Trump makes his third walk-back on Russia in three days

On Monday, Donald Trump stood alongside Vladimir Putin and said he was inclined to take the Russian president’s word over the findings of his own country’s intelligence agencies. A day later, the American president tried to pretend he misspoke.

The same day, however, Trump said Russia is no longer targeting American elections, again contradicting the assessments of the U.S. intelligence community. Later, the White House walked that back, ignoring what was plainly true.trump nus

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) told the Associated Press, “There’s a walk-back of the walk-back of the walk-back of the walk-back? This is dizzying.”

And yet, it got worse. On Wednesday, the White House acknowledged that the president was considering a proposal from Putin – which Trump publicly praised – that would involve turning over innocent Americans to Russia for questioning. This, not surprisingly, generated hair-on-fire apoplexy from U.S. officials and a Senate resolution in opposition to the idea that passed unanimously.All of which led to the third White House walk-back in three days.

Ahead of the Senate vote Thursday on resolution, Sanders issued a follow-up statement backtracking on what she had said a day earlier about Trump’s position.

“It is a proposal that was made in sincerity by President Putin, but President Trump disagrees with it. Hopefully President Putin will have the 12 identified Russians come to the United States to prove their innocence or guilt,” she said.

While I’m glad Trump is no longer considering a plan to turn over Americans for Russian interrogation, there’s nothing satisfactory about this particular reversal.

For one thing, the deferential tone, written in such a way as to avoid upsetting Moscow, was absurd on its face. There was nothing “sincere” about Putin’s proposal; it was a stunt Trump was foolish enough to fall for.

For another, this series of embarrassing walk-backs not only make Trump appear weak, they also offer damning evidence that America’s amateur president is simply out of his depth.

As a Washington Post  analysis put it, these reversals suggest “he has no idea what he’s doing — and that he was completely out of his element when negotiating with someone like Putin. If that’s the image Trump is trying to project on the world stage, mission accomplished.”

Amnesty International calls on Washington to investigate UAE ‘war crimes’

The United States should investigate the United Arab Emirates’ use of detention and torture, according to Amnesty International. This is because the US supports the UAE’s military campaign in Yemen. Amnesty called on the US Congress to pressure President Donald Trump to condemn the UAE for torture and arbitrary detention.

It stressed that if the United States fails to hold the UAE accountable it will encourage further mistreatment of civilians.

yemen a forgotten war
Yemen, the forgotten proxy war

Amnesty asserted that the UAE arbitrarily detains and tortures Yemeni civilians in a network of secret prisons. Such secret prisons are unlawful.

Further, Tawfik Al-humaidi, a Yemeni political and human rights activist, has said that the US provides cover UAE abuses in Yemen.

Based on this, Al-humaidi has demanded that US human rights and judicial institutions file complaints against the UAE. In a report entitled “God only knows if he’s alive,” published Thursday, Amnesty called for an investigation into “practices of enforced disappearance and torture” in detention centres in southern Yemen. It calls these acts “war crimes.”

Read: UAE ‘committed’ to Somalia’s stability

The UAE rejected the report. In a statement published by the official news agency WAM it call the the report “baseless,” and says that it “does not run any prisons in Yemen.”

Amnesty clarified that:

“Yemeni security forces that are backed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as well as UAE troops operating in southern Yemen have been carrying out hundreds of arbitrary arrests and committing serious violations, including enforced disappearance and torture and other ill-treatment, mostly under the pretext of ‘fighting terrorism’. Families have been left trying to navigate an opaque structure of competing security forces and a network of formal and informal detention centres in a desperate attempt to locate their loved ones. These violations must be investigated. The fate and whereabouts of the disappeared must be revealed and effective remedy and reparations must be afforded to victims.”

Amnesty says it investigated 51 cases of men held by Yemeni security forces, backed by the UAE, between March 2016 and May 2018, in the provinces of Aden, Lahij, Abyan, Hadhramaut and Shabwah. 19 are still missing. It also claimed to have documented “the widespread use of torture and other ill-treatment measures in Yemeni and Emirati detention centres.”

“The UAE, operating in shadowy conditions in southern Yemen, appears to have created a parallel security structure outside the law, where egregious violations continue to go unchecked,” said Tirana Hassan, Crisis Response Director at Amnesty International.“Ultimately these violations, which are taking place in the context of Yemen’s armed conflict, should be investigated as war crimes.”

