Wednesday, “Mrs. Trump rarely, if ever, interacted with Omarosa. It’s disappointing to her that she is lashing out and retaliating in such a self-serving way, especially after all the opportunities given to her by the President.”

In her book, Manigault Newman suggests that one of the reasons why Mrs. Trump stays in her marriage is for fear that Trump might find a way to “invalidate” the visa if she left him.

In Unhinged, Manigault Newman also writes that when Trump was at functions without his wife he “behaved like a dog off the leash.” She also addresses Trump’s alleged affairs with Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal (which he has denied).

“It would be safe to assume that there were many others,” Manigault Newman writes, although she presents no proof of other relationships.

In the book, she paints Trump as a bully in his marriage. But she says she believes that Mrs. Trump is asserting her power in small ways. In Manigault Newman’s opinion, the first lady makes certain fashion statements (like wearing the “I really don’t care” jacket) to “punish” her husband.

Manigault Newman also says she suspects that Mrs. Trump intentionally embarrasses the president with “small gestures.” Multiple instances have been caught on film in which the first lady appears resistant to holding her husband’s hand. This happened in April 2018, as the first couple welcomed French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife, Brigitte, to the White House for the Trump administration’s first state visit.

In footage captured by MSNBC and later dissected by Twitter users, Trump appeared to make a subtle effort to hold his wife’s hand, first extending his pinky finger and then gently giving her hand a little shake before she finally placed her hand his. People on Twitter took note.

“Unlike the past, when [Melania] had no recourse or influence, she no longer had to accept her powerlessness,” Manigault Newman writes. “I believe that by avoiding Donald’s clasp in public, Melania was grasping the full extent of her power.”

The author continues, “At any time, if [Melania] so desired, she could humiliate [Donald] in public with small, ambiguous gestures, just as he’d openly humiliated her with his affairs and lascivious behavior for years. And there was nothing anyone could do to stop her.”

In response to the publication of Unhinged, President Trump has taken to Twitter in a rage. He recently tweeted that Manigault Newman is a “dog” and has “zero credibility.”

Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has also issued a statement saying that Newman’s book “is riddled with lies and false accusations,” adding that “it’s sad that a disgruntled former White House employee is trying to profit off these false attacks, and even worse that the media would now give her a platform, after not taking her seriously when she had only positive things to say about the President during her time in the administration.”

And on Tuesday, the president’s campaign announced it has filed for arbitration against Manigault Newman for allegedly breaching a 2016 nondisclosure agreement, according to CNN. (Manigault Newman’s attorney, John Phillips, told PEOPLE in a statement Tuesday: “At this time, we haven’t seen any legal action and don’t have a comment on it.”)

Since Manigault Newman appeared on Trump’s reality show The Apprentice, she has been a loyal supporter. That changed in December 2017, when she was fired from her White House position. Since then, she’s been increasingly critical of Trump. Beyond releasing her book, she claims to have heard a tape in which he uses the “N-word,” and released a recording that allegedly shows that Chief of Staff John Kelly not only fired her, but threatened her while doing so.

Her book is just as permeated with controversy. Not only does Manigault Newman claim that Trump is a man in “mental decline,” she also suspects he “covets” his daughter, Ivanka Trump, and is verbally abusive to his son, Donald Trump Jr. The allegations of mistreatment extend to wife Melania, and according to Manigault Newman, explain why she’d want to leave her husband

Culled from the People

Nigeria summons representative of US ambassador over Trump comments

ABUJA (Reuters) – Nigeria’s government on Monday summoned a representative of the the U.S. ambassador to explain reported remarks by President Donald Trump that immigrants from Africa and Haiti come from “shithole countries”, the foreign ministry said.

Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama “sought clarification on the veracity or otherwise of the substance of the remarks, stressing that if they were true, they were deeply hurtful, offensive and unacceptable”, the ministry said in a statement.

Trump reportedly made the remarks at a private meeting with lawmakers on immigration on Thursday. A U.S. senator who attended the gathering said the president used “vile, vulgar” language, including repeatedly using the word “shithole” when speaking about African countries.

The Nigerian foreign ministry statement noted the “very warm and cordial relations that presently exist” between Nigeria and the U.S.

