US Senators Launch Bipartisan Bid to Block Saudi Arms Sales

Posted: June 5, 2019, 11:38 am

US Senators Launch Bipartisan Bid to Block Saudi Arms Sales FILE – The U.S. Capitol building is seen at sunrise in Washington. Republicans and Democrats are banding together to try and stop the Trump administration's sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia.
Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey and others are introducing 22 Senate resolutions to halt the sales. The move threatens to tangle up the Senate in a series of votes this summer.
It's unclear whether the resolutions will pass, but the support of Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham and Ran Paul underscores the breadth of bipartisan opposition to the administration's policy.
Trump invoked emergency powers to sell arms to the Saudis and the United Arab Emirates without congressional review. The senators say the use of the power was unprecedented and can be challenged.
Lawmakers have grown increasingly critical of U.S.-Saudi ties since the killing of U.S.-based columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

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Defying Congress, Trump Sets Arms Sales to Saudis, UAE

Posted: May 24, 2019, 5:50 pm

Defying Congress, Trump Sets Arms Sales to Saudis, UAE Australian Army soldiers fire a Javelin anti-tank missile during Excercise Chong Ju, a live fire demonstration showcasing the army's joint combined arms capabilities at the Puckapunyal Military Base near Melbourne on May 9, 2019. WASHINGTON — U.S. President Donald Trump, saying there is a national emergency because of tensions with Iran, swept aside objections from Congress and cleared the sale of $8 billion worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan.
The Trump administration informed congressional committees on Friday that it will go ahead with 22 military sales to the Saudis, United Arab Emirates and Jordan, infuriating lawmakers by circumventing a long-standing precedent for congressional review of such sales.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is seen at the Department of State in Washington, May 9, 2019. In documents sent to Congress and seen by Reuters, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo listed ..

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Senator: Trump May Use Iran Threat to Sell Bombs to Saudis

Posted: May 22, 2019, 9:09 pm

Senator: Trump May Use Iran Threat to Sell Bombs to Saudis Protesters and workers on strike prevent a Saudi ship Bahri Yanbu from loading cargo at the Port of Genoa, Italy, May 20, 2019. The ship had earlier been kept from loading a weapons cargo at the French port of Le Havre. WASHINGTON — U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration plans to use a loophole and rising tensions with Iran to sell bombs to Saudi Arabia, even though Congress blocked such sales for months over concerns about civilian deaths in the war in Yemen, Senator Chris Murphy said Wednesday.
Congressional aides said there are provisions of the Arms Control Act, which sets rules for international arms transactions, that would allow a president to approve a sale without congressional review in case of a national emergency.
In this case, they said the Republican president would cite rising tensions with Iran as a reason to provide more military equipment to Saudi Arabia, which he sees as an important U.S. partner in t..

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Senate Fails to Override Trump Veto of Yemen Bill

Posted: May 2, 2019, 7:09 pm

Senate Fails to Override Trump Veto of Yemen Bill FILE – Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, with Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., left, and Chris Murphy, D-Conn., speaks in Washington, Jan. 30, 2019, on reintroduction of a resolution to end U.S. support for the war in Yemen. On May 2, 2019, the Senate failed to override a presidential veto. The U.S. Senate on Thursday failed to override President Donald Trump's veto of a bill demanding the U.S. stop supporting the Saudi coalition fighting in Yemen.
The vote was 53 to 45 in favor, but it fell short of the two-thirds majority needed to pass in the 100-member Senate.
Both the House and Senate passed the bill earlier this year despite Trump's promise to veto.
The bill marked the first time in history that Congress invoked the 1973 War Powers Act, which says a president cannot involve U.S. forces in a foreign conflict without lawmakers' consent.
The U.S. supplies intelligence and other support to the Saudi-led coalition trying to push Irania..

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Trump’s Sanctions Wage Economic War

Posted: May 2, 2019, 11:25 am

Trump’s Sanctions Wage Economic War WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is increasingly reliant upon economic sanctions to achieve his foreign policy goals, despite a repeated emphasis that the use of military force remains a viable option. However, these coercive measures, analysts say, have not produced their intended results, and at times have put the United States at odds with allies.
Venezuela
SEE ALSO: Pompeo: US Prepared for Military Intervention in Venezuela In the case of Venezuela, the Trump sanctions that include the seizure of Venezuela’s oil assets in the United States, along with joining more than 50 other countries in recognizing Juan Guaido, the head of the National Assembly, as the interim president, have energized the opposition. Despite the economic pain caused by the sanctions, the massive protests in the country, and reports of growing mid-level military support for the opposition, socialist leader Nicolas Maduro has continued to hold on to power through increas..

