VOA Interview: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

Posted: July 19, 2018, 2:47 pm

Days ahead of the first-ever ministerial talks hosted by the State Department to advance religious freedom around the world, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sat down with VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching on Thursday, addressing pressing issues including the plight of Myanmar's Rohingya, the repression of Uighurs Muslims and Tibetan Buddhists in China, and Russia’s activities in eastern Ukraine.

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US Senate Rejects Resolutions Backing Intelligence on Russian Meddling

Posted: July 19, 2018, 2:24 pm

US Senate Rejects Resolutions Backing Intelligence on Russian Meddling Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. (L) and Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., talk to reporters after making speeches on the Senate floor calling for a resolution to back the U.S. intelligence community findings that Russia interfered in the 2016 election and calling for other responses to the meddling, on Capitol Hill in Washington, July 19, 2018. CAPITOL HILL — The Republican-led U.S. Senate on Thursday rejected two symbolic measures to support U.S. intelligence agencies in the face of President Donald Trump's ever-shifting pronouncements on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential contest and the Kremlin's continuing threats to U.S. elections.
The chamber's No. 2 Republican, John Cornyn of Texas, objected to a bipartisan non-binding resolution backing intelligence reports on Russian election meddling and last week's indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officers.
The resolution also urged full congressiona..

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What Did Trump and Putin Agree to During ‘Successful’ Meeting?

Posted: July 19, 2018, 1:04 pm

What Did Trump and Putin Agree to During 'Successful' Meeting? U.S. President Donald Trump and Russia's President Vladimir Putin shake hands after their joint news conference in the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland, July 16, 2018. President Donald Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin are defending their summit in Helsinki, saying the two hours of talks yielded progress on a range of issues, but disclosing few details.
Russian Vladimir Putin speaks during a meeting with Russian ambassadors to foreign countries in Moscow, Russia, July 19, 2018. “With all the difference in views, we agreed that Russian-American relations are in an extremely unsatisfactory state. In many ways, even worse than during the Cold War,” Putin said Thursday. “Of course, it would be naive to believe that the problems which accumulated over the years will be resolved in a few hours. No one expected it. Nevertheless, I believe that the path to these positive changes has started.”

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US Intelligence Chief is Tough on Russia, at Odds with Trump

Posted: July 19, 2018, 8:21 am

US Intelligence Chief is Tough on Russia, at Odds with Trump FILE – Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats arrives as House and Senate lawmakers from both parties gather for a classified briefing in a secure room . ASPEN, COLO — National Intelligence Director Dan Coats' drumbeat of criticism against Russia is clashing loudly with President Donald Trump's pro-Kremlin remarks, leaving the soft-spoken spy chief in an uncomfortable – and perhaps perilous – seat in the administration.
Trump's remarks after Wednesday's Cabinet meeting, where he appeared to deny the longtime U.S. foe was still targeting American elections, are just the latest in a growing list of statements that conflict with Coats'. His job is to share the work of the 17 intelligence agencies he oversees with the president.
Coats, who will be speaking Thursday at a national security conference in Aspen, Colorado, is a former Republican lawmaker. He was banned from traveling to Russia in 2014 fo..

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Presidential Power Key Issue in Court Confirmation Fight 

Posted: July 19, 2018, 6:00 am

Presidential Power Key Issue in Court Confirmation Fight President Donald Trump shakes hands with Judge Brett Kavanaugh his Supreme Court nominee, in the East Room of the White House, July 9, 2018, in Washington. WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, federal judge Brett Kavanaugh, can expect tough questions on a range of issues when he faces a Senate confirmation hearing sometime in the next few months.
Democrats are likely to pepper Kavanaugh with questions about his stance on abortion, gay rights and affirmative action. But another key area of interest is Kavanaugh’s expansive view of presidential power, something Democrats want to press him on with Trump in the White House.
When he was nominated at the White House earlier this month, Kavanaugh pledged to bring an independent mindset to the high court.
WATCH: Scope of Presidential Power Key Issue in Court Confirmation Fight
Get Adobe Flash Player Embed share Scope of Presidential Power Key Issue in Court Co..

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NY Times: Trump Learned Extent of Russian Meddling Before Inaugural

Posted: July 19, 2018, 2:09 am

NY Times: Trump Learned Extent of Russian Meddling Before Inaugural U.S. President Donald Trump waits for reporters to leave the room after speaking about his summit with Russia's President Putin during a meeting with members of the U.S. Congress at the White House in Washington, July 17, 2018. A report in Wednesday’s edition of The New York Times reveals the extent of the intelligence U.S. President Donald Trump received about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s direct role in that country’s interference in the 2016 presidential election.
The report sheds light on President Trump’s consistent efforts to shift the focus away from any role Moscow played in his victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton, including his back-and-forth statements that at first contradicted, then accepted, the intelligence community’s findings since his meeting with Putin in Helsinki Monday.
Then-FBI Director James Comey, from left, then-U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and then-CIA Dire..

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Unofficial Taiwan Residence Symbolizes New Outreach

Posted: July 19, 2018, 1:55 am

The highest-ranking Taiwan officials to visit Washington in decades sat down to dinner Wednesday evening at Twin Oaks, one of the most elegant homes in Washington. Use of the Taiwan government-owned mansion has been limited since the United States formally recognized the Beijing government in 1979. But those rules were loosened by the Taiwan Relations Act, passed earlier this year. VOA's Daphne Fan was treated to a recent tour.

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State Department Denounces Russia’s Demand to Interrogate Americans, Trump Does Not

Posted: July 19, 2018, 1:39 am

The U.S. State Department denounced Russia's request to question several U.S. citizens in exchange for allowing a U.S. investigator to interrogate 12 Russians indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller for their efforts to derail the 2016 presidential election. Among the Americans the Kremlin wants to interrogate is a former U.S. ambassador to Russia. The White House said Wednesday the president has not ruled out allowing Russian officials to question Americans. VOA'S Zlatica Hoke reports.

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Scope of Presidential Power Key Issue in Court Confirmation Fight

Posted: July 19, 2018, 1:27 am

President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, can expect a range of tough questions when he faces a Senate confirmation hearing in the coming weeks. One area where Kavanaugh is likely to be pressed is on his view of the scope of presidential power, which he believes is quite broad. It is an area opposition Democrats are expected to highlight in connection with the ongoing Russia probe. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.

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Frustrated US Lawmakers Threaten Action on Trump’s Tariffs

Posted: July 18, 2018, 10:17 pm

Frustrated US Lawmakers Threaten Action on Trump's Tariffs Chair of the Senate Finance Committee Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, speaks during a committee hearing on tariffs with testimony from Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, on Capitol Hill, June 20, 2018 in Washington. WASHINGTON — Lawmakers are losing patience with the Trump administration's reliance on tariffs to win trade disputes and are talking increasingly about legislative action to protect U.S. jobs.
A senior Republican senator has threatened legislation to curb President Donald Trump's trade actions, and other senators joined him on Wednesday in promising a complementary bill. Meanwhile, lawmakers are using congressional hearings to put the spotlight on the economic fallout for local farmers and businesses.
The prospects for any votes on trade legislation before the August recess are dim. Still, lawmakers appear to be putting the Trump administration on notice.
Sen. Orrin Hatch, the Republican chairman of the ..

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