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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 240)

Twitter Users Pounce After Trump Gives His Secretary Of Defense A Wonky New Name

Twitter users pounced Sunday when President Donald Trump got his own Secretary of Defense Mark Esper’s name wrong in a tweet ― amongst multiple other errors.

The president made the error while tweeting about his recent decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northern Syria, a move that drew bipartisan criticism. The withdrawal allowed the incursion of Turkish military, who led an offensive against the American-allied Kurdish forces, killing scores of Kurdish fighters and civilians and displacing hundreds of thousands of people.

Westlake Legal Group 5dacf3b6210000131934a812 Twitter Users Pounce After Trump Gives His Secretary Of Defense A Wonky New Name

Donald Trump / Twitter

A subsequent U.S.-brokered ceasefire, which Trump referenced in his tweet, was negotiated with Turkey last Thursday. The agreement effectively allows Turkey to secure significant swaths of Syrian land while displacing America’s Kurdish allies.

A statement from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) Sunday said Turkish forces continued to advance and launch attacks despite the ceasefire agreement. Turkey’s Defense Ministry said there had been 22 violations of the agreement, according to CNN.

On Sunday, as a senior administration official told the New York Times the president was leaning towards a new Pentagon plan to keep a small number of troops in Syria, in order to block Syrian and Russian forces from obtaining access to the region’s oil fields and to fight ISIS.

Under this plan, a few hundred troops would be moved to the border with Iraq, the senior administration official told New York Times, contradicting Trump’s claim he was “bringing soldiers home.” Hundreds of trucks carrying US personnel were seen traveling towards the Iraqi border Sunday.

The White House did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.

The president’s tweet, sent that same day, was mocked on Twitter, with people highlighting other errors ― besides the glaring “Esperanto” typo ― in the text.

It was deleted and reissued with Esper’s name spelled correctly around 90 minutes later, but people took other issues with the tweet’s content:

And people couldn’t help but ridicule the obvious “Esperanto” mistake either:

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Your Burning ‘Watchmen’ Premiere Questions, Answered

Sunday night marked the start of HBO’s “Watchmen,” meaning “huhs?” are coming.

The new series, created by Damon Lindelof (“Lost,” “The Leftovers”), is set three decades after the events of the superhero/alt-history 1986 comic book series from Alan Moore. It’s very much a remix of the story as it mostly focuses on new characters in the same universe, such as cop colleagues Angela Abar (Regina King), aka Sister Night, and Looking Glass (Tim Blake Nelson), who battle the white supremacist group the Seventh Kalvary in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Despite the emphasis on new characters and Lindelof’s recent interview with Rolling Stone — in which he said he even expected people with knowledge of the comics to be confused ― there are a number of anomalies in the “Watchmen” universe that could be explained with a little comic book background.

Here are some answers to those pressing questions: 

Westlake Legal Group 5daa00a3210000371334a660 Your Burning ‘Watchmen’ Premiere Questions, Answered

Mark Hill/HBO Regina King in “Watchmen.”

So what did I just watch?

HBO’s “Watchmen.” Didn’t you read that intro? My editor went over it and everything.

OK, yes, but what’s going on?

In the world of “Watchmen,” there was a time when people ran around in masks fighting crime. Though this was later outlawed in the comic world, these “superhero” vigilantes — “superhero” in quotes because no one really has powers except for glowing-blue demigod Doctor Manhattan — had a profound effect on the world.

It’s also worth noting some of the alternate historical events that have taken place. The U.S. won the Vietnam War thanks to Doctor Manhattan, and that country became the 51st state. The Watergate scandal never happened, due to the mysterious murders of journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, and Richard Nixon abolished presidential term limits. For the last 28 years in the show universe, Robert Redford has been president. 

(You can see pictures of Redford and Nixon on a presidential poster in the background during the classroom scene in the premiere.)

In the show, there are no cellphones or internet, so stuff like Pokemon Go or ordering Taco Bell from your phone is not really an option. Also, there are no fossil fuels and cars run on electricity or fuel cells thanks to innovations from Doctor Manhattan. 

Got it. Alt-reality. Robert Redford. So is the opening scene part of the made-up world too? 

The timeline between our universe and the “Watchmen” universe diverges in 1938 when superheroes started running around. The opening scene actually depicts a version of a real-world event in 1921, the Tulsa Race Massacre, where mobs of white residents murdered Black residents. It’s often referred to as “the single worst incident of racial violence in American history.”

Does that have something to do with “Redford-ations”?

For this, we turn to an interview Lindelof gave to Entertainment Weekly. In that chat, the series creator talked about the Victims Of Racial Violence legislation that Redford helped pass, granting victims and their families reparations, crudely referred to in the show as “Redford-ations.”

