Sunday, May 5, 2019

Last Call For Three Wars

Just a note that going into next week the Trump regime is looking at three wars right now:

a legal war with Democrats,

President Trump reversed himself on Sunday and said that the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, should not testify before Congress, setting up a potentially explosive confrontation with Democrats over presidential authority and the separation of powers.

The president argued on Twitter that Mr. Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election — which found no conspiracy between Moscow and Mr. Trump’s campaign but did not exonerate the president on obstruction of justice — was conclusive and that Congress and the American people did not need to hear from Mr. Mueller. “Bob Mueller should not testify,” he said. “No redos for the Dems!”

On Friday, Mr. Trump had said it was up to Attorney General William P. Barr whether Mr. Mueller testified. The president’s about-face now puts new pressure on Mr. Barr, who must decide whether to accede to Mr. Trump’s call. Last week, Mr. Barr said he had no objection to Mr. Mueller testifying.

The conflict over Mr. Mueller escalates Mr. Trump’s fight with Democrats just as his re-election campaign is taking shape. It comes on top of numerous refusals by the administration to turn over records to Congress, including a request for Mr. Trump’s tax returns. Mr. Trump has also balked at testimony from his former White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II.

A trade war with China,

The sudden escalation of trade tensions could badly catch investors off guard. Not only had US and Chinese officials signaled a trade deal was imminent, but hopes for trade peace helped drive US stocks sharply higher this year. 
Trump said that he believed talks were progressing too slowly and the tariff increase could happen "shortly." He also warned his administration could tax nearly all of the roughly $500 billion of Chinese exports to the United States. 
The two countries had planned a critical week of negotiations to end a yearlong tit-for-tat trade war.

And a shooting war in Venezuela.

Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said the U.S. has a full range of options available to help oust Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and didn’t rule out “ultimately” using military action on top of diplomatic, political and other pressure points.

“We’re preparing those for him so that when the situation arises, we’re not flat-footed,’’ Pompeo said on ABC’s “This Week,” one of three scheduled appearances on Sunday morning political shows.

Pompeo said Sunday that he can’t predict when Maduro will be forced out of office -- whether days, weeks or months. But Maduro can’t feel good about his situation because while he might be ruling for the moment, he can’t govern, Pompeo said.

“There’s enormous poverty, enormous starvation, sick children that can’t get medicine,” Pompeo said. “This is not someone who can be part of Venezuela’s future.”

May will be messy.

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