Trump aims tweet at LeBron James, questions his intelligence

UNTV News   •   August 6, 2018   •   2504

FILE PHOTOS: USA President Donald Trump and NBA player Lebron James (REUTERS)

To the sporting world and largely beyond, he’s King James, but to President Trump, LeBron James is no intellectual genius.

In a tweet, Trump took aim at two of his regular critics, James and cable TV news personality Don Lemon. His tweet called Lemon the “the dumbest man on television,” and then said Lemon “made LeBron look smart, which isn’t easy to do.”

Trump finished the tweet with “I like Mike!” an apparent reference to favoring NBA legend Michael Jordan in a comparison with James as perhaps the best NBA player ever.

James — who last month announced his decision to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers for a second time, this time to come to Los Angeles and play for the Lakers — gave an interview with Lemon on Monday, in large part to tout a new elementary school in his hometown of Akron, Ohio.

The school, which is a joint effort of the LeBron James Family Foundation and Akron Public Schools, will benefit at-risk children.

During the sit-down, James spoke of sports as something that unites people, and added that the president was “using sports to kinda divide us.”

Trump has repeatedly and strongly criticized the NFL in particular for not punishing players who kneel during the national anthem in a form of protest.

“Sports has never been something that divides people,” James said during the interview. “It’s always been something that brings someone together.”

James has previously criticized Trump on several occasions, publicly supporting Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton before the 2016 election and calling Trump a “bum” in September 2017, after the president rescinded an invitation to the Golden State Warriors to visit the White House after winning the NBA title.

“Going to the White House was a great honor until you showed up!” James tweeted at the time.

Trump’s first comments about the NFL and players who protest during the anthem came later that month.

—Field Level Media

Republicans set rules for Trump’s impeachment trial in early morning vote

UNTV News   •   January 22, 2020

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (L) leaves the Senate floor during a dinner recess in the impeachment trial at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, USA, 21 January 2020. EPA-EFE/SHAWN THEW

Washington – The United States Senate in the early hours of Wednesday approved the ground rules for the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, after a 13-hour debate in which all amendments proposed by the Democrats were rejected by the Republican majority.

The rules resolution, which passed with 53-47 votes in favor, stipulates that both the House impeachment managers and Trump’s defense teams will get 24 hours spread over three days to make their arguments, a process which is set to start on Wednesday at noon.

After the six days, the Senate will open a question-and-answer session, and then discuss whether to extend the trial with witnesses called to testify — as demanded by the Democrats — or if the trial will be swiftly wrapped up in favor of the president.

Tuesday’s debate showed the unity of the Republican bloc, which has a majority in the Upper House, although it only needs one-third of the votes to absolve Trump over charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, pressed by the Democrats in relation to his alleged pressure tactics against Ukraine.

While the Republicans had been seeking a rapid trial from the beginning, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer employed a delay strategy, introducing around a dozen amendments in the rules resolution, with the debate stretching for 13 hours.

The rules were finally approved around 2 am, after the House rejected all the amendments, which sought to subpoena witnesses such as former national security advisor John Bolton and White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, along with documents from the Pentagon and the Department of State.

Only one of the amendments received a favorable Republican vote — from Senator Susan Collins, who has supported fulfilling some of the Democrats’ demands for the trial. The amendment was ultimately rejected.

Tuesday’s debate could be an early indication of a trend that could be repeated throughout the trial, a process which would be steered by Trump’s party and looks set to end in his acquittal, unless a dramatic and improbable change in public support for impeachment forces some Republican senators to switch sides.

The impeachment proceedings are based on allegations that the president abused his power by pressuring Ukraine to investigate former vice president Joe Biden, a possible rival in the 2020 presidential elections, and his son.

