Total Humanitarian Aid to the 3 Countries in 2017 Less Than Taxpayers Have Spent on Trump’s Golfing Trips
Just days after Dept. of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen signed a “historic” agreement with Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador to combat illegal immigration into the United States, President Donald Trump has announced he is cutting all foreign humanitarian aid to those three countries.
Citing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the State Dept. on Saturday announced, “we are carrying out the President’s direction and ending FY 2017 and FY 2018 foreign assistance programs for the Northern Triangle,” the statement said, as The Hill reported. “We will be engaging Congress as part of this process.”
It appears there are divergent forces at work within the U.S. government.
“I would like to extend my profound gratitude to our Central American allies Honduras, Guatemala & El Salvador,” Homeland Security Secretary Nielsen said via Twitter on Thursday, “for their commitment to our common cause of secure borders & more orderly migration flows.”
Hours earlier on Thursday, apparently unaware that the DHS Security was in the Honduran capitol working on an agreement, Trump had tweeted: “Mexico is doing NOTHING to help stop the flow of illegal immigrants to our Country. They are all talk and no action. Likewise, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador have taken our money for years, and do Nothing. The Dems don’t care, such BAD laws. May close the Southern Border!”
On Friday, ignoring the “historic” agreement Sec. Nielsen had signed with the three Central American nations, Trump, from Mar-a-Lago said, “We were paying them tremendous amounts of money. And we’re not paying them anymore. Because they haven’t done a thing for us. They set up these caravans,” CNN reports the President charged.
“That is just stupid. Ham-handed. Short-sighted. It is not going to create less immigrants…We have to understand that these countries are our neighbors” @ananavarro says as State Dept. tells CNN it’s cutting off aid to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras https://t.co/SglVURLO0o pic.twitter.com/48eDNJX8N5
— CNN (@CNN) March 30, 2019
The amount of U.S. foreign aid to the three nations is a paltry sum.
According to the federal government’s own USAID website, total aid from the U.S. to Guatemala was just $257 million. The current projection for U.S. aid to Guatemala is just $67 million.
Honduras in 2017 received a mere $181 million. The current projection for 2018 is only $31 million.
El Salvator received even less, just $118 million, with the 2018 projection coming in at $46 million.
In total, the U.S. gave those three countries just $556 million.
To put that in terms the President can understand, as of today President Trump has spent 176 days at s Trump golf course. While the costs for his trips to his New Jersey golf course, Bedminster, are not known, last month the Government Accountability Office, an official federal government agency, revealed each of Trump’s trips to Mar-a-Lago cost taxpayers $3.4 million.
176 golf club trips at that rate would total $598 million – far less than what the American taxpayers are spending to support the President’s lavish golf outings.
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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.
Trump’s $2,000 Stimulus Talk Could Hand Democrats the Senate Majority
An editorial that ran Monday in the The Wall Street Journal spelled out a Democratic victory in the Senate following President Donald J. Trump’s push for $2,000 stimulus checks.
The WSJ editorial board referred to the move as an “in-kind contribution to Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Joe Biden.”
“Senate Republicans oppose the $2,000 for these sound reasons, but Mr. Trump has put them in a political spot. Democrats immediately joined Mr. Trump’s call for the $2,000, and on Monday they passed the larger amount through the House, 275-134,” the WSJ editorial board wrote.
“That leaves Mr. McConnell with a tough call of barring a vote as Democrats bang away in TV ads in Georgia against GOP incumbents David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler. Or he can hold a vote, which would split the GOP caucus and upset fiscally conservative voters,” they continued.
“By all accounts Mr. Trump is angry about his election defeat, and he is lashing out at anyone who won’t indulge his hopeless campaign to overturn it. … Mr. Trump’s narcissism isn’t news,” they wrote. “But if Republicans lose the two Georgia seats and their majority, Republicans across the country should know to thank Mr. Trump for their 2021 tax increase.”
An important notation: The Wall Street Journal has not endorsed a presidential candidate since 1928, but the newspaper’s editorial board — along with other Rupert Murdoch-owned media outlets such as Fox News and the New York Post — has traditionally been favorable to Trump.
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