House Foreign Affairs 2019: Trump-Investigating Subcommittee

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Addie
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House Foreign Affairs 2019: Trump-Investigating Subcommittee

#1

Post by Addie » Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:47 am

National Review
Top House Dem. to Replace Anti-Terrorism Subcommittee with Trump-Investigating Subcommittee

Representative Eliot Engel, who recently assumed chairmanship of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, revealed in a recent interview that he has chosen to shutter an anti-terrorism subcommittee to redirect resources he believes would be better spent investigating President Trump.

There “wasn’t a great clamor,” to maintain the post-9/11 terrorism subcommittee, Engel told The New Yorker in an interview published Friday. “We just thought, if we’re going to do something relevant in this era where Congress is going to reassert itself, where there are so many questionable activities of this Administration vis-à-vis foreign policy, that it made sense to have this.”

Rather than prioritize hearings on major geo-political developments and how they will affect American alliances, Engel said he wants, first and foremost, to investigate whether Trump has shaped his foreign policy in order to appease Russian president Vladimir Putin, who many believe holds some kind of leverage over him.

“It’s been many months since Helsinki, and we still don’t know what Putin and Trump talked about,” Engel said, referencing Trump’s bilateral meeting with the Russian strongman last year and the subsequent press conference, during which Trump appeared to accept Putin’s denial of election meddling over the assessment of American intelligence agencies.

Engel also vowed to examine the president’s overseas business dealings and whether they have “affected what he’s done in foreign policy.”
Adding:
Nadler.house.gov - Press Release: Nadler Statement on Reported FBI Inquiry Into Whether Trump Was Secretly Working on Behalf of Russia

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Re: House Foreign Affairs 2019: Trump-Investigating Subcommittee

#2

Post by Addie » Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:28 pm

WaPo
Trump has concealed details of his face-to-face encounters with Putin from senior officials in administration

President Trump has gone to extraordinary lengths to conceal details of his conversations with Russian President Vladi­mir Putin, including on at least one occasion taking possession of the notes of his own interpreter and instructing the linguist not to discuss what had transpired with other administration officials, current and former U.S. officials said.

Trump did so after a meeting with Putin in 2017 in Hamburg that was also attended by then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. U.S. officials learned of Trump’s actions when a White House adviser and a senior State Department official sought information from the interpreter beyond a readout shared by Tillerson.

The constraints that Trump imposed are part of a broader pattern by the president of shielding his communications with Putin from public scrutiny and preventing even high-ranking officials in his own administration from fully knowing what he has told one of the United States’ main adversaries.

As a result, U.S. officials said there is no detailed record, even in classified files, of Trump’s face-to-face interactions with the Russian leader at five locations over the past two years. Such a gap would be unusual in any presidency, let alone one that Russia sought to install through what U.S. intelligence agencies have described as an unprecedented campaign of election interference. ...

Senior Democratic lawmakers describe the cloak of secrecy surrounding Trump’s meetings with Putin as unprecedented and disturbing.

Rep. Eliot L. Engel (D-N.Y.), the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said in an interview that his panel will form an investigative subcommittee whose targets will include seeking State Department records of Trump’s encounters with Putin, including a closed-door meeting with the Russian leader in Helsinki last summer.

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Re: House Foreign Affairs 2019: Trump-Investigating Subcommittee

#3

Post by Kendra » Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:31 pm

Sunday morning talk shows should be fun :popcorn:

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Re: House Foreign Affairs 2019: Trump-Investigating Subcommittee

#4

Post by Addie » Thu May 23, 2019 2:22 pm

New York Mag
Rex Tillerson Is ‘Dumb As a Rock,’ Says the Guy Who Made Him Secretary of State

On Tuesday, former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made a surprise appearance in front of the House Foreign Affairs Committee to rag on President Trump. In the meeting, the purpose of which was unknown until the Washington Post revealed it Wednesday night, Tillerson told committee members that Trump was steamrolled by Vladimir Putin during the first meeting between the two leaders, which took place in Germany in 2017.

Tillerson was invited to speak to the committee by chairman Eliot Engel, the New York congressman, and the former Exxon CEO was reportedly eager to do so. In the seven-hour session, Tillerson said the U.S. was not prepared for an extended sit-down between Trump and Putin in Hamburg. And the president was especially unprepared.

“We spent a lot of time in the conversation talking about how Putin seized every opportunity to push what he wanted,” an aide who was present for Tillerson’s remarks told the Post. “There was a discrepancy in preparation, and it created an unequal footing.”

Tillerson also reportedly offered criticism of Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, though it wasn’t anything we haven’t heard before. Kushner, Tillerson said, projects overconfidence and a lack of historical knowledge — the traits for which he’s becoming best known.

