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Theresa May doesn’t have good options

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On Friday, British Pm Theresa May can be the main foreign leader to go to Mr . trump in Washington since he became president. Having a nod to Trump’s Scottish bloodlines, the main minister is expected to give him that has a quaich, a two-handled ceremonial cup traditionally for drinking whisky that is definitely meant to be an expression of trust and friendship. Whether the teetotaler Trump will understand gesture is something; whether that trust and friendship can actually be established is entirely another.

The special relationship, naturally, is within an exceptionally special quandary. Trump’s “America First” rhetoric has horrified most of America’s traditional European allies. His suggestion that NATO is “obsolete” along with his happiness to countenance the whole collapse on the Eu threatens to abandon greater half-century of U.S. foreign policy. Even though Trump has endeared himself on the Brexiteers, who cheered his recent declaration that Britain was “so smart” to exit the EU, Trump is way less popular in the united kingdom than even George W. Bush was a student in his worst. During the campaign, May herself complained that Trump’s rhetoric about Muslims was “divisive, unhelpful and wrong”; one among her chiefs of staff called Trump a “chump,” additionally, the other said he had little interest in “reaching out” to Trump.

Yet, May cannot neglect the Donald. Unless you’re Vladimir Putin, you take care of the American president you could have, not normally the one you should have while in the Oval Office – that’s the place to start for any international leader from the Era of Trump. In truth, May, who is herself new at all to international politics, must draw from the country in excess of Britain in most years. Having voted august to abandon the eu, the British must cling tightly recommended to their Anglophone alliances and trade partnerships.

All this puts May within a impossible spot: How could she endear herself to her biggest foreign partner as he is loathed in their country, and many of that longtime European partners? This is a high-risk business, with huge possibility of humiliation.

True, there are actually risks for Trump. If he cannot generate a strong working relationship with Britain, his possibilities of doing so with any country (well, except maybe Russia) ought to be reckoned negligible. A conference together with the British pm is, with regards to Trump is worried, diplomacy steadied with beginner wheels. If he still falls, it’s going to be telling. Americans and foreigners alike will further doubt his statesmanship, along with his less-than-steady come from office might get even shakier.

Obama reportedly advised May to gently educate the latest president from the options for the entire world, as well as perhaps Trump will listen.

The dangers for May, however, will be more significant. It is not only the clash between Britain’s national interest, which demands an effective working relationship together with the new American administration, and it is national pride, which demands which she keep her distance from Trump. Making matters more awkward is the reason that Trump thrives on, and indeed could interact with, unctuous flattery. May, that has relished being named “a bloody difficult woman,” reaches likelihood of seeming Trump’s patsy. For the Republicans’ congressional retreat in Philadelphia on Thursday, she already seemed to go all-in for Trump, insisting that that it was an honor to be present as “dawn breaks on a new trend of American renewal.” “Haven’t you noticed? Opposites attract,” she quipped earlier to reporters. If May will have to eat an uncommonly gristly sandwich, then so whether it be.

Brexit adds yet another complication. Barack obama infuriated pro-Brexit Britons on the summer as he suggested that leaving europe would relegate Britain to “the back of the queue” for almost any further U.S. trade deals. Trump, on the other hand, has stated a one-on-one U.S.-UK deal can be achieved quickly, and therefore Britain is “at the front from the line.” Pro-Brexit British conservatives are going to see in Trump men with whom they’re able to conduct business. (One cabinet minister told the Spectator, “Trump is here along just like the tooth fairy. This really is one massive, magnificent gift.”) That puts enormous pressure on May – who may have chosen the slogan “global Britain” to define her administration, promising to make the country a champion of free trade – in making real progress for a handle Trump, the prospects which often are uncertain.

