Tag Archives: Mike

Mike Pompeo says 'several' US citizens killed in Sri Lanka attacks

Mike Pompeo says 'several' US citizens killed in Sri Lanka attacksThirty-six foreigners were thought to be among those killed in attacks that left nearly 300 people dead and 500 injuredSri Lanka bombings: stay up to date on our live blog A view of St Sebastian’s church damaged in blast in Negombo, north of Colombo, Sri Lanka, on Sunday. Photograph: Chamila Karunarathne/AP Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday “several” US citizens died in a series of explosions in Sri Lanka that killed at least 290 people and left 500 injured. That toll was expected to rise. Thirty-six foreigners were reported to be among those killed in attacks that targeted churches and hotels and were thought to have been caused by suicide bombers. No group immediately claimed responsibility. Sri Lankan authorities have arrested 24 people. In a statement around noon US eastern time, Pompeo said: “While many details of the attacks are still emerging, we can confirm that several US citizens were among those killed. The US embassy is working tirelessly to provide all possible assistance to the American citizens affected by the attacks and their families.” The Sri Lankan foreign ministry said two US-UK dual nationals, three Britons, one Dutch national, three Indians, one Portuguese, three Danes and two Turks were among the dead. A spokesperson for the Sri Lankan national hospital said citizens of the US, Denmark, China, Japan, Pakistan, Morocco, India and Bangladesh were among casualties. Pompeo added: “The United States condemns in the strongest terms the terror attacks in Sri Lanka on Easter morning. Attacks on innocent people gathering in a place of worship or enjoying a holiday meal are affronts to the universal values and freedoms that we hold dear, and demonstrate yet again the brutal nature of radical terrorists whose sole aim is to threaten peace and security. “The United States offers our deepest condolences to the families and friends of those killed and wishes a quick recovery to all who were injured.” On Sunday morning, Donald Trump tweeted the message that “the United States offers heartfelt condolences to the great people of Sri Lanka. We stand ready to help!” The president’s first tweet on the subject was deleted after it misstated the reported death toll at the time, 138, as 138 million. Vice-president Mike Pence tweeted he and Trump were “monitoring the horrific attacks on those celebrating Easter in Sri Lanka”. “This atrocity is an attack on Christianity [and] religious freedom everywhere,” he wrote. “No one should ever be in fear in a house of worship.” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement: “We stand with the Sri Lankan government and people as they bring to justice the perpetrators of these despicable and senseless acts.”



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What the Mueller report on the Russia investigation says about Vice President Mike Pence

What the Mueller report on the Russia investigation says about Vice President Mike PenceSpecial counsel Robert Mueller's report provides new details about Michael Flynn's firing after lying to Vice President Mike Pence.



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Mike Pence answers Pete Buttigieg's criticism: 'He knows better. He knows me'

Mike Pence answers Pete Buttigieg's criticism: 'He knows better. He knows me'Vice President Mike Pence defended his opposition to same-sex marriage in an interview in which he also scolded presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg.



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Pete Buttigieg’s Bad-Faith Attack on Mike Pence

