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Westlake Legal Group > fox-news/politics/executive

North Korea demands US to sideline Pompeo from nuclear talks: report

Westlake Legal Group north-korea-demands-us-to-sideline-pompeo-from-nuclear-talks-report North Korea demands US to sideline Pompeo from nuclear talks: report Lukas Mikelionis fox-news/world/conflicts/north-korea fox-news/politics/foreign-policy fox-news/politics/executive fox news fnc/world fnc article 37fce39e-6f90-5f43-96d1-f6811d2fd8e0
Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_5846015842001_5846012236001-vs North Korea demands US to sideline Pompeo from nuclear talks: report Lukas Mikelionis fox-news/world/conflicts/north-korea fox-news/politics/foreign-policy fox-news/politics/executive fox news fnc/world fnc article 37fce39e-6f90-5f43-96d1-f6811d2fd8e0

North Korean state media reported Thursday that the regime no longer wants to see Secretary of State Mike Pompeo involved in nuclear talks, urging the U.S. replace the top diplomat with someone “more careful and mature in communicating.”

The KCNA news agency, the official North Korean state television, quoted Kwon Jong Gun, a senior official at the North’s foreign ministry, who claimed that the situation in the Korean peninsula is currently unpredictable.

NORTH KOREA SAYS IT TEST-FIRED TACTICAL GUIDED WEAPON; KIM CALLS IT ‘EVENT OF VERY WEIGHTY SIGNIFICANCE’

He said that “no one can predict” the situation on the Korean Peninsula as long as the U.S. doesn’t address the “root cause” that forced the regime to develop its nuclear weapons, Reuters reported.

The report didn’t elaborate why the decision was made.

The latest message from Pyongyang comes just a day after the country’s dictator Kim Jong Un reportedly watched his country to test-fired a new tactical guided weapon, marking the worsening relations between the regime and the rest of the world following the failed U.S.-North Korea summit in Vietnam earlier this year.

TRUMP RECIPROCATES AFTER NORTH KOREA’S KIM SAYS HE’S OPEN TO THIRD SUMMIT

The White House told Fox News that they were aware of the earlier report of the test but offered no comment. U.S. officials told Fox News that the missile test was likely a “short-range” test of a small guided weapon and not a large ballistic missile.

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American intelligence agencies, which normally detect the launch of ballistic missiles worldwide, did not detect any test from North Korea, one official said.

“We’re aware of the reports but I have nothing for you at this time,” said Lt. Col. David Eastburn, a Pentagon spokesman.

Fox News’ Lucas Tomlinson, Kristin Brown and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_5846015842001_5846012236001-vs North Korea demands US to sideline Pompeo from nuclear talks: report Lukas Mikelionis fox-news/world/conflicts/north-korea fox-news/politics/foreign-policy fox-news/politics/executive fox news fnc/world fnc article 37fce39e-6f90-5f43-96d1-f6811d2fd8e0   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_5846015842001_5846012236001-vs North Korea demands US to sideline Pompeo from nuclear talks: report Lukas Mikelionis fox-news/world/conflicts/north-korea fox-news/politics/foreign-policy fox-news/politics/executive fox news fnc/world fnc article 37fce39e-6f90-5f43-96d1-f6811d2fd8e0

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CNN analyst said Obama’s child separation policy was done ‘for their protection’, slams policy under Trump

Westlake Legal Group cnn-analyst-said-obamas-child-separation-policy-was-done-for-their-protection-slams-policy-under-trump CNN analyst said Obama's child separation policy was done 'for their protection', slams policy under Trump Lukas Mikelionis fox-news/us/immigration/border-security fox-news/politics/executive fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/politics fnc article aa1a8f44-68ac-50ee-b72a-198a7b3371fb

A former Obama administration official turned CNN analyst said her administration’s policy of separating children from their families at the border was done “for their protection,” while decrying the same policy under President Trump as “inhumane treatment.”

Samantha Vinograd made the eyebrow raising claims on Tuesday during an appearance on “The Situation Room” with Wolf Blitzer. At no point CNN disclosed to its viewers in the chyron of her work at the Obama administration, where she held a number of roles, including being on the National Security Council.

