WASHINGTON: At a White House meeting with President Donald Trump this week, the two dozen politicians around the polished table enthusiastically took turns to introduce themselves. But it was one of the few remaining silent who caught the eye. Jared Kushner needed no introduction. "Jared you know," Trump told the assembled collection of state governors, cabinet members and top aides. Not saying a word, the slender and pale 37-year-old smiled shyly and waved for the next person along, Labor Secretary Alex Acosta, to talk. Married to the president's daughter Ivanka, Kushner has an ill-defined role as "senior advisor" - but he pops up all over the White House, running everything from a so far invisible Middle East peace initiative to US prison reform. Ivanka is an adviser too, regularly accompanying her father on Air Force One and appearing alongside Kushner at Oval Office get-togethers. But even veteran watchers of the so-called Javanka power duo were surprised by US … [Read more...] about Jared Kushner: The quiet man at the White House table
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SINGAPORE: Donald Trump has just entered the second year of his presidency, and it is already clear that in the year to come he will present even more of a challenge to the rules-based international trading order than in his first year. This year began with a series of Trump trade bangs. In January, the Trump administration declared tariffs against washing machines and also solar panels – from which Singapore was not excluded. In the past two weeks, the president invoked a little-used national security exception to justify 25 per cent tariffs on steel and 10 per cent on aluminum imports. And just last week, he used his review authority under the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to personally and publicly block Singapore-incorporated Broadcom from buying Qualcomm – again on the grounds of national security. Singaporeans may have reason to ask: “Why is this happening? And what will come next?” UPENDING THE POST-WAR INTERNATIONAL CONSENSUS … [Read more...] about Commentary: On Broadcom and tariffs, Trump takes aim on trade – and Singapore?
LONDON: Theresa May rebuked Donald Trump and insisted Britain could strike trade agreements outside the EU as she kicked off a nationwide tour on Tuesday (Nov 27) to whip up support for the contested Brexit divorce deal. The British prime minister headed to Wales and Northern Ireland, hours after the US president said it seemed like a "great deal" for the European Union that could block Britain from forging its own trade agreements with the United States. May has two weeks to convince the public and, crucially, a divided parliament, before the Dec 11 vote in the House of Commons that risks ending in a humiliating defeat and sinking the deal. Trump suggested May had made a mistake by signing an agreement that might impede a future trade deal between London and Washington. "Sounds like a great deal for the EU," he said at the White House, adding: "We have to take a look at seriously whether or not the UK is allowed to trade". "As the deal stands, they may not be able to trade … [Read more...] about May rebukes Trump as she bids to sell Brexit deal
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) is facing questions from the Federal Election Commission (FEC) after the discovery of errors in campaign donations and spending disclosures worth millions of dollars. Jordan received 10 letters from the FEC on Tuesday over the discrepancies, demanding that he respond by early April or risk an "audit or enforcement action," according to The Plain Dealer . Jordan's campaign filed over a dozen amended reports in January that differed significantly from reports that had been filed over the previous two years. Many of the discrepancies were large, with 10 exceeding $100,000, including three that were each in excess of $500,000. The campaign insists that the mistakes were innocent errors and blames the discrepancies on a former campaign treasurer and an uptick in donations due to Jordan becoming a more popular figure among Republicans during the reign of former President Donald Trump . "The campaign has filed an amendment with the FEC to correct its … [Read more...] about Jim Jordan Probed by FEC for Over $2M in Discrepancies, Blames Soaring Donations Under Trump
WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump on Wednesday (Nov 21) ignored criticism that he gave Saudi Arabia a free pass on the murder of a dissident journalist, instead praising the Islamic kingdom for keeping oil prices low. Trump, on holiday at his Florida Mar-a-Lago Club, doubled down on an unusually worded statement from Tuesday that he was essentially ignoring the killing of Jamal Khashoggi because of what he said were more important US strategic and commercial interests. READ: US to give Saudi Arabia a pass even if Crown Prince behind Khashoggi murder "Oil prices getting lower. Great! Like a big Tax Cut for America and the World. Enjoy! $54, was just $82," he tweeted. "Thank you to Saudi Arabia, but let's go lower!" "They've helped me keep them down," he said. GUNS AND MONEY The focus on oil prices is one strand of Trump's argument against punishing the US ally for Khashoggi's death, even though the CIA reportedly found strong evidence that de facto Saudi leader, … [Read more...] about Trump praises Saudi Arabia for keeping oil prices low