Donald Trump Wants To See Woman Who Accused Court Nominee Of Sex Assault


Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has been accused of sex assault by a professor.

Washington: 

President Donald Trump on Wednesday said it would be “unfortunate” if the woman who has accused his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault did not testify before a US Senate committee, as he stepped up his defense of the conservative federal appeals court judge.

Trump answered questions about Kavanaugh, whose nomination is now in jeopardy in the Senate, as he left the White House to visit hurricane-stricken areas in North Carolina and South Carolina.

Christine Blasey Ford, a university professor in California, has accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her in 1982 when both were high school students in suburban Maryland. Kavanaugh has denied the allegation.

The Senate Judiciary Committee, which oversees Supreme Court nominations, has scheduled a hearing for Monday and invited both Ford and Kavanaugh to testify. Ford’s lawyers said on Tuesday she would not appear before the Senate until after the FBI investigates the allegations. Officials have said the FBI is not looking into the matter.

“Look, if she shows up and makes a credible showing, that will be very interesting and we’ll have to make a decision. But I can only say this: he’s such an outstanding man – very hard for me to imagine that anything happened,” Trump told reporters.

“I really want to see her,” Trump said.

The Republican president said he wanted the Senate confirmation process to play out.

“I think he’s an extraordinary man. I think he’s a man of great intellect, as I’ve been telling you, and he had this unblemished record. This is a very tough thing for him and his family. And we want to get it over with,” Trump said.

“If she shows up, that would be wonderful. If she doesn’t show up, that would be unfortunate,” Trump added.

The accusations have roiled a confirmation process that once seemed smooth for Kavanaugh, who if confirmed could consolidate the conservative grip on the top US court.

Democrats, already opposed to Kavanaugh, have sought an FBI investigation, a request Republicans rebuffed.

The confirmation fight comes just weeks before Nov. 6 congressional elections in which Democrats seek to win control of Congress from Trump’s fellow Republicans.

Earlier on Wednesday, CNN reported that a former classmate of Kavanaugh denied attending a high school party where the nominee is accused of assaulting Ford.

Patrick J. Smyth sent a letter to Republican Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley and top Democrat Dianne Feinstein in which he denied seeing any “improper conduct” by Kavanaugh, a classmate at Georgetown Preparatory School, according to CNN, which obtained a copy of the letter.

“I understand that I have been identified by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford as the person she remembers as ‘PJ’ who supposedly was present at the party she described in her statements to the Washington Post,” Smyth said in his letter, CNN reported.

“I am issuing this statement today to make it clear to all involved that I have no knowledge of the party in question; nor do I have any knowledge of the allegations of improper conduct she has leveled against Brett Kavanaugh.”

It was not clear where and when Ford had identified Smyth as being present at the party. Ford has said Kavanaugh pinned her down and tried to take her clothes off while another boy, identified as Mark Judge, watched.

Judge earlier told Grassley through a lawyer he did not want to speak publicly. Judge, who has written about his teenage alcoholism, said he had no memory of the party at issue and had never seen Kavanaugh behave in the manner she described.

© Thomson Reuters 2018

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)





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Donald Trump Explains How China Built Itself With US Money


Trump said because of his new policies, US market is up like a rocket ship, while China’s is tumbling

Washington: 

China rebuilt itself with the “tremendous amount” of money pouring out of the United States, Donald Trump claimed today, asserting that America has been “ripped off” by “everyone”, especially Beijing.

He said China has been taking out $500 billion a year from the US.

“They (Chinese) rebuilt their country with tremendous amounts of money pouring out of the United States. I’ve changed that around. If you look at what’s going on, our market is going up like a rocket ship. I don’t want their market to go down, but their market is down 32 per cent in three months. Because we can’t let them do anymore what they’ve done,” he said.

Donald Trump was addressing a joint news conference with the visiting Polish President Andrzej Duda at the White House.

“Over the last number of years, China has taken out of this country $500 billion and more a year. That would go a long way for Poland, wouldn’t it?  You could rebuild your whole country. And that’s what China did,” he said.

Donald Trump said he keeps a close watch on trade deficits as it was “very  important”.

“When a country has $375 billion in trade deficits, and then many billions of dollars in other liabilities of all different types, one has to do something about it,” said the US president.

President Trump also said that the US has become a “piggy bank” to the world “ripped off by everyone”.

“We have been ripped off by China. We’ve been ripped off by the European Union…We’ve been ripped off by everybody. I want to protect the American worker, the American farmer, the ranchers, the companies. We’re not being ripped off in a little while,” he said.