This is, according to Lindelof, “a lifetime tax exemption for victims of, and the direct descendants of, designated areas of racial injustice throughout America’s history.” With the show taking place in Tulsa, the victims of the Tulsa Race Massacre would benefit from the legislation.

Why are the police wearing masks?

Lindelof also explained in that interview that the legislation had a “ripple effect” into another act, the Defense of Police Act. This allows officers to hide their faces behind masks, since they are protecting victims affected by the previous legislation who are being targeted by terrorists.

Police were prompted to conceal their identities as a result of an event called the White Night. This was an organized terrorist attack on police homes by the Seventh Kavalry.

Wait, who are the Seventh Kalvary? 

This is a white supremacist group. Members wear inkblot masks and have appropriated the image of a former masked superhero, Rorschach, for their own purposes.

Why are they using the image of a former superhero?

If you really don’t know anything about the comic, stay with me here …

In the comics in 1985, a character named Adrian Veidt, supposedly the smartest person on the planet and formerly the hero Ozymandias, faked an alien invasion on New York, making the city believe it had been attacked by a giant alien squid. (I said stay with me.)

This attack killed millions of people and was done in an effort to thwart a nuclear war, which was on the brink of happening. Now, the world would band together against this “alien threat.”

Most of the characters who found out about the plot in the comic, including Doctor Manhattan, who is now supposedly residing on Mars, agreed to keep it hush-hush. However, one hero, Rorschach, a moral absolutist with an inkblot mask, is killed to keep him quiet. Unfortunately for the others, Rorschach already sent his journal, which put the blame on Veidt, to a right-wing newspaper called The New Frontiersman. 

The end of the comic is ambiguous about what came of Rorschach sending the journal to the paper. However, it seems that because of what his journal revealed, he’s being held up by the white supremacist group as a hero.

Why is the country so racist?

Is this question still about “Watchmen”? (It’s not explained in the premiere.)

OK, rapid-fire: Who was the blue guy they showed on the news?

That’s Doctor Manhattan (though we don’t really know who’s playing him yet).

Who was the naked guy?

That’s actor Jeremy Irons, but he may be playing an older version of Adrian Veidt.

What’s the deal with the in-show TV show, “American Hero Story”?

The show-within-a-show recounts some of the events from the 1940s heroes in the comic, the Minutemen. This features Hooded Justice, who wears a noose as part of his costume.

Lastly, what’s up with that squid rain shower?

Honestly, I don’t know.

The squid bombings could be Veidt’s way of trying to convince people that the 1980s squid attack was real, but at this point (and for many of the questions left off this list), who the heck really knows?

We’re just going to have to watch “Watchmen.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Why Trump Dropped His Idea to Hold the G7 at His Own Hotel

Westlake Legal Group 20dc-doral1-facebookJumbo Why Trump Dropped His Idea to Hold the G7 at His Own Hotel United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump National Doral Miami (Doral, Fla) Mulvaney, Mick impeachment Hotels and Travel Lodgings Doral (Fla) Conflicts of Interest Christie, Christopher J

He knew he was inviting criticism by choosing his own luxury golf club in Miami for the site of a gathering of world leaders at the Group of 7 summit in June, President Trump told his aides opposed to the choice, and he was prepared for the inevitable attack from Democrats.

But what Mr. Trump was not prepared for was the reaction of fellow Republicans who said his choice of the club, the Trump National Doral, had crossed a line, and they couldn’t defend it.

So Mr. Trump did something that might not have been a surprise for a president facing impeachment but that was unusual for him: He reversed himself Saturday night, abruptly ending the uproar touched off two days earlier by the announcement of his decision by Mick Mulvaney, his acting chief of staff.

“He had no choice,” Chris Christie, the former New Jersey governor and longtime friend of the president’s, said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.” “It shouldn’t have been done in the first place. And it’s a good move to get out of it and get that out of the papers and off the news.”

The president first heard the criticism of his choice of the Doral watching TV, where even some Fox News personalities were disapproving. By Saturday afternoon, his concerns had deepened when he put in a call to Camp David, where Mr. Mulvaney was hosting moderate congressional Republicans for a discussion of issues facing them, including impeachment, and was told the consensus was he should reverse himself. Those moderates are among the votes Mr. Trump would need to stick with him during an impeachment.

“I didn’t see it being a big negative, but it certainly wasn’t a positive,” said Representative Peter T. King of New York, one of those at Camp David. He said the group told Mr. Trump’s aides that sticking with the decision “would be a distraction.”

With many members already unhappy with the consequences of the president’s move to withdraw troops from Syria, and Democrats pressing their impeachment inquiry, Republicans on Capitol Hill were not eager to have to defend the appropriateness of the president’s decision to host the Group of 7 meeting at one of his own properties.

“I think there was a lot of concern,” said Representative Tom Cole of Oklahoma, a member of the Republicans’ leadership team. “I’m not sure people questioned the legality of it, but it clearly was an unforced political error.”