Claims about Trump’s lack of preparation for the Putin meeting are not surprising. We know he has unending faith in his ability to make decisions purely on gut instinct and that he hates to read. But this type of preparation, or lack of preparation, is especially risky in a meeting with Putin, Russia expert Andrew Weiss told the Post: “Putin is a very nimble adversary who’s been at this for 20 years now. The Hamburg meeting sounds like it was one of Putin’s wildest dreams: a freewheeling backroom-style conversation with a U.S. president.”
Adding:
CNN - Chris Cillizza: Rex Tillerson proves something very important about Donald Trump
Newsweek: Jared Kushner's Lack of Historical Knowledge Makes Him Vulnerable, Rex Tillerson Tells House Panel: Report

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Re: House Foreign Affairs 2019: Trump-Investigating Subcommittee

#5

Post by Addie » Thu Jun 27, 2019 1:38 pm

WaPo
Tillerson: Jared Kushner left him in the dark on conversations with foreign nations

In newly disclosed testimony, former secretary of state Rex Tillerson said President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner operated independently with world leaders without coordination with the State Department, leaving Tillerson out of the loop and in the dark on emerging U.S. policies and simmering geopolitical crises.

In a transcript of his testimony to the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Tillerson also described the challenge of briefing a president who does not read briefing papers and often got distracted by peripheral topics, noting he had to keep his message short and focus on a single topic.

“I learned to be much more concise with what I wanted to bring in front of him,” Tillerson told the House panel during a seven-hour session in May.

A redacted transcript of the meeting was released Thursday.

On a number of occasions, Tillerson said he was blindsided by Kushner’s discussions with world leaders.

In one instance, Tillerson said he learned that Kushner was meeting with Mexico’s foreign secretary because he happened to be in the same Washington restaurant while the two men hashed out a “fairly comprehensive plan of action” that Tillerson didn’t know about.

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Re: House Foreign Affairs 2019: Trump-Investigating Subcommittee

#6

Post by Addie » Thu Jun 27, 2019 2:20 pm

New York Times
Tillerson Says He and Mattis Were Cut Out of Foreign Policy Decisions by Kushner and Bannon

WASHINGTON — Saudi and Emirati leaders told Jared Kushner and Steve Bannon, close advisers to President Trump, over a 2017 dinner in Riyadh about secret plans to impose a blockade on Qatar, a critical American ally in the Middle East, and bypassed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who was taken by surprise when the blockade was announced, according to a transcript of an interview with Mr. Tillerson last month by a congressional committee.

Mr. Tillerson said he had no knowledge that the Saudis had told Mr. Kushner and Mr. Bannon about the blockade in May 2017 until a committee member asked him about it in the interview. “It makes me angry,” Mr. Tillerson said.

“I didn’t have a say,” he added. “The State Department’s views were never expressed.”

The account highlights the extent to which Mr. Kushner, Mr. Trump’s son-in-law and Middle East adviser, and Mr. Bannon were running foreign policy during the administration’s first year in the world’s most sensitive regions without telling Mr. Trump’s top foreign policy officials and their agencies. The interview especially sheds light on the power wielded behind the scenes by Mr. Kushner.

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Re: House Foreign Affairs 2019: Trump-Investigating Subcommittee

#7

Post by Addie » Thu Jun 27, 2019 5:35 pm

Daily Beast
Rex Tillerson to Congress: I Tried to Educate Trump on Immigration Law, But He Wouldn’t Read

Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told the House Foreign Affairs Committee that Trump ‘didn’t know a lot of the legal aspects of the immigration laws.’


In the process of concocting new strategies for dealing with the influx of migrants, Trump often tried to push forward plans that were legally dicey, according to former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in an interview with the House Foreign Affairs Committee last month about his year-long tenure in the administration.

“A lot of the early issues had to do with immigration policy, actions, implementation. And... I shared the President’s endpoint objective. He was—oftentimes wanted to do it: Boom, you know, this is it. Let’s issue this,“ Tillerson said.

According to a transcript obtained by The Daily Beast, Tillerson said he often felt uncomfortable by the president’s quick decisions, usually made without reading briefing materials or memos. And that unease, particularly on the issue of immigration, led Tillerson to lean on State Department lawyers about how to manage the president’s demands, according to the transcript.

“The president was on a steep learning curve,” Tillerson recalled. “He didn’t know a lot of the legal aspects of the immigration laws or certainly other aspects of how the government operates within the congressional law-making system and oversight.”

Tillerson said he pushed back against the president often in an attempt to try and explain the process for implementing what could be conceived as controversial immigration policies.

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