Responding to a question on his announcement of trade tariffs against China, President Trump said, “It got to a point where the numbers were too big. This should have been done for the last 20 years. If you look at the World Trade Organization, that’s when China really happened, economically. It was like a rocket ship, because they took advantage of the rules of the WTO,” he asserted.
 





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Donald Trump Unveils Revises US Biodefence Strategy


“Biological threats emanate from many sources, and they know no borders,” Donald Trump said

Washington: 

US President Donald Trump unveiled a new strategy Tuesday aimed at reducing the risks of man-made and naturally occurring biological threats.

The announcement came on the anniversary of the 2001 anthrax bio-terror attacks in Washington and elsewhere that killed five people.

“Biological threats emanate from many sources, and they know no borders,” Trump said in a statement.

“They have great potential to disrupt the economy, exact a toll on human life, and tear at the very fabric of society.”

The Trump administration last year outlined in its National Defense Strategy the need to better address a growing risk of agents, including Ebola and anthrax.

The new strategy is aimed at improving the way the government coordinates its biodefense measures and how it prepares for and responds to biological incidents.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)





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Donald Trump Accuses China Of Trying To Impact US Election With Trade War


Donald Trump has threatened to impose taxes on virtually all of the remaining Chinese goods (AFP)

Washington: 

President Donald Trump on Tuesday accused China of seeking to influence upcoming US elections by taking aim at his political support base in the countries’ escalating trade war.

“China has openly stated that they are actively trying to impact and change our election by attacking our farmers, ranchers and industrial workers because of their loyalty to me,” Trump tweeted.

Trump’s comments came a day after he targeted another $200 billion in Chinese imports with tariffs starting next week, drawing an immediate vow of retaliation from Beijing.

The latest round of products targeted mean that Trump has taken aim at half of all the goods the US imports from China, instantly raising the prices for businesses and consumers that rely on them.

He also threatened to impose taxes on virtually all of the remaining goods imported from China, amounting to $267 billion a year if China retaliates rather than changing its trade policies.

Beijing has so far struck back dollar-for-dollar to each escalation of the trade dispute but it is running out of US goods to hit, and on Tuesday announced new duties on $60 billion in products.

The US imported over $500 billion in goods from China last year but exported just $130 billion.

As Trump has pursued his confrontation trade policy, China, Canada, Mexico and the European Union have all fought back, and have targeted goods seen as hitting areas loyal to Trump, including soybeans, bourbon, and blue jeans.

Trump was defiant and said his supporters will not be swayed. He also threatened to impose taxes on virtually all of the remaining goods imported from China, amounting to $267 billion a year.

“What China does not understand is that these people are great patriots and fully understand that…China has been taking advantage of the United States on Trade for many years,” he tweeted.

“They also know that I am the one that knows how to stop it. There will be great and fast economic retaliation against China if our farmers, ranchers and/or industrial workers are targeted!”

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)





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Donald Trump Slaps Tariffs On $200 Billion In Chinese Goods


Donald Trump said that the new tariffs will take effect from September 24 (File photo)

Washington: 

US President Donald Trump on Monday defied warnings and escalated the trade confrontation with China, hitting the country with tariffs starting next week on another $200 billion in imports and threatening to target even more if Beijing retaliates.
Trump said China had refused to change the unfair practices that hurt US businesses and workers.

“For months, we have urged China to change these unfair practices and give fair and reciprocal treatment to American companies,” Trump said in a statement.

“These practices plainly constitute a grave threat to the long-term health and prosperity of the United States economy,” he said.

“But, so far, China has been unwilling to change its practices,” including theft and force transfer of technology.

Once the new round of tariffs takes effect on September 24, punitive duties will be in place on roughly half of the products the US buys from China — its largest source of imported merchandise.

The latest round of imports will face 10 percent tariffs through the end of the year, and then the rate will jump to 25 percent.

In Beijing, China’s Foreign Ministry had already vowed to strike back.

“If the US launches any new tariff measures, China will have to take countermeasures to firmly ensure our legitimate rights and interests,” foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters during a regular press briefing on Monday.

But Trump warned that “if China takes retaliatory action against our farmers or other industries, we will immediately pursue phase three, which is tariffs on approximately $267 billion of additional imports.”

That would mean imposing new taxes on all of the goods the US imports from China.

“Once again, I urge China’s leaders to take swift action to end their country’s unfair trade practices,” Trump said. “Hopefully, this trade situation will be resolved, in the end, by myself and President Xi of China, for whom I have great respect and affection.”

