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Wed, 23rd August 2017

Anirudh Sethi Report

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Archives of “Washington” Tag

“There Are No Good Klansmen” – Democratic Lawmaker Unveils Plan To Impeach Trump

We’re surprised it’s taken this long. As the national outpouring of disgust following President Donald Trump’s response to last weekend’s attack in Charlottesville, Va. continues, at least one Democratic lawmaker is calling for Trump to be removed from office.

Claiming that Trump has failed to provide “moral leadership,” Tennessee Rep. Steve Cohen told the Hill that he plans to introduce articles of impeachment against the president in defiance of the Democratic leadership, who worry that unsuccessful attempts to remove the president will make party look weak.

Donald Trump abandons plans for council on infrastructure

Donald Trump has decided to abandon plans for a third business council.

The White House on Thursday announced that it would not go ahead with a planned Infrastructure Council that would have advised the president on how best to deliver the $1tn he promised to invest in roads, bridges and other vital public works projects during last year’s campaign.

“The President has announced the end of the Manufacturing Council and the Strategy & Policy Forum. In addition, the President’s Advisory Council on Infrastructure, which was still being formed, will not move forward,” a White House spokesperson said on Thursday. The disbanding of the council was first reported by Bloomberg.

Debt Ceiling Deal Doubts Rise – USA Default Risk Hasn’t Done This Since Lehman

The US Treasury Bill market remains notably inverted around the uncertain timing of the US debt limit debacle.

As Bloomberg reports, while Treasury bills maturing in October continue underperforming against November and December securities, the market has a murky view on the drop-dead date for the U.S. debt ceiling.

 At the start of last week, concerns shifted to early October after the Treasury said in its 3Q refunding statement that it expects to be able to fund the govt through the end of September.

Focus then shifted back toward mid-October after the head of the House Freedom Caucus said he is ready to accept a debt ceiling increase without other conditions

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Putin says Russia to expel 755 U.S. diplomatic staff, more measures possible

President Vladimir Putin said Russia will expel 755 U.S. diplomatic staff and could consider imposing additional measures against the United States as a response to new U.S. sanctions, although not for now.

Moscow ordered the United States on Friday to cut hundreds of diplomatic staff and said it would seize two U.S. diplomatic properties after the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate approved new sanctions on Russia.

 Putin said in an interview with Vesti TV released on Sunday that 755 U.S. diplomatic and technical staff would have to leave Russia by Sept. 1.

“Because more than 1,000 workers – diplomats and support staff – were working and are still working in Russia, 755 must stop their activity in the Russian Federation,” he said.

New U.S. sanctions were in part a response to conclusions by U.S. intelligence agencies thatRussia meddled in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, and to further punish Russia for its annexation of Crimea in 2014.

Moscow said on Friday that the United States had until Sept. 1 to reduce its diplomatic staff inRussia to 455 people, matching the number of Russian diplomats left in the United States after Washington expelled 35 Russians in December.

‘Trump to Suffer Personal Defeat’ if Congress Overcomes His Veto of Sanctions

US President Donald J. Trump delivers his first address to a joint session of Congress from the floor of the House of Representatives in Washington, DC, USA, 28 February 2017As the new US sanctions against Russia are debated not only in Washington, but also in many European countries, Austrian political expert Gerhard Mangott commented on the issue, saying that the decision on the sanctions could severely affect US President Donald Trump’s political image and Washington’s relations with Europe.

According to the expert, the sanctions will almost certainly be adopted, as both the Democrats and the Republicans believe that they must be introduced.

“This is a very rare occurrence in the United States. President Trump could veto this law, but he won’t do it, because it will be overcome by this very unity in both houses of Congress. In this case Trump will suffer not only political, but also personal defeat,” Mangott told Sputnik.

The analyst noted that there is huge pressure on Trump in domestic politics, especially amid the investigation into alleged ties between the US president and Russia.