Mr. Cole said he did not speak to the president directly about it, but expressed relief that Mr. Trump had changed his mind, and was certain that other Republicans felt the same way. “We just didn’t need this,” he said.

By late Saturday afternoon, Mr. Trump had made his decision, but he waited to announce the reversal until that night in two tweets that were separated by a break he took to watch the opening of Jeanine Pirro’s Fox News program.

“I thought I was doing something very good for our country by using Trump National Doral, in Miami, for hosting the G-7 leaders,” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter before again promoting the resort’s amenities. “But, as usual, the Hostile Media & their Democrat Partners went CRAZY!”

Mr. Trump added, “Therefore, based on both Media & Democrat Crazed and Irrational Hostility, we will no longer consider Trump National Doral, Miami, as the Host Site for the G-7 in 2020.”

Mr. Trump suggested as a possibility Camp David, the rustic, official presidential retreat that Mr. Mulvaney had denigrated as an option when he announced the choice of Doral. But Mr. Mulvaney said the president was candid in his disappointment.

The president’s reaction “out in the tweet was real,” Mr. Mulvaney said on “Fox News Sunday.” “The president isn’t one for holding back his feelings and his emotions about something. He was honestly surprised at the level of pushback.”

Mr. Trump’s unhappiness may also extend to Mr. Mulvaney, who at his Thursday news conference — whose intended subject was the summit hotel choice — essentially acknowledged that the president had a quid pro quo in mind in discussions with Ukrainian officials.

But advisers to Mr. Trump were gobsmacked. The president has frequently expressed unhappiness with Mr. Mulvaney to others, and he recently reached out to Nick Ayers, a former aide to Vice President Mike Pence, to see if he had interest in returning, according to two people close to the president. Mr. Ayers is unlikely to return to Washington, but the conversation speaks to Mr. Trump’s mindset at a time when he is being urged by some advisers to make a change, and several people close to the president said Mr. Mulvaney did not help himself in the past week.

Mr. Mulvaney conceded on Fox News that this was all avoidable. “It’s not lost on me that if we made the decision on Thursday” not to proceed with the Doral, “we wouldn’t have had the news conference on Thursday regarding everything else, but that’s fine,” Mr. Mulvaney said. At another point, he acknowledged his press briefing was not “perfect.”

Many aides have said Mr. Trump — a real estate developer for whom the presidency at times seems like his second job instead of his primary one — had an understandable motivation for choosing Doral: He wanted to show off his property to a global audience.

“At the end of the day,” Mr. Mulvaney said Sunday, “he still considers himself to be in the hospitality business, and he saw an opportunity to take the biggest leaders from around the world, and he wanted to put the absolute best show, the best visit that he possibly could.”

In a statement, an official at the Trump Organization, the president’s private company, reiterated Mr. Trump’s disappointment and his contention that American taxpayers had lost a good deal.

“Trump Doral would have made an incredible location and venue,” the spokesman said. “This is a perfect example of no good deed goes unpunished. It will likely end up costing the U.S. government 10 times the amount elsewhere, as we would have either done it at cost or contributed it to the United States for free if legally allowed.”

But legal experts said the statement itself showed how fundamentally Mr. Trump and his family misunderstood the ethical issues raised by his choice.

At a minimum, the president’s role in steering business to his own resort clashed with his promise, made 10 days before he was sworn in, that he would recuse himself from anything to do with his properties.

“My two sons, who are right here, Don and Eric, are going to be running the company,” Mr. Trump said at the time, referring to Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump. “They are going to be running it in a very professional manner. They’re not going to discuss it with me.”

And the selection, as the president had anticipated, touched off a wave of censure from Democrats and ethics experts.

But it was also criticized by conservative legal scholars, who were already uncomfortable with a number of recent actions by the White House, including pressuring Ukrainian officials to investigate former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., and his son Hunter Biden.

“It is really just about him ordering the country to pay him money,” said Paul Rosenzweig, a Department of Homeland Security official in the George W. Bush administration who is now associated with the Heritage Foundation. “It is just indefensible.”

Pushing the Doral site also threatened to hurt the United States’ standing globally, legal experts said, in light of its decades’ worth of efforts to combat corruption by other foreign governments, according to Jessica Tillipman, a lawyer who specializes in an American law known as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

“This is no different than any other corrupt leader of an oil-rich African country who is taking money from the government and taxpayers,” she said.

In the past, presidents and their top advisers have played a lead role in selecting Group of 7 sites, former State Department officials said, citing Ronald Reagan’s role in picking Williamsburg, Va., in 1983 and the first George Bush’s choice of Houston in 1990.

But the White House has typically just picked the host city, not the hotels. That has traditionally been left to the State Department, said Peter A. Selfridge, the department’s chief of protocol during the Obama administration.