Pete Buttigieg’s Bad-Faith Attack on Mike PenceBack in 2015, South Bend, Ind.’s mayor, Pete Buttigieg, came out of the closet as a gay man. Asked about the news, Indiana governor, Mike Pence, simply responded, “I hold Mayor Buttigieg in the highest personal regard. I see him as a dedicated public servant and a patriot.”A year earlier, Buttigieg had been deployed to Afghanistan as a member of the U.S. Naval Reserve. According to the Indianapolis Star, “a noticeably moved Pence called Buttigieg the day he was driving to the base.”There is no evidence that Pence has ever said an unkind word about or done an unkind thing to Buttigieg.So, naturally, Buttigieg is attacking Pence as a homophobic bigot nearly every day on the campaign trail. Appearing on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Buttigieg sneered, “He’s nice. If he were here, you would think he’s a nice guy to your face. But he’s also fanatical.” Speaking at the LGBTQ Victory Fund National Champagne Brunch in Washington, Buttigieg tore into Pence’s supposed intolerance: “That’s the thing I wish the Mike Pences of the world would understand. That if you got a problem with who I am, your problem is not with me — your quarrel, sir, is with my creator.” This week, Buttigieg tweeted, clearly in reference to Pence, “People will often be polite to you in person, while advancing policies that harm you and your family. You will be polite to them in turn, but you need not stand for such harms. Instead, you push back, honestly and emphatically. So it goes, in the public square.”This is a change for Buttigieg, whose best-selling memoir contains no negative references about Pence but complains of “the complications of being openly gay in Mike Pence’s Indiana.” That phraseology is more a critique of Pence’s policy preferences than his personality. Fair enough.But Buttigieg is no longer operating in good faith. Now he’s attacking Christians who disagree with his policies and support Trump (“the hypocrisy is unbelievable”); he’s castigating Pence as a religious homophobe, characterizing him as an obstacle to tolerance. Why? Because it is far more convenient to cast Pence as a close-minded bigot than it is to respect him as a political opponent.This has become a particularly popular tactic on the Left. When Pence swore in Senator Doug Jones (D., Ala.), the Leftist internet completely manufactured a narrative wherein Pence was deeply uncomfortable with Jones’s gay son (Newsweek’s headline: “Doug Jones’ Gay Son Gives Mike Pence Serious Side-Eye”). Gay Olympian Adam Rippon randomly decided to tear into Pence by stating that “for Mike Pence to say he’s a devout Christian man is completely contradictory.” When gay Irish prime minister Leo Varadkar and his husband attended breakfast with Pence, the media attempted to push a narrative about Pence’s supposed discomfort. When Pence’s wife began teaching at a Christian school, the media leapt to label her an anti-gay maniac.There is no evidence for any of this. Pence has been dealing with gay men, including Buttigieg, his entire career. He differs from them on the definition of marriage. While I believe the government ought to exit the business of marriage altogether, there are plenty of public-policy reasons to stand for traditional marriage that aren’t rooted in animus.More than that, it betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of religious people to suggest that their belief in the immorality of certain sexual behavior reflects animus for those who engage in that sexual behavior. Religious people generally believe that we all sin; that we all struggle with sin; and that participating in one particular type of sin doesn’t mean that the sinner is somehow inferior to those who engage in other types of sin.Frankly, it’s bewildering that the Left seems so concerned about Mike Pence’s personal beliefs on the sinfulness of homosexual activity. Why should Buttigieg care? More than that, is there any justification for attributing malign motives to Pence, both in terms of public policy and in terms of religious observance?Buttigieg should know better. After all, he quite rightly stated of Chick-fil-A, “I do not approve of their politics, but I kind of approve of their chicken.” But he’s forgotten moderation in pursuit of intersectional glory in the Democratic primaries. And that glory can only be had, apparently, at the price of slandering a good man who disagrees with him on the nature of sin and on public policy.



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Tensions flare in 'long and complicated' relationship between Pete Buttigieg and Mike Pence

Tensions flare in 'long and complicated' relationship between Pete Buttigieg and Mike PenceThe war of increasingly personal words between presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg and Vice President Mike Pence's defenders escalated Tuesday.



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Mike Pence lashes out at Ilhan Omar, 2020 Dems in AIPAC speech

Mike Pence lashes out at Ilhan Omar, 2020 Dems in AIPAC speechThe entire Democratic — or “Democrat,” as the vice president put it, using the ungrammatical truncation that has become popular on the right — Party also came under assault from Pence.



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Mike Pompeo jokes he will be secretary of state until 'Trump tweets me out of office’

Mike Pompeo jokes he will be secretary of state until 'Trump tweets me out of office’Secretary of state Mike Pompeo says he knows his tenure as America’s chief diplomat is only as fleeting as a tweet. Mr Pompeo, during an event in Kansas, that was part of global entrepreneurship summit, responded with a joke and praise for Donald Trump when asked how long he might stay in the president’s cabinet. “I’m going to be in there until he tweets me out of office,” Mr Pompeo said, to laughs.