The United States, represented by Deputy Chief of Mission David J. Young as the ambassador was not in Nigeria, said there were contradictory accounts as to whether the remarks were made, the statement said.

In a separate statement, a U.S. embassy spokesman said Young “reiterated the excellent relations that exist between the United States and Nigeria and they discussed future cooperation between the two countries”.

The U.S. president on Friday denied using such derogatory language. But he has been widely condemned in many African countries and by international rights organisations. African Union countries demanded an apology on Friday.

(Reporting by Felix Onuah and Camillus Eboh; Writing by Alexis Akwagyiram and Paul Carsten; Editing by Andrew Roche)

Donald Trump – 100 days of supervisory garbage

God’s own country is plunged into a filthy sea of inexplicable leadership challenge and policy-making ambiguity

By Anthony Obi Ogbo

The psychological relevance of Tao Te Ching’s Art of War “The Journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step” basically signifies the strategic importance of operating goals, tasks, and actions – definitely not a journey from Trump Towers to the White House.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, the 32nd President of the United States understood this philosophy, when in 1933, he used his first three months in office to lay the foundation of his executive mandate. Following this, the “First 100 Days” has been strategically imbedded by default as an exceptional period in foretelling the values of governance and tenure effectiveness. It sets the tone of administration’s potential and substance – or lack of it.

Without twisting words, it is unquestionable that in just less than three months of Trump’s inauguration, God’s Own Country has already been hurled into chaos. From cutting regulations, creating jobs, through his actions on trade, ethics, national security, immigration, public safety, women, and minority’s affairs, Trump has operated haphazardly, without strategies, thus, exhibiting exceedingly, a disgraceful show of paucity of vision, purpose, arrogance, ignorance, and mediocrity.

Intoxicated by his supervisory mandate without the required strategies to move the country forward, Trump wildly relied on autocratic executive actions to induce a bulk of his accomplishments, but that is not selling. Some commentaries, especially those spewing from the right wing had structured their assessment of Trump’s stewardship to reflect his pugnacious determination to fulfill his electioneering promises. However, abusive use of executive orders to hurriedly fulfill incredibly questionable electioneering vows to generate Twitter likes and shares remain one of Trump’s policy-making miseries.

Most controversial among his orders was Executive Order 13769, signed on January 27, 2017, curtailing refugees and stone-heartedly suspending the entry of Syrian refugees indefinitely. Trump was not done – this order also blocked nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries — Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the United States, signaling the harshest immigration policy in generations.

Trump’s Immigration policy excess was punctuated by the legal system he chose to sideline. Two judges restrained him. A Federal Judge in Hawaii issued a nationwide order blocking his ban on travel from parts of the Muslim world, whereas another in Maryland issued a separate Order, forbidding the core provision of the Trump’s travel ban from going into effect.

Anti-Trump protesters march along Lavaca Street in Austin, Texas, on Wednesday Nov. 9, 2016. Hundreds of University of Texas students marched through downtown Austin in protest of Donald Trump’s presidential victory.(Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman via AP)

Trump’s move to retaliate against States opposed to his immigration enforcement policies also met another waterloo, just as his tenure sailed into the 100-day threshold. A Federal District Court Judge William Orrick issued a ruling, blocking his Executive Order seeking to cut federal funding to “sanctuary cities” – jurisdictions that refuse to help the Federal Government apprehend and deport undocumented immigrants. According to San Francisco city attorney, Dennis Herrera, “This is why we have courts – to halt the overreach of a President and an Attorney General who either don’t understand the Constitution or choose to ignore it.”

It is a fact that Trump campaigned and won on imaginable election promises. However, it has been established that electioneering victory is neither a proof of decision-making aptitude nor a test of exemplary leadership, but purely, a process of democracy.

Trump already admitted he was more of a negotiator than a transformational leader. He lied to his constituents that he was a dealmaker, and bragged about negotiating the country into economic possibilities. Yet, he has shown no talent for bargaining policies. For instance, he dabbled into a so called Trump/Ryan Care as a substitution to Obamacare and crashed beyond redemption; he bombarded Syria in a raid that turned out as lavish social media promotion; and then, dropped a so-called “Mother of all Bombs” in Afghanistan with absolutely no strategic purpose on negotiating North Korea.

