White House

Trump names Robert O’Brien, hostage negotiator, as national security adviser

President Trump named his chief hostage negotiator as his national security adviser Wednesday, filling the role for a fourth time as he plots a stern response to Iran’s suspected role in attacking Saudi oil fields last weekend. Robert C. O’Brien will replace John R. Bolton, who was ousted last week amid clashes with key White House aides and Mr. Trump on topics such as Iran, North Korea and Venezuela. As the U.S. special presidential envoy for hostage affairs, Mr. O’Brien endeared himself to Mr. Trump by working to secure the release of pastor Andrew Brunson from Turkey and Americans held in Afghanistan, Libya and Yemen. He also spoke to Sweden about rapper A$AP Rocky’s legal troubles after an incident in Stockholm. “He did a tremendous job on hostage negotiations. Really tremendous, like unparalleled. We’ve had tremendous success in that regard,” Mr. Trump told White House reporters traveling with him in California. “I think we have a very good chemistry together, and I think we’re going to have a great relationship. He is a very talented man.” Mr. O’Brien, who accompanied Mr. Trump, called it a privilege to serve with the president. “We’ve got a number of challenges,” he said, “but there’s a great team in place.” The president is promoting Mr. O’Brien as he weighs a response to Iran’s suspected role in drone attacks Saturday that temporarily shut down half of the Saudi oil production. “We’ll see what happens. We have many options that we’re considering. There are many options,” Mr. Trump said. Mr. Trump heads to New York for the U.N. General Assembly session next week, meaning Mr. O’Brien could have an immediate impact. The national security adviser does not have to be confirmed by the Senate. “Robert’s a very experienced foreign policy figure with deep knowledge of United Nations, international organizations,” said Nile Gardiner, director of the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom at The Heritage Foundation. He worked alongside Mr. O’Brien on Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential bid. “He’s a safe pair of hands,” Mr. Gardiner said. “He’s somebody who I think has very good instincts, a very good understanding of the challenges facing the United States as leader of the free world.” Mr. O’Brien worked under President George W. Bush as a representative to the U.N., continuing in Mr. Bolton’s footsteps as a Trump official with connections to the last Republican administration. Mr. Trump has grown tired of Bush veterans. Besides Mr. Bolton, his aides included Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, who sparred with Mr. Trump over immigration before her ouster. Mr. Bolton fought with top administration officials, but Mr. O’Brien is viewed as a team player. Mr. Trump, who bills himself as a deal-maker, was impressed by his track record as a negotiator. Mr. O’Brien has been “incredibly effective as the ambassador for these hostage negotiations,” said Kenneth R. Weinstein, president of the Hudson Institute. “He’s someone who has gone in, under the radar, and handles sensitive negotiations in a low-key manner.” Mr. Trump hailed Mr. O’Brien from the Oval Office in March during a welcome-home ceremony for Danny Burch, an oil worker held in Yemen for 18 months. In turn, Mr. O’Brien praised Mr. Trump for working to bring home Americans through “force of will,” without concessions or payments. Mr. O’Brien wrote a book in 2016, “While America Slept,” that was critical of President Obama’s 2015 nuclear pact with Iran and compared it to the appeasement of Adolf Hitler at Munich in 1938. Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican who wants a muscular approach to Iran, said Mr. O’Brien is a good choice who will keep Mr. Trump on the right path. “He understands the world for the dangerous place it is. He’s got great negotiating skills as our hostage negotiator,” Mr. Graham said. “I think he will be a very sound policy adviser to the president of the United States.” Mr. O’Brien will be the president’s fourth national security adviser in less than three years.

While Mr. O’Brien’s credentials as a hostage negotiator, and accomplished attorney, are very solid, we do have some reservations about him taking on this new role as the President’s National Security Adviser.  Mr. O’Brien’s only military background was in the Army Reserves as a JAG officer (military lawyer).  So, not exactly much in the way of a national security background.  Raised Catholic, he converted to Mormonism in his twenties, and with this new appointment is the highest ranking Later Day Saint in our federal government.  We wish Mr. O’Brien all the best in this extremely important role.