The event draws as many as 7,000 people, including security personnel, news media, diplomats, heads of state and support staff, meaning an overall price tag that can run into the hundreds of millions of dollars, once security is included.

The host government typically covers the cost of 20 hotel rooms per country — but that is the start of what each nation needs, according to a second former State Department official.

Scholars who have studied the history of Group of 7 gatherings — dating to their start in the 1970s — said they could cite no other time when a president effectively tried to force global political leaders to pay his or her family money at a resort owned by the head of state.

“This was unprecedented,” said John Kirton, a professor of political science at the University of Toronto and the director of the G7 Research Group, which studies these gatherings. “This was astounding and embarrassing to the United States.”

Mr. Selfridge said perhaps the most confounding piece of Mr. Trump’s now-aborted choice of the resort outside Miami was the idea of welcoming global leaders to a destination that is hot, muggy — and not particularly popular in June.

“It would be like picking northern Minnesota in the middle of the winter,” he said. “You would not want to be there then.”

Maggie Haberman reported from New York, and Eric Lipton and Katie Rogers from Washington. Sheryl Gay Stolberg contributed reporting from Washington.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Southern California fentanyl seizure nets enough drugs to make millions of deadly doses, officials say

Westlake Legal Group drugs Southern California fentanyl seizure nets enough drugs to make millions of deadly doses, officials say fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/crime/drugs fox news fnc/us fnc Bradford Betz article 0af03bed-a877-57f6-ab5b-23ac82be6e72

Authorities in Southern California’s Orange County last week seized roughly $1.25 million worth of the synthetic opioid fentanyl, a quantity large enough to create four million deadly doses, according to the sheriff’s office.

Wednesday’s seizure yielded nearly half the amount that investigators seized in Orange County in all of 2018, a news release said.

Investigators arrested 60-year-old Rudolph Garcia on multiple drug charges while serving a search warrant, sheriff’s spokeswoman Carrie Brain told the Orange County Register.

They also found a semi-automatic handgun, heroin, methamphetamine and $71,000 in cash, according to the sheriff’s department.

POLICE: PARENTS ARRESTED AFTER 1-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER TESTS POSITIVE FOR FENTANYL

Fentanyl seizures in 2019 could increase by more than double for the third year in a row, investigators said.

“The threat this extremely potent drug poses to our community is increasing exponentially, not subsiding,” Sheriff Don Barnes said.

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Fentanyl is 50 times more potent than heroin, health officials have said.

In the last decade, it has become a public health crisis. Between 2015 and 2018, damage from the drug cost at least $631 billion – which is more than the gross domestic products of Belgium, Sweden and Taiwan, according to an analysis by the Society of Actuaries (SOA).

Westlake Legal Group drugs Southern California fentanyl seizure nets enough drugs to make millions of deadly doses, officials say fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/crime/drugs fox news fnc/us fnc Bradford Betz article 0af03bed-a877-57f6-ab5b-23ac82be6e72   Westlake Legal Group drugs Southern California fentanyl seizure nets enough drugs to make millions of deadly doses, officials say fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/crime/drugs fox news fnc/us fnc Bradford Betz article 0af03bed-a877-57f6-ab5b-23ac82be6e72

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Why Trump Dropped His Idea to Hold the G7 at His Own Hotel

Westlake Legal Group 20dc-doral1-facebookJumbo Why Trump Dropped His Idea to Hold the G7 at His Own Hotel United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump National Doral Miami (Doral, Fla) Mulvaney, Mick impeachment Hotels and Travel Lodgings Doral (Fla) Conflicts of Interest Christie, Christopher J

He knew he was inviting criticism by choosing his own luxury golf club in Miami for the site of a gathering of world leaders at the Group of 7 summit in June, President Trump told his aides opposed to the choice, and he was prepared for the inevitable attack from Democrats.

But what Mr. Trump was not prepared for was the reaction of fellow Republicans who said his choice of the club, the Trump National Doral, had crossed a line, and they couldn’t defend it.

So Mr. Trump did something that might not have been a surprise for a president facing impeachment but that was unusual for him: He reversed himself Saturday night, abruptly ending the uproar touched off two days earlier by the announcement of his decision by Mick Mulvaney, his acting chief of staff.

“He had no choice,” Chris Christie, the former New Jersey governor and longtime friend of the president’s, said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.” “It shouldn’t have been done in the first place. And it’s a good move to get out of it and get that out of the papers and off the news.”

The president first heard the criticism of his choice of the Doral watching TV, where even some Fox News personalities were disapproving. By Saturday afternoon, his concerns had deepened when he put in a call to Camp David, where Mr. Mulvaney was hosting moderate congressional Republicans for a discussion of issues facing them, including impeachment, and was told the consensus was he should reverse himself. Those moderates are among the votes Mr. Trump would need to stick with him during an impeachment.