“When President Obama separated children from their families, it was for their protection. It was if there was a risk of trafficking or other kind of harm that might have been incurred,” Vinograd said.

TRUMP SAYS NO PLAN TO REVIVE FAMILY SEPARATIONS, BLAMES OBAMA FOR UPROAR

“But even if he did do that, why is Donald Trump saying that two wrongs make a right? Again, Obama wasn’t wrong, but so he’s saying that because something happened under President Obama, he’s repeating it and upping the ante.

“That’s an incredibly poor excuse. He’s systemized that inhumane treatment that, again, Obama was doing to protect the children.”

“[Trump] systemized that inhumane treatment that, again, Obama was doing to protect the children.”

— Samantha Vinograd

Vinograd’s remarks came after Trump’s said that the policy of separating children at the U.S.-Mexico border is unlikely to come back and blamed Obama for the uproar over the policy.

FROM ‘NO CRISIS’ TO ‘BREAKING POINT’: MAINSTREAM MEDIA OUTLETS CHANGE THEIR TUNE ON BORDER CRISIS AMID ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION SURGE

“Obama separated the children, just so you understand. President Obama separated the children,” Trump said. “The cages that were shown, very inappropriate, they were built by President Obama and the Obama administration –not by Trump.”

“The press knows it, you know it, we all know it,” he said. “I’m the one that stopped it.”

Initial images of cages with children inside that spread on social media last year were from the Obama administration. The photos, taken in 2014 by The Associated Press, were wrongly described as illustrating imprisonment under the Trump administration.

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But while some family separations may have happened under Obama, it was not nearly as widespread as it was during the Trump administration, amid a “zero tolerance” policy that led to the separations.

Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group vinograd CNN analyst said Obama's child separation policy was done 'for their protection', slams policy under Trump Lukas Mikelionis fox-news/us/immigration/border-security fox-news/politics/executive fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/politics fnc article aa1a8f44-68ac-50ee-b72a-198a7b3371fb   Westlake Legal Group vinograd CNN analyst said Obama's child separation policy was done 'for their protection', slams policy under Trump Lukas Mikelionis fox-news/us/immigration/border-security fox-news/politics/executive fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/politics fnc article aa1a8f44-68ac-50ee-b72a-198a7b3371fb

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Secret Service reeling after sex scandals, social media embarrassments, director’s ousting

Westlake Legal Group secret-service-reeling-after-sex-scandals-social-media-embarrassments-directors-ousting Secret Service reeling after sex scandals, social media embarrassments, director's ousting Lukas Mikelionis fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/politics/executive fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/us fnc e42ab11c-4f12-50aa-8488-42023786d8c9 article
Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_5296494552001_5296410670001-vs Secret Service reeling after sex scandals, social media embarrassments, director's ousting Lukas Mikelionis fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/politics/executive fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/us fnc e42ab11c-4f12-50aa-8488-42023786d8c9 article

The Secret Service — the agency charged with protecting America’s most vital leaders, including the President — is facing renewed scrutiny amid the controversy surrounding an agent inserting a thumb drive with apparent Chinese malware into a computer and the ouster of the outfit’s director.

The malware incident, which occurred when an unidentified agent allegedly inserted a malicious thumb drive, found in the possession of a Chinese woman arrested at President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club last month, into an agency computer — that then began installing unwanted files.

SECRET SERVICE UNDER FIRE AFTER AGENT TESTIFIES AGENCY INSERTED MALICIOUS THUMB DRIVE INTO COMPUTER

The incident was confirmed by Secret Service agent Samuel Ivanovich’s testimony in the case of Yujing Zhang, 32, who was charged with unlawfully entering a restricted area and making false statements to federal law enforcement officers. Prosecutors said she isn’t accused of spying at this time, but noted there are “a lot of questions that remain to be answered.”

“Assertions that U.S. Secret Service agents are incompetent to carry out forensic examinations on digital media (ie thumbdrives, laptops, cellphones, etc.) is outlandish and not rooted in fact.”

— Secret Service

Amid the criticism, the Secret Service issued a statement denying the incident and contradicting its own agent’s testimony.

