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Pompeo Tells Europe: ‘Name Me A Moment In History When The Weak And The Meek Have Prevailed’

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday defended the United States’ foreign policy approach and dismissed criticisms that the Trump administration disregards international alliances.

“I’m happy to report that the death of the transatlantic alliance is grossly exaggerated. The West is winning, and we’re winning together.”

TDW:

Speaking at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo threw down the gauntlet to other Western countries, asserting, “Over the past few years, I’ve seen, we’ve all seen, democratic leaders questioning America’s commitment to the transatlantic alliance and America’s leadership in the world.”

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Pompeo cited some quotes from Western leaders, including Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland saying in June 2017, “The fact that our friend and ally has come to question the very worth of its mantle of global leadership, puts into sharper focus the need for the rest of us to set our own clear and sovereign course.” He noted the statement in February 2019 from M. Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, and Mr Heiko Maas, German Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs, saying, “The multilateral order is experiencing its perhaps gravest crisis since the emergence – its emergence after the Second World War.”

Pompeo cited a third quote, this one from the day before his speech in which German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier stated, “Under its current administration, our closest ally, the United States of America, rejects the very concept of an international community. Every country, it believes, should look after itself and put its own interests before all others.”

Pompeo responded, “I’m here this morning to tell you the facts. Those statements simply do not affect in any significant way or reflect reality. I am happy to report that the death of the transatlantic alliance is grossly over-exaggerated. The West is winning. We are collectively winning. We’re doing it together.” More

SECRETARY POMPEO: Well, good morning, everyone. It’s great to be with you all.

Foreign dignitaries, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, members of Congress, who are with us here today, it’s my honor to be here this morning. It’s great to be back at the Munich Security Conference. I was just talking with some of the leaders. I’ve been here many times. I came here with Senator McCain. I came here as the CIA director. I’m also not new to Munich. If you’re looking for a good bierhalle from the late ‘80s, I can find it. (Laughter.)

This is also the third trip to Germany in just the past four months. I was in Berlin in November to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. It was an incredibly special trip for me, for me personally, because I had the incredible privilege to serve on freedom’s frontier from 1986 to 1989 patrolling the then East German-West German boundary during the Cold War as a young officer in the United States Army. I was just a little younger, not that much.

It was thrilling for me, I remember, to watch when freedom won, to watch people dancing on the Berlin Wall, as we all saw people who had been so cruelly separated for decades. It was an incredible celebration of freedom and of sovereignty. The people of East Berlin, and the people of East Germany, knew that the end of the Evil Empire’s occupation was at hand.

And our countries together have maintained our freedoms and our sovereignty for the past 30-plus years now. We should all be incredibly proud of that. We’ve done it through the challenges of radical Islamist terrorism, we’ve done it through a global financial crisis, and we’re doing it now in the face of an increasingly aggressive Chinese Communist Party.

But over the past few years, I’ve seen, we’ve all seen, democratic leaders questioning America’s commitment to the transatlantic alliance and America’s leadership in the world.

A few recent quotes from Western leaders. These quotes frankly surprised me.

The first was from the middle of 2017: Quote, “The fact that our friend and ally has come to question the very worth of its mantle of global leadership, puts into sharper focus the need for the rest of us to set our own clear and sovereign course.” End of quote.

The second one is from about a year ago. It said, quote: “The multilateral order is experiencing its perhaps gravest crisis since the emergence – its emergence after the Second World War.” End of quote.

The final one was from just yesterday. A quote suggested, quote, that the United States “rejects the international community.” End of quote.

I’m here this morning to tell you the facts. Those statements simply do not affect in any significant way or reflect reality. I am happy to report that the death of the transatlantic alliance is grossly over-exaggerated.

The West is winning. We are collectively winning. We’re doing it together.

Let’s start with a simple fact: Free nations are simply more successful than any other model that’s been tried in the history of civilization. Our governments respect basic human rights, they foster economic prosperity, and they keep us all secure.

It’s why so many people risk a dangerous journey across the Mediterranean to reach Greece and Italy, but you don’t see the world’s vulnerable people risking their lives to skip illegally en masse to countries like Iran or to Cuba.

It’s why people clamor to study in Cambridge, and not Caracas.

It’s why they compete to start businesses in Silicon Valley, but not in Saint Petersburg.

It’s why countries in Asia went from abject poverty in the 1950s and ’60s to become world-leading economies today. You have all seen the map of the differences between South Korea, that light-studded map with North Korea in complete darkness.

Just look, too, just look at the winning westward path of other nations.

Vietnam has moved into our same direction since the 1980s.