“I didn’t see it being a big negative, but it certainly wasn’t a positive,” said Representative Peter T. King of New York, one of those at Camp David. He said the group told Mr. Trump’s aides that sticking with the decision “would be a distraction.”

With many members already unhappy with the consequences of the president’s move to withdraw troops from Syria, and Democrats pressing their impeachment inquiry, Republicans on Capitol Hill were not eager to have to defend the appropriateness of the president’s decision to host the Group of 7 meeting at one of his own properties.

“I think there was a lot of concern,” said Representative Tom Cole of Oklahoma, a member of the Republicans’ leadership team. “I’m not sure people questioned the legality of it, but it clearly was an unforced political error.”

Mr. Cole said he did not speak to the president directly about it, but expressed relief that Mr. Trump had changed his mind, and was certain that other Republicans felt the same way. “We just didn’t need this,” he said.

By late Saturday afternoon, Mr. Trump had made his decision, but he waited to announce the reversal until that night in two tweets that were separated by a break he took to watch the opening of Jeanine Pirro’s Fox News program.

“I thought I was doing something very good for our country by using Trump National Doral, in Miami, for hosting the G-7 leaders,” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter before again promoting the resort’s amenities. “But, as usual, the Hostile Media & their Democrat Partners went CRAZY!”

Mr. Trump added, “Therefore, based on both Media & Democrat Crazed and Irrational Hostility, we will no longer consider Trump National Doral, Miami, as the Host Site for the G-7 in 2020.”

Mr. Trump suggested as a possibility Camp David, the rustic, official presidential retreat that Mr. Mulvaney had denigrated as an option when he announced the choice of Doral. But Mr. Mulvaney said the president was candid in his disappointment.

The president’s reaction “out in the tweet was real,” Mr. Mulvaney said on “Fox News Sunday.” “The president isn’t one for holding back his feelings and his emotions about something. He was honestly surprised at the level of pushback.”

Mr. Trump’s unhappiness may also extend to Mr. Mulvaney, who at his Thursday news conference — whose intended subject was the summit hotel choice — essentially acknowledged that the president had a quid pro quo in mind in discussions with Ukrainian officials.

But advisers to Mr. Trump were gobsmacked. The president has frequently expressed unhappiness with Mr. Mulvaney to others, and he recently reached out to Nick Ayers, a former aide to Vice President Mike Pence, to see if he had interest in returning, according to two people close to the president. Mr. Ayers is unlikely to return to Washington, but the conversation speaks to Mr. Trump’s mindset at a time when he is being urged by some advisers to make a change, and several people close to the president said Mr. Mulvaney did not help himself in the past week.

Mr. Mulvaney conceded on Fox News that this was all avoidable. “It’s not lost on me that if we made the decision on Thursday” not to proceed with the Doral, “we wouldn’t have had the news conference on Thursday regarding everything else, but that’s fine,” Mr. Mulvaney said. At another point, he acknowledged his press briefing was not “perfect.”

Many aides have said Mr. Trump — a real estate developer for whom the presidency at times seems like his second job instead of his primary one — had an understandable motivation for choosing Doral: He wanted to show off his property to a global audience.

“At the end of the day,” Mr. Mulvaney said Sunday, “he still considers himself to be in the hospitality business, and he saw an opportunity to take the biggest leaders from around the world, and he wanted to put the absolute best show, the best visit that he possibly could.”

In a statement, an official at the Trump Organization, the president’s private company, reiterated Mr. Trump’s disappointment and his contention that American taxpayers had lost a good deal.

“Trump Doral would have made an incredible location and venue,” the spokesman said. “This is a perfect example of no good deed goes unpunished. It will likely end up costing the U.S. government 10 times the amount elsewhere, as we would have either done it at cost or contributed it to the United States for free if legally allowed.”

But legal experts said the statement itself showed how fundamentally Mr. Trump and his family misunderstood the ethical issues raised by his choice.

At a minimum, the president’s role in steering business to his own resort clashed with his promise, made 10 days before he was sworn in, that he would recuse himself from anything to do with his properties.

“My two sons, who are right here, Don and Eric, are going to be running the company,” Mr. Trump said at the time, referring to Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump. “They are going to be running it in a very professional manner. They’re not going to discuss it with me.”

And the selection, as the president had anticipated, touched off a wave of censure from Democrats and ethics experts.

But it was also criticized by conservative legal scholars, who were already uncomfortable with a number of recent actions by the White House, including pressuring Ukrainian officials to investigate former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., and his son Hunter Biden.

“It is really just about him ordering the country to pay him money,” said Paul Rosenzweig, a Department of Homeland Security official in the George W. Bush administration who is now associated with the Heritage Foundation. “It is just indefensible.”

