Immigration into Europe has ‘changed the fabric’ of the continent, Trump says

Photo by the White House

President Donald Trump on Thursday criticized the European Union’s immigration policy, claiming it has “changed the fabric” of the continent in a negative manner.

“I think what has happened to Europe is a shame,” Trump declared. “Allowing the immigration to take place in Europe is a shame,” he added during an interview with the Sun.

“I think you are losing your culture. Look around. You go through certain areas that didn’t exist 10 or 15 years ago.”

“I have a great love for the countries of Europe,” he continued while pointing toward his Scottish and German ancestry, noting that immigration into Europe has taken a toll on the people and their cultures.

“I think it changed the fabric of Europe and, unless you act very quickly, it’s never going to be what it was and I don’t mean that in a positive way.”

— President Donald Trump

Trump’s presidential administration has taken a conservative approach on immigration, fighting against sanctuary cities and enforcing existing immigration laws to secure the U.S.-Mexico border.

Trump told the newspaper that most British people actually support his stance on immigration. “I think they like me in the U.K.,” he said. “I think they agree with me on immigration.”

 

North Korea accuses U.S. of ‘gangster like’ demands

Photo by the White House

Kim Jong-un, after talks, appears to have thumped away hopes for a quick denuclearization deal in a sudden rebuke to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, accusing the United States of making “gangster-like” demands.

Pompeo recently wrapped up two days of discussions in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang on Saturday July 7, holding optimism without meeting North Korea’s Supreme Leader, as he has done previously twice. He said the discussions had been productive and conducted in good faith while noting much work is yet ahead. Pompeo and two other U.S. officials said the two countries, still technically at war for 68 years, had formulated groups pertaining to the details of an arrangement.

In a statement broadcasted by North Korea’s Central News Agency pertaining to Pompeo’s visit, the Foreign Ministry of North Korea said the outcome of Pompeo’s discussions with senior official Kim Yong-chol were “very concerning”.

“We had expected that the U.S. side would offer constructive measures that would help build trust based on the spirit of the leaders’ summit … we were also thinking about providing reciprocal measures,” North Korea’s statement read. “However, the attitude and stance the United States showed in the first high-level meeting (between the countries) was no doubt regrettable. Our expectations and hopes were so naive it could be called foolish.”

It said North Korea had raised the issue of formally ending the Korean War, which concluded with an armistice and not a peace treaty, but the United States came up with a variety of “conditions and excuses” to delay this declaration. North Korea’s statement downplayed the significance of the United States suspending its military exercises with South Korea, something boasted by President Trump after the summit as a success.

Criticizing the discussions with Pompeo, however, it carefully avoided attacking Trump personally, stating “we wholly maintain our trust toward President Trump,” but stressed that the District of Columbia must not allow “headwinds” against the “wills of the leaders.” That appeared to be a reference to Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton, a man denigrated by Pyongyang in the past. Pompeo spoke with Trump, Bolton and White House chief of staff John Kelly on Saturday before his second round of meetings with Kim Yong-chol.

The Hermit Kingdom’s statement, coming almost immediately after Pompeo’s trip, was sure to fuel growing skepticism in the U.S. over how serious the Kim regime is about giving up its nuclear arsenal.

On North Korea discussions just concluded, Pompeo remarked: “We raised a full range of issues with them, all the issues that are important to both the United States and Japan.”

Closing, Pompeo said more talks would be needed.

Senate intel finds collusion accusations ‘accurate and on point’

Photo by the Kremlin

The intelligence community finds the alleged Russian collusion in the 2016 presidential election to be “accurate and on point,” according to an unclassified report and statement by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

The committee’s verdict came after a tedious review of the “sources, tradecraft, and analytic work underpinning” a January 2017 intelligence community assessment.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Central Intelligence Agency’s disagreement with the National Security Association over whether the Russian Federation sought to strengthen the Trump presidential campaign was “reasonable,” the report entailed.

The disagreement among the agencies “was reasonable, transparent, and openly debated among the agencies and analysts, with analysts, managers and agency heads on both sides of the confidence level articulately justifying their positions,” according to the intelligence committee.

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C., said the panel’s review was ongoing.

“The committee has spent the last 16 months reviewing the sources, tradecraft and analytic work underpinning the intelligence community assessment and sees no reason to dispute the conclusions,” Burr stated.

“The committee continues its investigation, and I am hopeful that this installment of the committee’s work will soon be followed by additional summaries providing the American people with clarity around Russia’s activities regarding U.S. elections,” Burr added.

Whether the Russian Government sought to meddle in the 2016 presidential election to help Donald Trump triumph has been a key point of dispute between House and Senate intelligence committees.

GOP members on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence have disputed the conclusion that Vladimir Putin wanted to help Trump.

The Republicans of the House panel have specified “significant intelligence tradecraft failings” in the intelligence community’s report, saying it is inappropriate to conclude that Russia acted specifically to assist Trump.

“We disagree with the narrative that they were trying to help Trump.”

– Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas

Accusations of political bias at the highest levels of the Department of Justice and FBI have disturbed the District of Columbia, with many Republicans accusing investigators of targeting the White House solely for political reasons.

Some Republicans, however, believe Russia was in fact trying to assist Trump in the election. In a statement earlier this year, Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., said it was “clear based on the evidence” that Putin wanted Clinton to lose in the election.

Other top administration officials, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, have signaled that they agree that Russians wanted Clinton to lose by opting to interfere via false political advertising and alleged voter hacking.

The report comes two weeks before the President of the United States is scheduled to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland.

Pompeo to visit North Korea on July 5

Photo by Gage Skidmore

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will depart the United States for his third visit to the Hermit Kingdom of North Korea on July 5, the White House announced Monday.

Pompeo, nominated by President Donald Trump as United States Secretary of State on March 13, 2018, will visit North Korea’s capital Pyongyang for two days before leaving to Tokyo to meet with South Korean and Japanese officials amid recent suspicions regarding North Korea’s nuclear program.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders pointed to a meeting over the weekend between Sung Kim, the United States ambassador to the Philippines, and North Korean officials in the demilitarized zone.

“We’re continuing to make progress,” Sanders said at Monday’s press briefing.

Pompeo last visited Pyongyang in May ahead of the Trump-Kim summit, and traveled there secretly in April while he was director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Instilling confidence and ambition regarding the allegations pertaining to North Korea and using the recent meeting in the demilitarized zone as an example of hope, Sanders said, concerning last month’s historic Singapore summit between President Trump and North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un, there has already been produced a solid framework for future negotiations.

“In the last eight months, you haven’t seen missile launches, you haven’t seen nuclear detonations,” Sanders stated further. “Again, these conversations are continuing to evolve—I’m not going to get into the details, but I can tell you that progress continues to be made.”

After leaving Tokyo, Pompeo will briefly visit Hanoi and Abu Dhabi before arriving in Brussels for the NATO Summit on July 10.