“Assertions that U.S. Secret Service agents are incompetent to carry out forensic examinations on digital media (ie thumbdrives, laptops, cellphones, etc.) is outlandish and not rooted in fact,” a Secret Service spokesperson said in a statement.

Beyond that, Director Randolph “Tex” Alles was ousted from his position by Trump this week as part of a larger shakeup of the Department of Homeland Security, the government arm to which the Secret Service reports.

But this isn’t the first time the Secret Service has come under fire for reportedly embarrassing — or potentially harmful — blunders.

Multiple breaches

Since Trump’s election, there have been dozens of attempts by protesters or members of the so-called “resistance” to enter the White House and hurt the president. Some of the perpetrators have penetrated security rings and come dangerously close to White House officials.

Back in February, a man managed to breach a security perimeter after claiming he had an appointment with Trump to discuss the border wall, Green New Deal and his hope to “bring peace to the world.”

MAN CLAIMING APPOINTMENT WITH TRUMP STRIKES SECRET SERVICE OFFICER OUTSIDE WHITE HOUSE, AUTHORITIES SAY

Christopher Henry Alexander Davis, 29, of Herndon, Va., reportedly engaged in a physical struggle with Secret Service officers after they tried to handcuff him. At one point, he “struck [the officer] with his right forearm to the left side of the [officer’s] face and nose,” according to court records.

In March 2017, Jonathan Tuan Tran, 26, jumped over a White House fence while allegedly carrying two cans of mace — including one inside his jacket pocket.

The man got so deep into the compound he was seen hiding behind one of the mansion’s column before being apprehended. He was able to freely roam around the compound for about 16 minutes before the Secret Service detained him.

SUSPECTED WHITE HOUSE FENCE JUMPER CHARGED WITH CARRYING ‘DANGEROUS WEAPON,’ SEEN BEHIND MANSION COLUMN

Trump was inside the building at the time of the breach. The Secret Service insisted the man had no hazardous materials, despite court records contradicting that statement.

Agent against Trump

The recent controversies involving the agency also include an anti-Trump agent who said she would rather go to jail than take a bullet for Trump.

Kerry O’Grady, the special agent in charge of the Secret Service’s Denver district, was placed on paid leave about two years ago amid an investigation that unearthed her troubling comments on Social media.

O’Grady reportedly posted on Facebook in October, writing: “As a public servant for nearly 23 years, I struggle not to violate the Hatch Act.”

She added: “So I keep quiet and skirt the median. To do otherwise can be a criminal offense for those in my position. Despite the fact that I am expected to take a bullet for both sides. But this world has changed and I have changed. And I would take jail time over a bullet or an endorsement for what I believe to be disaster to this country and the strong and amazing women and minorities who reside here. Hatch Act be damned. I am with Her.”

SECRET SERVICE AGENT WHO SUGGESTED SHE WON’T TAKE BULLET FOR TRUMP ON PAID LEAVE, REPORT SAYS

She later retracted her comments and told the Washington Examiner she would indeed protect the president.

“It was an internal struggle for me but as soon as I put it up, I thought it was not the sentiment that I needed to share because I care very deeply about the mission,” she said.

She continued to be on a Secret Service payroll; though, she appears to no longer hold the top role within her department. She also reportedly helped to organize an anti-Trump Women’s March in Denver back in January.

Secret Service ‘covers up’ Russian spy hire

The Secret Service was also criticized after the agency hired a suspected Russian spy who went on to work at the U.S. embassy in Moscow for a decade before being dismissed in 2017 amid scrutiny from counter-intelligence officers

The Russian national, a woman, was hired by the Secret Service and came under suspicion in 2016 during a routine security sweep carried out by the State Department, according to sources quoted by the Guardian.

“The Secret Service is trying to hide the breach by firing [her]. The damage was already done but the senior management of the Secret Service did not conduct any internal investigation to assess the damage and to see if [she] recruited any other employees to provide her with more information.”

— A source

SUSPECTED RUSSIAN SPY WORKED IN US EMBASSY IN MOSCOW FOR A DECADE, REPORTS SAY

The woman was dismissed in 2017 after an investigation found she was regularly having unauthorized meetings with the FSB, the Russian intelligence agency.

