Trump struck with rising troubles | Daily News


Trump struck with rising troubles

US President Donald Trump with his sons Donald Trump Jr.,(L) and Eric Trump.
US President Donald Trump with his sons Donald Trump Jr.,(L) and Eric Trump.

President Donald Trump continues to face trouble in his politics as he launches the campaign for his re-election for a second term in the 2020 Presidential Election.

Last week saw the failure of his much promoted summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, in Hanoi, where Donald Trump had to walk away without the planned agreement with the North Korean leader, following the refusal of North Korea to give in to Trump’s call for the elimination of many of its nuclear facilities. In addition, he faced the negative publicity of the evidence given before the House of Representatives by his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, who called him a lying, racist, crook and gave evidence of payments made by Trump to adult and porn stars, and alleged knowledge of stolen Democrat e-mail given to Wiki leaks.

The situation has worsened with the Democrats having a majority in the House of Representatives calling for evidence from 81 individuals associated with Donald Trump to investigate alleged wrongdoing by Trump before being President, and later as President.

Among those from whom evidence is sought by the House Judiciary Committee are his sons – Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, son-in-law and Advisor Jared Kushner, long time Chief Financial Officer if the Trump Organization Allen Weisselberg, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions and several others who have been very close to Donald Trump in his presidential polls campaign, and later as President of the US.

He is also facing a serious probe into using influence of the Office of the President to give special security clearance to his son-in-law and Advisor Jared Kushner and his daughter Ivanka Trump, married to Kushner, despite official advice against such security clearance.

Political analysts see this as a move to pave the way for an impeachment of the President, with the information obtained from these 81 persons, and even more, being used to build public opinion in favour of such action against the President.

Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Jerrold Nadler told the media that “Over the last several years, President Trump has evaded accountability for his near-daily attacks on our basic legal, ethical and constitutional rules and norms… We will act quickly to gather this information, assess the evidence, and follow the facts where they lead with full transparency with the American people.”

The depth of this probe is seen with the Judiciary Committee clearing its path with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is conducting the near two year probe on Donald Trump’s alleged collusion with Russia during and related to the last Presidential election campaign, and with prosecutors in New York investigating alleged corruption inside Trump’s inaugural committee and other related matters.

The current situation for Trump worsens with separate actions on him by three other House committees seeking documents and interviews with personnel of the White House, executive office of the President and State Department, related to communications between Trump and the Russian President, Vladimir Putin. Chairmen of the Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight Committees have said in a joint statement that “According to media reports, President Trump, on multiple occasions, appears to have taken steps to conceal the details of his communications with President Putin from other administration officials, Congress, and the American people.” “These allegations, if true, raise profound national security, counterintelligence and foreign policy concerns, especially in light of Russia’s ongoing active measures campaign to improperly influence American elections.”

President Trump has completely rejected the allegations against him stating he has nothing to hide. “I cooperate all the time with everybody,” he said. “You know the beautiful thing – no collusion. It’s all a hoax.”

Sarah Sanders, the White House press secretary, called the judicial committee probe “a disgraceful and abusive investigation into tired, false allegations”.

As the publicity over these allegations on his conduct in the polls campaign and as President saw a negative impact on his presidential image, the weekend saw Trump deliver a tangled and frenzied address at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), and strong arm of rightwing Republicans, and a hugely pro-Trump organisation, where he was angrily critical of the Democrat moves against him. In a very lengthy address he said: “You know I’m totally off script right now and this is how I got elected, by being off script… And if we don’t go off script, our country’s in big trouble, folks, because we have to get it back.” He described Democratic-led oversight efforts focusing on his finances as “xxxxxxxx”.

The situation is made worse for Trump with news that North Korea is restoring facilities at a long-range rocket launch site it dismantled last year as part of disarmament steps, to mark the first summit between him and Kim Jong-un In Singapore.

As the next presidential election moves closer in the coming months, with many Democrats lining up to seek nomination against him, and a few Republicans too, the politics in the US will certainly get heated up, and move to a highly divisive and factious campaign. The trend in US politics is moving to one of ferocity not seen in recent decades.


“We have, I would say, probably the best relationships right now with Israel that we ever had,” Trump said. “I think we’re as close now as, maybe, ever before.” Trump to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is now facing a major indictment on corruption, at White House meeting this week.

