Tag Archives: Mike

CNN’s Tapper to Mike Pompeo: Wouldn’t You Be Mad if a Democrat Invited the Taliban to Camp David?

CNN’s Tapper to Mike Pompeo: Wouldn’t You Be Mad if a Democrat Invited the Taliban to Camp David?On Sunday, State of the Union anchor Jake Tapper repeatedly confronted Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on President Donald Trump’s recent announcement that he abruptly called off secretive peace talks with the Taliban, asking the nation’s top diplomat why the president would invite the Taliban to Camp David days ahead of the 9/11 terror attack anniversary.Pompeo, who was booked to appear on all five Sunday shows, defended the president’s decision to initially welcome leaders of the Taliban to Washington without having a finalized agreement in place, telling Tapper that Trump “believed we could further America’s national interest by having conversations with the people who have the capacity to actually deliver.”Tapper, meanwhile, noted that the Trump administration has faced widespread criticism for inviting the militant group to Camp David, noting that even members of the president’s own party—such as Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL)—have openly derided the move.Peace Talks With the Taliban Are Off, Trump Announces Via Tweet“I think there are a lot of Americans out there who had been surprised the Taliban had been invited to Camp David, especially the week of the 9/11 commemoration,” the CNN host pointed out.After Pompeo waved off the criticisms while saying Trump was making “real progress” in achieving peace in Afghanistan, Tapper pressed him again.“I don’t think anyone begrudges the president or ambassador trying to bring an end to this war that’s been going on so long with so many innocent people and so many service members killed, but I guess the question is why invite the Taliban to Camp David?” Tapper wondered.Noting that the president’s effort was to work with those who can eventually end the violence, the secretary of state added that Trump is not going to reduce the pressure on the Taliban if they don’t deliver on their commitments, referencing the recent attack in Kabul that resulted in the death of a U.S. soldier.Tapper, however, continued to challenge Pompeo on the notion of even bringing the Taliban to American soil to negotiate terms, highlighting that the organization recently reiterated its support for the 9/11 attacks.“Here’s an organization that still supports 9/11—still believes that the United States was to blame,” the CNN anchor stated. “We brought that on ourselves. Why bring people like that to Camp David? I understand why you want to negotiate for peace but why bring people like that to Camp David?”Pompeo, again, punted on the specific question, saying that the administration has an “obligation to do everything we can” and that they “understand who the Taliban are.”This prompted Tapper to then confront Pompeo on how he would view this if the shoe were on the other foot.“I can’t help but think that if a Democratic president had talked about having the Taliban come to Camp David to negotiate a peace process that was not already a done deal,” Tapper noted. “That you as a congressman, as a soldier, as a veteran, as a West Point graduate, that you would be rather upset.”The secretary of state insisted that the State of the Union host was “just wrong about that” before taking a shot at Obama, claiming the former president was “prepared to leave without ensuring to protect America.”“We will never do that,” Pompeo added.Elsewhere on the other Sunday shows, the secretary of state was grilled on the scuttled peace talks, with much of the focus on the optics of inviting the Taliban to Camp David—especially since the presidential retreat is where American leaders gathered following the 9/11 attacks to plan a response.On Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace aggressively pressed Pompeo on the bipartisan uproar over the canceled meeting, asking Pompeo point-blank: “Who thought it was a good idea for the President of the United States to meet with Taliban leaders who have the blood of thousands of Americans on their hands just three days before 9/11?”During his appearance on ABC’s This Week, the secretary of state defended the Camp David setting, stating that he’s aware of the history surrounding the location and “President Trump reflected on that.”“We all considered as we were debating how to try and get to the right, ultimate outcome,” he continued. “While there have often been discussions about war at Camp David, There have been discussions about peace there as well. There have been some pretty bad actors travel through that place. It’s an important place.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.



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Mike Pence accused of humiliating hosts in Ireland: 'He shat on the carpet'