Pushing the Doral site also threatened to hurt the United States’ standing globally, legal experts said, in light of its decades’ worth of efforts to combat corruption by other foreign governments, according to Jessica Tillipman, a lawyer who specializes in an American law known as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

“This is no different than any other corrupt leader of an oil-rich African country who is taking money from the government and taxpayers,” she said.

In the past, presidents and their top advisers have played a lead role in selecting Group of 7 sites, former State Department officials said, citing Ronald Reagan’s role in picking Williamsburg, Va., in 1983 and the first George Bush’s choice of Houston in 1990.

But the White House has typically just picked the host city, not the hotels. That has traditionally been left to the State Department, said Peter A. Selfridge, the department’s chief of protocol during the Obama administration.

The event draws as many as 7,000 people, including security personnel, news media, diplomats, heads of state and support staff, meaning an overall price tag that can run into the hundreds of millions of dollars, once security is included.

The host government typically covers the cost of 20 hotel rooms per country — but that is the start of what each nation needs, according to a second former State Department official.

Scholars who have studied the history of Group of 7 gatherings — dating to their start in the 1970s — said they could cite no other time when a president effectively tried to force global political leaders to pay his or her family money at a resort owned by the head of state.

“This was unprecedented,” said John Kirton, a professor of political science at the University of Toronto and the director of the G7 Research Group, which studies these gatherings. “This was astounding and embarrassing to the United States.”

Mr. Selfridge said perhaps the most confounding piece of Mr. Trump’s now-aborted choice of the resort outside Miami was the idea of welcoming global leaders to a destination that is hot, muggy — and not particularly popular in June.

“It would be like picking northern Minnesota in the middle of the winter,” he said. “You would not want to be there then.”

Maggie Haberman reported from New York, and Eric Lipton and Katie Rogers from Washington. Sheryl Gay Stolberg contributed reporting from Washington.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Beto O’Rourke to MSNBC: Trump’s rhetoric ‘perhaps inspired by Goebbels’

Westlake Legal Group Trump-Beto_Reuters-Getty Beto O'Rourke to MSNBC: Trump's rhetoric 'perhaps inspired by Goebbels' Nick Givas fox-news/politics/elections/presidential fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/elections/campaigning fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/beto-orourke fox news fnc/media fnc article 269993ed-bab5-5025-92eb-221c2ccf155a

President Trump‘s dishonest political rhetoric may have been inspired by Adolf Hitler’s notorious propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, 2020 presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke said in a bold claim during a Sunday TV interview.

O’Rourke made the remarks on MSNBC’s “PoliticsNation.”

“President Trump, perhaps inspired by Goebbels and the propagandists of the Third Reich, seems to employ this tactic that the bigger the lie, the more obscene the injustice, the more dizzying the pace of this bizarre behavior, the less likely we are to be able to do something about it,” he said.

“I’m so grateful that not only is the House moving forward with impeachment, but… It’s a good sign that he was caught, that he was stopped — that he can no longer normalize the behavior that we’ve seen so far.”

“Did I hear you correctly say that perhaps [Trump] was influenced by Goebbels and the Third Reich in terms of telling a big lie? I just want to make sure that’s what I heard you say,” Sharpton asked.

BETO O’ROURKE: UKRAINE WHISTLEBLOWER’S REPORTED CONNECTION TO 2020 CAMPAIGN IS ‘IMMATERIAL’

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“That’s right,” O’Rourke replied. “There is so much that is resonant of the Third Reich in this administration, whether it is attempting to ban all people of one religion and saying that Muslims are somehow inherently dangerous or defective or disqualified — outside of Nazi Germany, it’s hard for me to find another modern democracy that had the audacity to say something like this.

“And then, this idea from Goebbels and Hitler that the bigger the lie and the more often you repeat it, the more likely people are to believe it. That is Donald Trump to a T,” he added.

O’Rourke continued to bash Trump, saying the president has been sending out dog whistles of racism and hate.

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“The signal that he is sending is being picked up by Americans who are willing to work on that hatred and racism,” he said.

“We saw it brought home to us in El Paso… when someone repeating the president’s own words in his manifesto, opened fire on people in El Paso, Texas, killing 22 of them in a Walmart… So this is the cost and consequence of Donald Trump.”

