Beltway Insider: Trump/Merkel Meet; Clinton; Paris; Brexit; Border Wall; Conway/DOJ; Chuck Barry

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President Donald Trump, arguably the most recognized blowhard in Washington, was superseded this week by Winter Storm Stella, a bombogenesis, that barreled up the eastern seaboard closing government and postponing the first visit with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

According to Gallup, President Trump's job approval, over the past week, decreased eight percentage point to 37% of those polled who approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness as President increased nine percentage points to 58%. 

German Chancellor Angela Merkel Meets Trump & Company

President Donald Trump who agreed to the meeting with the German Chancellor did little to welcome the President of the G20, as the two sat in the Oval office for a photo op and refused to shake her hand.

Oddly, it was the same position former President Obama sat when he congratulated President Elect Trump, and even as the bitter feelings were obvious Obama shook his hand.

President Trump's refusal to shake hands with the German Chancellor sent a clear message to the Merkel, a mixed message to the media and solidified the public's outrage over the president's many faults.

Inviting a foreign leader to the White House, or the People's House as Trump referred in his speech, should include a protocol of politeness, graciousness. If the invitation was not welcome, it should not have been extended.  As we may be many things, when meeting a foreign dignitary most Americans would be polite.

President Trump continued his protocol faux pas with his demeaning gesture of seating the German Chancellor next to his daughter, Ivanka Trump Krushner, who attended the jobs creation and CEO brainstorming session. Her contribution, to the mini-think tank, praising her father on his commitment to creating millions of jobs, and "ingenuity, creativity often comes from the determination of the private sector."

The First daughter didn't address her failing business or the backlash and public rejection of her clothing line since the election of her father.

Trump and Merkel Speak Freely

President Trump, who have never been one to hold his opinions close to his chest, had previously announced to the world that Merkel had ruined Germany by her handling of the mass immigration issue.

Merkel, who has also spoke freely on her friendship with former President Barack Obama, praised his leadership and unifying efforts Obama and other members of the G7 exhibited during the trying years of global recession, economic collapse and severe global challenges.

Job Creation Think Tank Produce Common Strategies

The agenda created for Chancellor Merkel included a round-table discussion on the continued efforts to build a new millennium workforce. The two leaders each agreed nations a stronger workforce is an asset to the nations.

Remarking on the morning think tank, that included German and American executives and CEO's and focused on the goal of job creation for all sectors of the workforce including and especially women, the President said: "We just concluded a productive meeting with the German and American companies to discuss workforce development and vocational training.  Germany has done an incredible job training the employees and future employees, and employing its manufacturing and industrial workforce.  It's crucial that we provide our American workers with a really great employment outlook, and that includes making sure that we harness the full potential of women in our economy."

German Chancellor Merkel also commented on the morning meeting stating: "We've seen today with our CEOs and our apprentices, what sort of potential our two economies have.  It's moving to see, particularly with these young people, what sort of work towards the future is being done by our companies.  Particularly as we are transiting from traditional manufacturing to industry, capacity-building skills are so important, incidentally, not only for young people, but also for those who have lost their job and need to be reskilled to find work again.  That issue, I know, is very important for you here in the United States, and it's also important for us in Germany."

Trump/Merkel Press Conference

The Trump/Merkel press conference covered a range of topics with President Trump, speaking from prepared remarks, following the topics of direct interest.

"I reiterated to Chancellor Merkel my strong support for NATO, as well as the need for our NATO allies to pay their fair share for the cost of defense.  Many nations owe vast sums of money from past years, and it is very unfair to the United States.  These nations must pay what they owe."  

President Trump spoke on several global and regional topics. His remarks on NATO have gained traction over the past 50 hours with a volley of comments from both camps clarifying the interpretation and public response from the German Government.

Resolving global conflicts, the commitment to the destruction of the Islamic State, increasing defense spending and reciprocal trade policies which benefit the citizens of both nations.

Merkel, who is also the President of the G20 and will be hosting the world leaders from the top twenty economies in an upcoming summit, praised President Trump for his continued support of NATO, the Minsk agreement, the commitment to the 2% GDP increase through 2024.

"Together, we fight against Islamist terrorism.  Germany will step up its work and continue the effort in Afghanistan and in Syria.  We're going to monitor the situation closely and work on political solutions in Syria, and Libya.  I am very gratified to know the American administration and the President, personally, commits himself to the Minsk process.  We need a solution.  There must be a safe and secure solution for Ukraine, but the relationship with Russia must be improved. Minsk is a good basis, but, unfortunately, we haven't made yet the headway that we want to," Chancellor Merkel said.  

The President clarified his position on issues and German Chancellor Merkel left Washington with verbal commitments from the President to continue long term support of the high priority European goals.

Clinton Gives First Speech Since Election

Former Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary R. Clinton spoke publicly this for the first time since her November defeat. For her reentry into public life, she chose the Society of Irish Women's 19th annual The St. Patrick's Day dinner in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

A vicious campaign, with deep divisions and residual animosity, Clinton recognized the chasms of political divide. As she addressed what has been called a "raucous crowd" Mrs. Clinton said, "I do not believe that we can let political divides harden into personal divides," as reported in the Times-Tribune.

Clinton, dressed in a hunter green pantsuit with black accessories, looked rested and ready to get back into the fray. Clinton, who could always capture the crowd, did so again as she spoke of "teapot diplomacy" and the women of Northern Ireland who fought against "violence and bitter" divides for the common good.

Clinton, was warmly received by the audience of nearly 700 and spoke of the opportunity as a "blessing."

Hopefully Mrs. Clinton, who is too skilled, too knowledgeable, too qualified, to sit out the next four years or hide as the political process falls apart, will continue to reintroduce herself to the world with a new message: that of rising again after a bitter defeat.