    It is to square that goal, however, with a president elected, a minimum of to some extent, as a consequence of his overt hostility to free trade. Besides, nothing in Trump’s character indicates he appreciates, much less values, the joy of mutual advantage. He loves deals, however the joy in the deal stems from screwing the opposite guy. Everything appears to be a zero-sum game to Trump. In that regard, any warm words Trump and will exchange within the White House demand skepticism. What Trump does will probably be a great deal more important than what according to him. The flag-waving chapters of the British press have cheered Trump’s decision an extra shot a bust of Winston Churchill into the Oval Office, but that type of symbolism is reasonable, simple near meaningless.

    Maybe, just maybe, Trump will be aware that even he needs friends, and therefore perhaps no country is better placed to assist an inexperienced U.S. president than America’s old wartime ally. Obama reportedly advised May to carefully educate the fresh president from the methods for the entire world, as well as Trump will listen. For May, that strategy carries unmistakable echoes of former Pm Harold Macmillan’s assertion that “These Americans represent the latest Roman empire, and that we Britons, such as the Greeks of old, must teach them steps to make it go.” That is as patronizing as it was delusional; May must avoid the same mistake of overestimating Britain’s importance plus the Americans’ prefer to listen.

    Addressing congressional Republicans on Thursday, May flattered the wedding guests while lacing her remarks which includes a considerable way of measuring self-delusion. “So since we rediscover our confidence together,” she said, “as you renew your nation equally as we renew ours, now we have the opportunity-indeed, the responsibility-to renew the special relationship in this modern age. We have the chance lead, together, again.” It truly is hard to read through this as anything apart from wistful pining for a world for many years gone, but remarkably the British government is very much taking the idea seriously.

    For a lot more than 60 years, the Anglo-American alliance has become the centerpiece of British foreign policy. And Friday’s meeting within the White House will definitely produce kind words and flattering headlines hailing a different era inside the so-called special relationship. Within the post-Brexit era, that relationship looms greater than ever. Britain cannot depart the Atlantic alliance, playing with the age of Trump, nor could we rely upon it.

    Alex Massie writes for the Spectator, the Times and other publications.

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    Cummings hospitalized as wife suspends campaign for governor

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    Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) is currently hospitalized after a task to drain an infection, three sources told POLITICO, the most up-to-date setback inside of a string of medical issues which have plagued the longtime lawmaker since a year ago.

    Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, a Democratic policy consultant, suspended her gubernatorial bid in Maryland on Friday, shortly before news surfaced that her husband is at the hospital.

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    Soon after POLITICO first reported his hospitalization, Cummings\’ office released an argument saying his health problems were associated with a bacterial infection in the knee.

    "Doctors drained the infection in the minor procedure today. He\’s resting comfortably and expects the full recovery," his office said Friday.

    Cummings was hospitalized and sidelined for a lot of months not too long ago due to heart issues.

    In a press release announcing wants to suspend her campaign, Rockeymoore Cummings cited personal issues but wouldn\’t elaborate.

    \”Making an attractive and direct contribution towards state of Maryland also to our nation was my greatest motivating factor for getting into the public arena. Unfortunately, caused by personal considerations, We\’re suspending my bid for governor of Maryland,\” she said within an email to supporters.

    Multiple sources said Rockeymoore Cummings\’ decision to leave out the race was linked to her husband\’s health concerns. Democratic aides said Cummings was moving slowly ahead of the Christmas break.

    Cummings, 66, was hospitalized last May after what his office described back then as a \”minimally invasive\” heart valve replacement. He was scheduled to revisit work after that but ended up missing many months a result of a post-op infection that kept him clear of Capitol Hill until September.

    Upon his return, Cummings was noticeably slimmer and said he\’d have got to sustain a stricter diet and acquire more sleep. But he brushed aside any notion that he or she wasn\’t competent to fully perform his job.

    Cummings has represented his hometown Baltimore inside your home since 1996. He or she is well-liked and revered among all parties, even while he\’s sparred with Republicans over contentious issues for the reason that top Democrat over the House Oversight Committee.