Westlake Legal Group Trump-Beto_Reuters-Getty Beto O'Rourke to MSNBC: Trump's rhetoric 'perhaps inspired by Goebbels' Nick Givas fox-news/politics/elections/presidential fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/elections/campaigning fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/beto-orourke fox news fnc/media fnc article 269993ed-bab5-5025-92eb-221c2ccf155a   Westlake Legal Group Trump-Beto_Reuters-Getty Beto O'Rourke to MSNBC: Trump's rhetoric 'perhaps inspired by Goebbels' Nick Givas fox-news/politics/elections/presidential fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/elections/campaigning fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/beto-orourke fox news fnc/media fnc article 269993ed-bab5-5025-92eb-221c2ccf155a

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Trump Reportedly Considering Leaving Hundreds Of Troops In Syria After All

Westlake Legal Group 5dad03a520000077195063c4 Trump Reportedly Considering Leaving Hundreds Of Troops In Syria After All

President Donald Trump is said to be weighing a plan to leave hundreds of American troops in eastern Syria, what would be the administration’s latest foreign policy turnaround in the region, The New York Times reported Sunday.

A senior administration official told the outlet the White House is considering leaving a small force of about 200 troops in Syria, likely near the country’s border with Iraq, to combat any resurgence of ISIS and protect the region’s contested oil fields. The move, it it takes place, would come about a week after Trump ordered all U.S. troops to withdraw from Syria’s border with Turkey and abandon America’s Kurdish allies, effectively handing over control of the area to the Syrian government and its Russian allies.

HuffPost has reached out to the White House for comment. 

The Times reported that Trump has been mulling the plan for about a week and is in favor of it, and officials have argued that it doesn’t reflect a policy reversal because the administration always planned to leave the troops in the region.

Trump last year said ISIS had been defeated and that he would order 2,000 American troops to be brought home. He later backed away from those plans, instead saying he supported a gradual withdrawal from the region.

Trump has come under a new bout of extreme criticism after he ordered the latest withdrawal following a phone call earlier this month with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The Turkish leader informed Trump during the discussion that he planned to send his own forces across the Syrian border to create a buffer zone. Erdogan considers the Kurds — who have been allied with the U.S. for years in the fight against ISIS ― a terrorist organization.

Trump said he informed Erdogan at the time he didn’t support the move, threatening punishing economic sanctions, and he sent a letter to the man saying as much, but he ordered the American troops to leave anyways. Administration officials have since said the U.S. forces were in harm’s way and had been told to leave because of it.

Tens of thousands of Kurds have been forced to flee the region and many have been killed in the ensuing attacks. Turkey had attacked the region with at least 180 airstrikes as of last week.

Many Democrats and even some of Trump’s staunchest Republican allies have lambasted the move, saying it would could lead to the resurgence of the ISIS. Some of those fears have already proven valid after hundreds of ISIS supporters escaped detention in northern Syria.

The U.S. recently reached a short cease-fire deal with Turkey after Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo travelled to the region. But the negotiations were largely seen as a major policy win for Erdogan.

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House Dem on Trump impeachment push: ‘An investigation doesn’t happen in the light of day’

Westlake Legal Group Himes-Trump_Getty-AP House Dem on Trump impeachment push: 'An investigation doesn't happen in the light of day' Nick Givas fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/media fnc article 2c51aca2-aab5-5ac3-8ae5-d9744a9e0325

Government investigations and impeachment inquiries have relied on secrecy and are usually not conducted in complete public view, said Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., during a Sunday television interview.

Himes appeared on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” where he was asked about Republican claims that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., was withholding valuable evidence.

“I often don’t see documents until well after I would like to,” Himes said. “The previous impeachment inquiries of [Richard] Nixon and of [Bill] Clinton — the Congress was handed a fully done investigation.”

“We’re doing that now and an investigation doesn’t happen in the light of day,” he added. “But, I will tell you that there will be open hearings.”

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Himes also said any information that wasn’t classified eventually will find its way into the hands of the public and promised that all Americans would be able to access the fruits of the Democrats’ investigation.

“Every transcript, after they’re scrubbed for classified information, will be released publicly and this will ultimately be all out there for the American people to see,” he said.

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“And, what the American people will see is that there is not one word of testimony, written or spoken, which contradicts the notion that the president used the assets of the United States — military aid, a White House meeting- to advance his political interests,” Himes added.

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Himes refused to say when the first public hearing would be or when the first set of documents would be made available, but he signaled that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., was encouraging the Democrats not to waste time.

“My belief is that the speaker of the House would like to get this wrapped up by the end of the year,” he said. “I think that’s probably possible.”

Westlake Legal Group Himes-Trump_Getty-AP House Dem on Trump impeachment push: 'An investigation doesn't happen in the light of day' Nick Givas fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/media fnc article 2c51aca2-aab5-5ac3-8ae5-d9744a9e0325   Westlake Legal Group Himes-Trump_Getty-AP House Dem on Trump impeachment push: 'An investigation doesn't happen in the light of day' Nick Givas fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/media fnc article 2c51aca2-aab5-5ac3-8ae5-d9744a9e0325

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Justin Amash Rips Trump For Shuffling Troops, Treating Them As ‘Mercenaries’

Westlake Legal Group 5dace47520000072195063b6 Justin Amash Rips Trump For Shuffling Troops, Treating Them As ‘Mercenaries’

Rep. Justin Amash (I-Mich.) bashed President Donald Trump on Sunday for merely shifting American troops in the Middle East, and not bringing them home as he promised. He’s “using our forces almost as mercenaries,” Amash stated on NBC’s “Meet The Press.”

