On Thursday the Pentagon insisted there were no changes to the long-planned military exercises. By Friday they were scrapped.
President Donald Trump has canceled long-scheduled annual military training exercises with South Korea, after North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un threatened to pull out of negotiations and a now-planned June 12 meeting with the U.S. Commander-in-Chief.
The Pentagon on Thursday had said there would be no changes to the training exercises schedule. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders also echoed those remarks.
But on Friday The Wall Street Journal reported Trump had decided to scrap the exercises involving B-52s.
“The move follows repeated assertions by the Trump administration that it is keeping up a campaign of maximum economic and military pressure until North Korea gives up its nuclear-weapons programs,” The Journal noted.
That assertion now appears false.
CNBC explains that as of Thursday, the training exercises were a go.
“When asked if the U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress, a long-range bomber capable of deploying nuclear weapons, was leaving the exercises, chief Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said Thursday that the scope of the exercises has not changed.”
The Pentagon spokeswoman one day before the training exercises were scrapped called them “longstanding and defensive in nature.” She also “said the Defense Department has not held any talks to scale back its future training operations on the Korean Peninsula.”
“There has been no talk of reducing anything, there has been no talk of changing our scope. These are annual exercises and we are very transparent about them,” White said.
One day later, on Friday, they were canceled.
On social media, some expressed outrage:
ICYMI : North Korea demanded that US cancel pre-scheduled training exercises or else no summit. Trump complied. https://t.co/o6cnhhcroX
— David Frum (@davidfrum) May 19, 2018
Mr Trump cowards to Kim Jong Un… https://t.co/EQUvisPog0
— JE Alvey (@Jeffreyalvey) May 19, 2018
Let this sink in. https://t.co/HsuoN9L4J5
— Jonathan Capehart (@CapehartJ) May 19, 2018
Kim Jong Un : “Cancel pre-scheduled training exercises or else no summit.”
Trump complied : “Yes master.” pic.twitter.com/h3LZIvnO23
— Gary S Defiant (@gant1014) May 19, 2018
Trump is officially the first US president to back down, and cancel a military exercise after a threat from North Korea. Such a disgrace, I expect nothing less from a draft dodging coward @realDonaldTrump #NorthKorea #Resist #trumpfail #weak #BlueWave
— Alt Veterans Affairs (@AltDept_of_VA) May 19, 2018
Image: U.S. Navy photo via Flickr
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Trump Swipes at Mark Zuckerberg Asking for White House Goodies: ‘He Didn’t Do Too Well’
Former President Donald J. Trump mocked Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and “big tech” during an interview on Tuesday when he appeared on Fox News with Sean Hannity.
Trump meandered throughout the interview and went off on a tangent claiming he did “big things” when discussing the 2020 election. Trump said Zuckerberg visited the White House “trying to get goodies,” but that “he didn’t do too well.”
Trump added, “So I thought that he was concerned we were doing things. We were doing things. Had we had a second term, we would have had that much, really, pretty much under control. We had some incredible things planned for big tech.”
Watch the video below.
Lincoln Project Trolls Trump with New TV Ad Where He’s Currently Vacationing
According to the Sun Sentinel, the group has bought air time in the West Palm Beach market from Wednesday through Jan. 5. Trump is scheduled to be in the area until Jan. 3.
“A major pillar of The Lincoln Project’s 2020 strategy was aiming to torment an audience of one — Trump — through advertising on cable shows he’s sure to watch on channels such as Fox News,” the Sentinel reports. “That’s the aim of the latest effort, which seeks to drive a wedge between Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, who will preside over the Jan. 6 joint session of Congress at which the electoral votes making Joe Biden the next president will be counted.”
The ad focuses on recent reports that say Vice President Mike Pence is “backing away” from Trumpworld’s efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
“When Mike Pence is backing away from you, you know it’s over,” the ad states.
Watch the ad below.
— The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) December 22, 2020
‘A Parting Gift to Dictators’: Trump Issues Final Round of Foreign Military Sales in Middle East
On Monday, writing for The Washington Post, columnist Brian Klaas tore into outgoing President Donald Trump for a final round of foreign military sales in the Middle East that function as a “parting gift to dictators” — and suggested he could even be using them to set up a private quid pro quo down the road in his post-presidency.
“All three regimes have abysmal human rights records,” wrote Klaas. “Saudi Arabia has beheaded dissidents, subjugated women and detained female activists who have pushed for reforms, and murdered and dismembered Post contributing columnist Jamal Khashoggi. The United Arab Emirates is home to torture, arbitrary detention and forced disappearances. Egypt’s dictatorship has carried
“Given past behavior, we know how these weapons will likely be used,” warned Klaas. “Despots will use them to help facilitate war crimes in places such as Yemen and the Sinai Peninsula while maintaining an iron grip over their own populations — all aided and abetted by the U.S. government.”
And even worse, Klaas argued, Trump himself could be using these sales to call in a personal favor from these countries in his post-presidency. “Once Trump leaves the White House, odds are good that he will cash in,” he wrote. “Seen in that light, the recently approved arms sales and military technology transfers are even more worrying. Are they just the beginning of a quid pro quo?”
All of this is occurring as President-elect Joe Biden alleges the Pentagon is obstructing him from getting all of the national security information he requires for the transition — something administration officials deny.
“For the past four years, Trump has painted the image of a United States that consistently sides with tyrants,” concluded Klaas. “Biden now has an opportunity to reverse Trump’s catastrophic foreign policy. He should take it.”
You can read more here.
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