News and Media
President Donald Trump will meet with the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas this coming May, according to a White House announcement.
Abbas will be in Washington, DC, on May 3, and will meet Trump to discuss the next steps needed to achieve a peace settlement with Israel. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer announced the meeting at a news briefing on Wednesday.
“They will reconfirm the commitment of the United States and Palestinian leadership to pursuing and concluding a conflict-ending settlement between the Palestinians and Israel,” Spicer said.
Trump met with the prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu earlier this year. The US President has stated that he can “live with either” a one-state or two-state solution. Senior advisor to the president Jared Kushner, who is also the son-in-law of Trump, was been designated to lead the US’s efforts to broker a peace deal between the parties.
President Trump is steaming ahead with his plans to build a wall between the United States and Mexico. His first step will be to request $1.5 billion in a supplemental spending bill. Next will be a request for $2.6 billion for fiscal year 2018. That is s total of $4.1 billion, just a small down payment for the estimated total price of the wall at $22 billion. Mike Mulvaney, the director or the White House Office Of Management and Budget said the president’s requests are quite a bit higher than what was originally proposed.
These budget line-items will be just a small piece in the puzzle to enhance security at the US-Mexico border in what Mulvaney says is a comprehensive “America First” budget.
“We wrote it using the president’s own words,” he said to reporters over the phone. “We went through his speeches, we went through articles that have been written about his policies … and we turned those policies into numbers.”
Mulvaney said that the complete budget for defense and border security will be $30 billion. The budget requested by the president will also include upping the money available for Homeland Security by about 6 percent.
Republicans and Democrats had different reactions to the Presidential tweet-storm early last Saturday morning in which Trump accused former President Obama of wiretapping Trump’s campaign offices last October right before the presidential election.
Republican Congressman Devin Nunes of California said that he would have the House Permanent Select Committee investigate that accusation as part of the larger look into the extent to which Russia interfered with the conduct and outcome of US elections.
“One of the focus points of the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation is the U.S. government’s response to actions taken by Russian intelligence agents during the presidential campaign,” Nunes said. “As such, the Committee will make inquiries into whether the government was conducting surveillance activities on any political party’s campaign officials or surrogates, and we will continue to investigate this issue if the evidence warrants it.”
It is important to note here that although Nunes said that there will be an investigation into Russian interference, and that any wiretapping conducted would have been ordered by appropriate authorities, he did not say that the investigation is of former President Obama’s ordering of the wiretapping, which would have been illegal.
The Democratic response came next, made by Representative Adam Schiff, also from California, who is the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee.
Schiff pointed out the undignified allegations made by Trump, beneath the dignity of the office of the president. Trump
accused Obama without any proof, attribution, or explanation. He accused Obama of “McCarthyism” a reminder of the witch-hunts Congress led in the 1950s, and also referred to the Nixon-Watergate scandal that involved illegal wiretapping and the eventual resignation of President Nixon.
“Today, it became all the more clear that President Trump’s claim that he was illegally wire-tapped by President Obama was based on little more than Breitbart or other conspiracy-based news,” Schiff said. “For a President of the United States to make such an incendiary charge — and one that discredits our democracy in the eyes of the world — is as destructive as it was baseless.”