Trump’s cohorts argued that his iron-handed approach to foreign issues signals seriousness and superiority over rogue nations. Again, this issue is not just about his recklessness in discharging ammunitions, it is all about leadership integrity.

Trump had initially dismissed the Syrian issue and vowed not to spend America’s monies on global wars and security. He swore, “I’m not, and I don’t want to be the President of the world. I’m the President of the United States, and from now on it’s going to be America first.” Therefore, directing airstrikes in Syria reveals a fluidity of a foggy vision – the height of deception, and shows a total lack of integrity. Any leader who speaks from both sides of his mouth must neither be trusted nor respected. Hence, Trump remains a monumental train-wreck with fatalities on stand-by.

Trump’s policy catastrophe might be worse than the tsunami. The LA Times Editorial Board in a few sentences captured a profile of a President that was wrong on arrival:

“He is a man so unpredictable, so reckless, so petulant, so full of blind self-regard, so untethered to reality that it is impossible to know where his presidency will lead or how much damage he will do to our nation. His obsession with his own fame, wealth and success, his determination to vanquish enemies real and imagined, his craving for adulation — these traits were, of course, at the very heart of his scorched-earth outsider campaign; indeed, some of them helped get him elected. But in a real presidency in which he wields unimaginable power, they are nothing short of disastrous.”

In his 100 days, he has accomplished absolutely nothing, but pour drums acid on the cord that unites the country. Already, he has plunged this God’s Own Country into a filthy sea of inexplicable leadership challenge and policy-making ambiguity. Till date, the only entity that has benefited from Trump’s 100-day policy wreckage is the Saturday Night Live – a late-night live television comedy and variety show constantly lampooning Trump’s decision-making meltdown and presidential disgrace.

Russian President, Vladimir Putin might have succeeded in leading a notorious cyber-hacking squad that fraudulently created the path to Trump’s election victory. But the truth remains: Trump is, not just an America’s problem, he is a Global Agony.

♦ Anthony Obi Ogbo, Ph.D. is the editor of International Guardian, and the author of The Influence of Leadership.

Trump Switches Position On Cuba – Says He Will Do All He Can To Help

At a Miami rally in September, Trump said he would roll back Obama’s Cuban policy reforms unless Cuban leaders allowed religious freedom and freed political prisoners. “The next president can reverse them, and that I will do unless the Castro regime meets our demands,” Trump told supporters.
At a Miami rally in September, Trump said he would roll back Obama’s Cuban policy reforms unless Cuban leaders allowed religious freedom and freed political prisoners. “The next president can reverse them, and that I will do unless the Castro regime meets our demands,” Trump told supporters.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (Reuters) – U.S. President-elect Donald Trump said on Saturday that his administration would “do all it can” once it takes office on Jan. 20 to help boost freedom and prosperity for Cuban people after the death of Fidel Castro.

Trump had threatened late in his upstart campaign for the White House that concerns about religious freedom in Cuba could prompt him to reverse President Barack Obama’s moves to open relations with the Cold War adversary after more than a half-century’s estrangement.

Obama said this was an emotional moment for Cubans and Cuban-Americans and offered condolences to Castro’s family.

“At this time of Fidel Castro’s passing, we extend a hand of friendship to the Cuban people,” he said in a statement, noting his administration had “worked hard to put the past behind us.”

Republicans closely await what Trump – a billionaire businessman known for his unconventional approach to politics and policy – will do on Cuba once he takes office.

“Though the tragedies, deaths and pain caused by Fidel Castro cannot be erased, our administration will do all it can to ensure the Cuban people can finally begin their journey toward prosperity and liberty,” Trump said in a statement issued from his West Palm Beach, Florida, resort where he and his family are spending the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.”While Cuba remains a totalitarian island, it is my hope that today marks a move away from the horrors endured for too long, and toward a future in which the wonderful Cuban people finally live in the freedom they so richly deserve,” he added.

At a Miami rally in September, Trump said he would roll back Obama’s Cuban policy reforms unless Cuban leaders allowed religious freedom and freed political prisoners.

“The next president can reverse them, and that I will do unless the Castro regime meets our demands,” Trump told supporters.