I’ll head off from here to Africa. I’ll be in Ethiopia, a country working hard to reform its economy. It wants to be more like us.

Today, throughout the Western Hemisphere, we have only Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela as redoubts of authoritarianism.

Meanwhile, the United States is thriving. Our political system is free and enormously resilient. Our economy, too, is strong.

The overall unemployment rate is the lowest in more than half a century, economic growth tripping right along. The unemployment rate for women is at the lowest level in almost 70 years. Wages are rising for all income levels in the United States, including our blue-collar workers. This is the power of the Western idea.

I saw the topic for this weekend’s gathering, this idea of “Westlessness” as the core theme for this year’s conference. And I am sure, too, there are many of you who would call yourself here realists, but let me give you an idea of what’s real.

The West is winning. Freedom and democracy are winning. And by that, I don’t mean just geographical nations. The West doesn’t define a space or a piece of real state. It’s any nation – any nation that adopts a model of respect for individual freedom, free enterprise, national sovereignty. They’re part of this idea of the West.

I want to talk for a minute this morning about how sovereignty underpins our greatness collectively.

Look, we patrol our borders to keep our people safe, so that they can continue to worship, to work, and to make our countries great without disruption.

We honor the right of every nation to carry on their affairs as they choose, so long as they don’t try to interfere with our sovereignty or do harm to our friends.

Look, we urge other nations to protect human dignity because we believe in unalienable rights.

We support independent nations. Our signature – our signature military project together is a defensive alliance.

We respect the rule of law and we honor intellectual property rights.

We don’t interfere in other nations’ elections.

As my 29-year-old son would say, “In the West, we just don’t roll that way.”

Respect for sovereignty of nations is a secret of and central to our success. The West is winning.

But now, more than 30 years since the fall of the wall, countries that don’t respect sovereignty still threaten us. Some nations still desire empire.

Let’s talk about territorial integrity, or rather, those nations that have contempt for it.

Russia has seized Crimea and parts of Eastern Ukraine and Georgia.

Iran’s missiles explode on Saudi oil facilities, and its proxy forces are present in Iraq, in Lebanon, in Syria, and in Yemen.

China. China encroaches on the exclusive economic zones of Vietnam, the Philippines, and Indonesia. And on that point, China has had a border or maritime dispute with nearly every nation bordering it.

And let’s talk for a second about the other realm, cybersecurity. Huawei and other Chinese state-backed tech companies are Trojan horses for Chinese intelligence. Russia’s disinformation campaigns try to turn our citizens against one another. Iranian cyberattacks plague Middle East computer networks.

We’ve talked about physical security. We’ve talked about cybersecurity. Economic coercion is at play as well.

Russia demands fealty in Central Asia.

China demands silence on Taiwan and Hong Kong so that deals will keep flowing. It exacts pieces of national infrastructure as payment when countries can’t meet its onerous loan terms.

Let’s talk, too, about respect for other countries’ political structures.

Iran is stifling today, as we sit here, stifling young Iraqis and Lebanese who want nothing more than a clean and sovereign government.

China is increasingly trying to co-opt officials at the state and local level. Our FBI director, our Attorney General, and I have all spoken about this in just the last week. They’re trying to affect not only our federal level but our state and local officials as well. And this is happening all across Europe and, indeed, all across the world.

Look, this matters. This matters because assaults on sovereignty destabilize. Assaults on sovereignty impoverish. Assaults on sovereignty enslave. Assaults on sovereignty are, indeed, assaults on the very freedom that anchors the Western ideal.

But here’s the good news, and there’s a lot of it.

The United States has stared and will continue to stare these dangerous threats in the face, and we will not blink. We’re protecting our citizens. We’re protecting our freedoms. We’re protecting our sovereign right to choose how it is that we live.

The United States has worked diligently to deprive the Islamic Republic of Iran of diplomatic sanctuary and financial ability to fuel its campaigns of terror – both in the Middle East and right here in Europe.

The United States has woken up to the world where China’s unfair trading practices impact us, the Chinese Communist Party’s newly aggressive turn, and its military and diplomatic efforts that confront.

The United States has armed Ukraine to help that brave nation defend itself from the Russian aggression and has worked with Baltic nations on cybersecurity to defend against Moscow’s repeated cyberattacks.

And as a brand new statement today of our support for sovereignty, prosperity, and energy independence of our European friends, today I want to announce that through the International Development Finance Corporation, and with the support of our United States Congress, we intend to provide up to $1 billion in financing to Central and Eastern European countries of the Three Seas Initiative. Our aim is quite simple: It is to galvanize private sector investment in the energy sector to protect freedom and democracy around the world.