US House passes Russia sanctions bill

The US House of Representatives has passed legislation to impose new sanctions on Russia, North Korea and Iran by an overwhelming majority, setting the legislation on a collision course with President Donald Trump.

The bill, HR 3364passed the House on Tuesday with 419 votes for and 3 votes against.

In particular it imposes new sanctions on Russia in response to alleged meddling in the 2016 US presidential election that saw Mr Trump victorious, citing a January 2017 assessment from the US intelligence community.

Mr Trump has spent recent days railing against his former close campaign adviser, attorney-general Jeff Sessions, who upset the president in March when he recused himself from the Federal Bureau of Investigation probe into connections between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, Mr Trump stressed that he was very “disappointed” that Mr Sessions had recused himself from the investigation, which has engulfed the White House since the president was inaugurated in January.

If Mr Trump vetoes the bill it will require a two-thirds majority vote in the House to still become law – likely a minor obstacle in light of the near-universal bipartisan support shown on Tuesday.

US targets Chinese bank, company, two individuals over North Korea

The United States on Thursday imposed sanctions on two Chinese citizens and a shipping company for helping North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs and accused a Chinese bank of laundering money for Pyongyang.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said at a press conference that the actions were designed to cut off funds that North Korea uses to build its weapons program. “We will follow the money and cut off the money,” he said.

 A Treasury statement named the bank as the Bank of Dandong and the firm as Dalian Global Unity Shipping Co Ltd. It named the two individuals as Sun Wei and Li Hong Ri.

The sanctions imposed on the two Chinese citizens and the shipping company blacklists them from doing business with U.S.-tied companies and people.

Mnuchin said U.S. officials were continuing to look at other companies that may be helping North Korea and may roll out additional sanctions.

Putin, Trump Will Meet at G-20 Summit

Cars pass by a billboard showing US President-elect Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin placed by pro-Serbian movement in the town of Danilovgrad on November 16, 2016US President Donald Trump will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin for the first time on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany in July, National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster told reporters on Thursday.

“While in Hamburg the President will meet with many world leaders including…President Putin of Russia,” McMaster stated.

It would be an incredible thing to be a fly on the wall during the meeting. Mainstream media outlets have blasted Trump for “colluding” with Russia during the 2016 election campaign. A producer at CNN, one of the biggest media outlets to continuously press Trump-Putin links, recently confessed the narrative was probably “bullsh*t.” 

Van Jones, former adviser to the Obama White House turned CNN analyst, added, “this Russia thing is just a big nothing burger.”

The discussion will not have any particular agenda, McMaster said. “It’s really going to be whatever the president wants to talk about.” 

Tensions between Moscow and Washington have not gotten off to the greatest start in 2017, but Trump will seek a “more constructive” dynamic between the foreign powers, according to the White House. 

Trump speaks on relationship with India

US President Trump met with Prime Minister of India Modi

Comments from Trump now hitting:
  • India has a true friend on the White House
  • Relationship with India has never been stronger, never been better
  • He and Modi are world leaders in social media
  • looks forward to creating a trade relationship with India that is reciprocal
  • Its important that barriers to US trade with India be removed

Trump to nominate Christopher Wray as new FBI director

Donald Trump said on Wednesday that he plans to nominate Christopher Wray as the new director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation just a day before James Comey is set to testify before Congress.

The US president said in a tweet that Mr Wray is “a man of impeccable credentials”.

Mr Wray is a litigation partner at King & Spalding, according to the law firm’s website. He specialises in white-collar criminal and regulatory enforcement matters. He served from 2003 – 2005 as assistant attorney general in charge of the Justice Department’s criminal division, having been nominated by former President George W Bush.

The decision by Mr Trump comes just a day before Mr Comey is to testify before the Senate intelligence committee in his first public appearance since being fired last month by Mr Trump.

Mr Comey, who was leading the FBI’s inquiry into contacts between the Trump presidential campaign and Russian officials, is expected to provide more details about his controversial dismissal and reports that Mr Trump looked to influence the probe.