A bloc of mostly Republican Cuban-American lawmakers has worked to keep tight restrictions on trade and travel with Cuba for years. Some Republican lawmakers broke with party orthodoxy to back Obama’s reforms, drawn by the economic benefits of restoring ties.

But many have chafed against the changes, saying Cuba’s government was still too repressive to ease restrictions.

Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who ran against Trump to be the Republican presidential candidate, said Castro turned Cuba into “an impoverished island prison” where dissidents were routinely jailed and killed.

“The dictator has died, but the dictatorship has not,” Rubio said in a statement. “The future of Cuba ultimately remains in the hands of the Cuban people, and now more than ever Congress and the new administration must stand with them against their brutal rulers and support their struggle for freedom and basic human rights.”

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a senior Republican House lawmaker from Florida who fled Cuba as a child, said on CNN that Castro’s death changes nothing.

“We lost our native homeland to communism,” Ros-Lehtinen said. “They just rule over Cuba with an iron fist.”

Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he hoped Raul Castro would “turn the page” on oppression. “Freedom and democracy are long overdue in Cuba,” he said in a statement.

Donald Trump Basically Says Conflicts Of Interest Aren’t Illegal If The President Has Them

Paul Blumenthal (The Huffington Post)

WASHINGTON ― President-elect Donald Trump told The New York Times Tuesday that laws around conflicts of interest don’t apply to him, and he can simply keep running his businesses from the White House.

“In theory I could run my business perfectly and then run the country perfectly,” Trump said, according to tweets from New York Times reporters interviewing the president-elect Tuesday. “There’s never been a case like this.”

He is technically correct on both counts.

Federal conflict of interest laws do not apply to the president of the United States, and the obvious conflicts of interest created from his ownership of a global real estate empire are unprecedented in the nation’s history. Just because the federal laws mandating other federal officials to place their assets into a true blind trust run by an independent trustee do not apply to the president, does not mean that Trump’s conflicts of interest are not real.

Trump seems to think otherwise: “The law’s totally on my side, the president can’t have a conflict of interest.”

To take Trump seriously, and not literally, as his defenders like to do, he is saying: If the president does it, it’s not illegal.

The comments come just hours after Trump tweeted Monday night that people knew about his glaring conflicts of interest when they voted for him. It is therefore supposedly the media’s fault for reporting on them.

Trump’s global real estate empire presents the potential for massive conflicts of interest or their appearance as every U.S. government policy action could be directed or seen to be directed to benefit the president’s pocketbook. The United States government is supposed to act in the public interest of the people and not in support of one individual’s private benefit.

The list of the president-elect’s conflict of interest problems has grown over the two weeks since he won election.

Trump has claimed to place his three adult children, Ivanka, Donald Jr. and Eric Trump, in charge of his business, but also appointed them to the executive committee of his presidential transition, thus nullifying any separation between company and government.

He met with three of his Indian business partners one week after winning election. Trump is involved in at least five real estate deals in India.

His Argentinian business partners celebrated with him at his victory party and helped President Mauricio Macri get in touch with the president-elect after the election. Trump hopes to build an office tower in Buenos Aires.

Ivanka Trump, supposedly leading the Trump business independent of politics, also spoke with Macri on that call. She also appeared in a photograph with Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe when he met with the president-elect.

Laws against bribery most certainly apply to the president. Another thing that does is the emoluments clause of the Constitution. It states that no government official shall receive favorable payment from a foreign government, foreign government-owned company or foreign official without the consent of Congress. Trump owes millions in debt to the Bank of China, which is owned by the government of China.

President-elect Donald Trump (right) and his adult son Eric Trump (left) cut the ribbon to open the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.
President-elect Donald Trump (right) and his adult son Eric Trump (left) cut the ribbon to open the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.

He also owes hundreds of millions in debt to Deutsche Bank, a private German bank that is currently in settlement talks with the Department of Justice over its illegal mortgage abuses. He operates a hotel in Las Vegas currently in a labor dispute.

He owns a government lease for his Washington, D.C., hotel even though the lease states that it could not be held by a government official. The D.C. hotel held an event the week after his election to sell foreign diplomats and dignitaries on staying at its expensive luxury rooms to curry favor with the president-elect.

In the New York Times interview, Trump stated that the D.C. hotel is “probably a more valuable asset than it was before.” He bragged that his brand is “hotter” now that he is president.