The President of the United States, President of Russia sat down being chummy, President Trump was unable to call out Russia for anything

President Trump’s press conference with Russian president Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland, on Monday drew a reaction from just about everyone.summit

Yahoo Finance Editor-in-Chief Andy Serwer described it as “completely bizarre, extraordinary, and historic” on the Final Round Monday afternoon. “I’ve never seen anything like it in my entire life.”

“The President of the United States and the President of Russia sat down being chummy and President Trump was unable to call out Russia for anything, unlike what he does with Canada and the EU,” Serwer said. “It was mind-boggling to me.”

Trump and Putin met on Monday in Helsinki for the 2018 Russia-United States Summit. The two convened in a closed-door meeting with only interpreters present and then held a joint press conference, in which Trump defended Russia against claims of meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

U.S. President Donald Trump receives a football from Russian President Vladimir Putin as they hold a joint news conference after their meeting in Helsinki, Finland July 16, 2018. (Photo: REUTERS/Grigory Dukor)

“My people came to me, [Director of National Intelligence] Dan Coates, came to me and some others they said they think it’s Russia,” Trump said. “I have President Putin. He just said it’s not Russia.

“I will say this: I don’t see any reason why it would be.”

Serwer noted that the event shouldn’t have much of an effect on the markets. “It wasn’t like they mentioned signing a big new gas pipeline deal or moving gas and oil stocks,” he said. “Basically, Trump spent most of the press conference talking about the witch hunt and Hillary Clinton.”

A bipartisan backlash to Trump’s performance continued into Tuesday, with several prominent Republicans speaking out.

“I personally found it bizarre, crazy, outrageous, startling, unprecedented,” Serwer reiterated on Market Movers (video above). “And I think a lot of American, both Democrats and Republicans,” saw it similarly. “But at the end of the day, what are you going to do about it?”

READ MORE:

Why Trump’s Russia reset failed

Despite awkward body language; brief, sober answers, President Donald Trump winked at Russian President Putin

President Donald Trump winked at Russian President Vladimir Putinat the beginning of a presser that was characterized by “awkward body language” and tame, short answers.

put tru
President Donald Trump will meet with Russian leader Vladimir Putin on July 16, 2018. Jack Taylor/Getty Images; Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Trump’s friendly gesture was the wink heard round the world and supported a tweet the president sent out earlier which indicated that the cause of U.S.-Russian tensions was not Russia, but the United States and, particularly, the Mueller probe.

More discomfiting still, Russia’s foreign ministry agreed with Trump’s assessment, tweeting out as much Monday.

People reacted harshly to Trump’s little wink at Putin and his overall demeanor with the Russian president:

John Aravosis

@aravosis

Oh my god. Trump looks like he just got schooled by his teacher. The shoulders hunched over, hands in lap. Could he be more submissive?

Mark Stone

@Stone_SkyNews

Very awkward body language… but @realDonaldTrump did offer Vladimir Putin a wink. @SkyNews 😉

rabia O’chaudry

@rabiasquared

Only Trump could make Putin look like the classy one

Mark Stone

@Stone_SkyNews

Very awkward body language… but @realDonaldTrump did offer Vladimir Putin a wink. @SkyNews 😉

President Trump denies he attacked May, accuses The Sun of ‘fake news’

Donald Trump accuses The Sun of ‘fake news’ and insists whatever Theresa May does with Brexit ‘is ok with me’

trum.may
© Reuters U.S. President Donald Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May meet at Chequers in Buckinghamshire, Britain July 13, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Donald Trump has insisted he did not attack Theresa May in his bombshell newspaper interview, branding it “fake news”.

Speaking alongside her at Chequers, the president said: “I didn’t criticise the prime minister, I have a lot of respect the prime minister.”

LIVE: Anti-Trump protest in full swing

Mr Trump also stepped back from his warning, in The Sun, that her Brexit plan would “kill” any trade deal – as long as there were no “restrictions”.

However, to her discomfort, Mr Trump confirmed he had given her a “suggestion” on how to pursue Brexit – while rejecting the word “advice” – saying: “I think she found it too brutal.”

In a comment certain to be leapt on by Brexiteer MPs, he added: “I can fully understand why she thought it was a little bit tough” – even suggesting she might yet adopt it, if her own plan failed.  Mr Trump refused to reveal his “suggestion”, but denied it was to collapse the talks if necessary, saying: “You can’t walk away because, if she walks away, that means she’s stuck.”

Bizarrely, he also claimed he had visited Britain the day before the 2016 referendum and correctly predicted the Leave vote – even though he arrived a day later.