Mike Pence accused of humiliating hosts in Ireland: 'He shat on the carpet'The vice-president’s comments on Brexit while visiting Ireland and his stay at his boss’s golf course did not go down wellVice-President Mike Pence arrives in Doonbeg to dine with relatives at a seafood restaurant. Photograph: Jacob King/PAMissteps during Mike Pence’s visit to Ireland that included controversial praise of the British prime minister, Boris Johnson, have led to accusations of betrayal and “humiliation”.One Irish Times columnist concluded that the vice-president, a “much-anticipated visitor”, turned out to have “shat on the … carpet”.Pence’s problems started with his decision to stay for two nights at Donald Trump’s golf resort in Doonbeg, County Clare, more than 140 miles from Dublin, necessitating costly and logistically complex travel. The move quickly drew fire from ethics experts and political rivals.The House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, called Trump’s properties a “cesspool of corruption” and accused the president of “prioritizing his profits over the interests of the American people”.“Pence is just the latest Republican elected official to enable President Trump’s violations of the constitution,” she said.A spokesman for the vice-president said the decision was partly based on the president’s suggestion Pence stay there, and partly on secret service concerns about costs and logistics. Questioned about the decision on Wednesday, Trump claimed he had “no involvement, other than it’s a great place”.But that was only the start of the controversy.The Irish Times columnist Miriam Lord responded to a tense meeting between the vice-president and the taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, in which Pence urged the republic to protect the “United Kingdom’s sovereignty”. That Varadkar is gay and Pence a past champion of anti-LGBTQ legislation in Indiana also caused widespread comment.Pence laid on platitudes about being “deeply humbled” and “honoured” to be visiting Doonbeg, the home of his mother’s grandmother. But in Dublin he offered his hosts a clear lesson in his administration’s political priorities.“Let me be clear: the US supports the UK decision to leave the EU in Brexit,” Pence told Varadkar in a prepared statement. “But we also recognise the unique challenges on your northern border. And I can assure you we will continue to encourage the United Kingdom and Ireland to ensure that any Brexit respects the Good Friday agreement.”Among media responses, Irish Central asked: “Did VP Pence betray Ireland in his Brexit comments during Irish trip?”The Irish Examiner accused Pence of trying to “humiliate” the republic.But Lord struck the most telling blow.She described the impact of the Pence visit on Ireland as “like pulling out all the stops for a much-anticipated visitor to your home and thinking it has been a great success until somebody discovers he shat on the new carpet in the spare room, the one you bought specially for him”.“As Pence read from the autocue and Irish eyes definitely stopped smiling,” she added, “it was clear he was channeling His Master’s Voice. Trump is a fan of Brexit and of Boris.”“Pence,” Lord continued, “is Irish American and wastes no opportunity to go misty-eyed about his love for the ‘Old Country’ as he lards on his Mother Machree schtick on both sides of the Atlantic.”Lord wasn’t alone in her criticism. The Cork Examiner’s political editor, Daniel McConnell, wrote: “The cheek of him coming here, eating our food, clogging up our roads and then having the nerve to humiliate his hosts.”



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Ohio GOP congressman Mike Turner backs ban on 'military-style' guns, magazine limits

Ohio GOP congressman Mike Turner backs ban on 'military-style' guns, magazine limitsRep. Mike Turner, R-Dayton, said he supports banning sales of military-style firearms, magazine limits and "red-flag" legislation.



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Mike Pence says Trump 'might make an effort to speak out' if 'send her back' chant happens again

Mike Pence says Trump 'might make an effort to speak out' if 'send her back' chant happens againTrump described the audience that chanted, "Send her back" about Rep. Ilhan Omar as "incredible people" and "incredible patriots."



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'The crisis is real': Mike Pence sees 'tough stuff' and 'compassionate work' at Texas border facilities

'The crisis is real': Mike Pence sees 'tough stuff' and 'compassionate work' at Texas border facilitiesVice President Mike Pence and a group of Senate Republicans toured a pair of border facilities in Texas amid concerns over conditions at such centers.



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Mike Pence says he'll bring TV cameras on tour of border facility as lawmakers voice alarm at conditions

Mike Pence says he'll bring TV cameras on tour of border facility as lawmakers voice alarm at conditionsMike Pence criticized lawmakers such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who have compared the detention facilities to concentration camps.



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Mike Pence abruptly returns to White House as reports of ‘emergency’ situation spark online misinformation

Mike Pence abruptly returns to White House as reports of ‘emergency’ situation spark online misinformationVice President Mike Pence was sent back to the White House on Tuesday after originally being scheduled to attend an event on the nationwide opioid crisis in New Hampshire. The development of Mr Pence’s abrupt change in plans was initially reported by Fox News, which stated the vice president was returning to Washington due to an “emergency”. However, officials declined to publicly cite the reason for the change throughout the day, sparking confusion and apparent online misinformation. Marc Short, chief of staff to the vice president, later told reporters there was no emergency and that Mr Pence’s trip to New Hampshire would be rescheduled for a later date. “The vice president was called back to the White House but there’s no cause for alarm,” Mr Short said, adding that Mr Pence’s plane never departed from Washington. Several initial reports had suggested Air Force Two was rerouted back to Washington after having already left the capitol for the opioid event.A reporter on Fox News said the vice president was “about to land in New Hampshire” but “turned around” due to the last-minute change, while another guest on the MSNBC network echoed those claims, saying the plane had been turned around. Still, a senior official reportedly told the White House press pool — a rotating group of reporters covering the president — that “the VP had not left DC and he’s currently at the White House.”Officials also said the change had nothing to do with either Mr Pence or Donald Trump's health. Alyssa Farah, the vice president’s spokesperson, also said there was “no cause for alarm” in a tweet confirming the itinerary change. “Something came up that required the @VP to remain in Washington, DC,” she wrote. “He looks forward to rescheduling the trip to New Hampshire very soon.”The roundtable discussion Mr Pence was scheduled to participate in Manchester, New Hampshire involved patients from the Granite Recovery Centre headquarters. Mr Pence was also reportedly expected to discuss illegal drug trafficking across the state.The White House did not return requests for comment.



