By Robert A. Vella
President Trump fired the DHS Secretary yesterday because she apparently wasn’t enough of a Nazi on immigration for his tastes. Authoritarian white supremacists are like that, I suppose. Meanwhile, his administration has declared a military branch of a foreign government as a “terrorist organization” in an unprecedented move to provoke one of his many bogeymen (Iran) and to curry favor with his few international friends (Saudi Arabia) who all happen to be dictators (not coincidentally). And, speaking of the journalist-assassinating Saudis, Trump’s plan to give them nuclear technology is now being investigated by a government watchdog agency. In Libya, Trump’s troops have fled the country because it is getting too hot for them there; although, I have to cut him a little slack because the terrible crisis in that North African nation is more attributable to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton than to the megalomaniacal orange pestilence infecting the White House. Finally, Trump’s retribution against journalists continues even though he hasn’t had one assassinated yet (as far as we know) like Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman did.
Trump fires DHS chief
WASHINGTON — Kirstjen Nielsen, the homeland security secretary, resigned on Sunday after meeting with President Trump, ending a tumultuous tenure in charge of the border security agency that had made her the target of the president’s criticism.
Ms. Nielsen had requested the meeting to plan “a way forward” at the border, in part thinking she could have a reasoned conversation with Mr. Trump about the role, according to three people familiar with the meeting. She came prepared with a list of things that needed to change to improve the relationship with the president.
Mr. Trump in recent weeks had asked Ms. Nielsen to close the ports of entry along the border and to stop accepting asylum seekers, which Ms. Nielsen found ineffective and inappropriate. While the 30-minute meeting was cordial, Mr. Trump was determined to ask for her resignation. After the meeting, she submitted it.
The move comes just two days after Mr. Trump, who has repeatedly expressed anger at a rise in migrants at the southwestern border, withdrew his nominee to run Immigration and Customs Enforcement because he wanted the agency to go in a “tougher” direction.
President Donald Trump has for months urged his administration to reinstate large-scale separation of migrant families crossing the border, according to three U.S. officials with knowledge of meetings at the White House.
Kirstjen Nielsen, Trump’s outgoing Homeland Security Secretary, resisted, setting her at odds with the president.
According to two of the sources, Nielsen told Trump that federal court orders prohibited the Department of Homeland Security from reinstating the policy and that he would be reversing his own executive order from June that ended family separation.
Related story from: Motel 6 will pay $12M after sharing guest info with ICE, official says
Motel 6 agreed to pay $12 million to settle a lawsuit that accused several Washington state locations of sharing personal guest information with U.S. immigration officials.
The budget motel operator illegally shared the personal information of about 80,000 customers for more than two years, resulting in a “targeted” ICE investigation into guests with Latino-sounding names, the Washington state attorney general’s office announced Thursday.
The office said operators at seven Washington locations had voluntarily shared their guest lists with ICE agents between February 2015 and September 2017, without requiring a warrant.
Trump provokes Iran
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump announced Monday that the U.S. is designating Iran’s Revolutionary Guard a “foreign terrorist organization,” in an effort to increase pressure on the country that could have significant diplomatic implications in the Middle East.
It is the first time that the U.S. has designated a part of another government as a terrorist organization.
Trump’s troops flee Libya
The U.S. pulled a contingent of troops from Libya over the weekend amid rising violence in the capital city of Tripoli, America’s top commander for Africa said.
Tensions in the country have risen since rogue Libyan military commander, Gen. Khalifa Haftar, ordered his forces to attack the government in Tripoli.
Haftar’s attempt to seize power come as the nation continues to be in disarray since former dictator Muammar Qaddafi was deposed in 2011.
Trump’s nuke deal is probed
One of the government’s top investigative agencies has looked at allegations of potential wrongdoing by individuals in the Trump administration about their planning of a nuclear deal with Saudi Arabia, according to two individuals with knowledge of the probe.
The line of inquiry is part of a broader investigation in the Office of the Special Counsel—an independent federal investigative and prosecutorial agency—into alleged politically motivated personnel decisions at government offices.
The OSC, which can seek corrective and disciplinary action, is looking at whether officials were retaliated against for raising concerns about the administration’s work related to a Saudi nuclear deal. As part of that investigation, OSC has also reviewed allegations about potentially improper dealings by senior members of the Trump administration in their attempt to map out a nuclear deal with Riyadh, according to two sources with knowledge of OSC’s work.
Trump retaliates against journalist
When Jessikka Aro found out that she was receiving one of the State Department’s International Women of Courage Awards, the Helsinki-based journalist “was just so happy,” she said.
She has suffered harassment and cyberattacks since she started reporting on Russian propaganda activities in 2014. US embassy officials in Helsinki asked her last October if she would accept a nomination for the award.
In the weeks leading up to the March 7 ceremony in Washington, Aro’s award was rescinded.
Foreign Policy magazine, which broke the story about Aro, quoted sources who said she was nixed because she repeatedly criticized President Donald Trump on Twitter.