Indo-Pak rivalry

Approaching a month after the Pakistani terrorist attack on Kashmir’s Pulwami district, the tensions between the two nuclear armed nations are moving down, but with warnings of increased threats arising from the rapidly approaching Indian election campaign.

Pakistan that won commendation for its release of the Indian Air Force pilot whose plane was knocked down in Pakistani territory, as a gesture for peace by Prime Minister Imran Khan, has moved further with what it has called a ‘decisive’ crackdown against militant outfits in the country, and particularly the Jaish-e-Mohammed, terrorist group that claimed responsibility for last month's suicide attack on India para-military forces in Pulwami.

It is reported that officials have detained 44 members of banned organisations, including some people who are named in a dossier handed by India to Pakistan on the Pulwama attack.

This Pakistani moves come after considerable criticism of its apparent non-action and suspected support for Islamist terror groups within Pakistan. The risk of a full-blown war between the two nuclear powered neighbours has subsided after these Pakistani moves, with opportunities for international and even regional moves to strengthen peace in South Asia.

Pakistan has attempted to show its current anti-terrorism actions are not directly linked to the attack on Indian troops at Pulwami, but is an already organised crackdown on militant and terrorist groups on Pakistani soil as part of its National Action Plan – 2014, endorsed by all political parties in the country, and measures taken in accordance with decisions of the Pakistan National Security Committee in January this year, as said by Pakistan’s Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry.

While this Pakistani trend is welcome in the current context, there is increased concern about the emerging trends in India, due to the politics of the forthcoming general election to the Lok Sabha. The speeches and slogans of the ruling Bharathiya Janatha Party (BJP) led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and the highly extremist Hindu organisers and supporters of the BJP and its allies, show a political advantage in the Pulwami attack, to build anti-Pakistan and also anti-Muslim forces in the country.

Prime Minister Modi is certainly facing a difficult task in trying to be non-violent and pro-peace in his speeches, while also having to call for national unity and support for the armed forces, in a situation that cannot escape the Kashmiri crisis. He is a major pro-Hindu voice in the country and cannot easily be silenced on such matters. The situation is made worse by the decline in the popular support for the BJP, that won the last Lok Sabha poll with a huge majority, but is strongly challenged in several states, and having to face new alignments of the opposition parties led by the Congress Party.

Prime Minister Modi and the BJP is also facing considerable opposition over problems among the agricultural community, a major rise in unemployment and a considerable drop in the numbers being employed among the burgeoning youth of the country. There is also a major issue of corruption involving purchase of aircraft from France. However, there is still no strong opposition grouping formed to pose a major challenge to Modi and the BJP, and the current Kashmir-Pakistan situation could give strength to Modi and his extremist Hindu allies.

Venezuela: Crisis drags on

The opposition figurehead Juan Guaido, battling to remove Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, made a dramatic return to Caracas amidst threats of arrest and detention, after campaigning against Maduro in South America since late last month. His return will certainly add strength to the anti-Maduro campaign, but there are still no signs of the Venezuelan Army, and the pro-leftwing or pro-Chavez rural people moving away from President Maduro.

The pro-Maduro Venezuelans were celebrating the sixth anniversary of the death of the late Hugo Chavez, the founder of the Venezuelan socialist movement, which is now managed by President Maduro. As the conflict moves on, this Saturday (March 9) will be another day of action as Juan Guaido is due to address the state workers in Caracas.

The US support for Guaido was clearly seen with this tweet by US national security adviser, John Bolton: “President Guaido safely returned to Venezuela today to continue his strong push for a democratic future for the people of his country … His safety must be guaranteed. The world is watching.”

However, more than six weeks after Juan Guaido declared himself the interim president, and backed by many countries including US and the EU, President Maduro remains in power, with Guaido showing little signs of concrete power in the country. The expectation of a wave of military defections to bring about a quick collapse of the Maduro administration, has not taken place, and the situation drags, raising major issues of the veracity of many media reports supportive of Guaido and opposed to Maduro.

Many analysts of the Venezuelan situation now see the need for a negotiated settlement between the Maduro-Chavez Movement and the wide opposition to it.

Algeria: President Abdelaziz Bouteflika is facing strong public protests having confirmed he will seek re-election for a fifth term, having been in power for 20 years, and known to be weak in health.


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