On Monday, the Times reported that Trump spoke to British political figure Nigel Farage, the former head of the right-wing UK Independence Party, about opposing the construction of offshore wind farms in the UK. Trump has long protested the construction of offshore wind farms near his golf course in Scotland. He claims they would sully the view and lower his property value. Farage appears to have gone ahead and denounced those offshore wind farms.

“I might have brought it up,” Trump sheepishly admitted in the Times interview.

He added, though, “My company’s so unimportant to me relative to what I’m doing.”

“I don’t want to influence anything.”

With Donald Trump In The White House, Robert Mugabe Wants To Restore Ties With The U.S.

Mugabe, 92, has been in power for 36 years, presiding over Zimbabwe’s slow descent from one of Africa’s most productive post-independence economies—know at one point as the continent’s “breadbasket“—into an economic basket case besieged with angry protests.
Mugabe, 92, has been in power for 36 years, presiding over Zimbabwe’s slow descent from one of Africa’s most productive post-independence economies—know at one point as the continent’s “breadbasket“—into an economic basket case besieged with angry protests.

Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe wants to return to the United States’ diplomatic fold after years of tense relations, and his administration is confident that president-elect Donald Trump will welcome him back.

Mugabe, 92, has been in power for 36 years, presiding over Zimbabwe’s slow descent from one of Africa’s most productive post-independence economies—know at one point as the continent’s “breadbasket“—into an economic basket case besieged with angry protests. The US has imposed targeted sanctions against the Zimbabwean government since 2001, following a political and economic crisis that saw violent crackdowns by Mugabe and his supporters on opposition politicians and activists. Still, the superpower has continued to provide aid assistance to the impoverished southern African nation, investing nearly $100 million annually in health programs and other initiatives through USAID.

Mugabe’s government is looking forward to Trump’s inauguration next January as an opportunity to restore relations between Harare and Washington, Chris Mushowe, the country’s information, media and broadcasting services minister, told The Herald, a state-run, pro-Mugabe newspaper, last week.

“As a government, we were quite happy listening to Mr. Trump’s acceptance speech,” Mushowe said, welcoming what he saw as Trump’s pledge to work with every nation willing to cooperate with his administration. “Zimbabwe has never had any quarrel with America and does not need to have any quarrel with America.”

The Herald has been clear about the fact that it is not a fan of Democratic Party presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. It has accused the former secretary of state of being “a warmonger” at the “forefront” of supporting US sanctions against Zimbabwe. The newspaper also speculated that Clinton’s possible support of pro-democracy movements like the #ThisFlag campaign, an ongoing social media protest movement driven by young Zimbabweans, was aimed at unseating Mugabe and the ruling Zanu-PF.

It celebrated Trump’s “crushing” victory over Clinton last week, touting the potential benefits to the Zimbabwean government of the change in status quo, and mocking Zimbabwean opposition parties and civic movements who expressed disappointment over her loss. Several articles hailed Trump’s “establishment-shaking populist victory” as a nod to nationalism, and a lengthy editorial argued that the media attacks and criticism Trump endured would help him “understand Western characterization of Zimbabwe.”

Mugabe has for years laid the blame for Zimbabwe’s economic troubles with the US, UK, and EU, rather than with his own failing policies and growing unpopularity. In his marathon speeches, he has insulted former US president George W. Bush, whose administration enacted sanctions against Zimbabwe, as well as president Barack Obama.

But his tune has changed for the incoming president. Mugabe has been rooting for a Trump presidency for some time now, reportedly warning visiting US lawmakers earlier this year that “Once [Trump] is your president, you’ll wish you’d been friendlier to me.”

Trump has so far not mentioned Zimbabwe, so it is unclear why Mugabe and his ministers are so optimistic. In fact, Trump has barely outlined his policy toward Africa (although that may not necessarily be a bad thing.) But Mugabe, who fought white minority rule during Zimbabwe’s liberation era and then targeted the remaining white farmers during his bid to return the land to black people, is unlikely to find favor among Trump’s right-wing political allies and supporters.