“The Secret Service is trying to hide the breach by firing [her],” a source told the newspaper. “The damage was already done but the senior management of the Secret Service did not conduct any internal investigation to assess the damage and to see if [she] recruited any other employees to provide her with more information.”

Careless acts

An off-duty Secret Service agent who had been assigned to Vice President Mike Pence’s security detail was arrested in 2017 in Maryland for allegedly soliciting a prostitute

Quincy Thomas Torregano, the agent, notified the Secret Service of his own arrest by local police and was suspended at the time for an internal investigation.

SECRET SERVICE AGENT ARRESTED, SUSPENDED AFTER ALLEGED HOTEL MEETING WITH PROSTITUTE

“The Secret Service is aware of an alleged incident involving an off-duty Secret Service employee,” The spokesman said, adding that the agency takes “allegations of criminal activity very seriously.”

The statement continued: “The employee’s security clearance and access to all Secret Service facilities has also been suspended. We are exploring the full range of disciplinary actions.”

The outcome of the investigation remains unclear.

SECRET SERVICE LAPTOP STOLEN IN NEW YORK

Another agent, meanwhile, managed to lose a Secret Service laptop that contained “highly sensitive information such as floor plans and evacuation protocol for Trump Tower, compromising security.

The computer was stolen the agent’s vehicle parked in front of a New York residence.

“The U.S. Secret Service can confirm that an employee was the victim of a criminal act in which our Agency issued laptop computer was stolen,” the agency said in a statement in 2017. “An investigation is ongoing and the Secret Service is withholding additional comment until the facts are gathered.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_5296494552001_5296410670001-vs Secret Service reeling after sex scandals, social media embarrassments, director's ousting Lukas Mikelionis fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/politics/executive fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/us fnc e42ab11c-4f12-50aa-8488-42023786d8c9 article   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_5296494552001_5296410670001-vs Secret Service reeling after sex scandals, social media embarrassments, director's ousting Lukas Mikelionis fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/politics/executive fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/us fnc e42ab11c-4f12-50aa-8488-42023786d8c9 article

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Boston Globe opinion writer wished he peed on Bill Kristol’s dinner, says Nielsen must be blackballed

Westlake Legal Group boston-globe-opinion-writer-wished-he-peed-on-bill-kristols-dinner-says-nielsen-must-be-blackballed Boston Globe opinion writer wished he peed on Bill Kristol's dinner, says Nielsen must be blackballed Lukas Mikelionis fox-news/politics/executive fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/politics fnc article a3c00ee6-df1c-59e1-8938-ebb199e0b5a7

The Boston Globe posted an Op-Ed by a one-time waiter expressing regret he didn’t urinate on the dinner of a conservative pundit and hope that outgoing Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen be kept unemployed and face confrontation in public over what he deemed “ethnic cleansing.”

“Keep Kirstjen Nielsen unemployed and eating Grubhub over her kitchen sink,” read the headline of the article published on Wednesday, written by Luke O’Neil, an occasional writer for the Guardian, with bylines as well in The New York Times, New York magazine, and elsewhere.

TRUMP AIDES TARGETED IN CORPORATE BLACKLIST EFFORT BY IMMIGRATION, CIVIL RIGHTS GROUPS

“One of the biggest regrets of my life is not pissing in Bill Kristol’s salmon,” read the article’s first sentence before it was shortly scrubbed, with the Globe issuing a prominent editor’s note saying that while the previous tone wasn’t appropriate, they now embrace the content of the article. “A version of this column as originally published did not meet Globe standards and has been changed. The Globe regrets the previous tone of the piece,” the note read.

Westlake Legal Group 13680119_10157088817820184_4227457130638148288_o-1 Boston Globe opinion writer wished he peed on Bill Kristol's dinner, says Nielsen must be blackballed Lukas Mikelionis fox-news/politics/executive fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/politics fnc article a3c00ee6-df1c-59e1-8938-ebb199e0b5a7

Luke O’Neil, an occasional writer for the Guardian, with bylines as well in the New York Times, New York Magazine, and elsewhere. (Facebook)

The piece goes on to accuse Nielsen of being a “reluctant triggerman for Donald Trump’s inhumane policies of ethnic cleansing” and call for throwing out current and former administration officials from restaurants over the administration’s zero-tolerance enforcement of anti-illegal immigration policies that existed prior to Trump’s election.