Now, I would ask you, as I go back to where I began: Are these actions, these American actions, are they consistent with the claim that America “has come to question the very worth of its mantle of global leadership?”

Consider, too, what we’ve done alongside each of you, what we’ve done to support NATO in particular.

The United States has urged NATO on to $400 billion in new pledges. We did this because our nations are safer when we work together and when we field the strongest forces and capabilities.

The United States has, too – with our Allies – undertaken the most significant reinforcement of NATO’s eastern flank since the Cold War.

The United States has restored credibility to arms control when we withdrew from the INF Treaty – with unanimous NATO support – after Russia repeatedly violated its terms.

These are just a few signature efforts of American leadership with our partners. We always work to bring allies and partners on board with everything that it is that we do.

We’re leading, for example, Defender Europe 20, an exercise alongside NATO Allies – the largest deployment of U.S.-based forces to Europe in more than 25 years.

The United States has marshalled nations to help us protect the waterways of the Straits of Hormuz and to defend freedom of navigation throughout the South China Sea.

The United States, too, has worked with international sanctions, global sanctions, to prevent North Korea from continuing to develop its nuclear weapons program, and we’ve worked to bring Pyongyang consistently back to the negotiating table.

We’ve led 81 nations in the global fight to defeat the ISIS caliphate. We took out al-Baghdadi. We took out the leader of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula just this past month.

Is this an America that “rejects the international community?”

And – I know of particular concern in this room – we’ve pursued the mission of protecting sovereignty in the multilateral context.

A few examples:

The United States has supported the Organization of American States in its efforts to revive institutions to go back to its mandate and improve its effectiveness.

We’re leading a 59-nation coalition to oust Maduro and honor the will of the Venezuelan people.

The United States is leading on the environment as well. The International Energy Agency’s latest global emissions report from just these past few weeks found that America’s energy-related CO2 emissions declined by 2.9 percent in 2019, in spite of significant economic growth.

The United States has convinced the C5+1 to bolster Central Asian nations’ sovereignty against Russian hegemony and Chinese economic pressure.

The United States, too, has warned the Arctic Council about Russian and Chinese designs to exploit the Arctic for unfair gain – something I know we care about collectively.

So let’s be straight-up.

The United States is out there fighting alongside you for sovereignty and freedom.

We should have confidence in our alliances and our friends.

The free West has a far brighter future than illiberal alternatives.

We’re winning – and we’re doing it together.

Momentum is clearly on our side. We’ve got to do more.

Don’t be fooled. Don’t be fooled by those who say otherwise.

When so-called Iranian moderates play the victim, remember their assassination and terror campaigns against innocent Iranian civilians and right here on European soil itself.

When Russia suggests that Nord Stream 2 is purely a commercial endeavor, don’t be fooled. Consider the deprivations caused in the winters of 2006 and 2008 and 2009 and 2015.

When Huawei executives show up at your door, they say you’ll lose out if you don’t buy in. Don’t believe the hype.

Look, I know it’s not without cost to be courageous, to stand up for our sovereignty. I get it.

But it’s never been the case that this was free.

Name me a moment in history when the weak and the meek have prevailed.

I’m confident. I’m confident in you all. I’m confident in us together. I’m confident that the West will win.

You know, just 15 days ago I was in Kyiv, Ukraine. I visited a hospital where Ukrainian service members who had been injured in the conflict, who had been wounded in the fight against Russian-backed aggression, were being convalesced. There was a young, brave warrior there – we had a conversation – who had sustained a serious injury and he was in significant pain. We spoke for a few moments. He, through the translator, told me that he was a captain. I reminded him that several decades ago I, too, was a captain.

And as we were getting ready to leave, he got up. He grabbed his crutches. He moved across the room and he went to his wall locker, grabbed his uniform, pulled off his patch, and he handed me his unit logo. He told me to keep it; he wanted me to have it.

That moment hit home for me. It reminded me that sovereignty is worth fighting for and that it’s real, that we’re all in this fight together.

Let’s keep at it. Let’s keep winning.

May God bless you all, and may God bless the free world and the United States of America.

Thank you all for being with me this morning. (Applause.)

Source: U.S. Department of State

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Grisham Out as White House Press Secretary, Will Now Work for First Lady

Was Jared Kushner behind the move?

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It’s fair to say that the Trump White House has had a fairly substantial turnover rate, but this is the price that one pays for working in the vicinity of a powerful resultist.

