Politics

Trump, at UN General Assembly, signs major trade deal with South Korea, reveals possible Kim Jong Un meeting ‘soon’

President Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in signed a major agreement of Trump’s trade agenda Monday, on a busy day at the U.N. General Assembly during which Trump also revealed he’d meet again with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un “quite soon.” The U.S. and South Korean presidents signed an update to an existing U.S.-South Korea free-trade agreement. Trump called it a “very big deal” and said the new agreement would make significant improvements to reduce the trade deficit between the countries and create new opportunities to export American products to South Korea. “This agreement will reduce bureaucracy and increase prosperity in both of our countries. Workers in South Korea and America will find new customers and new opportunities to expand and grow,” Trump said. “Our teams will be working hard to ensure that the terms of the deal are fully implemented.” He said U.S. automobiles, pharmaceuticals and agricultural products will gain better access to Korean markets. “I think our farmers are going to be extremely happy. It was very limited as to what they could do and what they could send, and now it’s an open market,” Trump added. “That makes me feel very good. I love our farmers.” Moon said companies from both countries will be able to do business under more stable conditions. The South Korean leader also said he hopes the revised agreement with the U.S. will help solidify their cooperation in other areas. Moon said: “I’m hopeful that this will provide us with a platform, upon which our bilateral economic ties will be elevated to a higher level, in a freer, fairer and more mutually beneficial direction.” During his appearance with Moon, Trump also raised hopes at the United Nations on Monday that a second meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un could happen soon, striking a conciliatory tone one year after he used his debut at the U.N. to deride the autocrat as “Little Rocket Man” and threaten to “totally destroy North Korea.” Trump praised Kim as “very open” and “terrific,” despite the glacial pace of progress toward denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula. The softer tone toward the erstwhile pariah state of North Korea — once threatened with “fire and fury” — has been replaced by rosy optimism, with Trump reserving tough rhetoric for another potential nuclear aspirant and strategic foe: Iran. “It was a different world,” Trump said Monday of his one-time moniker for the North Korean leader. “That was a dangerous time. This is one year later, a much different time.” Trump also praised Egypt for doing an “outstanding job” in the fight against terrorism. Trump told Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi on Monday that the fight is “not easy,” but his country is “at the forefront.” El-Sissi replied that Egypt will be able to eliminate terrorism with Trump’s support. El-Sissi said it’s an obligation Trump has made clear. Trump told el-Sissi, “We will work with you, and we will go all the way.”

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe: Dinner with Trump About North Korea, Trade ‘Very Constructive’

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan, visiting New York on the occasion of the United Nations General Assembly meeting, told reporters on Sunday that his dinner with U.S. President Donald Trump that night was “very constructive” and ranged from sharing opinions about North Korea to securing mutually beneficial trade agreements. Trump made dinner with Abe his first appointment for the General Assembly week. The two heads of government share a close relationship; Abe was the first world leader to visit Trump personally following his election in 2016. On this occasion, Abe greeted Trump on the heels of an overwhelming election victory to remain the head of his right-leaning Liberal Democratic Party, ensuring that Abe will remain prime minister for the next three years. “We had a very constructive discussion on trade and investment between Japan and the United States,” Abe told reporters, according to the Japan Times. “We agreed to make the momentum created in the historic U.S.-North Korea summit in June even stronger and to continue to coordinate closely toward the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.” He noted the two met for two-and-a-half hours and that Abe made advocating for the rights of Japanese citizens abducted by North Korea a priority in negotiating with the communist rogue state. Abe added that Trump appeared caring and attentive in listening to his concerns. North Korea implemented a policy of kidnapping Japanese citizens in the 1970s, using them to train would-be spies on Japanese language and culture. North Korea denied the policy for decades until 2002, then claimed it had only abducted 13 Japanese nationals. Tokyo estimates that up to 800 missing Japanese citizens were abducted and remain in North Korea. Japan has played a key role in negotiations regarding North Korea. Trump met with Abe shortly before his scheduled meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, which is expected to occur on Monday. Moon is also in New York for the U.N. General Assembly and makes his arrival shortly after his first-ever trip to Pyongyang. Upon returning from North Korea, Moon claimed that communist dictator Kim Jong-un had given him a personal message to deliver to Trump that he would not disclose publicly. Trump invited Abe to dinner and announced Sunday they would discuss “military and trade.” The two are reportedly scheduled to meet once again on Monday evening. On the issue of trade, the president said on Twitter that he hoped “to see more of a reciprocal relationship” with Japan, expressing hope “it will all work out!” Following the first dinner, Abe told reporters, “I will continue discussions on trade with him in our summit after economy minister Motegi and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer meeting,” according to Japan’s Asahi Shimbun. Abe did not elaborate on any specifics regarding discussions on trade. Abe arrived in New York emboldened by a significant electoral victory last week. He is set to become the first Japanese prime minister to serve for three terms, defeating a challenge within his own Party from fellow lawmaker Shigeru Ishiba. Abe is expected to use his comfortable position to negotiate trade and push for changes to Japan’s Constitution to allow the nation greater self-defense abilities. The post-World War II Constitution does not allow Japan to maintain a standing military, only “self-defense forces” that cannot be used preemptively. In light of growing threats from North Korea and its patron state, China, Abe has pushed for allowing Japan greater military leverage. “I will finally embark on constitutional revision, which has never been achieved in the 70 years since the end of the war, and start building a new nation as we look to the future,” Abe said last week after his re-election.