Smart watches spared

The new taxes will hit a broad swath of products, including billions in Chinese-made voice data receivers, computer memory modules, automatic data processors, and accessories for office equipment such as copiers and bank note dispensers — instantly making widely used goods more expensive.

However, senior administration officials told reporters the initial list announced in July was reduced by 300 product lines after the administration received 6,000 written comments from consumers and businesses.

The products spared included consumer electronics like smart watches and Bluetooth devices, child safety products such as high chairs, car seats and play pens, and certain health-and-safety products such as bicycle helmets, the officials said.

The officials said China had been given “chance after chance” to change the trade practices considered unfair to US businesses, but “have remained obdurate.”

Only last week, Beijing said it welcomed overtures from US officials offering to re-start trade talks, but press reports indicate China would call off any meetings if the new punitive duties take effect.

The escalating confrontation shook up global stock markets. Wall Street closed the day solidly in the red, and word of the fresh round of tariffs had already sent Chinese stocks tumbling more than one percent, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index falling to 2,651.79, the lowest level since 2014.

While officials said the impact on the US economy has been minimal, firms across the country report lost businesses, layoffs and possible bankruptcies as input costs rise and exports fall.

They officials told reporters the lower initial tariff rate would give US businesses time to find new suppliers.

That could soften the blow to US consumers and manufacturers among others ahead of key US congressional elections in November.

Lobbying against the tariffs has risen sharply in Washington but Trump’s policy has left candidates in competitive races for November’s hard-fought midterm congressional elections in awkward positions.

Some Republicans in export-dependent areas have fallen silent on trade or sought to push back. But some Democrats, who broadly oppose the president’s agenda and are banking on his unpopularity, have adopted critical views of trade agreements and free trade.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)





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John Kerry, Ex-Presidential Candidate Says Donald Trump Has “Insecurity Of A Teenage Girl”


John Kerry is being criticized for comparing President Donald Trump to a teenage girl (AFP)

Former Secretary of State John Kerry is being criticized for comparing President Donald Trump to a teenage girl during an appearance on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher.”

Kerry visited the late-night talk show Friday to promote his new memoir, “Every Day is Extra.” Shortly after Kerry sat down, however, host Bill Maher brought up a Trump tweet from the day before, in which the president had accused the former secretary of state of having “illegal meetings” with the Iranian government.

“BAD!” Trump wrote at the end of the tweet.

“What did you do, John F. Kerry, that was ‘BAD’?” Maher asked Kerry.

“I think I told the truth,” Kerry replied. “He’s the first president that I know of who spends more time reading his Twitter ‘likes’ than his briefing books or the Constitution of the United States.”

The crowd cheered. Kerry continued to lament what he thought was the deleterious effect of Trump’s lies on American democracy.

“Unfortunately, we have a president, literally, for whom ‘the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth’ is three different things. And you don’t even know what they are,” Kerry said. “I don’t want to get into a real riff on this, but I gotta tell you –“

“Do it!” someone in the audience shouted, egging him on.

Kerry acknowledged the interjection, then continued: “He really is the rare combination of an 8-year-old boy – I mean, he’s got the maturity of an 8-year-old boy with the insecurity of a teenage girl. It’s just who he is.”

“A ‘mean girl!'” Maher said.

“Mean girls,” Kerry replied, nodding. “It can be mean.”

Kerry shrugged. Maher laughed. The audience applauded. The two men moved on to discuss a variety of other subjects covered in the forthcoming memoir, including Kerry’s work as secretary of state and his friendship with the late Sen. John McCain.

Online, though, Kerry’s comments were not as well received. Though some lauded the comparison as “absolutely priceless” and a “mic drop” moment, many expressed disappointment in Kerry, even if they agreed with his assessment of Trump.

Others cited young women like Malala Yousafzai, the youngest Nobel Prize laureate, and Parkland shooting survivor-turned-anti-gun violence activist Emma Gonzalez – or even their own past teenage selves – as examples of teenage girls who were far from insecure.

Kerry’s name has often come up in predictions about which Democrats might run for president in 2020. The longtime senator from Massachusetts narrowly lost the 2004 presidential election to Republican George W. Bush.

For his part, Kerry has said he doubts he will run for president again – but he has not explicitly ruled it out in numerous interviews.

“I’m really not thinking about it,” Kerry said in an interview with CBS News this month. “Talking about 2020 right now is a total distraction and waste of time. What we need to do is focus on 2018.”