The Democratic opposition says it has evidence Trump pressed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to announce a bogus Biden corruption investigation while withholding some $400 million in military aid, and that he obstructed Congress by refusing to release any documents related to — or allow any White House officials to testify on — the matter. EFE-EPA

at/ia/tw

Trump’s defense team asks Senate to speedily reject impeachment case

UNTV News   •   January 21, 2020

US President Donald Trump. EFE-EPA/Jim Lo Scalzo/File

By Susana Samhan

Washington –
Defense attorneys for President Donald Trump on Monday called on the Republican-controlled Senate to “speedily reject” the impeachment case against him, scheduled to begin on Tuesday, and called the Democrats’ investigation of the president “rigged.”

The president’s lawyers had until noon on Monday to present in writing their arguments in defending Trump, after Democratic lawmakers who will be the “managers” of the impeachment case formally expressed their point of view in a similar document last Saturday.

Trump’s lawyers said in their memo released by the White House on Monday that House Democrats during the impeachment inquiry last fall were trying “to corrupt the extraordinary power of impeachment for use as a political tool to overturn the result of the 2016 election and to interfere in the 2020 election.”

“All of that is a dangerous perversion of the Constitution that the Senate should swiftly and roundly condemn,” wrote lead attorney and White House counsel Pat Cipollone. “The Articles themselves – and the rigged process that brought them here – are a brazenly political act by House Democrats that must be rejected.”

In a telephone press conference before the delivery and release of the document, sources working with Trump’s defense team and requesting anonymity refused to clarify if the request for a “speedy” rejection of the two impeachment articles filed against him will include a motion to demand that the Senate simply dismiss the charges.

The source said that they were not going to discuss details about what the defense strategy will be when the trial commences, saying only that neither of the two articles is legitimate because they do not specify that the president broke the law.

In the 171-page document, the legal team focuses more on claiming that the impeachment articles – for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress – are invalid than in denying that Trump illegally pressured Ukraine to launch an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden with an eye toward influencing the 2020 presidential election, in which the former VP is a top Democratic contender.

The attorneys called the charges shaky since they do not specify any crime, despite the fact that many legal scholars assert that a president does not have to break the law to commit an impeachable offense.

During their September-December impeachment investigation, House Democrats say they found ample evidence that Trump abused his power by pressuring Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to announce a bogus Biden corruption investigation while withholding some $400 million in military aid and that he obstructed Congress by refusing to release any documents related to – or allow any White House officials to testify on – the matter.

The two impeachment articles against Trump were approved along party lines in December by the House, but Speaker Nancy Pelosi withheld delivering them to the GOP-led Senate for weeks, during which time additional evidence of administration wrongdoing emerged.

On Saturday, the seven House managers who will prosecute the Democratic case against Trump in the Senate, filed a brief with the upper house saying that the president’s actions constituted “the Framers’ worst nightmare” and his behavior presents a “danger to our democratic processes.”

The president’s defense team includes Cipollone and Jay Sekulow, along with Ken Starr, Alan Dershowitz, Pam Bondi, Jane Raskin, Eric Herschmann and Robert Ray.

Trump is just the third US president to be impeached after Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998, both of whom were acquitted in the Senate. Richard Nixon resigned before he could be impeached in 1974.

The president will not be in Washington, at least for the start of the trial on Tuesday, because he is scheduled to travel to Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum.

Trump invites Duterte, other ASEAN leaders for March Summit

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 20, 2020

ASEAN Summit and Related Meetings in Manila epa06325844 US President Donald J. Trump (L) talks to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (R) before the opening ceremony of the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Manila, Philippines,13 November 2017. The Philippines is hosting the 31st ASEAN Summit and Related Meetings from 10 to 14 November. EPA-EFE/MARK R. CRISTINO / POOL

United States (US) President Donald Trump has invited President Rodrigo Duterte and nine other leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) for the US-ASEAN Summit in March.

Trump previously invited the ASEAN leaders on November 1, 2019 and reiterated his invitation on January 9, 2020.

“This will provide an excellent opportunity for us to broaden and deepen our cooperation on matters of great importance to the nearly one billion people in the United States and ASEAN nations that we have the privilege to represent,” Trump said in his invitation.

However, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said there is still no official response on whether President Duterte will accept the invitation of the US president.—AAC

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