O’Neil wrote that “it was the last time I remember being proud to be an American” after a string of instances last year in which Nielsen, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and others were forced to leave restaurants due to rowdy protesters.

“It was also one of the only times it seemed like any of the architects of this ruinous xenophobic pre-pogrom might be forced to contend, however briefly, with the consequences of their policy decisions,” he added.

“It was also one of the only times it seemed like any of the architects of this ruinous xenophobic pre-pogrom might be forced to contend, however briefly, with the consequences of their policy decisions.”

— Luke O’Neil

ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: KIRSTJEN NIELSEN ‘OVERSAW ONE OF THE LARGEST-SCALE HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN HISTORY’

The article then criticized media figures for “scolding” the protesters who ushered the officials from public places, stating that he supports America becoming a country where Republicans aren’t allowed to eat at certain restaurants.

“Sadly, the scolding seems to have done its job,” O’Neil bemoaned. “It’s been a while since we’ve been treated to a soulless Trumpist going viral for going hungry, and the sacristy of the restaurant seems to have held.”

“It’s been a while since we’ve been treated to a soulless Trumpist going viral for going hungry, and the sacristy of the restaurant seems to have held.”

— Luke O’Neil

The writer admits that the situation at the southern border predates the Trump administration, but he adds that members of both the Trump and Obama administrations should be sent to prison, or at least be thrown away out of a restaurant.

“Yes, much of our mistreatment of migrants was ongoing long before the Trump gang came along. Throw the Obama-era lot in prison too, for all I care. At the very least, throw them out of a restaurant,” he wrote.

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The article concludes by giving a “permission” to the members of the public to tell Trump officials “where to go and what they can do with themselves when they arrive there, but, you know, said in a more specific and traditional Boston colloquialism.”

Westlake Legal Group 13680119_10157088817820184_4227457130638148288_o-1 Boston Globe opinion writer wished he peed on Bill Kristol's dinner, says Nielsen must be blackballed Lukas Mikelionis fox-news/politics/executive fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/politics fnc article a3c00ee6-df1c-59e1-8938-ebb199e0b5a7   Westlake Legal Group 13680119_10157088817820184_4227457130638148288_o-1 Boston Globe opinion writer wished he peed on Bill Kristol's dinner, says Nielsen must be blackballed Lukas Mikelionis fox-news/politics/executive fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/politics fnc article a3c00ee6-df1c-59e1-8938-ebb199e0b5a7

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Paul to Pompeo: You don’t have permission to start war with Iran

Westlake Legal Group paul-to-pompeo-you-dont-have-permission-to-start-war-with-iran Paul to Pompeo: You don’t have permission to start war with Iran Lukas Mikelionis fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/executive fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc article 735fc739-de15-5139-a023-c46a372e3713
Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6019152341001_6019155463001-vs Paul to Pompeo: You don’t have permission to start war with Iran Lukas Mikelionis fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/executive fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc article 735fc739-de15-5139-a023-c46a372e3713

Kentucky Republican Rand Paul is pressuring the Trump administration to pledge not to attack Iran without proper war authorization in Congress, a call that comes after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo left the possibility of a military action against the Islamic Republic open.

Pompeo suggested on Wednesday that the U.S. could strike the Iranian regime using the Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) passed that permits actions against Al Qaeda and other groups responsible for the September 11, 2001 terror attacks.

TRUMP DESIGNATES IRAN’S REVOLUTIONARY GUARD A ‘FOREIGN TERRORIST ORGANIZATION’

“The factual question with respect to Iran’s connections to Al-Qaeda is very real. They have hosted Al-Qaeda, they have permitted Al-Qaeda to transit their country,” Pompeo said before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “There is no doubt there is a connection between the Islamic Republic of Iran and Al-Qaeda. Period, full stop.”

“There is no doubt there is a connection between the Islamic Republic of Iran and Al-Qaeda. Period, full stop.”

— Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

But Pompeo’s comments alerted the Kentucky senator, who has long criticized the executive branch for waging foreign wars without getting approval from Congress as it supposed to while always justifying the military actions with the AUMF, an authorization Paul has fought to repeal for years now.

Paul pressed the top diplomat to commit not to attack Iran under the AUMF, telling the administration that any action against the regime would have to be approved as set out in the Constitution.

Pompeo declined to commit to Paul’s proposal, noting that he prefers to leave the legality of war issue to lawyers.

“I am troubled that the administration can’t unequivocally say that you haven’t been given power … I can tell you explicitly, you have not been given power or authority by Congress to have war with Iran,” Paul snapped back.

“In any kind of semblance of a sane world, you would have to come back and ask us before you go into Iran,” Paul added.

“I can tell you explicitly, you have not been given power or authority by Congress to have war with Iran.”

— Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION SLAPS NEW SANCTIONS ON IRAN

Pompeo’s comments aren’t entirely incorrect as in the midst of the war in Afghanistan after the 9/11 terror attacks, senior Al Qaeda members fled to Iran where they were welcomed, the New York Times reported.

Hamza bin Laden, a son of Osama bin Laden, has allegedly been living in Iran since 2001. He’s now believed to be the terror group’s prominent leader.

But even under the AUMF, the Trump administration would have to stretch the meaning of the text to justify an attack on Iran, a country that directly didn’t participate in the 9/11 terror attack.

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Pompeo’s comments about Iran came just days after the administration designated Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps as a foreign terrorist group, raising speculations that some military action against the regime is being planned.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6019152341001_6019155463001-vs Paul to Pompeo: You don’t have permission to start war with Iran Lukas Mikelionis fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/executive fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc article 735fc739-de15-5139-a023-c46a372e3713   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6019152341001_6019155463001-vs Paul to Pompeo: You don’t have permission to start war with Iran Lukas Mikelionis fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/executive fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc article 735fc739-de15-5139-a023-c46a372e3713

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Trump signs executive orders making it tougher for states to block pipeline construction

Westlake Legal Group trump-signs-executive-orders-making-it-tougher-for-states-to-block-pipeline-construction Trump signs executive orders making it tougher for states to block pipeline construction fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox-news/politics/regulation/environment fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/politics/executive fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc article Andrew O'Reilly 1a2544a9-e0cb-5982-8e0d-cdd727277436
Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_5999088779001_5999090557001-vs Trump signs executive orders making it tougher for states to block pipeline construction fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox-news/politics/regulation/environment fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/politics/executive fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc article Andrew O'Reilly 1a2544a9-e0cb-5982-8e0d-cdd727277436

President Trump on Wednesday signed two executive orders that will make it harder for states to block the construction of oil and gas pipelines and other energy projects due to environmental concerns.

Coming on the heels of officials in Washington state and New York using permitting processes to stop new energy projects in recent years – and at the urging of some industry leaders – Trump’s executive order will speed up the construction of oil and gas pipelines across the country.

“My action today will cut through the destructive permitting and denials,” Trump said during the signing of the executive orders at the International Union of Operating Engineers International Training and Education Center, a union-run facility in Crosby, Texas. “Under this administration, we’ve ended the war on American energy.”

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION DRAMATICALLY EXPANDS OFFSHORE DRILLING

“It will take no more than 60 days,” Trump said of the approval process for new pipelines, “and the president, not the bureaucracy, will make the final decision.”

While the move was greeted warmly by members of the country’s oil and gas industries, it is likely to rankle some more traditional conservative lawmakers – including several Republican governors – worried about the federal government impinging on individual state rights and governance. The White House has sought to stave off any discord by arguing that the order is not meant to take power away from the states, but to ensure that state actions follow the intent of the Clean Water Act.

Trade groups representing the oil and gas industry applauded the orders and said greater access to natural gas benefits families and the environment.

“When states say ‘no’ to the development of natural gas pipelines, they force utilities to curb safe and affordable service and refuse access to new customers, including new businesses,” said Karen Harbert, president and CEO at the American Gas Association.