Ivanka Trump project to lift women in developing world announces $27M in grants

Ivanka Trump has announced the first batch of grants for her economic empowerment effort, the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative. The White House initiative, launched in February with an initial investment of $50 million from the U.S. Agency for International Development, is designed to help women in developing countries get ahead economically. Its first batch of grants totals $27 million, for 14 projects in 22 countries, mostly in Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia. Trump is daughter of President Trump and a senior White House adviser. The initiative aims to help empower 50 million women in developing countries by 2025. The budget Trump has proposed for 2020 asks Congress for another $100 million for the initiative, even as he has proposed cuts to other foreign aid. “We are just getting started, but we are committed to delivering real results that create transformational change for women in developing countries by helping them prosper in the workforce, succeed as entrepreneurs, and fight for legislative change,” Ivanka Trump said Wednesday, according to The Associated Press. The first 14 projects receiving a share of the $27 million were chosen from some 120 entries, administration officials said Wednesday. They include an effort in Rwanda to help 1,400 women get into the African country’s fast-growing energy sector; a Latin American initiative that aims to equip 8,700 women with the skills needed to work tech jobs in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru; and a plan to support 5,000 women working in Indonesia’s poultry industry.

Kudos to Ivanka for spearheading this effort!  Outstanding!!     🙂

Trump on Clemson White House Visit: ‘I Served them Massive Amounts of Fast Food (I Paid)”

The liberal media went wild attacking President Donald Trump for serving fast food to the Clemson Tigers, when they visited the White House on Monday. With the shutdown still in full swing, White House staff is at a minimum, and it appears that the food service personnel are also on furlough. Trump paid for the entire feast out of his own pocket. “Great being with the National Champion Clemson Tigers last night at the White House,” Trump tweeted on Tuesday. “Because of the Shutdown, I served them massive amounts of Fast Food (I paid), over 1000 hamberders [sic] etc. Within one hour, it was all gone. Great guys and big eaters!” Trump also said that he thought the team would enjoy a little “fun” time during their White House visit. “We ordered American fast food, paid for by me,” the president said, according to CBS. “Lots of hamburgers, lots of pizza. We have some very large people that like eating, so I think we’re going to have a little fun.” Of course, Clemson has become somewhat famous for its fast food connection with breakout quarterback Trevor Lawrence being a huge fan of Chick-fil-A. For years Lawrence has prepared to meet his opponents by studying game films while eating Chick-fil-A. He has kept that up at college, too. “In Clemson, they say he does the same, poring over Notre Dame and Alabama defensive cut-ups while snacking on Chick-n-Minis,” ESPN’s Ryan McGee reported. Indeed, after the big White House visit, Lawrence said he loved the whole thing and said he can’t wait to come back. “It was awesome,” Lawrence said according to TMZ. “We had McDonalds and everything. It was good!” The press still went wild attacking the president for his hosting duty. Sports blogger Robert Littal attacked Trump for “believing” the “stereotypes” about college kids. “Here is the thing Trump believes every single stereotype that is out there, so the stereotype that college kids-athletes just eat fast food all the time is all he knows. These college football powerhouses are billion dollar businesses much more steak than 4 for $4,” he tweeted. Another virulent anti-Trumper, Dr. Eugene Gu, claimed Trump was using fast food as a way to “troll” everyone over the shutdown.

Wow..  What a bunch of self-righteous whiners in the dominantly liberal mainstream media!  The government is in a partial shut-down, and the President decided to go ahead and host the Tigers…and paid for it out of pocket.  And, from the videos I’ve seen, the guys had a blast!  These ESPN losers are just jealous they didn’t get THEIR invite, lol.