Trump doesn’t seem concerned with the path or the plan, but rather with the actual, concrete results that he sees.  This is precisely why his brash and often abrasive personality works.  When the mainstream media tries to take him off track during a press briefing, Trump pulls the attention back in, often quickly, figuratively knee-capping folks like Jim Acosta of CNN.

The result?  The press briefing is now back on track – with only minor collateral media damage caused by the outburst.

It’s this same attitude that has many within the West Wing on their toes, wondering when their job may metaphorically find itself standing on the same resultist gallows as the aforementioned Acosta.

In the case of White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham, her recent employment change was far less jarring than some we’ve seen in the past.

Stephanie Grisham is stepping down as White House press secretary and rejoining the first lady’s office as chief of staff and spokeswoman, touching off a reshuffling at the top tier of the White House communications shop.

A source familiar with the situation told Fox News Tuesday that the new White House communications team will include Trump campaign national spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany as press secretary, Alyssa Farah as White House director of strategic communications and Ben Williamson as senior adviser for communications.

The source told Fox News that McEnany, Farah and Williamson would work “in concert” and not necessarily report to one another in terms of “chain of command.”

FLOTUS was beaming over the move.

First Lady Melania Trump announced she is “excited to welcome Stephanie back to the team in this new role,” saying Grisham “has been a mainstay and true leader in the Administration from even before day one, and I know she will excel as Chief of Staff.”

Within the White House, rumors swirled that perhaps Jared Kushner was not a fan of Grisham’s work as Press Secretary, which may have played a role in her recent role change.

 

 

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Dem Legislator Says Trump Should be Prosecuted for ‘Crimes Against Humanity’

We won’t hold our breath.

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From the very onset of Donald Trump’s political career, there have been attempts to shame and label him, undoubted due to his “outsider” status.

This isn’t unexpected.  President Trump sauntered into Washington under the auspices of “draining the swamp”, knowing full well that the swamp was going to fight back…and with gusto.  This was always going to be an uphill battle for Trump, and that’s just how he likes it.

But the lengths to which some of Trump’s enemies will go in order to attack the Commander in Chief?  No one could have predicted just how out-of-control that aspect of “the resistance” would get.

State Rep. Tavia Galonski tweeted Sunday after President Trump spoke about hydroxychloroquine at his daily press briefing. The drug, normally used to treat malaria, is one of several that the president has pointed to as showing promise in the fight against COVID-19, but its effectiveness has been a subject of debate.

“I can’t take it anymore. I’ve been to The Hague. I’m making a referral for crimes against humanity tomorrow,” Galonski said. “Today’s press conference was the last straw. I know the need for a prosecution referral when I see one.”

When asked to defend her comments, Galonski was reticent.

Fox News asked Rep. Galonski if there is a specific crime she is accusing Trump of committing, and how she plans on pursuing charges given the United States’ non-member status. She did not immediately respond.

And, as if you thought that this was perhaps a simple stunt by the enthusiastic Representative….

 

 

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California Governor: We Will Use Coronavirus To ‘Reimagine A Progressive Era’

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California Governor Gavin Newsom says coronavirus is an ‘opportunity for reimagining a more progressive era in American policy.’

He was asked by a Bloomberg News reporter if he saw “the potential, as some others in the [Democratic] Party do, for a new progressive era, if you want to call it that, in national politics and policy and whether there’s the opportunity for additionally progressive steps … on the national and state level.”

Newsom’s response, according to the California Globe, was that “the governor admittedly gave a long-winded answer which culminated in, ‘yes,’ admitting there is political opportunity born out of the pandemic. ‘There is opportunity for reimagining a [more] progressive era as it [relates] to capitalism,’ Gov. Newsom said. ‘So yes, absolutely we see this as an opportunity to reshape the way we do business and how we govern.’”

Clip:

Longer video:

Twitter responds:

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Politics

DOJ Says AG Barr was ‘Appalled’ at Laundry List of FISA Warrant Errors and Abuses

The magnitude of the mischief is simply overwhelming.

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Amid all the uncertainty and calamity surrounding us, there is still an ongoing investigation into reports of abuse by the FBI during the 2016 presidential election.  Of course, much of this news has been buried by the apocalyptic dread concerning COVID-19, but, make no mistake, the latest developments are heavy.

It all began with the FBI in 2016, which feels like it was over a decade ago at this point.  The Bureau was, for some reason, tasked with investigating the campaign of then-candidate Donald Trump on the rumors that he was somehow working with the Kremlin.  In order to gather supposed evidence of this, the FBI would need to be granted FISA warrants to spy on the campaign itself.  Their method of obtaining these warrants included citing the controversial document known as the Steele Dossier, which contains unverifiable rumors about Donald Trump’s alleged preference for unsanitary sex acts in the presence of prostitutes in Moscow.