    Rockeymoore Cummings was one among nine Democrats vying to unseat Republican Gov. Larry Hogan. She was endorsed by EMILY\’s List after she jumped within the race in October. But Rep. Cummings was the gubernatorial candidate\’s biggest single surrogate both publicly plus regards to fundraising. The congressman was listed as being a headliner a great upcoming fundraiser for Rockeymoore Cummings on Sunday.

    Despite the support with the prominent Democratic congressman, Rockeymoore Cummings wasn\’t the irrefutable front-runner however. At the beginning of polling of your Democratic primary, she trailed candidates including former NAACP President Ben Jealous and Prince George\’s County Executive Rushern Baker.

    Despite a considerable primary as well as general Democratic lean of Maryland, Democrats aren\’t as optimistic about unseating Hogan as they are about beating incumbent Republicans in states like Illinois, Boise state broncos, or Maine. That\’s largely because Hogan is popular: An October poll by Morning Consult listed him for the reason that governor while using the second-highest approval near your vicinity, behind only Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker.

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    GOP senators recommend FBI probe of Trump 'dossier' author Steele

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    Two Republican senators have recommended which the FBI pursue a criminal investigation against Christopher Steele – this writer of the disputed Trump-Russia dossier – for the purpose they described as evidence that they made false statements to federal investigators.

    "I cannot take lightly generating a referral for criminal investigation. But, because would with any credible proof a criminal offense unearthed while in our investigations, I\’m obliged to secure that information along on the Justice Department for appropriate review,\” Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley said in the joint statement with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).

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    The senators did not provide public evidence to substantiate their request, nevertheless they noted they sent a "classified memorandum" to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray containing the foundation within their request.

    The request isn\’t going to measure the validity of your Steele dossier, nor can it constitute a criminal allegation. "The referral is made for further investigation only," according to the statement.

    Even so, Democrats quickly responded in anger.

    "I wasn\’t consulted concerning this referral nor were all of my Democratic colleagues," said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the highest Democrat on Grassley\’s committee. "I do believe this referral is unfortunate since it\’s clearly another effort to deflect attention from what medicine committee\’s main concern: determining whether there is collusion regarding the Trump campaign and Russia to steer the election and whether there were subsequent obstruction of justice."

    One congressional aide, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the choice by Grassley and Graham to mention Steele towards Justice Department raises an obvious anomaly.

    "These are speaking about DOJ a justice based upon documents DOJ gave them and according to witness testimony into the DOJ," the aide said.

    Steele, an old British intelligence officer, was commissioned in 2016 by research firm Fusion GPS to research President Donald Trump\’s ties to Russia. The dossier he produced, which Trump has derided as fiction, describes a lot of illicit connections between Trump, his business and also the Kremlin.

    Republicans have persistently questioned how the FBI handled the dossier after receiving it in the 2016 campaign, including whether or not it formed the foundation of your surveillance warrant against a Trump campaign associate and whether the FBI independently verified any kind of Steele\’s information.

    Republicans in addition sounded the alarm over reports that Fusion was paid by the Clinton campaign for Steele\’s research, suggesting that Steele\’s work was the merchandise of your partisan smear effort.

    The two senators claim in their letter to obtain seen proof "potential violations" by Steele on the law prohibiting false statements to government officials. These potential violations, they assert, occurred "regarding his distribution of information contained in the dossier."

    Their letter was copied to Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the highest Democrat to the Judiciary Committee, and Sens. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.), the most notable lawmakers for the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Reps. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the top part lawmakers on the House Intelligence ommittee.

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    DOJ clash with Trump allies hits Ryan's doorstep

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    The two sources told POLITICO there was an endeavor by Ryan and DOJ leaders to reduce the temperature newest hostilities between the Justice Department and Trump allies in Congress. That group of House Republicans has railed against the department\’s leadership amid partisan questions its handling with the investigation into Trump campaign ties to Russia. Nunes had even threatened contempt citations against DOJ and FBI leaders should they failed to comply with his request.