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)





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Indian-Origin Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal Says People Realising They Don’t Trust Donald Trump


Pramila Jayapal is the first Indian-American woman to be elected to the US House of Representatives

Washington: 

Indian-American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal on Sunday said people are increasingly recognising that they do not trust US Presidenrt Donald Trump as how it could possibly be the case he knew nothing about what was going on in his campaign.

Her comments came days after Paul Manafort, who once headed Donald Trump’s campaign, pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges and agreed to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigations of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Pramila Jayapal, the first Indian-American woman to be elected to the US House of Representatives, told CNN: “When you think about this, it isn’t just the individual pieces that we’re seeing, but what we’re seeing is top advisers, people who ran the campaign, the campaign manager, the deputy campaign manager, the president’s personal lawyer who have all pleaded guilty”.

“You have to begin to wonder how it could possibly be the case that the president knew nothing about what was going on. We obviously still have ways to go in terms of connecting Russia to the campaign and the president. That is still out there,” she said.

This is reflected in the polls, she said.

“You see people recognising they don’t trust the president. They believe that Bob Mueller is doing a good job and that the investigation should continue. People are saying, look, this is outrageous,” Ms Jayapal said about the ongoing investigations by former FBI director Mueller on the allegations of Russian interference in 2016 elections.

“This level of corruption, greed, some of the individual charges that are outlined in the Manafort, charging document really show that this guy (Paul Manafort, former Trump Campaign manager)… is in in jail because of jury tampering. This was the person who ran Donald Trump’s campaign. Not just some junior person, the person who ran his campaign. I think that’s a problem,” said the Indian-American Congresswoman from the Washington State.

Pramila Jayapal said people want a check on the president.

“They see the chaos of the last 18 months. They don’t want it. They don’t like shattering of norms. What does a person who has the biggest bully pulpit of the White House do? They don’t like the tweets that come from the president, contesting what happened in Maria,” she said.

“People want him to be focused, to be presidential and Trump is none of those things. But in addition to that, people are not seeing their own lives changing. Healthcare is the number one issue on the table. It really is,” she said.

“When you look at what Republicans have done to undermine healthcare costs, to drive premiums up, to strip pre-existing, the ability to qualify for health care with pre-existing conditions, these are things that Americans care about. They do not see healthcare getting better,” Pramila Jayapal added.





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Donald Trump To Send “Presidential Alert” To US Mobiles On Thursday


The Trump administration will send a message to all US cellphones to test an unused alert system. (File)

WASHINGTON: 

The Trump administration will send a message to all US cellphones on Thursday to test a previously unused alert system that aims to warn the public about national emergencies.

The messages will bear the headline “Presidential Alert”, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said in a statement this week. Phones will make a loud tone and have a special vibration, said FEMA, which will send the alert.

The test message, scheduled for 2:18 p.m. EDT on Thursday, will read: “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”

The test has been scheduled to ensure that the alert system would work in the event of a national emergency. U.S. cellphone users will not be able to opt out.

Former President Barack Obama signed a law in 2016 requiring FEMA to create a system allowing the president to send cellphone alerts regarding public safety emergencies.

Since the wireless emergency alert system began in 2012, it has issued over 36,000 alerts for situations such as missing children, extreme weather and natural disasters, but never a presidential directive. Cell phone users can opt out of natural disaster or missing children alerts.

FEMA said in a statement the alerts can only be used for national emergencies. The president has sole responsibility for determining when the national-level alerts are used.

In the event of widespread severe weather or another significant event on Sept. 20, the test will be pushed back to Oct. 3, FEMA said.

The administration announced in July that it would schedule the test alert for September. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on its role in planning the test alert.

The administration will send a test alert via radio and television broadcasters two minutes after the cell phone alert. It will interrupt programming for about one minute, FEMA said.

Cell towers will broadcast the WEA test for approximately 30 minutes beginning at 2:18 p.m.

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has approved new rules to ensure starting in 2019 that alerts are more precisely targeted, with links to photos or other important information.

There have been issues with prior state alerts.

In January, Hawaii issued a false alert of a missile attack that went uncorrected for 38 minutes after being transmitted to mobile phones and broadcast stations, causing widespread panic across the Pacific islands state.

In April, the FCC blamed that false alarm on human error and inadequate safeguards.

