foreign-policy

Why Is Eliot Engel a Rock Star in Kosovo?
New York Democrat has his name on street signs and his image on a stamp

New York Rep. Eliot L. Engel was recently honored by the Kosovo government with his image on a stamp. (Courtesy Engel's office)

When Rep. Eliot L. Engel walks down the street in the tiny Balkan republic of Kosovo, he often gets the celebrity treatment.  

“I became very well-known in the country because people saw me on TV, were told what I was doing in Washington,” the New York Democrat said. “Today … it’s not uncommon for people to stop me in the streets and ask to take pictures with me.”

Trump’s Jerusalem Decision Called ‘Provocative,’ Counterproductive
‘He’s undercutting his own efforts at peacemaking,’ Rep. Welch says

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a joint statement in May with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin. On Wednesday, Trump announced he is moving the American embassy to Jerusalem despite Muslim allies urging him against it. (Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images file photo)

President Donald Trump says his decision to buck the advice of America’s closest Muslim allies and recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is part of a broader strategy shift needed to produce a Middle East peace pact. But some lawmakers and experts argue the president has unnecessarily undercut himself.

Trump on Wednesday formally announced he will abide by a 1995 U.S. law and move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and recognize that city as the country’s official capital. He noted that for the last 22 years, his predecessors have — despite some campaign-trail pledges to the contrary — exercised a waiver in that law to keep the embassy in Tel Aviv.

On Jerusalem, Trump Will Finally Enact Whims of Congress
Past presidents have resisted Congress on formal Israeli capital, embassy location

President Donald Trump on Wednesday will announce that he is reversing a decades-old U.S. policy by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. (Wikimedia Commons)

President Donald Trump is poised to enact a law Congress passed two decades ago by ordering the U.S. embassy be moved to Jerusalem, and answer a bipartisan call by recognizing the city as Israel's capital.

Like Trump, previous presidents promised to make the same decision prior to being elected. But once in office and confronted with responsibility for the inevitable fallout in the long-volatile Middle East, each one has opted instead to exercise a waiver built into the 1995 law to delay the embassy’s relocation to the city, which is important to the Jewish, Islamic and Christian faiths.

Rohrabacher to Testify About Assange Meeting Before House Select Intelligence
California Republican maintains Russians were not responsible for 2016 DNC email hack

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., arrives for the House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on "An Insider’s Look at the North Korean Regime" on Nov. 1. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher will testify before the House Select Intelligence Committee later this month about his August meeting with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in which the two discussed who stole Democratic National Committee emails leading up to the 2016 elections.

The Russian government directed the email heist, U.S. intelligence officials have alleged. Rohrabacher has urged since his meeting with Assange that these allegations are not true. The California Republican has been criticized sharply for his perceived defense of the Russian government, and he sees his impending testimony as a chance to prove his intentions are pure.

As Crunch Time Approaches, More Rumbling About Trump Behavior
Many members taken aback by a chaotic 48 hours last week

President Donald Trump speaks to reporters at the White House on Sept. 27. A recent 48-hour period last week, which was chaotic even by Trump's standards, has lawmakers newly concerned about his mindset. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images file photo)

Several veteran Democratic lawmakers were flabbergasted last week by 48 hours that were among the wildest so far of Donald Trump’s presidency. And in private conversations, they say many of their Republican colleagues share similar concerns.

Trump appears to embrace a certain amount of chaos. After all, it generates media coverage — and the president is a voracious consumer of cable television and print news. But the 48 hours between last Tuesday and Thursday caused a spike in concerns among longtime Democratic members about Trump’s mindset and competence.

Podcast: The Consequences of Dismantling America's Diplomatic Corps
The Week Ahead, Episode 81

Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson arrives for his confirmation hearing. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

White House Lawyer Tries to Distance Trump From Flynn
Cobb notes twice-fired general was national security adviser for just ‘25 days’

President Donald Trump speaks on the phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Oval Office of the White House, January 28, 2017 in Washington, DC. Also pictured, from left, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Vice President Mike Pence, White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, Press Secretary Sean Spicer and National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The White House tried to put distance between President Donald Trump and Michael Flynn, a former member of his inner circle who pleaded guilty Friday to a charge in the Justice Department’s Russia probe.

In a statement released after Trump’s first national security adviser entered his plea in an Alexandria, Virginia, courtroom, White House legal counsel Ty Cobb tried to paint Flynn has a short-timer in the president’s roster of aides and confidants — both on the campaign trail and after he joined Trump in the West Wing.

White House Won't Discuss Tillerson's Future Beyond Year's End
Trump 'seems to take step after step to undercut diplomacy,' Sen. Kaine says

Then-Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson arrives for his Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing earlier this year. The panel could soon be holding another such hearing. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The White House that routinely labels as fake any news it does not like is studiously withholding such phraseology when it comes to media reports that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is a short-timer. 

White House officials have developed plans to replace the long-embattled Tillerson, who fell out of favor with the president months ago, with CIA Director Mike Pompeo, according to The New York Times. Arkansas Republican Sen. Tom Cotton would move into Pompeo’s position, the news outlet reported, citing senior administration officials.

Trump Executive Actions a ‘Disruptive’ Lot
Full effects of president’s unilateral moves still years away, experts say

President Donald Trump after signing an executive order Oct. 12 targeting the 2010 health care law. Experts and lawmakers say his executive actions are among the most “disruptive” of any president. (Alex Wong/Getty Images file photo)

The executive actions President Donald Trump has signed have the potential to be among the most “aggressive” and “disruptive” ever issued by a chief executive, according to lawmakers and experts.

Trump and his top aides often describe his use of executive orders, actions and memoranda as the president using his constitutional authorities to “put America first” and plot a policy course to benefit the country’s forgotten men and women. Both were major themes of his 2016 campaign.

Trump Retweets Anti-Muslim Tweets by British Far-Right Leader
President’s unconventional messaging again obscures tax bill push

President Donald Trump arrives with Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., left, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., for Tuesday’s Republican Senate policy lunch in the Capitol. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated at 8:19 a.m. | President Donald Trump continued his unconventional “tax week” messaging Wednesday morning by retweeting anti-Muslim social media posts by a far-right British political figure.

Hours before the president is slated to leave the White House for a major speech in Missouri promoting the Senate GOP tax bill — and likely targeting vulnerable Show Me State Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill over her opposition to it — the president shared a series of tweets from Jayda Fransen, the deputy leader of the Britain First movement.