    Still, this probably is not the end of it for Ryan. There are signs that Wednesday\’s agreement won\’t placate the GOP lawmakers most hostile toward the Justice Department. And therefore the speaker will probably be in the heart of ongoing run-ins between some of his hard-line members as well as DOJ as they quite simply fight over the definition of typically closely guarded documents – from surveillance warrants to evidence connected with ongoing investigations.

    Indeed, Ryan\’s attempt to help broker a truce suggests he\’ll be a central figure in resolving disputes that Democrats and several Republicans fear could erode public confidence inside justice system.

    On Thursday morning, just hours after the tentative détente, Reps. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) requested Attorney General Jeff Sessions to be replaced unless he exerts with additional control in the FBI and produces documents Congress have been requesting.

    "It\’s time for Sessions to get started managing from a spirit of transparency to give doing this improper behavior to light and stop further violations," they wrote within a op-ed within the Washington Examiner.

    Though Ryan hasn\’t waded publicly into these fights, multiple GOP lawmakers repeat the speaker\’s attitude may be consistent: He firmly believes during the House\’s authority to conduct oversight with the Department of Justice and FBI.

    "Is know for Representatives carries a constitutional duty to workout oversight from the executive branch," said the spokeswoman, AshLee Strong. "The speaker always expects the administration to observe the House\’s oversight requests, and then he will support his chairmen when they get them to be."

    Rosenstein and Wray "wasted a visit to the Capitol," said one Republican lawmaker near the speaker. "Once Paul assures himself that this request is legitimate and there\’s grounds for it, he always backs the chairperson who requires it."

    Democrats have declared that the GOP attacks to the Justice Department – and Special Counsel Robert Mueller for example – really are a cynical try to protect Trump as investigations of his campaign\’s ties to Russia encroached upon his group of friends. The document requests and claims of bias, they\’ve argued, are aimed towards delegitimizing your research.

    Republican lawmakers themselves are divided about precisely how harsh an approach to take toward the FBI and Justice Department. But in interviews, some House lawmakers say Ryan has come across a unifying theme throughout the conference: transparency.

    "Paul Ryan can be an institutionalist," said Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), who\’s been being among the most aggressive critics of Justice Department leaders\’ handling of the Trump-Russia probe. "I really believe he shares our frustration using the loss of responsiveness."

    "Perhaps we have seen several different camps regarding how aggressive people must be … but those camps are typical coming together with one singular focus, which will come down on the medial side of needing more documents, more transparency," added another GOP lawmaker who requested anonymity to characterize conversations with colleagues.

    "I do believe there was clearly lots of division earlier, even so the more the GOP members uncover … greater careers aligning of investigative strategies and tactics," the lawmaker said.

    Ryan states little publicly over the matter since October, as he chided DOJ due to its refusal to cooperate with congressional investigators demanding more info about how exactly the FBI handled its Trump-Russia investigation.

    "As soon as the executive branch, in this situation, the FBI as well as DOJ are stonewalling or foot-dragging, making it harder for us to accomplish our obligation of conducting oversight about the executive branch," he vented within an interview with Reuters back then.

    Since then, some Trump loyalists inside the house have ratcheted up their complaints. First, they took concentrate on Mueller, who was simply tapped by Rosenstein in May to oversee the Trump-Russia investigation after the president fired FBI Director James Comey. Mueller\’s team, they complained, included officials who had donated to Democrats, they can said raised the specter of bias.

    That group of Republicans close with Trump – including Gaetz, Jordan, Meadows and Ron DeSantis – also pounced on reports that Mueller had removed a highly regarded agent from his team in July after learning of a few texting criticizing Trump that he had provided for a colleague.

    At once, even more traditional Republicans over the intelligence, judiciary and oversight panels also began more quietly question the FBI\’s tactics inside the Russia probe, though failed to allege bias or corruption necessarily. Recently, POLITICO also reported that Nunes and various Republicans about the House intelligence committee ended up perfecting a probe they assert could spotlight wrongdoing by top officials inside FBI.

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