Trump Says He Did Not Know About Kushner’s WhatsApp Messaging

Posted: March 22, 2019, 12:41 pm

Trump Says He Did Not Know About Kushner's WhatsApp Messaging FILE – White House adviser Jared Kushner speaks with people as they wait for President Donald Trump to arrive in the East Room of the White House, June 29, 2018. U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday said he knew nothing about son-in-law and White House adviser Jared Kushner's use of the WhatsApp encrypted messaging tool, a day after a top U.S. Democratic congressman questioned the unofficial communications.
On Thursday, U.S. House of Representatives Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings asked the White House about Kushner's use of the unofficial messaging application as part of his government work.
In a letter to the White House, seen by Reuters, Cummings said Kushner's lawyer had told lawmakers about his WhatsApp use for official duties, a move that would violate current law prohibiting White House officials from using non-official electronic messaging accounts.
FILE – Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-..

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US Reportedly Gives Tacit OK to Taiwan’s Fighter Jet Shopping List

Posted: March 22, 2019, 4:36 am

US Reportedly Gives Tacit OK to Taiwan’s Fighter Jet Shopping List A team of Taiwan Air Force Mirage 2000 fighter jets participate in a military exercise in Hsinchu, northern of Taiwan, Jan. 16, 2019. Taiwan military started a two-day joint forces exercise to show its determination to defend itself from Chinese threats. STATE DEPARTMENT — A senior U.S. State Department official said arms sales to Taiwan are “a matter of a policy in the United States that Taiwan’s defensive needs are merited,” adding “China has been busy changing the status quo” that has maintained long-standing peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, including threats to use force against Taiwan.
Thursday, Bloomberg News, quoting unnamed sources, reported that the Trump administration has given tacit approval to Taiwan’s request to buy more than 60 F-16 fighter jets. Taiwan had submitted a formal request earlier this month. The United States is Taiwan’s largest military equipment supplier.
SEE ALSO: Pressured b..

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Interference in Elections? The View From Moscow

Posted: March 22, 2019, 3:12 am

As U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller prepares to file a report of his findings in the investigation into Russia's alleged role in the 2016 presidential election, pressure over how to handle his conclusions is building in the U.S. The Kremlin strongly denies meddling and says it is a victim of the U.S. political infighting. But what do Russian citizens know of Mueller's work and the accusations? VOA's Igor Tsikhanenka discussed the topic with experts in Moscow.

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Trump Signs Campus Free Speech Executive Order

Posted: March 22, 2019, 2:45 am

President Trump is signing an executive order requiring U.S. colleges to reaffirm protection of free speech or risk losing federal research funding. The order is a sign of support to conservatives who say their voices have been stifled on liberal campuses. But civil liberty activists are concerned the move is politically motivated and see it as contradictory to Trump's own attacks on freedom of speech. White House Correspondent Patsy Widakuswara has this report.

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First Somali-American Congresswoman Ignites Controversy in Diverse Minneapolis

Posted: March 22, 2019, 2:38 am

Somali-American Representative Ilhan Omar, a Democrat from Minnesota and one of the first Muslim women in the U.S. Congress, has ignited a controversy. Many in her party were infuriated by her comments suggesting U.S. lawmakers' support for Israel was swayed by money and that some members of Congress had an allegiance to the U.S. and Israel. VOA's Congressional correspondent Katherine Gypson reports from Omar's diverse district, where she has opened a difficult conversation for Jews and Muslims.

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Trump: Time for US to Recognize Israeli Sovereignty Over Golan Heights

Posted: March 22, 2019, 2:28 am

In a surprise shift in policy, President Donald Trump said the U.S should recognize Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights, a piece of land Israelis captured from Syria during the Six Day War in 1967. The announcement came as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited the Western Wall in Jerusalem Thursday, accompanied by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, an unprecedented step for a senior U.S. official. VOA's Diplomatic Correspondent Cindy Saine has more from the State Department.

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Trump’s Numerous Declarations of Victory Over IS

Posted: March 21, 2019, 10:30 pm

Trump's Numerous Declarations of Victory Over IS President Donald Trump shows maps of Syria and Iraq depicting the size of the “ISIS physical caliphate” as he speaks to workers at the country's only remaining tank manufacturing plant, in Lima, Ohio, March 20, 2019. In late 2018, President Donald Trump announced the U.S. would withdraw almost all of its troops from Syria, saying the Islamic State terror group had been defeated and there was no longer a reason to deploy U.S. forces in the war-torn nation.
The announcement led to the resignation of former Secretary of Defense James Mattis, who reportedly felt the drawdown was premature.
In the months since Trump announced the defeat of IS, he has wavered on whether the group has been vanquished. Sometimes he predicted that total victory would come in hours or days, while other times he has doubled down on the claim that the IS threat has been eliminated.
Here's a chronology of claims concerning the demise of Islamic Stat..

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Waiting for Mueller Report, and What Happens Next

Posted: March 21, 2019, 5:45 pm

Waiting for Mueller Report, and What Happens Next FILE – Special counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading the inquiry into possible coordination between Trump associates and Russia's efforts to sway the 2016 election, and President Donald Trump. WASHINGTON — America is waiting for special counsel Robert Mueller's report. But anyone looking for a grand narrative on President Donald Trump, Russian election interference and all the details uncovered over the past 22 months could end up disappointed.
The timing of Mueller's endgame is unclear. Attorney General William Barr, who oversees the investigation, has said he wants to release as much information as he can about the inquiry into possible coordination between Trump associates and Russia's efforts to sway the 2016 election. But during his confirmation hearing last month, Barr said he ultimately would decide what the public sees, and that any report would be in his words, not Mueller's.
Some key questions:

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White House Rejects Democrats’ Demands for Information on Trump-Putin Talks 

Posted: March 21, 2019, 5:32 pm

White House Rejects Democrats' Demands for Information on Trump-Putin Talks U.S. President Donald Trump, right, and Russia's President Vladimir Putin talk during the family photo session at the APEC Summit in Danang, Vietnam Nov. 11, 2017 WASHINGTON — The White House has rejected a request by Democratic lawmakers to provide information about President Donald Trump's communications with Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to media reports on Thursday.
The White House sent its denial in a letter to Congress, according to reports by The Hill newspaper and CNN.
U.S. Representatives Adam Schiff, Eliot Engel and Elijah Cummings, the chairmen of the House of Representatives Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight committees, respectively, had asked the White House and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in early March for documents and interviews about Trump’s conversations with Putin.
The lawmakers expressed concern about media reports that Trump seized notes on at l..

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US House to Vote in April to Reinstate Net Neutrality Rules

Posted: March 21, 2019, 5:15 pm

US House to Vote in April to Reinstate Net Neutrality Rules FILE – Net neutrality advocates rally in front of the Federal Communications Commission ahead of a vote to repeal net neutrality rules in Washington, Dec. 13, 2017. WASHINGTON — The Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives will vote in April on a bill to reinstate landmark net neutrality rules repealed by the Federal Communications Commission under President Donald Trump.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland said in a letter to colleagues on Thursday, seen by Reuters, that lawmakers would vote on the “Save the Internet Act” during the week of April 8.
The bill mirrors an effort last year to reverse the FCC's December 2017 order that repealed rules approved in 2015 that barred providers from blocking or slowing internet content or offering paid “fast lanes.”
The reversal of net neutrality rules was a win for internet providers like Comcast Corp., AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc., but opposed by ..

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