U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson plans to skip an April 5-6 meeting of NATO foreign ministers for a U.S. visit by the Chinese president and will travel to Russia later in the month, U.S. officials said on Monday, a step allies may see as putting Moscow’s concerns ahead of theirs.
The decisions to skip the NATO meeting and to visit Moscow risked feeding a perception that Trump may be putting U.S. dealings with big powers before those of smaller nations that depend on Washington for their security, said two former U.S. officials.
Umm, ya think?
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As they fleshed out the budget blueprint released Thursday morning by the White House, Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney said officials from the administration of President Donald Trump asked themselves: Can we ask the taxpayer to pay for this?
For a dramatic uptick in military funding, Mulvaney said, the answer was yes. For a wide array of domestic programs, it turns out, the answer was no.
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From The Atlantic:
Michael Flynn and Sebastian Gorka share a couple of things. Both men are rabidly anti-Islam, and both seem to have been insufficiently vetted by the Trump White House.
Gorka is a top terrorism adviser to Trump; like Flynn, he has a long record of militant attitudes toward Islam, and like Flynn, his foreign ties are now coming under serious scrutiny. The Forward reports Thursday that officers of Vitézi Rend, an anti-Semitic, quasi-Nazi Hungarian nationalist group, say Gorka is a sworn member. Gorka wore a medal typically worn by Vitézi Rend members to a January 20 inauguration ball, but said at the time that it was a gesture honoring his late father. He has also at times referred to himself as Sebastian L. v. Gorka, using a “v.” initial employed by Vitézi Rend members.
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From The San Diego Union Tribune:
Prior to becoming secretary of state under President Donald Trump, Rex Tillerson used the alias “Wayne Tracker” to exchange emails about climate change while he was CEO of ExxonMobil, a New York prosecutor revealed in a letter filed in court Monday.
The letter by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman alleges that Tillerson used his middle name, Wayne, in an email address bearing the alias “to send and receive materials regarding important matters, including those concerning to the risk-management issues related to climate change.”
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Former ExxonMobil CEO and comic book villain Rex Tillerson has been confirmed as Secretary of State.
The Senate has approved former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as the next secretary of state, filling one more slot on President Donald Trump’s national security team despite questions about his approach to Russia and state sponsors of terror, such as Iran.
To commemorate the event, I made a brand new State Department seal that better reflects their new boss’s point of view.
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Sen. Marco Rubio put aside serious reservations about Rex Tillerson and announced Monday he’ll back the former ExxonMobil chief for secretary of state, effectively clinching his confirmation.
The support of the Florida Republican means Tillerson will clear a Monday evening in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee instead of facing an embarrassing “unfavorable” verdict by the panel. Rubio’s decision likely foreshadows unanimous GOP support for Tillerson, who had made some Republicans nervous about his closeness to Russian President Vladimir Putin and reluctance to criticize Putin’s actions during his confirmation hearing.
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From VANITY FAIR:
The media frenzy ignited by James Comey’s decision, less than two weeks before the election, to disclose that the F.B.I. uncovered a fresh trove of e-mails that may pertain to Hillary Clinton’s e-mail scandal continues to reverberate throughout Washington. While a number of high-profile Republicans, including G.O.P. nominee Donald Trump, have praised Comey, the F.B.I. director’s October Surprise has incited withering criticism from both sides of the aisle. No one, however, has attacked Comey with more force than former pugilist Harry Reid. In a fiery letter on Sunday, the outgoing Nevada senator argued that Comey’s “partisan actions” may have violated federal law and accused the Republican official of withholding “explosive information” linking Trump and his top advisers to the Russian government.
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