Beltway Insider: Trump/Kim Jong Un Overshadowed, Otto Warmbier, Cohen/Trump, Brexit Implosion, Netanyahu, 2020

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President Trump traveled to Vietnam this week to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un hoping to secure a deal on denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula the singular point behind the highly publicized and criticized summit.

According to Gallup, President Trump job approval, for the month of February 2019, decreased seven percentage points to 44% of those polled who approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness as President increased by seven percentage points to 52%. Ratings are calculated monthly.

Trump Overshadowed: North Korean Summit Staged to Contradict Cohen Hearings

President Donald Trump departed the historic second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un early, as the Art of the Deal author and former businessman explained, "sometimes you have to walk, and this was just one of those times."

Offering strong indicators, the Summit went well and was "very productive," the President said in a press conference, "they wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety, and we couldn't do that.  They were willing to denuke a large portion of the areas that we wanted, but we couldn't give up all the sanctions for that. So, we continue to work, and we'll see.  But we had to walk away from that suggestion.  We had to walk away from that."


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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who also worked with President Trump on every point, since the possibility of denuclearization began prior to the first Summit in Singapore, also indicated "real progress has been made."

He went on to add, "We made even more progress when the two leaders met over the last 24, 36 hours.  Unfortunately, we didn't get all the way.  We didn't get to something that ultimately made sense for the United States of America.  I think Chairman Kim was hopeful that we would.  We asked him to do more.  He was unprepared to do that.  But I'm still optimistic.  I'm hopeful that the teams will get back together in the days and weeks ahead and continue to work out a very complex problem. We have said, since the beginning, that this would take time."

The stumbling block from a complete success remains the nuclear arsenal Kim Jong-un was to keep active. Even as he has stopped testing, his last test Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBM's) occurred in November 2017. Since President Trump has been in office, Kim Jong-un has conducted 16 nuclear tests.

President Trump also spoke on Kim Jong-un's vision of his military, "he has a certain vision and it's not exactly our vision, but it's a lot closer than it was a year ago.  And I think, you know, eventually we'll get there. But for this particular visit, we decided that we had to walk, and we'll see what happens."

The strength of Kim Jong-un's military including nuclear weapons, even as they violate the proliferation of life treaties, especially for a leader who has been called tyrannical, a despot, mentally unstable, and is fully aware of those who prefer to have him removed from leadership, are his strength against the enemy.

Pompeo added, "Our teams have gotten to know each other better.  We know what the limits are.  We know where some of the challenges are."

Death of Otto Warmbier

The subject of Otto Warmbier was also discussed as President Trump has apparently did an about face on his statements of September 24, 2017, "No one has shown more contempt for other nations and for the well-being of their own people than the depraved regime in North Korea.  It is responsible for the starvation deaths of millions of North Koreans, and for the imprisonment, torture, killing, and oppression of countless more. We were all witness to the regime's deadly abuse when an innocent American college student, Otto Warmbier, was returned to America only to die a few days later.  We saw it in the assassination of the dictator's brother using banned nerve agents in an international airport," the President said. Beltway Insider, Haute-Lifestyle.com, September 24, 2017


 

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President Trump spoke glowingly of his new-found friendship with the North Korean dictator. In fact, prior to his departure, he used an odd phrase, indicating the two men "fell in love." Love as we know is often blind to reality of the other person's faults and apparently it has had the same effect on President Trump as he attempted to defend Kim Jong-un to the White House media on the issue of Otto Warmbier.

"Otto came back in a condition that was just terrible. I did speak about it, and I don't believe that he would've allowed that to happen.  Just wasn't to his advantage to allow that to happen.  I really don't believe he knew about it. He felt badly about it.  I did speak to him.  He knew the case very well, but he knew it later.  And you got a lot of people.  And in those prisons and those camps, you have a lot of people.  And some really bad things happened to Otto.  Some really, really bad things," President Trump said.

It seems highly unlikely the torturing of Mr. Warmbier would not have been videotaped. The hatred the nation had for westerners at the time and the love of violence as a learning tool for Prisoner of War tactics or just pleasure make the presence of a record more possible.

Michael Cohen Testimony

More than 8500 miles from Hanoi Vietnam, in the stoic halls of the House Oversight Committee, Michael Cohen, former lawyer of more than 10 years and "fixer" to Donald J. Trump was giving testimony. Cohen, who became the subject of the Mueller Investigation subsequently pled guilty. In addition to paying a $50,000 fine, he will begin a three-year prison term in May 2019.

For most of the population, who by this time has had suspicions of President Trump's less than honorable motivations for his entire run for the White House, Michael Cohen confirmed the President had no intention nor desire to lead the nation, that '"Mr. Trump would often say, this campaign was going to be the 'greatest infomercial in political history.'"