Donald Trump Oval Office Address: Border Security ‘A Choice Between Right and Wrong’

President Donald Trump delivered an address to the American people from the Oval Office on Tuesday, speaking about the crisis on the Southern border. “This is a choice between right and wrong, justice and injustice,” Trump said in his eight-minute address, describing it as “a crisis of the heart and a crisis of the soul.” The president detailed the ongoing migration and illegal immigration crisis but did not declare an official State of Emergency, which would allow him to shift funding to fund border security without Congress. “This is the cycle of human suffering I am determined to end,” he said. He noted that migrant women and children were “victims” of the broken immigration system, specifically citing the more than 20,000 children brought illegally into the United States. “These children are used as human pawns by vicious coyotes and ruthless gangs,” he said. The president described the ongoing problems with drugs and crime coming across the border, endangering the lives of Americans. He again stated his request for a $5.7 billion wall, but said that it would be a “steel barrier instead of a concrete wall.” “This is just common sense,” he said. He defended the concept of a border wall, disputing that it was “immoral” as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi insisted. “Why do wealthy politicians build walls, fences, and gates outside their home?” he asked. “They don’t build walls because they hate the people on the outside but because they love the people on the inside.” He argued that the steel barrier would pay for itself, and paid for indirectly by the new trade deal with Mexico. Trump blamed Democrats for the government shutdown, noting that leaders used to support the idea of more border security. “They changed their mind only after I was elected president,” Trump said. “Democrats in Congress have refused to acknowledge the crisis.” He called for Democrats to reopen the government with a funding bill that included and invited them to the White House again to make a deal. “The federal government remains shut down for one reason and one reason only: Because Democrats will not fund border security,” he said. The president specifically mentioned the tragic death of Ronil Singh and other murders and rapes committed by illegal immigrants. “How much more American blood must we shed before Congress does its job?” This is President Trump’s first address from the Oval Office in his presidency. The president made his remarks as the partial government shutdown continued on the eighteenth day. Congressional Democrats remained resolute against a negotiation on a government funding bill that included funding for a wall on the southern border. The fight will continue into the week, as Trump plans to attend the Senate Republican lunch on Wednesday with Vice President Mike Pence. The president did not declare an official State of Emergency, allowing him to immediately shift border funding for wall construction. On Thursday, the president plans to travel to the border to make his case for more funding. “I swore to protect our country and that is what I will always do, so help me God,” Trump concluded. “Thank you and good night.”

PHOTOS: Hospital Children Embrace Melania Trump for Christmas Storytime

First lady Melania Trump read Oliver the Ornament to hospital children on Thursday at Children’s National hospital, embracing them and former preemie babies. Early in her visit, Mrs. Trump spent time with several families whose children had been born prematurely and cared for in Children’s neonatal unit. Mother Nikki Watkinson explained that she gave birth in her husband’s truck during a snowstorm, and a snowplow had to guide a path to the hospital for her and the newborn to make it to the hospital afterward. “Our miracle baby,” she called her son Grayson, who was born at 24 weeks. She held the now 16-month old on her lap as she spoke with Trump. The first lady replied, “You have an incredible story to tell.” Dressed in a red and white Martin Grant coat, white dress, and Manolo Blahnik heels, she greeted the parents and children. The former preemies were Grayson Watkinson, Grayson Hogsett, and Payton Doy. She asked the children how they were doing and if they had wishes for Santa. Little Abigail said she wanted a dog, and when the first lady asked what name she would call this addition to the family, Abigail replied, “Peppermint”: Downstairs in the hospital atrium, Mrs. Trump continued her visit, walking in with child patients Nathan Simm and Tearrianna Cooke-Starkey. She read the story Oliver the Ornament to the young patients ranging from toddler to pre-teen, flanked by copies of the book, which centered around a theme of kindness that fit well into her Be Best policy platform. The book’s author, Todd Zimmermann, joined Trump, the two kids, and Santa on stage for the reading. Zimmerman said, “I’d also like to thank you for everything you do to promote kindness as part of your Be Best campaign”: About two dozen children being treated at the hospital sat in wheelchairs or on the floor to listen as Mrs. Trump read the story. Video of the reading was live streamed throughout the hospital in the hospital rooms of other patients, according to a hospital representative: Those present sang “Merry Christmas” as the first lady embraced, shook hands, and chatted with the children. She wished them all a Merry Christmas and happy, healthy New Year before departing. Each child received a copy of the book Mrs. Trump read, and she signed a copy that will remain at the hospital: American first ladies have been making the annual visit to Children’s National hospital every year since Bess Truman did so more than 60 years ago.