“It’s pretty clear he’s not bringing home the troops. He’s just moving them to other parts of the Middle East,” Amash told Chuck Todd. Watch the video above.

“He’s moving troops back into Iraq, he’s moving other troops into Saudi Arabia — and he’s using our forces almost as mercenaries, paid mercenaries, who are going to go in. As long as Saudi Arabia pays us some money, it’s good to go,” Amash added. 

Trump’s justification for his controversial decision to pull out troops in Syria and abandon Kurdish allies to a Turkish invasion was to fulfill his promise to “bring our soldiers home.” Instead, he has boosted the number of U.S. forces in Saudi Arabia by 2,800 — and is sending troops from Syria to Iraq.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced Saturday that all of the nearly 1,000 U.S. troops being pulled from Syria were being moved to western Iraq to fight ISIS. Trump boasted the following day in a tweet on Sunday: “Bringing soldiers home!” (He also referred to Esper as “Esperanto” before it was later corrected.)

Trump has claimed that Saudi Arabia “has agreed to pay us for everything we’re doing” — just as they would pay for mercenary fighters — indicating that makes U.S. troop deployment there acceptable. The Trump administration changes in Iraq and Saudi Arabia appear to reveal that more American troops, not fewer, will be deployed in the Middle East.

Amash also criticized Trump for making a radical change in Syria deployment without congressional approval, and without careful consideration and foresight.

“He could have prepared in advance for the obvious consequences” of ceding the Syrian battlefield to the Turks, Amash said. “He certainly knew what Turkey would do, and then he acted surprised that they’re coming in and committing acts of violence. You don’t wait ’til after withdrawing the troops to make a plan to go pressure Turkey to ease up and then call for a ceasefire.”

Amash, who left the Republican Party after he called for Trump’s impeachment following the release of the Mueller report, didn’t rule out running against Trump for the GOP presidential nomination.

“I think I’m very effective in the House,” Amash said. “I think my constituents want an independent congressman. But we do need new voices on the national stage running for national office, including the presidency.”

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Following debate criticism, Elizabeth Warren will outline how to pay for ‘Medicare for All’ plan

INDIANOLA, Iowa — U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren said she is planning to release information soon that outlines how she will pay for her “Medicare for All” plan.

The issue has followed the Massachusetts senator in at least two Democratic presidential debates as she has declined to say whether taxes will go up to pay for her proposal, which would abolish private health insurance in favor of Medicare for every American.

“Right now, the cost estimates on Medicare for All vary by trillions and trillions of dollars. And the different revenue streams for how to fund it — there are a lot of them,” she said to a crowd of about 475 at Simpson College. “So this is something I’ve been working on for months and months and it’s got just a little more work until it’s finished.”

Warren is a cosponsor of U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All plan, introduced in the Senate more than two years ago. The senator from Vermont has said taxes will go up to pay for his plan, but all out-of-pocket expenses like co-pays, premiums and deductibles would be eliminated.

There’s a new front-runner in town:Elizabeth Warren. Just ask her Democratic rivals

While Warren has been known to release robust policies and plans that details ways to pay for them, she has yet to outline how she’d pay for her public health care program. 

The senator was asked pointedly by debate moderators last week whether taxes will go up to pay for her plan. Warren said her plan would reduce health care costs for middle class Americans but did not address how her plan would affect taxes.

“So, the way I see this, it is about what kinds of costs middle-class families are going to face,” she said during the debate in Westerville, Ohio, last week. “So, let me be clear on this. Costs will go up for the wealthy. They will go up for big corporations. And for middle-class families, they will go down.”

In Indianola on Sunday, Warren said she would not sign a Medicare for All bill “that does not reduce the cost of health care for middle class families.”

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“Because it is the cost of health care that is hurting families and the cost of health care is what they care about,” she said. “And because they care about it, I care about it.”

Her debate answer, however, paved the way for attacks from her Democratic rivals, particularly South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg who said Warren has failed to answer a yes or no question put forth by the moderators. He has released a plan that gives Medicare to anyone who wants it.

“At least Bernie’s being honest here and saying how he’s going to pay for this and that taxes are going to go up,” added Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, who supports a public option that would expand Medicaid and Medicare. “And I’m sorry, Elizabeth, but you have not said that, and I think we owe it to the American people to tell them where we’re going to send the invoice.”

Warren kicked off a three-day Iowa swing Sunday at a town hall in Indianola. She plans stops in Des Moines, Ames and Cedar Falls. 

Follow Kim Norvell on Twitter: @KimNorvellDMR

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