France: Terrorist Suspect Shot and Killed at Paris Airport

Airport security at Paris' Orly Airport shot and killed a single, lone, terror suspect after a confrontation which he, after devoting the attempt to Allah, attacked three soldiers patrolling the airport demanding their weapons and struggling to wrestle the military issue automatic rifle from one guard.

Three shots were fired by the other two soldiers, which struck the terrorist.

French authorities have released a detailed account of the events leading up to the confrontation.

The terrorist, who has been identified as Ziyed Ben Belgacem, a French citizen of Tunisian decent, had attacked a police officer, with a shotgun injuring him, earlier in day and was essentially on the run. He entered a pub uttering obscenities and creating a scene, firing his weapon indiscriminately. There were no reported injuries. He stole a car and drove to the airport where his attempt at a mass casualty attacks was stopped.

Prosecutors reported autopsy toxicology reports indicated he had excessive amounts of alcohol and cannabis in his system. It was also reported in Le Figaro, the French newspaper, he had an extensive criminal history including armed robbery and drug trafficking.

His family indicated he had an alcohol problem and had no ties to any Islamic fundamentalist groups.

Beltway Insider: Looking Back/Fifty Days of Trump; Cyber/Wiretapping; US AG’s Fired; Russia; Germany; Biden SXSW

UK: Brexit Could Be Triggered This Week

British Prime Minister Teresa May has indicated she will file Article 55, triggering the beginning of the United Kingdom's exit from the European Union as early as Tuesday and clearly by the end of March.

The entire exit process, which will continue over the next two years, will be a series of strict guidelines with majorities votes and unanimous agreements from the remaining members of the European Union.

As the United Kingdom prepares to go it alone, the logistical nightmare the British Parliament is preparing to face is unprecedented. Lawmakers are speaking publicly on the extraction and what it will mean.

Queen Elizabeth, has moved the process along as she gave a notification of withdrawal to the European Union last week. This prepares the way for Prime Minister May to initiate the process the conclusion is some time away. It remains unclear if the process can be reversed after Article 55 is activated.  

US/Mexico: Border Wall Design Released

The highly controversial Border Wall, which President Trump has indicated should be the financial burden of the Mexican government, is taking shape and architects have released drawings of the proposed wall.  

The winning designs, part of an international competition that is unclear if it were endorsed by either government, can be seen here:

George Conway III Expected to be Nominated for DOJ Spot

Mr. George Conway III, a litigation partner with the New York Corporate law firm of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, is currently under consideration to lead the Department of Justice Civil Division and would be responsible for handling controversial civil legal matters for the president.

Conway, who is also the husband of White House counselor and Donald Trump Campaign strategist Kellyanne Conway, has worked at the New York law firm for the past 28 years. After successfully representing Paula Jones in her sexual harassment litigation against former President Bill Clinton, Conaway assisted in writing the brief which began law on how a sitting president can be sued.

Conaway has not released a statement denying the rumor nor has he issued any statement indicating a position on the possibility. Conaway would need to be confirmed by the senate.

Chuck Barry Dies

Legendary guitarist Chuck Berry, who shaped the modern rock and roll music scene with his introduction of electric guitar, blues, riffs, slides, and his flamboyant presentation and dance style, has died. He was 90.

Berry, born October 28, 1926 in St. Louis, Missouri, to a middle class African American family. From all accounts, Berry had an affinity to music at an early age. He gave his first public performance in High School. It was after this performance that he was convicted of armed robbery. After completing his sentence Berry, now a married man, worked on a factory line in an automotive plant.

Six years passed before the music pulled him back. In 1953 Berry began to play again. It is said he was influenced by the sound and style of T-Bone Walker. Two years later, he took another chance and went to Chicago to meet Muddy Waters, who suggested he contact Leonard Chess. One thing lead to another and Chuck Berry who dedicated himself to learning the new sound, and perfecting the over the top free performing style.

Soon he was a hit making machine, with sounds from tunes like Johnny B. Goode, Roll Over Beethoven, and Maybellene the rock and roll era was born. Chuck Berry's sound inspired generations of musician hopefuls turning them into legends.

Music celebrities, legends themselves took to twitter paying tribute to the man who revolutionized the rock and roll sound.

Mike Jagger @MickJagger "I am so sad to hear of Chuck Berry's passing, I want to thank him for all the inspirational music he gave to us. 1/3"

Bruce Springsteen @springsteen "Chuck Berry was rock's greatest practitioner, guitarist, and the greatest pure rock 'n' roll writer who ever lived." He added a second Tweet "This is a tremendous loss of a giant for the ages. – Bruce Springsteen

Ringo Starr @ringostarrmusic "R I P. And peace and love Chuck Berry Mr. rock 'n' roll music" Followed by a series of emoticons, 

Brian Wilson @brianWilsonLive "I am so sad to hear about Chuck Berry passing - a big inspiration! He will be missed by everyone who loves Rock 'n Roll. Love & Mercy"

The Jacksons @jacksons "Chuck Berry merged blues & swing into the phenomenon of early rock'n'roll. In music, he cast one of the longest shadows. Thank You Chuck."

Actor George Takei, @GeorgeTakei "A legend is gone. Half the rock-n-roll artist today wouldn't be playing had Chuck not been there at the beginning."

Russell Crowe @russellcrowe "RIP Chuck Berry #hailhailrocknroll #motorvatinoverthehill#coffeecolouredcadillac

Slash,@slash "Heart broken to hear of the passing of Chuck Berry. He was undisputedly the king. A moment of…"

Nikki Sixx, @nikkisixx "RIP Chuck Berry. Without him Rock n Roll wouldn't be what it came to be."

For more information on President Donald Trump:


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