Fake Trump Quotes About Africans Have Blown Up On Facebook Thanks To Hoax Sites

Most of the so called "Trump's Quotes about Africa" publications are fake, having originated on satirical news sites. Trump did not call all Kenyans “conmen” or say that he would “lock up” longtime leaders Robert Mugabe and Yoweri Museveni. So far, the president-elect has not tried to dispute these false stories. Trump’s media office did not respond to a request for comment.
Most of the so called “Trump’s Quotes about Africa” publications are fake, having originated on satirical news sites. Trump did not call all Kenyans “conmen” or say that he would “lock up” longtime leaders Robert Mugabe and Yoweri Museveni. So far, the president-elect has not tried to dispute these false stories. Trump’s media office did not respond to a request for comment.

In Africa, Donald Trump is believed to have said that Africans are lazy, that African immigrants in the United States should be deported, and that Africa as a continent should be recolonized. With Trump’s presidential win, these comments, allegedly made over the past two years, have begun to circulate again.

Turns out, most of them are fake, having originated on satirical news sites. Trump did not call all Kenyans “conmen” or say that he would “lock up” longtime leaders Robert Mugabe and Yoweri Museveni. So far, the president-elect has not tried to dispute these false stories. Trump’s media office did not respond to a request for comment.

The Trumpisms about Africa began with Politica, a fake news site registered in Kenya, which reported last year that Trump said, “Some Africans are lazy fools only good at eating, lovemaking and stealing.” According to the site, he was speaking at an event in Indianapolis. Blogs and media in Nigeria, Zimbabwe, and elsewhere picked up the story, which then circulated widely on social media. In Kenya, the hashtag #SomeoneTellDonaldTrump started in response to his alleged comments about Africans and Kenyans specifically.

The same purported event was the source of what is the most inflammatory of Trump’s supposed comments about Africa. “In my opinion, most of these African countries ought to be recolonized again for another 100 years because they know nothing about leadership and self governance,” Politica reported Trump as saying. The fact-checking site Snopes found no corroboration of Trump’s comments or any record of his being in Indianapolis that month. Regardless, the claim was circulated on blogs and news sites in Nigeria, South Africa and Ghana.

The Trumpisms about Africa began with Politica, a fake news site registered in Kenya, which reported last year that Trump said, “Some Africans are lazy fools only good at eating, lovemaking and stealing.”
The Trumpisms about Africa began with Politica, a fake news site registered in Kenya, which reported last year that Trump said, “Some Africans are lazy fools only good at eating, lovemaking and stealing.”

These stories are readily believed in many African countries in part because they aren’t that far off from comments Trump has made about Muslims, Mexicans, and immigrants in general.

There’s a certain irony in fake news stories about Trump on social media in Africa. Supporters of Hillary Clinton, and some in the media, have blamed Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg for allowing fake news sources to proliferate on the world’s largest social media platform, propelling Trump to victory.

In January, users on Nairaland, a popular Nigerian forum with over 1.6 million members, circulated quotes of Trump promising to deport Nigerians because “they’re everywhere” and take “jobs meant for honest hard working Americans.” Even though the source of the quote was the satirical news website, Fake Nigerian News, it was shared by Africa Independent Television (AIT), one of Nigeria’s major TV networks. A YouTube video sharing this claim has also been viewed over 100,000 times.

So what has Trump said about Africans and Africa? Trump allegedly described laziness as a “trait in blacks,” according to a 1991 book by a former employee of Trump’s, John O’Donnell. Trump has denied that he ever made the comment.

While Trump has said very little about Africa, he did launch his political campaign by claiming the United States president Barack Obama was born in Kenya.

Just two days before the elections, Trump went to Minnesota and blamed faulty refugee vetting processes for allowing large numbers of Somalis to come to the state. At a rally in Maine back in August, Trump also singled out the immigrant Somali community in the US, saying they were coming from “dangerous territories,” and fraying social safety nets.

He has criticized US aid programs to the continent, describing a $7 billion aid program to help African countries gain better access to electricity, as a “waste.” He’s also said that he sees “tremendous potential” in Africa.

Trump’s appointment of former Brietbart News president Steve Bannon as White House chief strategist also offers little hope of a nuanced view of the continent. In a September article, the far-right news site described the militant group Boko Haram, which operates in Nigeria and the Lake Chad region in western Africa, as keeping “East Africa under a spell of devastation.”

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