© Thomson Reuters 2018

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)





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Donald Trump To Send “Presidential Alert” To Mobile Phones On Thursday


The Trump administration will send a message to all US cellphones to test an unused alert system. (File)

WASHINGTON: 

The Trump administration will send a message to all US cellphones on Thursday to test a previously unused alert system that aims to warn the public about national emergencies.

The messages will bear the headline “Presidential Alert”, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said in a statement this week. Phones will make a loud tone and have a special vibration, said FEMA, which will send the alert.

The test message, scheduled for 2:18 p.m. EDT on Thursday, will read: “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”

The test has been scheduled to ensure that the alert system would work in the event of a national emergency. U.S. cellphone users will not be able to opt out.

Former President Barack Obama signed a law in 2016 requiring FEMA to create a system allowing the president to send cellphone alerts regarding public safety emergencies.

Since the wireless emergency alert system began in 2012, it has issued over 36,000 alerts for situations such as missing children, extreme weather and natural disasters, but never a presidential directive. Cell phone users can opt out of natural disaster or missing children alerts.

FEMA said in a statement the alerts can only be used for national emergencies. The president has sole responsibility for determining when the national-level alerts are used.

In the event of widespread severe weather or another significant event on Sept. 20, the test will be pushed back to Oct. 3, FEMA said.

The administration announced in July that it would schedule the test alert for September. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on its role in planning the test alert.

The administration will send a test alert via radio and television broadcasters two minutes after the cell phone alert. It will interrupt programming for about one minute, FEMA said.

Cell towers will broadcast the WEA test for approximately 30 minutes beginning at 2:18 p.m.

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has approved new rules to ensure starting in 2019 that alerts are more precisely targeted, with links to photos or other important information.

There have been issues with prior state alerts.

In January, Hawaii issued a false alert of a missile attack that went uncorrected for 38 minutes after being transmitted to mobile phones and broadcast stations, causing widespread panic across the Pacific islands state.

In April, the FCC blamed that false alarm on human error and inadequate safeguards.

© Thomson Reuters 2018

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)





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Brett Kavanaugh, Donald Trump’s Supreme Court Pick Denies Involvement In Alleged 1980s Sex Assault


Brett Kavanaugh was quickly defended by friends and acquaintances from the time. (File photo)

Washington: 

President Donald Trump’s conservative pick for the Supreme Court Brett Kavanaugh denied Friday involvement in an alleged sexual assault on a woman while they were in high school in the 1980s.

In a statement released to US media, Kavanaugh rejected the woman’s claim, made in a letter to the Democrats vetting his nomination, that he tried to force himself on her during a party.

“I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation. I did not do this back in high school or at any time,” Kavanaugh said in the statement.

The allegation came just one week before the Senate Judiciary Committee is to vote on his nomination. If approved by the committee and the whole Senate, as expected, Kavanaugh is likely to decidedly tilt the court to the conservatives for years to come.

Democrats fighting the nomination say that could turn the court away from guaranteed abortion rights, against programs that benefit disadvantaged minorities, and for greater presidential immunity from the law.

On Thursday, Senator Dianne Feinstein, the senior Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, announced cryptically that she had forwarded to the Federal Bureau of Investigation “information from an individual concerning the nomination.”

The information came from an individual who wanted to remain anonymous and had declined to press the issue themselves, Feinstein said.

According to an account in The New Yorker, the incident happened while Kavanaugh, now 53, attended the elite Georgetown Preparatory Catholic all-boys high school in suburban Washington.

The woman, from a nearby high school, was allegedly at a party where the youths were drinking alcohol.

In a room with the woman, Kavanaugh and another male teen turned up the music and placed their hands over her mouth so that no one could hear, and Kavanaugh “attempted to force himself on her,” The New Yorker reported, citing the woman’s account.

She struggled with them and escaped, the account said.

The woman “said that the memory had been a source of ongoing distress for her, and that she had sought psychological treatment as a result,” The New Yorker added.

Kavanaugh was quickly defended by friends and acquaintances from the time who cast doubts on the alleged incident.

A group of 65 women signed a letter attesting to his character.

“Through the more than 35 years we have known him, Brett has stood out for his friendship, character, and integrity. In particular, he has always treated women with decency and respect. That was true when he was in high school, and it has remained true to this day,” they said.

Republican Senator Orrin Hatch, senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he did not “intend to allow Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation to be stalled because of an 11th hour accusation that Democrats did not see fit to raise for over a month.”

Ronan Farrow, who co-authored The New Yorker article, told CNN that some members of the Senate Judiciary Committee “feel that there was a missed opportunity to fully interrogate this allegation.”

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)





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