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Democratic presidential candidates line up to target Mike Pence after Biden’s ‘decent guy’ comment

Democratic presidential candidates line up to target Mike Pence after Biden’s ‘decent guy’ commentSenator Kamala Harris, D-Calif, said it was “ridiculous” and “outrageous” he is unwilling to meet privately with female staff – prompting a flurry of Twitter refutations from top female administration officials. Mr Pence has found himself thrust unwittingly into the centre of the 2020 presidential debate, becoming a square-jawed punching bag for Democrats and, at times, even some in his own party.



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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi takes back honorary office Paul Ryan gave to Mike Pence

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi takes back honorary office Paul Ryan gave to Mike PenceDon't cry for the vice president. As the president of the Senate, he will still have space on that chamber's side of the Capitol.



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EU warns against military action in Venezuela as Mike Pence and Juan Guaido meet at emergency summit

EU warns against military action in Venezuela as Mike Pence and Juan Guaido meet at emergency summitThe European Union on Monday urged the United States and Latin American powers against launching a military intervention to oust the regime of Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela.  Venezuela's self-declared “interim president” Juan Guaido met with Mike Pence and Latin American leaders in neighbouring Colombia, to discuss the next steps in the crisis after a weekend of violence. Mr Guaido, arriving in Bogota on Sunday night ahead of the meeting of the Lima Group, called on the international community to consider "all measures to free" Venezuela. The meeting was the first time that Mr Guaido, who declared himself president a month ago, has travelled abroad to meet other world leaders, and he was received as a head of state, with the red carpet rolled out. Mr Guaido and President Donald Trump have repeatedly said that all options are open. Mr Pence was expected to announce on Monday night that they had decided to increase the sanctions on Nicolas Maduro, the embattled president of Venezuela. Ahead of the meeting four Venezuelan officials were added to the already extensive list of sanctioned individuals. On Monday he also called on Latin American allies to ramp up pressure on Caracas by transferring Venezuelan overseas assets to Mr Guaido. A spokesman for Federica Mogherini, the EU diplomatic chief, urged those gathered in Bogota to stop short of declaring war. "We must avoid a military intervention," said Maja Kocijancic. "What is explicitly quite clear, from our point of view, is that we need a peaceful political and democratic and Venezuelan-owned resolution of this crisis. "This obviously excludes the use of force." On Monday night Brazil definitively ruled out permitting military intervention from their territory, with the vice president saying it would not be allowed. Hours later Venezuela's government issued a statement accusing the US and the Lima Group countries of conducting "a ferocious campaign to oust" Maduro by trampling on basic international human rights. The statement also rejected Pence's announcements, accusing him of attempting "to give orders so that other countries join the vulgar plundering" that Washington is pursuing against Venezuela's assets. Venezuelan security forces clash with supporters of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido on the Venezuelan side f the Francisco de Paula Santander International Bridge Credit: RAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP Four people were killed and 300 injured in a bloody standoff on Venezuela’s borders with Colombia and Brazil, as Mr Guaido tried unsuccessfully to get humanitarian aid into the country. The aid convoys were abandoned by early afternoon on Saturday, with one truck laden with supplies going up in flames. Running battles took place throughout Saturday and Sunday, with frequent bloody skirmishes between Mr Maduro’s heavily-armed security forces and pro-Guaido youngsters, throwing rocks and quickly-improvised Molotov cocktails. At least 160 military officials have crossed over into Colombia and pledged allegiance to Mr Guaido, the Colombian migration service said on Sunday night. Many said they rejected the orders to fire on their own countrymen, and knew that the aid was desperately needed. Mr Pence said on Monday that the United States was preparing an additional $ 56 million (£43m) in humanitarian aid, adding after the meeting that they were exploring different avenues for getting it into Venezuela. He urged Latin American countries to take financial measures against Mr Maduro’s government, in particular PDVSA – the state-owned oil company. “We call on all Lima Group nations to immediately freeze the assets of PDVSA,” he said. “Secondly, transfer ownership of Venezuelan assets in your country from Maduro’s henchmen to President Guaido’s government.” The four sanctioned Venezuelans were the governors of Zulia, Apure, Vargas and Carabobo state. Rafael Alejandro Lacava, the governor of Carabobo and ally of Mr Maduro, goes by the nickname “Dracula” in reference to his habit of doing late-night street patrols.



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