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Mike Pompeo urges other countries to help protect tankers after Gulf attacks

Mike Pompeo urges other countries to help protect tankers after Gulf attacksSecretary of state says shipping security was not exclusively a US problem and stresses that Trump does not want war with IranWashington has blamed recent attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman on Iran. Photograph: -/AFP/Getty ImagesThe US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, has called on other nations to help safeguard tanker traffic in the Persian Gulf following a spate of attacks on ships which Washington blames on Iran.On a visit to US Central Command headquarters, Pompeo said shipping security in the Gulf was not exclusively a US problem.“You have China that depends enormously on energy transiting the Strait of Hormuz. You have South Korea, Indonesia, Japan, all of whom have an enormous interest in ensuring there’s freedom of navigation throughout this waterway,” the secretary of state said.“The United States is prepared to do its part, but every nation that has a deep interest in protecting that shipping lane so that energy can move around the world and support their economies needs to make sure they understand the real threat.”Pompeo added that “President Trump does not want war, and we will continue to communicate that message, while doing the things that are necessary to protect American interests in the region.”In an interview on Tuesday, Trump played down the threat to the US represented by the tanker attacks in the region, which he described as being “very minor”.“Other places get such vast amounts of oil there,” Trump told Time magazine. “We get very little. We have made tremendous progress in the last two and a half years in energy. And when the pipelines get built, we’re now an exporter of energy. So we’re not in the position that we used to be in in the Middle East where … some people would say we were there for the oil.”The Trump administration is seeking to handle the Gulf crisis amid turmoil in its top ranks. The acting defence secretary, Patrick Shanahan, who Trump had nominated to take on the job official, resigned on Tuesday “to devote more time to his family”, according to a Trump tweet.Trump named the army secretary, Mark Esper, to take over as acting defence secretary. The US has not had a Senate-confirmed defence secretary in place since December, when James Mattis resigned.As with his approach to Nato and US Pacific alliances, Trump is focused on persuading allies in the Gulf to shoulder a greater burden in providing security.The US would be able to rely on Gulf Arab support for tanker protection, but enlisting European involvement is complicated by the fact that European governments see the Trump administration as having precipitating the crisis by walking out of the 2015 multilateral nuclear deal with Iran, and imposing an oil and banking embargo on the country.On Tuesday, Pompeo confirmed that the visit to Tehran last week by the Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, was made on Trump’s request.“President Trump had sent … Abe to take a message of his to the leadership in Iran,” the secretary of statem said. Iran’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, rejected the proposal of a dialogue with Trump and the two tankers, one of them Japanese-owned, were attacked while Abe was in Tehran.The deputy chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, General Paul Selva also confirmed on Tuesday that the US had been using Swiss and Iraqi channels as well as public messaging to warn Iran off any direct attack on US interests.“To engage [the US reinforcements] would be a miscalculation that would lead to a response,” he said. “We don’t want them to do that. We want them to be clear-eyed in whatever it is they are planning.”He added: “The risks of miscalculation are real.”Iran has denied responsibility for the blasts that hobbled two tankers in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday, but on Tuesday the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) – which the US says carried out the attack with limpet mines – stepped up the threat to ships travelling through the Strait of Hormuz.“These missiles can hit with great precision carriers in the sea,” Brig Gen Hossein Salami said in a televised speech. “These missiles are domestically produced and are difficult to intercept and hit with other missiles.”Anthony Cordesman, a national security analyst at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, said Arab states in the Gulf could easily help protect tankers with surveillance planes and drones, and could have warplanes at the site of an attack within minutes.Cordesman acknowledged that deep scepticism over US policy towards Iran has made European governments cautious about being drawn into a conflict, but he argued that the presence of a UK and French naval fleet could offer a powerful political deterrent to further attacks.“If what you want is a precondition for negotiations, and cool the situation down, there is an incentive for the UK and France to take part – if what you are doing is deterring attacks and monitoring the situation,” Cordesman said. Nicholas Burns, a former under secretary of state for political affairs, said: “The administration has a credibility problem due to its rash and unwise disavowal of the Iran nuclear deal and its threats to sanction European companies that do business with Iran.”He added: “But Iran is clearly in the wrong in its activities in the Gulf. The administration is right to consider international convoys. And it is in the clear interest of the European allies, as well as some of the Sunni Arab states, to help the US. At risk is commercial energy traffic in a critical international waterway. Europe, especially, should want to see the free flow of oil and gas for its economic wellbeing.”



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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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