Author: Paul Vale

White House Readies Order To Quit NAFTA: Administration Official

THE HUFFINGTON POST A draft executive order that would withdraw the United States from the North American Free Trade Agreement is under consideration, a senior administration official said on Wednesday, confirming an earlier report from Politico. It is unclear whether the order will be enacted by President Donald Trump, who has accused NAFTA – a trade pact between the United States, Mexico and Canada – of undermining U.S. jobs. (Reporting by Steve Holland; Writing by David...

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Flynn Did Not Disclose Income From Russian Companies: White House

THE HUFFINGTON POST Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, failed to disclose payments from a Russian television network and a second firm linked to Russia in a February financial disclosure form, according to documents released by the White House on Saturday. In a financial disclosure form signed by Flynn on March 31, the former White House official listed speaking engagements to Russian entities, including the Kremlin-funded RT TV and Volga-Dnepr Airlines. The form does not say how much Flynn was paid but the speeches are in a section titled “sources of compensation exceeding $5,000 in a...

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After Health Care Flop, White House Seeks Help From Congress On Tax

THE HUFFINGTON POST Vice President Mike Pence on Saturday blamed the Congress for thwarting a Republican plan to overhaul healthcare law, but acknowledged that the White House will need to work with lawmakers to accomplish its next set of legislative plans. Speaking to a group of small business owners in Charleston, West Virginia, Pence said President Donald Trump is ready to move on to his next priority: simplifying the tax code and cutting tax rates. “We’re going to roll our sleeves up and we’re going to cut taxes across the board for working families, small businesses and family farms,”...

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U.S. Reverses Course And Offers New Dates For NATO Talks

THE HUFFINGTON POST U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson proposed new dates on Tuesday for a NATO meeting, the State Department said, after he initially decided to skip the talks and rebuffed the alliance’s efforts to reschedule them. Tillerson’s decision to miss his first meeting with NATO foreign ministers, set for April 5-6 in Brussels, unsettled European allies who worried it reopened questions about U.S. President Donald Trump’s commitment to the alliance. Reuters exclusively reported on Monday that Tillerson would stay in the United States to attend Trump’s expected April 6-7 talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Florida....

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U.K. Says U.S. Claims About Spying Will Not Be Repeated

  The White House has assured the UK Government that allegations that Britain’s GCHQ spied on Donald Trump will not be repeated, Prime Minister Theresa May’s official spokesman has said. The charge, made on Tuesday by Fox News analyst Andrew Napolitano, that the UK’s signals intelligence agency GCHQ had helped Obama to wire tap Trump after his victory in last year’s U.S. presidential election, was “ridiculous,” the spokesman said. H.R. McMaster, national security advisor, and press secretary Sean Spicer both conveyed their apologies, according to several news outlets. “We’ve made clear to the administration that these claims are ridiculous and they should be ignored and we’ve received assurances that these allegations will not be repeated,” May’s spokesman told reporters. “We have a close special relationship with the White House and that allows us to raise concerns as and when they arise as was true in this case.” Representatives for the White House did not immediately reply to a request seeking comment following May’s spokesman’s remarks. Trump, who became president in January, tweeted earlier this month that his Democratic predecessor had wiretapped him during the late stages of the 2016 campaign. The Republican president offered no evidence for the allegation, which an Obama spokesman said was “simply false”. On the “Fox & Friends” program, Napolitano, a political commentator and former New Jersey judge, said that rather than ordering U.S. agencies to...

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Mnuchin Vows No Cuts To U.S. Entitlement Programs — For Now

  U.S. President Donald Trump’s first budget proposal will spare big social welfare programs such as Social Security and Medicare from any cuts, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in an interview broadcast on Sunday. Mnuchin said Trump would also use a major policy speech to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday night to preview some elements of his sweeping plans to cut taxes for the middle class, simplify the tax system and make American companies more globally competitive with lower rates and changes to encourage U.S. manufacturing. Speaking on Fox News Channel’s “Sunday Morning Futures” program, Mnuchin, who has acknowledged that tax reform is his top policy priority, said the budget plan would not seek cuts to federal benefits programs known as “entitlements.” “We are not touching those now. So don’t expect to see that as part of this budget, OK,” Mnuchin said of the programs, according to a transcript provided by Fox. “We are very focused on other aspects and that’s what’s very important to us. And that’s the president’s priority.” Trump during his election campaign promised not to cut Social Security, Medicare healthcare for seniors nor Medicaid healthcare for the poor. Preservation of these programs, coupled with a middle-class tax cut, would aid the retirees and working class Americans who make up a significant portion of Trump’s political base. In a transcript of the Fox News Channel...

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Trump Wants To Expand U.S. Nuclear Arsenal, Make It ‘Top Of The Pack’

President Donald Trump said on Thursday he wants to build up the U.S. nuclear arsenal to ensure it is at the “top of the pack,” saying the United States has fallen behind in its atomic weapons capacity. In a Reuters interview, Trump also complained about Russian deployment of a cruise missile in violation of an arms control treaty and said he would raise the issue with Russian President Vladimir Putin when and if they meet. On another front, Trump said China could solve the national security challenge posed by North Korea “very easily if they want to,” ratcheting up pressure on Beijing to exert more influence to rein in Pyongyang’s increasingly bellicose actions. Speaking from behind his desk in the Oval Office, Trump also declared himself “very angry” at North Korea’s ballistic missile tests and said accelerating a missile defense system for U.S. allies Japan and South Korea was among many options available. (Reporting By Steve Holland, editing by Ross...

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Virginia Governor Vetoes Bill Defunding Planned Parenthood

  Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe on Tuesday vetoed a bill that would have blocked funding for Planned Parenthood, which provides abortions and other health services. The bill passed by the Republican-controlled legislature would have barred the state from providing funds to clinics that perform abortions not covered by Medicaid, the federal healthcare program for the poor. McAuliffe, a Democrat, said the measure would harm thousands of Virginians who relied on Planned Parenthood healthcare services and programs. He vetoed a similar measure last year. “Attempts to restrict women’s access to health care will impede the goal of making Virginia the best place to live, work, and run a business,” he said in a statement. Advocates for the law had said it would underpin organizations that provide the widest range of services. Planned Parenthood draws the ire of many Republicans because it provides abortions. Republican President Donald Trump has pledged to defund the organization. (Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by James...

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