foreign-policy

Justice Department Issues Indictment for 2013 Congressional Trip to Azerbaijan
Feds allege nonprofit concealed that trip was funded by foreign government

A 2013 congressional delegation trip to Azerbaijan has resulted in an indictment being handed down to the head of the nonprofit, whom the government alleges concealed the source of funding for the journey. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Justice Department has issued an indictment of former non-profit head Kevin Oksuz for his role in a plot to hide the fact that a 2013 congressional delegation trip to Azerbaijan was funded by that country’s government.

According to the indictment, which was unsealed Monday, Kevin, also known as Kemal, Oksuz allegedly lied on disclosure forms filed with the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ethics prior to, and following, a privately sponsored congressional trip to Azerbaijan. Oksuz ran a Houston based nonprofit that he is accused of using to funnel money to fund the congressional trip from an oil company controlled by the Azerbaijan government.

Thursday Could Be Most Consequential Day of Trump’s Tumultuous Tenure
Kavanaugh and accuser face senators as president meets with Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein

President Donald Trump speaks at the United Nations on Monday. When he returns to Washington, a big day awaits him on Thursday. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

ANALYSIS — Circumstance, confusion and chaos have collided to ensure Thursday will be one of the most consequential — and perhaps the most by a wide margin — days of the tumultuous Trump presidency.

Washington has rarely seen the kind of spectacle ahead in just a few days, and the inevitable ramifications will trigger ripple waves that will be immediately apparent but not fully known until voters head to the ballot box on Nov. 6. For President Donald Trump, the already high stakes seem to only grow by the day.

Despite New Tariffs, China Still Not Budging on Trade Tactics, White House Says
Senior official indicates Canada no closer to joining Mexico trade deal than it was when talks started

U.S. and Chinese flags on a table where military leaders from the two countries met in 2014. Four year later, the economic giants are in the midst of a bitter trade dispute. Depsite President Trump’s tariff's little progress has been made, an official said Friday. (U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. Mikki L. Sprenkle)

The Trump administration is not aiming to “cleve off” the U.S. economy from China’s, but it intends to continue pressuring the Asian giant even though tough moves like repeated rounds of tariffs have yet to bring the fundamental changes President Donald Trump is demanding.

“Our goal is not to totally divorce our economies from each other,” said a senior official who briefed reporters Friday at the White House about trade matters. “Our goal is for China to stop behaving unfairly.”

‘Fort Trump’: How Poland’s President Took Flattery to New Heights
U.S. president utters rare public criticism of Russia after months of GOP unease

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump with Polish President Andrzej Duda and his wife, Agata Kornhauser-Duda, on Tuesday in the Oval Office two hours before Duda proposed building a “Fort Trump” in his country. (Official White House Photo Joyce N. Boghosian via Flickr)

Trump Tower, Trump Hotel, Trump University, Trump ties ... Fort Trump?

Sure — if the president’s Polish counterpart gets his wish.

Scalise Tells Canada Time Is Running Out to Join NAFTA Update
Trade negotiations with Ottawa remain ongoing despite pressure from Trump administration

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise wants Canada to quickly wrap up NAFTA talks. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

A top House Republican leader warned Canada on Tuesday that his chamber will move ahead with a review and vote on a U.S.-Mexico trade agreement in principle without Canada if Ottawa doesn’t quickly wrap up NAFTA talks.

“Members are concerned that Canada does not seem to be ready or willing to make the concessions that are necessary for a fair and high-standard agreement,” Majority Whip Steve Scalise said in a statement.

China Slapped Again by Trump with Tariffs
President promises additional action if China retaliates

President Donald Trump is hitting China again with tariffs. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The White House announced it is slapping tariffs of 10 percent on $200 billion in Chinese goods as tensions between the two economic giants rise.

“On January 1, the tariffs will rise to 25 percent,” President Donald Trump said in a statement. “Further, if China takes retaliatory action against our farmers or other industries, we will immediately pursue phase three, which is tariffs on approximately $267 billion of additional imports.”

Trump Skips Usual Fanfare, Privately Signs Election Meddling Order
Obama White House aide on intended message: ‘Please don’t pay attention to this’

President Donald Trump walks from the West Wing to Marine One on his way to Joint Base Andrews Friday July 20, 2018. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Donald Trump’s top national security adviser said the president signed an executive order this week on election meddling to show he has “taken command” of the matter. But this time, the White House broke from its practice of using such directives to make a public splash, instead keeping the event from the public and press.

The president himself has frequently called for reporters and photographers to be allowed into events he thinks will help his media narrative — even when his public schedule did not call for journalists in the room. This time, on the morning of the signing, his public schedule was empty until an 11:30 a.m. intelligence briefing.

Irony Alert: Trump Shares PSA Warning Against Spreading ‘False Information’
President attacks John Kerry Thursday night, starts Friday with string of hurricane warnings

President Trump is briefed earlier this week in the Oval Office as Hurricane Florence was poised to hammer the Carolinas. (White House photo via Flickr)

ANALYSIS — President Donald Trump, just one day after even Republicans criticized him for claiming nearly 3,000 people did not die last year in Puerto Rico due to two powerful hurricanes, shared a FEMA tweet warning against spreading false information.

Trump ended Thursday evening — as Hurricane Florence began bearing down on the North Carolina coast — by slamming former Secretary of State John Kerry, the longtime senator and failed 2004 Democratic presidential nominee who might be eyeing a 2020 run. He started Friday — with Florence dumping rainfall measured in feet as it made landfall in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina — with a series of tweets urging people in the storm’s path to take steps to remain safe.

Trump Signs Election Meddling Order, But No Mention of Russia
White House says they will keep talking to lawmakers as Senate bill lingers

Voting signs at One Judiciary Square in Washington in 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump signed an executive order aimed at punishing foreign actors that interfere with U.S. elections, senior administration officials said Wednesday.

National security adviser John Bolton said Trump and his team decided to move ahead with the order to show he has “taken control” of efforts to prevent, stop and punish election meddling like that conducted by Russia in 2016. Though there is a bipartisan Senate bill focused on combating meddling, the administration moved the order now to put a “mechanism” in place that marshals all federal efforts under Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats.

On Typically Unifying 9/11, Trump Attacks His Domestic Foes
On somber anniversary, president dubs DOJ, FBI ’so terrible‘

President Donald Trump began the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks by lashing out at his own political foes. (Getty Images)

Wreaths were laid and bells tolled Tuesday for the fallen in Manhattan, at the Pentagon and in a field in Pennsylvania. Officials spoke, as did Vice President Mike Pence, about “honor and remembrance.” But President Donald Trump started off the 9/11 anniversary by lashing out at his political opponents.

“For the families of the fallen and all those looking on, the cherished final moments with your loved ones … seem like yesterday. Just know that your nation understands,” Pence said at the Pentagon, striking the tone George W. Bush and Barack Obama administration officials did on Sept. 11 anniversaries past.