3 Stories You Should Read 6/13/2019: Kellyanne Conway, Trump, Kim Jong Un
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In the category of: Traitor in Chief
President Trump promised he wouldn’t allow the CIA to use spies against North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un after reports surfaced that Kim’s half brother had been a U.S. intelligence asset before he was assassinated in Malaysia.
Kim Jong Nam was killed in February 2017 — allegedly while he was en route to meet a CIA contact — by two women who sprayed a nerve agent in his face. U.S. officials quickly placed the blame for the killing on North Korea.
Trump, speaking to reporters on the White House lawn Tuesday before leaving on a campaign trip to Iowa, was asked about Kim Jong Nam’s spying, which was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.
“I don’t know, I have not heard about that,” the president said, before contradicting himself and assuring Kim Jong Un that his administration wouldn’t do anything so underhanded.
“I saw the information about the CIA with respect to his brother or half brother, and I would tell him that would not happen under my auspices, that’s for sure,” Trump said. “I wouldn’t let that happen under my auspices.”
In the category of: Always hiding in plain sight
The president, who said he talks to foreign leaders every day, turned to his familiar tactic of blaming the media.
President Donald Trump and his senior advisers moved quickly on Thursday to downplay and muddle his explosive assertion that he might not report to the FBI offers of election help from a foreign entity.
As Trump’s Democratic opponents eviscerated him and one of his leading Republican supporters called his comments a “mistake,” the president tried to recast his remarks, drawing a misleading comparison between accepting dirt from a foreign agent and his recent conversations with Queen Elizabeth and other world leaders.
“I meet and talk to ‘foreign governments’ every day. I just met with the Queen of England (U.K.), the Prince of Wales, the P.M. of the United Kingdom, the P.M. of Ireland, the President of France and the President of Poland. We talked about ‘Everything!’” Trump wrote on Twitter across a pair of tweets, correcting an initial misspelling of Wales. “Should I immediately call the FBI about these calls and meetings? How ridiculous! I would never be trusted again.”
In the category of: Witch of the White House
A federal agency is recommending that White House adviser Kellyanne Conway be removed from federal service, saying she violated the Hatch Act on numerous occasions.
The US Office of Special Counsel said Conway erred by making “disparaging Democratic presidential candidates while speaking in her official capacity during television interviews and on social media.”
The office is unrelated to Robert Mueller and his investigation.
Special counsel Henry Kerner wrote in a letter to President Donald Trump Thursday that his office’s investigative report found that Conway was a “repeat offender” of the Hatch Act.
“Ms. Conway’s violations, if left unpunished, would send a message to all federal employees that they need not abide by the Hatch Act’s restrictions. Her actions thus erode the principal foundation of our democratic system — the rule of law,” the letter said.
“If Ms. Conway were any other federal employee, her multiple violations of the law would almost certainly result in her removal from her federal position,” Kerner’s letter said. “Never has (the office) had to issue multiple reports to the President concerning Hatch Act violations by the same individual.”
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