Reading from a prepared statement, Cohen who sent shock waves through both parties with airing of sensational, damaging and previously unconfirmed facts explained aspects of Trump's organization, his belief of himself and as most know, the presidency was simply a means to an end to ensure his brand would be unending.

The testimony began with '"I am ashamed because I know what Mr. Trump is. He is a racist. He is a conman. He is a cheat."'

Cohen also stated, "Trump knew ahead of time that WikiLeaks had emails damaging to his rival Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign."

"Michael Cohen states in prepared testimony obtained by The Associated Press that Trump also implicitly told him to lie about a Moscow real estate project. Cohen has pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about the project, which he says Trump knew about as Cohen was negotiating with Russia during the election," reported the Associated Press.


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President Trump replied during the North Korean Summit Press conference on his former lawyer's testimony.

     

I tried to watch as much as I could.  I wasn't able to watch too much because I've been a little bit busy.  But I think having a fake hearing like that and having it in the middle of this very important summit is really a terrible thing. 

 

And he lied a lot, but it was very interesting because he didn't lie about one thing.  He said no collusion with the Russian hoax.  And I said, "I wonder why he didn't just lie about that, too, like he did about everything else?"

 

I mean, he lied about so many different things, and I was actually impressed that he didn't say, "Well, I think there was collusion for this reason or that."  He didn't say that.  He said, "No collusion."  And I was, you know, a little impressed by that, frankly.  Could've, he could've gone all out.  He only went about 95 percent instead of 100 percent.

 

You look at this whole hoax, I call it the Russian witch hunt.  I now add the word "hoax."  It's a very, very bad thing for our country.  But I was impressed with the fact that he — when — you know, because the most important question up there was the one on collusion.  And he said he saw no collusion. - President Donald Trump

Brexit Troubles Cause Parliamentary Melt Down – No Exit Deal or Delayed Separation

With March 29, 2019, the day the United Kingdom is set to leave the European Union rapidly approaching and the Brexit deal still facing repeated defeats in Parliament, the next decision for Parliament becomes a No Deal Exit or Delayed Separation.

The repeated holdouts have caused increasing debate, harsh accusations, resignations and still a deal is no closer than it was two years ago.

"The European Union Chief negotiator has stated, "Brexit must be delayed even if Theresa May gets deal through parliament this month, Barnier says. Brussels' chief negotiator says there is no time left for EU to ratify agreement even if British MPs give it their backing," reported The Independent.

The last vote held January 15, 2019 rejected the deal by the largest parliamentary margin in modern British history.

The next scheduled vote is set for March 12, 2019. If the deal is defeated, Prime Minister Theresa May "promised that MPs will be allowed to vote on extending Article 50 if they decide to reject her deal a second time, but Mr Barnier said an extension would be needed even if the agreement gains parliament's approval," reported the Independent.

Reuters reported Goldman Sachs, the global financial house, said "We continue to see the most likely outcome of the current impasse as eventual ratification of the prime minister's Brexit deal, with a three-month extension of Article 50."

Legal Trouble Brewing for Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu

As the Israeli elections are less than two months away Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is facing more than simply a hardliner, former IDF General, as an opponent. It was announced this week, by Israel's attorney general that he intends to charge the Prime Minister with bribery, fraud and breach of trust in response to attempts to bribe the media in exchange for favorable media coverage.


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Netanyahu has not responded to the allegations and has not mentioned them in his very active PM of Israel Twitter account.

                                                                                 

2020 Sanders Holds Two Rallies, Biden Holds Out, All Candidate Agree on Cannabis

With the Iowa Caucasus set for February 3, 2020, Democratic candidates are getting a jump on the national campaigning.

The race, which is still far from firming up has already begun to solidify. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has changed the game for the remainder of the candidates. His ability to raise funds has separated him from the pack. With more than $10Million raised in less than a week, and with most of the monies coming from small donations of less than $200.00, his constituent base has resurrected from the stinging defeat in 2016.

Sanders, who understands, possibly more so than most save former Vice President Joe Biden, the necessity of initiating a long lead campaign. Not simply an announcement and testing the waters but an all-in campaign trail style run, shaking hands, kissing babies and holding rallies.

Sanders, who is considered the front runner, held two large rallies this weekend, in Brooklyn College and Chicago's Navy Pier.

With former Vice President Joe Biden, the hold out in the declared candidates, he has gone on the record as saying, "all those closest to me want me to run." He has also indicated he is considering many factors before an official announcement. With two major aspects non-issues as Biden has an 80% favorable rating and a 99.6% recognition rating, the veteran of two presidential campaign knows first hand the stamina and determination necessary to run a successful winning campaign.

The major political issue that seemed to be resolved this week was the looming cannabis question and the candidate's position. All the democratic candidates have come out in support of legalization on a federal level.

Voters of each state have the right to place referendums on the ballots and allow the constituents to determine their own choices.

For more information on President Donald Trump: www.whitehouse.gov

Sources: Whitehouse.gov, Wikipedia.com

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