Limbaugh: GOP Must Confirm Kavanaugh or Kiss Midterms Goodbye

So Chairman Grassley has a job to do here, because, if he gives Democrats enough time, they’ll produce a woman claiming to be Kavanaugh’s secret Russian wife who Trump paid to urinate on that bed in Moscow. If Grassley waits long enough, the Democrats will come up with the woman claiming to be Kavanaugh’s secret Russian wife. — he’s a bigamist, too, don’t you know — and Trump paid Kavanaugh’s second wife to hire a bunch of prostitutes to urinate on the bed Obama slept in while in Moscow. If Grassley doesn’t get a handle on this and just do — and I’ll tell you something else, which everybody also knows. If the Republicans do not get this vote taken and have Kavanaugh confirmed, you can kiss the midterms goodbye. You can kiss goodbye holding the House and you can kiss goodbye holding the Senate. Because whatever the Democrats think of their base, the one thing I know that if you guys fold on this and cave and keep bending over backwards… You’ve done that enough. You’ve demonstrated that you don’t hate women. You’ve demonstrated that you’re open minded. You’ve demonstrated that you’re gonna hear from her. You’re never gonna hear from her! She’s never gonna show up. She’s not telling a story that can be verified, Senator Grassley. She’s not gonna show up. If you guys don’t conduct this vote in defiance of all this and if Avenatti gets one foot in the door to a Senate committee to start telling his story, then you can kind of kiss good-bye Republican chances in the midterms in November. Because people are gonna logically say, “What good does it do?”

Agreed!  Worse..  If Judge Kavanaugh is not confirmed, Republican voters will sit out the midterms altogether, and that so-called “blue wave” will come to fruition.  The “silent majority” voted for Donald Trump so that he could fix the economy and put conservative judges on the Supreme Court and other federal courts.  If this supremely (pun intended) qualified jurist with decades of experience and an impeccable record isn’t confirmed, Senate Republicans will face the wrath of their voter base…and rightly so.  Thanks to Rush Limbaugh for saying what needs to be said.  Dittos Rush!!

Activist federal staffer who said she ‘can’t really get fired’ no longer working at DOJ

Resistance leader Allison Hrabar said in an undercover video that as a federal employee, she couldn’t be fired, but she may have overstated her case. Project Veritas released a statement Monday from Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores indicating that Ms. Hrabar, formerly a federal paralegal, has either resigned or been dismissed. “She is no longer an employee,” Ms. Flores said in the statement. In an undercover video released last week, Ms. Hrabar described her work for the anti-Trump resistance as a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, which included running license plate numbers at work to find the address of a lobbyist. She admitted that she was not permitted to do so “officially.” Other DSA members said that she used the department’s Lexis Nexis system to ferret out the addresses of protest targets. Even so, Ms. Hrabar said she had no concerns about losing her job. “What’s kind of lucky is at the DOJ, we can’t really get fired,” she said in the hidden-camera video. Ms. Hrabar was also part of a band of activists that chased Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen from a Mexican food restaurant in June. The Justice Department said in a statement last week that the matter would be referred to the Inspector General.

One word…   Karma.     🙂

Pompeo scolds CNN’s Jim Acosta for ‘ludicrous’ 25th Amendment question

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday scolded CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta for asking a “ludicrous” question about Cabinet members allegedly discussing invoking the 25th Amendment against President Trump. During a press briefing at the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York, Mr. Acosta asked U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley if she ever heard of such discussions taking place inside the Trump administration. “I have never once been in the White House where that conversation has happened,” Mrs. Haley said. “I’m not aware of any Cabinet members that are even talking about that. It is completely and totally absurd. No one is questioning the president at all.” Mr. Pompeo added that he also had never heard any such discussion within the administration about invoking the 25th Amendment, which allows for a president to be removed by his own Cabinet under extraordinary circumstances. “I find the question ludicrous,” Mr. Pompeo said. “I’ve never heard anyone talk about it, whisper about it, joke about it in any way. I’ve been in a lot of meetings with a lot of senior officials from this government.” He also chided Mr. Acosta for claiming Mrs. Haley was the “only person” at the press conference that had been in the Trump administration “since the beginning.” “Fact check: I’ve been with the administration since the beginning, too,” Mr. Pompeo said. “That’s relevant. But I’ll add — no discussion with me about the 25th Amendment anywhere, either — so you can now report that two senior leaders have said that your question was ludicrous.” Their comments came three days after The New York Times reported that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein discussed secretly recording Mr. Trump and enlisting other Cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment against him — a report Mr. Rosenstein has denied. The report came on the heels of an op-ed published by The New York Times, written anonymously by someone claiming to be a senior administration official who alleged to be part of a “quiet resistance” actively working to thwart the president’s agenda.