He then claimed he had told the prime minister: “I want to apologise,” – prompting her to reply: “Don’t worry, it’s only the press.”

Theresa May Rolls Eyes As Trump Is Asked About Sun Interview Attacking Her

Both President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Theresa May were caught on camera showing their displeasure at a journalist’s question about the now-infamous interview given by the American leader to The Sun, a British tabloid newspaper.

The pair were giving a brief update to a pool of reporters at Chequers, the prime minister’s countryside residence, but Trump said he would take no questions until a press conference scheduled later in the day.

china us tradeTrump had told The Sun newspaper that May’s current plan for Brexit would “probably kill” any potential trade deal with the U.S. by keeping Britain too closely aligned with the European Union E.U.

By Crimson Tazvinzwa

Donald Trump: ‘British people like me a lot. The police build barriers to stop me getting mobbed’

I’d like to start by thanking myself bigly for finding the time to talk to you at this press conference. As many of you will know, the president of the United States of America is a very busy man. Possibly the busiest man in the world. And no president has ever been busier than me. I am the busiest. So I’m sure you’d like to join me in thanking me for making time in my schedule for you.

When I said yesterday Nato was a waste of space and I couldn’t wait to leave, that was fake news. I don’t know why the media always choose to report me accurately but they do. I’m telling you now that Nato is a great place. One of the very best places I’ve ever visited. I like it a lot. A lotly a lot. I’ve got a lot of properties in Nato. More properties than any other person in the world. You should come and stay in them some time. You really should. And the Natians are some of the nicest people I’ve ever met. The very nicest.

But I’m telling you this and I need you to hear me. Some of the Natians haven’t been paying their fair share. And that’s got to stop right now. So that’s what I told them. I said, if you don’t pay your fair share then you aren’t paying your fair share. And yes, we had some tough talks about that. Some of the toughest talks of all time.

But we got there in the end, with the Natians agreeing to pay what they had already agreed to pay. No one bargains tougher than me. No one.

So Nato is now a lot safer and a lot stronger than when I arrived here a couple of days ago. It was amazing to see the spirit in the room. And I guess that’s down to me. Everyone here in Natoland has personally thanked me. That’s a fact. A factly fact. Each Natian has made a point of coming up to me to say thank you. They thanked me a lot for being a very stable genius.

They said: “Thank you, Mr President, you can leave now.” Even Mr Stoltenburger – I’ve never eaten one of those – thanked me as he showed me the door. That was a joke by the way. I like to make jokes. I make a lot of jokes. I really do. You should ask Pierce Morgan. He says I’m the funniest guy he’s ever met.

My next stop is Britain, England. I’m going to a lot of pretty hotspots on this European trip. But that’s what the president does. He goes to hotspots. And I make no bones about it, hotspots don’t get hotter than Blenheim Palace and Windsor Castle. There’s a lot of very bad people in those places. Worse even than Afghanistanistan.

But America makes the best weapons in the world. We really do. The very best. No one makes better weapons than America. You should buy some of them. We’ve got planes that can do incredible things. Things you wouldn’t believe. Just like in the cartoons. Have you watched Fox News? So I can look after myself if the environment gets too hostile. I’m not worried. Nothing worries me. I sleep very well at night. Better than any other president. I take my memory foam mattress everywhere. Helps with my dementia. Not that I have it.

I think the British people like me a lot. They like me so much the police have had to build barriers everywhere I go to stop me being mobbed by my fans. And I’m really looking forward to getting out and seeing a bit of the country and not meeting anyone. I love not meeting people. Hugely.

What’s that about heartbreak? Oh, you said hard Brexit. I thought you said heartbreak. I’ve had heartbreak. Though not so much recently. I guess Brexit means Brexit though I haven’t really given it much thought. Then no one in Britain, Europe, has either. Just make sure you’ve got enough cages for the kids and it’ll be fine.

So yeah, I reckon the first two days of my UK trip are going to be a bit dull. Just lunch and a few castles. But then I get to go up to my golf course in Turnberry, Scotland, England. I’ve got a lot of golf courses. No president has ever had more golf courses.

And mine are the best. The absolute best. It’s going to be great putting my feet up before I go off to see Vladimir Putin. He’s a great guy. A lot of people misunderstand him. He’s a competitor not an enemy. We get on really well and I’m telling you he can’t wait to hear what I’ve got to say about you Natians.

Thanks so much for my time. It was your pleasure.