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US Considers Designating Muslim Brotherhood a Foreign Terrorist Organization

Posted: April 30, 2019, 9:38 am

US Considers Designating Muslim Brotherhood a Foreign Terrorist Organization President Donald Trump meets with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi in the Oval Office of the White House, April 9, 2019, in Washington. President Donald Trump is considering placing Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood on a U.S. list of foreign terrorist organizations, the White House said Tuesday.
“The president has consulted with his national security team and leaders in the region who share his concern, and this designation is working its way through the internal process,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders wrote in an email.
Naming Egypt’s oldest Islamist movement a foreign terrorist organization would allow Washington to impose sanctions on any individual or group with links to the Muslim Brotherhood.
SEE ALSO: Egypt's President Says Criticism Threatens the State The announcement comes three weeks after Trump hosted his Egyptian counterpart Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi in Washington, praising h..

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Trump Vetoes Measure to End US Involvement in Yemen War

Posted: April 16, 2019, 9:40 pm

Trump Vetoes Measure to End US Involvement in Yemen War Men inspect the site of an airstrike by Saudi-led coalition in Sanaa, Yemen, April 10, 2019. President Donald Trump on Wednesday vetoed a bill passed by Congress to end U.S. military assistance in Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen.
In a break with the president, Congress voted for the first time earlier this month to invoke the War Powers Resolution to try to stop U.S. involvement in a foreign conflict.
The veto — the second in Trump's presidency — was expected. Congress lacks the votes to override him.
“This resolution is an unnecessary, dangerous attempt to weaken my constitutional authorities, endangering the lives of American citizens and brave service members, both today and in the future,'' Trump wrote in explaining his veto.
Congress has grown uneasy with Trump's close relationship with Saudi Arabia as he tries to further isolate Iran, a regional rival.
Many lawmakers also criticized the president ..

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Pompeo: Venezuelan People Won’t Tolerate Maduro Much Longer

Posted: April 14, 2019, 6:47 pm

Pompeo: Venezuelan People Won't Tolerate Maduro Much Longer U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, left, listens to Paraguay's Vice President Luis Castiglioni, during a press conference at “Palacio de Lopez,” in Asuncion, Paraguay, April 13, 2019. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says he does not think the Venezuelan people will tolerate the Maduro regime much longer.
“The devastation wrought by Nicolas Maruro, the tragedy of the humanitarian situation there bought out solely by Maduro making the choice to bring in the Cubans, to allow Russians to intervene in the country — those are things that are destroying the lives of young people in Venezuela,” Pompeo told Peru's El Comercio newspaper Sunday.
Pompeo was on the last day of a four-nation tour of South America, where the economic and political calamity in Venezuela was among the top concerns during talks in Chile, Paraguay, Peru and Colombia.
“This is not something that has happened in the last weeks or months. Thi..

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After Netanyahu Win, Trump Confident of Middle East Peace

Posted: April 11, 2019, 1:24 am

U.S. President Donald Trump congratulated Benjamin Netanyahu, a close ally who is set for his fifth term as Israeli prime minister after winning a tight parliamentary election, saying that Netanyahu's victory would be good for peace. The Trump administration has said it will unveil a Middle East peace plan after this election. Little is known about the plan and whether it will be accepted by the Palestinians. Here's more from White House correspondent Patsy Widakuswara.

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Trump: History Lesson Led to Golan Heights Decision

Posted: April 6, 2019, 6:07 pm

Trump: History Lesson Led to Golan Heights Decision U.S. President Donald Trump addresses the Republican Jewish Coalition's 2019 leadership meeting in Las Vegas, April 6, 2019. LAS VEGAS — U.S. President Donald Trump said Saturday that he made the controversial decision to recognize Israel's 1981 annexation of the Golan Heights after getting a quick history lesson during a conversation on a different
subject.
Speaking at a Republican Jewish Coalition gathering in Las Vegas, Trump said he made the decision during a discussion with his top Middle East peace advisers, including the U.S. ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, and son-in-law Jared Kushner.
“I said, 'Fellows, do me a favor. Give me a little history, quick. Want to go fast. I got a lot of things I'm working on: China, North Korea. Give me a quickie,” Trump said to laughter from the Las Vegas crowd.
“'How do you like the idea of me recognizing exactly what we're discussing?'” said Trump,..

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