Outstanding!!  Click on the text above to see photos and video from this event.       🙂

PHOTOS: Melania Trump Shines Bright Assembling Red Cross Care Packages for American Troops

First Lady Melania Trump shined bright on Tuesday as she assembled care packages with the Red Cross for American troops and service members stationed overseas. Mrs. Trump embraced the families of American troops in a patriotic ensemble of entirely red, white, and blue — how appropriate! Mrs. Trump’s striped cashmere sweater is by Madeleine Thompson, matching the red stripe of the garment with her red skinny jeans and flats. In a speech at the Red Cross event, Mrs. Trump thanked the U.S. military for their service and their families for the sacrifices they have made. “I’m very thankful for the men and women in uniform who sacrifice daily to protect not only the American people, but our freedoms and way of life,” Mrs. Trump said. “Our prayers remain with all those serving overseas and the families who wait for them to come home.”

Please click on the text above to see photos and videos from yesterday’s event.  Major kudos to our First Lady for her efforts here.  She gets it!  Outstanding!!!      🙂

CNN’s Jim Acosta has press pass suspended by White House, Sarah Sanders announces

CNN’s Chief White House Correspondent Jim Acosta’s press pass to access the White House was suspended “until further notice” Wednesday, hours after he engaged in a contentious back-and-forth with President Trump. “I’ve just been denied entrance to the WH,” Acosta tweeted Wednesday night. “Secret Service just informed me I cannot enter the WH grounds for my 8pm hit.” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders confirmed Acosta’s tweet in a statement, claiming the suspension of his press credentials stemmed from his “placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern.” She called the behavior “absolutely unacceptable.” The CNN reporter, during a news conference at the White House earlier Wednesday, got into a heated debate with Trump after he asked the president about the migrant caravan. Trump told Acosta to let him do his job. “Honestly, I think you should let me run the country and you run CNN,” the president said. The reporter tried to ask him another question before a female White House aide walked over to him. Trump then told him, “That’s enough!” Acosta continued to try to talk as the intern was seen trying to take the microphone from his hand. She grabbed the microphone but Acosta wouldn’t give it up and there was brief contact between the two. Sanders in a statement — which Acosta later labeled “a lie” — said that “President Trump believes in a free press and expects and welcomes tough questions of him and his Administration. We will, however, never tolerate a reporter placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern..” “Contrary to CNN’s assertions, there is no greater demonstration of the President’s support for a free press than the event he held today. Only they would attack the President for not being supportive of a free press in the midst of him taking 68 questions from 35 different reporters over the course of an hour and a half — including several from the reporter in question,” Sanders said. “The fact that CNN is proud of the way their employee behaved is not only disgusting, it is an example of their outrageous disregard for everyone, including young women, who work in this Administration,” she added.

If you’ve not seen the video in question, watch it. Jim Acosta is an obnoxious, self-serving, elitist, grandstanding tool.  When he questions the President, it’s really all about him.  And, the way he acted toward the young female intern who was just trying to do her job, shows how arrogant he is.  What a nauseating tool…  And, for CNN to stand up for that prick, tells you everything you need to know about CNN.  It is what it is; agenda-driven fake news.  And they wonder why their ratings are in the toilet…  And for all of these liberal reporters and news organizations to wring their hands about the 1st Amendment, and the rights of the media?  Really?  Gimme a break..  Just you’re in the media doesn’t mean you have a right to question the president.  He gets to choose who asks him questions, and who is allowed at White House press events.  That’s always the way its been.  And, President Trump is notorious for marathon question and answer sessions with the press.  So, their whining is more fake news and bs.  Kudos to Fox News’ Chris Wallace for calling what Jim did “shameful.”  Exactly..  For more, click on the text above.