The dossier was bankrolled by Democratic operatives, including Hillary Clinton, and the salacious rumors contained have been traced back to rumors once printed in the Wall Street Journal decades ago.

Now, as an investigation into this wildly inappropriate misuse of the FISA courts continues, both the Attorney General and the Inspector General are expressing grave concerns about the process.

Inspector General Michael Horowitz released a report in December which found that the FBI included “at least 17 significant errors or omissions in the Carter Page FISA applications and many errors in the Woods Procedures” during its Crossfire Hurricane investigation of the 2016 Trump campaign. After releasing the report, Horowitz said that he would conduct a further investigation to see if the errors identified in the Page application were widespread.

Just how bad was it?

“The concern is that this is such a high-profile, important case. If it happened here, is this indicative of a wider problem — and we will only know that when we complete our audit — or is it isolated to this event?” Horowitz told lawmakers during a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing. “Obviously, we need to do the work to understand that.”

Horowitz’s office said in a report released Tuesday that of the 29 applications — all of which involved U.S. citizens – that were pulled from “8 FBI field offices of varying sizes,” the FBI could not find Woods Files for four of the applications, while the other 25 all had “apparent errors or inadequately supported facts.”

Apparently, Attorney General Bill Barr was no fan of the findings either.

The investigation into the FISA court abuses is ongoing.

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Infamous California Congresswoman Calls Trump ‘Incompetent Idiot’

This is not the time, Congresswoman.

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In these trying times – an era of global crisis – those who despise President Trump have ceaselessly lambasted him with anything and everything that they can muster.

The “resistance” is still in full effect during the COVID-19 global pandemic, with many of the usual suspects taking time out of there day to distract from the task at hand, in favor of scoring political points during an election year.

That’s not to say a President can’t be criticized or questioned during a time of crisis, but these heavy times require sharp critiques, not pedantic pageantry.

Maxine Waters hasn’t quite grasped this concept as of yet.

 

Waters has been an unrepentant critic of President Trump, and has even gone so far as to demand that her constituents seek out conservatives in public and make them feel “unwelcome”.

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Lindsey Graham Says Pelosi Made The ‘Most Shameful, Disgusting Statement By Any Politician In Modern History’

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made the “most shameful, disgusting statement by any politician in modern history,” Senator Lindsey Graham said today.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, criticized Pelosi after she railed against President Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Pelosi said: “His denial at the beginning was deadly,” and as he “fiddles, people are dying” during an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her cohorts held up the relief bill, and she wants to accuse President Trump?

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John Kerry Profanely Curses Lone Congressman Who Voted ‘No’ on Virus Relief

President chimed in as well, calling the publicity stunt the work of a “third rate grandstander”.

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First, the good news is that the federal government has passed an enormous, $2 trillion economic relief package aimed at helping Americans survive the coming economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic.  The bad news is that one of our elected officials exploited the legislative process to make a political point.

Here’s how it went down:

The House initially planned to pass the coronavirus stimulus package by unanimous consent or voice vote with a skeleton crew of legislators present in order to minimize the risk of spreading the coronavirus among its members. The body, under its rules, can pass legislation by unanimous consent – with no representative in the chamber objecting – or a voice vote — an exercise in which those for and against a bill yell yea or nay, and the loudest side wins.

But either method can be shut down by a “point of order” from a member who could argue a lack of quorum, meaning less than half of the House’s total members are present in the chamber. At that point, it would need at least 216 total members present to hold a recorded vote.

Massie has indicated to House leaders, despite significant efforts from Republican leadership, that he may force a recorded vote by suggesting the lack of quorum. House leadership is also concerned a handful of other members –Republicans and Democrats – might be considering taking the same action.

That threat forced several elected officials to travel back to DC in order to vote – an unnecessary risk to health and resources.

President Trump was quite unhappy with the move.

Then came John Kerry, former Secretary of State, to pile some additional shame on Massie.

“Breaking news: Congressman Massie has tested positive for being an a–hole. He must be quarantined to prevent the spread of his massive stupidity,” Kerry tweeted. “He’s given new meaning to the term #M-sshole.”

Kerry added: “Finally, something the president and I can agree on!”

The Commander in Chief acknowledged Kerry’s take.

We should allow this brief bit of profane bipartisanship to guide us in these troubled times, because if John Kerry and Donald Trump can agree on something, then Americans can come together to defeat this dastardly COVID-19.

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