Jim Acosta is such an annoying tool..  Kudos to Sec. of State Mike Pompeo (R) for making him look like the ass that he is.

Opinion/Analysis: Thiessen: Ford vs. Kavanaugh — How much evidence do we need to destroy someone?

Christine Blasey Ford has accused Brett M. Kavanaugh of attempted rape while they were both in high school — a charge he unequivocally denies. She can’t remember the date the alleged attack took place. She isn’t even certain about the year (although she reportedly thinks it may have been the summer around the end of her sophomore year when she was 15). She can’t remember whose house she was in. She can’t remember how she got there. She says she didn’t tell anyone about it at the time, not even her closest friends — so there are no contemporaneous witnesses to back her claims. No other women have come forward to say that the young Kavanaugh assaulted them. There is no pattern of bad behavior. Quite the contrary, by all accounts other than Ford’s, he treats women with respect in his personal and professional life. (Full disclosure: I worked with Kavanaugh in the George W. Bush White House.) The gathering included just Ford and four others, according to her confidential letter to Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. One man named by Ford as a witness has come forward and not only denied knowledge of the assault but also denied knowledge of the gathering in question. Another, who said he was the “PJ” mentioned in the letter, Patrick J. Smyth, has also denied being at a gathering like the one Ford described. Ford deserves to be treated with dignity, not maligned or attacked. But let’s not forget that Kavanaugh is human too. This ordeal affects not only him but also his family, including his two young daughters, who are hearing awful things said about the father they love. He cannot prove a negative. So far, there are accusations but no corroborating evidence. And accusations without evidence cannot be the standard by which a man’s reputation and career are ruined. Both Kavanaugh and Ford have been ill-served by Senate Democrats in this process. Feinstein, the Judiciary Committee’s ranking Democrat, knew about Ford’s accusation for about six weeks and did nothing. She never asked Kavanaugh about the allegations in private or in public. She did not use the confidential, bipartisan process that the Judiciary Committee uses every day to assess the credibility of allegations against hundreds of judicial nominees — which would have given Ford the chance to talk to the committee’s professional investigators in a confidential setting. Bizarrely, to this day Feinstein has not shared a copy of Ford’s unredacted letter with Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa. But Democrats appear not to have been too scrupulous when it came to protecting her confidentiality. Ford has also been ill-served by her lawyers, who initially stated that Ford “will agree to participate in any proceedings that she’s asked to participate in.” Then, when Grassley canceled the vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination and scheduled a hearing where she could testify in public or private, her lawyers started echoing Senate Democrats’ new message that a full FBI investigation was needed before she would speak to the committee — undermining the perception of Ford’s independence. (At this writing, she has reversed course yet again, with her lawyer now saying she might be willing to testify next week). It’s not the FBI’s job to investigate. There is no federal crime alleged. As Grassley explained in a letter, “We have no power to commandeer an executive branch agency into conducting our due diligence.”

Indeed..  Well said, Marc.  Marc Thiessen is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI).

Jarrett: If Rod Rosenstein defies Trump’s order to declassify documents, he should be fired

President Trump has ordered that numerous documents involving the Russia investigation be declassified. The records have long been sought by Congress under lawful subpoenas. Yet, the FBI and Department of Justice have consistently obstructed the release of these materials under the guise of “classified” secrets. This is a convenient alibi all too frequently employed to cover-up wrongdoing and abuse of authority by those we entrust to uphold the law. These days, overzealous government officials automatically designate nearly all matters as national security risks, regardless of whether they truly are. Whenever the FBI orders Chinese take-out, it is labeled “top secret” because… you know… it involves the Chinese. False classification has reached absurd proportions. How do we know? Every time information is declassified we learn that the material should never have been classified to begin with. It was nothing more than a subterfuge. Here are two recent examples: In July, a substantial portion of the wiretap warrant applications presented to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court was declassified. It turns out that no vital sources or methods were revealed in a way that jeopardized either national security or the FBI’s secret investigative techniques. Instead, we learned that much of the application to spy on a Trump campaign associate, Carter Page, was based on an unverified “dossier” that was funded by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and composed by a British spy, Christopher Steele, who was fired by the FBI for lying. This critical information was never fully or candidly disclosed to the FISA judges. They were deceived and defrauded. Regulations clearly state, “only documented and verified information may be used to support FBI applications to the (FISA) court.” In February, the Republican version of the House Intelligence Committee’s memo on the Russian investigation was also declassified. Once it was made public, we discovered that there was nothing therein that justified its suppression at the highest level of classification, “top secret.” Indeed, it should never have been classified at all. The FBI’s real objection was that it contained “material omissions” that made the bureau look bad. That is not a legitimate reason for originating or maintaining classification status..

Indeed..  For more of this article by attorney, and Fox News host, Gregg Jarrett, click on the text above.