TRUMP SIGNS EXECUTIVE ORDER AUTHORIZING PIPELINE AT NORTHERN BORDER: REPORT

Trump’s move comes less than a week after nearly a dozen business groups told EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler that the environmental review and permitting process for energy infrastructure projects “has become a target for environmental activists and states that oppose the production and use of fossil fuels.”

The groups said in an April 5 letter that individual states shouldn’t be able to use provisions of the Clear Air Act “to dictate national policy, thereby harming other states and the national interest and damaging cooperative federalism.”

Washington state blocked the building of a coal terminal in 2017, saying there were too many major harmful impacts including air pollution, rail safety and vehicle traffic.

New York regulators stopped a natural gas pipeline, saying it failed to meet standards to protect streams, wetlands and other water resources. Under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act, companies must get certification from the state before moving ahead with an energy project.

One of Trump’s planned executive orders calls for the Environmental Protection Agency to consult with states, tribes and others before issuing new guidance and rules for states on how to comply with the law.

Environmental groups described Trump’s order as an effort to short-circuit a state’s ability to review complicated projects, putting at risk a state’s ability to protect drinking water supplies and wildlife.

“The Trump Administration’s proposal would trample on state authority to protect waters within their own borders,” said Jim Murphy, senior counsel for the National Wildlife Federation.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

The private Center for Biological Diversity said Wednesday’s actions would mark the fourth time Trump has used executive orders to streamline permits for fossil-fuel infrastructure.

“Trump’s developing an addiction to executive orders that rubberstamp these climate-killing projects,” said Brett Hartl, government affairs director at the center.

The second executive order Trump signed on Wednesday streamlines the process for energy infrastructure that crosses international borders.

Currently, the secretary of state has the authority to issue permits for cross-border infrastructure such as pipelines. The executive order clarifies that the president will make the decision on whether to issue such permits.

The move follows Trump’s decision last month to issue a new presidential permit for the long-stalled Keystone XL oil pipeline — two years after he first approved it and more than a decade after it was first proposed.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_5999088779001_5999090557001-vs Trump signs executive orders making it tougher for states to block pipeline construction fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox-news/politics/regulation/environment fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/politics/executive fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc article Andrew O'Reilly 1a2544a9-e0cb-5982-8e0d-cdd727277436   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_5999088779001_5999090557001-vs Trump signs executive orders making it tougher for states to block pipeline construction fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox-news/politics/regulation/environment fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/politics/executive fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc article Andrew O'Reilly 1a2544a9-e0cb-5982-8e0d-cdd727277436

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House Dems to vote on ‘total nonstarter’ bills aimed to end partial shutdown

The House Democratic majority will use their new power on Thursday to try ending the federal government shutdown that entered its 13th day without conceding to President Trump’s demands for the border wall, a move decried by Republicans as a “political sideshow” and “total nonstarter.”

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_5984151875001_5984151570001-vs House Dems to vote on 'total nonstarter' bills aimed to end partial shutdown Lukas Mikelionis fox-news/topic/government-shutdown fox-news/politics/executive fox-news/politics/elections/house-of-representatives fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox news fnc/politics fnc article 4450450a-455d-56c6-be2a-93ea970a2192

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After Trump touts ‘Big progress’ in trade talks, China expresses willingness to work with US through ‘storms’

China’s foreign ministry said in a statement Sunday that Beijing is willing to work with the United States through “storms” in their relationship toward the goal of global stability.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_5979164341001_5979164457001-vs After Trump touts ‘Big progress’ in trade talks, China expresses willingness to work with US through ‘storms’ fox-news/world/world-regions/asia fox-news/politics/executive fox-news/politics/elections/presidential fox news fnc/politics fnc Dom Calicchio article 35afbf71-0e1d-5e49-9e3a-1ad44f270078 /FOX NEWS/WORLD/GLOBAL ECONOMY/Trade

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How a New York governor once plotted to assassinate George Washington

Two months after the start of the American Revolutionary War, a governor immediately realized that this Washington fellow posed a threat to running his colony his way.

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Shutdown to close DC museums and galleries by midweek

Museums and galleries popular with visitors and locals in the nation’s capital will close starting midweek if the partial shutdown of the federal government drags on.

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