As Trump Confounds, Mattis Seen as Quiet Champion Among NATO Allies

Posted: July 9, 2018, 9:01 pm

As Trump Confounds, Mattis Seen as Quiet Champion Among NATO Allies U.S. Secretary for Defense Jim Mattis speaks during a media conference after a meeting of NATO defense ministers at NATO headquarters in Brussels, June 8, 2018. WASHINGTON/BRUSSELS — U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis will only play a supporting role to President Donald Trump at this week's NATO summit — an event that by definition is focused on heads of state from the trans-Atlantic alliance.
But Mattis’ small part belies his high standing among NATO allies, which has only risen as they become increasingly bewildered by Trump's policies on trade and Iran and anxious about his outreach to Russian President Vladimir Putin, European diplomats, officials and experts say.
In recent months, it has become clear that Mattis has a limited ability to influence Trump, who is increasingly confident in his own foreign policy instincts as he settles into his presidency.
But Mattis, by staying above the political fray an..

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Trump Lawyer’s Advice to President: Don’t Pardon Russia Probe Figures

Posted: June 17, 2018, 11:58 am

Trump Lawyer's Advice to President: Don't Pardon Russia Probe Figures FILE – Rudy Giuliani speaks at the 2018 Iran Freedom Convention in Washington, May 5, 2018. WASHINGTON — One of U.S. President Donald Trump's lawyers said Sunday he is advising him to not pardon anyone linked to the year-long investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election because it would “just cloud” the perception that there was wrong-doing.
Rudy Giuliani, a former New York mayor and part of Trump's legal team, told CNN, “You're not going to get a pardon because you're involved” in the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller. But he said that in the months to come pardons were “certainly not excluded” if Trump concluded “you've been treated unfairly.”
“The president has issued no pardons in this investigation,” Giuliani said. “The president is not going to issue pardons in this investigation.”
“And my advice to him, as long as I’m his lawyer, is not to do it,..

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Trump Says It’s ‘Possible’ He’ll Meet With Putin This Summer

Posted: June 15, 2018, 10:47 am

Trump Says It's 'Possible' He'll Meet With Putin This Summer President Donald Trump walks to an interview on the North Lawn of the White House, June 15, 2018, in Washington. President Donald Trump says “it's possible” he'll meet with Russian President Vladimir this summer.
And he's again making the case that Russia should be allowed to re-join the Group of Seven industrialized nations during in an impromptu interview and gaggle on the White House driveway.
Trump is blaming former President Barack Obama for Russia's dismissal, saying “I think President Obama didn't like him.” He says he thinks “it's much better if we get along with” Russia “than if we don't.”
Trump is also blaming Obama for Russia's annexation of Crimea — the act that got the country thrown out of the group of industrialized nations. Trump says it's Obama's fault because “Putin didn't respect President Obama.”
He claims, “President Obama lost..

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Ross: US-EU Trade Deal Could be Reached

Posted: May 30, 2018, 1:11 pm

Ross: US-EU Trade Deal Could be Reached FILE – Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross arrives at a State Dinner at the Great Hall of the People, Nov. 9, 2017, in Beijing, China. U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Wednesday a U.S.-European Union trade deal could still be reached even if the United States imposes tariffs on EU steel and aluminum imports.
EU and U.S. officials are holding last-minute negotiations two days before U.S. President Donald Trump decides to apply tariffs on Europe.
The threat of tariffs has increased prospects of retaliation and a global trade war that could hinder the global economy.
“There can be negotiations with or without tariffs in place,” Ross said at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris. “There are plenty of tariffs the EU has on us. It’s not that we can’t talk just because there’s tariffs.”
The Trump administration is also exploring possible limits on foreign auto imports, citing national security.
The EU wants exemptio..

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US Pushes Back on Reports of Fraying Ties With Europe

Posted: May 18, 2018, 4:38 pm

US Pushes Back on Reports of Fraying Ties With Europe FILE – The U.S. and European Union flags wave at Dulles International Airport, Virginia, May 18, 2012. STATE DEPARTMENT — U.S. officials are pushing back at reports that America's ties with European allies are frayed over the Trump administration's withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal.
“We agree on more than we disagree,” said State Department Policy Planning Director Brian Hook during a telephone briefing Friday with reporters. “People are overstating the disagreement between the U.S. and Europe.”
“We believe that our shared values and commitment to confront the common security challenges will transcend any disagreements over the JCPOA,” said Hook, referring to the 2015 Iran nuclear accord with major powers.
European Council President Donald Tusk speaks during a media conference at the conclusion of an EU and Western Balkan heads of state summit at the National Palace of Culture in Sofia, Bulgaria, May 17, 2018. His rem..

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