Categories for State

27,235. 8/6/2019

IMMIGRATION/MEXICO/STATE/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “The number of Mexicans refused immigrant visas to the U.S. because they might become dependent on government benefits skyrocketed under President Donald Trump, according to State Department data obtained by POLITICO. Between Oct. 1 and July 29, the State Department denied 5,343 immigrant visa applications for Mexican nationals on the grounds that the applicants were so poor or infirm that they risked becoming a ‘public charge,’ according to the statistics. That’s up from just seven denials for Mexican applicants in fiscal year 2016, the last full year under former President Barack Obama. The number of public charge denials for applicants from all nations also rose during the past year. Preliminary data obtained by POLITICO shows 12,179 visa rejections on public charge grounds through July 29 — which puts the department on pace to surpass last year’s total. The State Department disqualified only 1,033 people on public charge grounds in fiscal 2016.”

Ted Hesson, “Exclusive: Visa denials to poor Mexicans skyrocket under Trump’s State Department,” Politico, August 6, 2019 6:09 pm

 

27,122. 8/1/2019

AFGHANISTAN/MILITARY/NATO/STATE/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/WAR: “The Trump administration is in the midst of carrying out a dramatic scaling back of the US embassy in Afghanistan, with the goal of cutting half of the embassy’s personnel by the end of September, according to five sources familiar with the matter. The diplomatic draw down comes as the US is hopeful that a peace deal will be reached with the Taliban that would pave the way to reduce the number of US troops in the country from approximately 14,000 to between 8,000 and 9,000 in the coming months, according to two sources familiar with the negotiations. The goal of the troop reduction had been relayed to the Afghan government by Gen. Scott Miller, the head of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, and US Special Eepresentative for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad. As part of the diplomatic scale back, the State Department is sending home diplomats from Kabul without replacements, cutting back on security personnel, closing some facilities and cancelling proposals to build additional structures like new apartments for embassy personnel.”

Kylie Atwood, “US scaling back Afghanistan embassy at crucial moment in peace talks,” CNN Politics, CNN.com, August 1, 2019 8:50 pm

26,562. 7/13/2019

STATE/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “RT @JudicialWatch: JW 60 Seconds: John Hackett, former Director of IPS, which handles records management at the State Dept, testified that…”

Donald Trump, Twitter.com, July 13, 2019 7:15 am

26,551. 7/13/2019

STATE/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “RT @JudicialWatch: BREAKING: John Hackett, former Director of IPS, which handles records management at the State Dept, testified that he ra…” 

Donald Trump, Twitter.com, July 13, 2019 6:49 am

26,250. 7/3/2019

HUMAN RIGHTS/LGBTQ/MINORITIES/STATE/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/TRUMP PEOPLE: “The Trump administration plans to officially launch a new panel on human rights as early as Monday [7-8-19]— one already under scrutiny from Democrats who fear its stated focus on ‘natural law and natural rights’ could undercut protections for women and LGBTQ people around the world. State Department officials are briefing officials in Washington this week on the unveiling of the ‘Commission on Unalienable Rights,’ a body with as many as 15 appointees who will offer advice on human rights policy to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. At least 10 of the people have been chosen so far, and their names are expected to be revealed at the launch, according to people familiar with the issue, who noted that the launch plans could still change. The panel was conceived with almost no input from the State Department’s human rights bureau, people familiar with the matter say, effectively sidelining career government experts who have focused on human rights policy and history across numerous administrations.”

Nahal Toosi, “Trump’s ‘natural law’ human rights panel readies for launch,” Politico, July 3, 2019 8:17 pm

25,828. 6/17/2019

HILLARY CLINTON/STATE/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Wow! The State Department said it has identified 30 Security Incidents involving current or former employees and their handling of Crooked Hillary Clinton’s Emails. @FoxNews This is really big. Never admitted before. Highly Classified Material. Will the Dems investigate this?” 

Donald Trump, Twitter.com, June 17, 2019 11:51 pm

25,693. 6/13/2019

IRAN/STATE/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “‘It is the assessment of the U.S. government that Iran is responsible for today’s attacks in the Gulf of Oman….’ @StateDept @SecPompeo https://t.co/sTIB0p1kCE

Donald Trump, Twitter.com, June 13, 2019 2:01 pm

25,644. 6/12/2019

ARMS-WEAPONS/HOUSE OF REPS/SAUDI ARABIA/STATE/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “A senior State Department official on Wednesday [6-12-19] defended the Trump administration’s use of an emergency declaration to push through arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, telling a hostile House committee that holding back the weapons would have offered an opening to commercial rivals in China and Russia. In a contentious hearing, lawmakers from both parties pressed R. Clarke Cooper, the assistant secretary of state in the bureau of political-military affairs, to detail when the administration first developed the plan to declare an emergency and sell weapons to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates against Congress’s will. Lawmakers are outraged by the decision by President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in late May to use a loophole in the Arms Export Control Act to push through more than $8 billion worth of weapons sales, almost all to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The two countries are leading an air war against rebels in Yemen that has resulted in a humanitarian disaster and thousands of civilian deaths, many of them children. In both chambers, bipartisan groups of lawmakers are already moving to block the sales, many of which Democrats had informally held up since last year.”

Catie Edmondson and Edward Wong, “State Department Defends Saudi Arms Sales Before Hostile House Panel,” The New York Times online, June 12, 2019

25,625. 6/11/2019

ARMS-WEAPONS/DEMS/LOBBYING/STATE/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Congressional Democrats are examining whether a former arms-industry lobbyist serving as a midlevel State Department official played a role in the Trump administration’s decision last month to sell weapons to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates without seeking legislative approval, lawmakers and current and former government officials said. A House committee plans to question a senior State Department official on Wednesday [6-12-19] over the sales, and in particular over the role of Charles Faulkner, who worked until recently in the department’s legislative affairs bureau, congressional aides said. Before joining the State Department, Mr. Faulkner worked for four years for a firm in Washington that lobbied for Raytheon Company, whose precision-guided bombs are a significant part of the arms packages to the gulf and had been blocked by Democratic lawmakers. Lawmakers from both parties are still furious at the decision by President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in late May to use a loophole in legislation to push through more than $8 billion worth of weapons sales, almost all to the gulf nations.”

Edward Wong and Catie Edmondson, “Democrats to Scrutinize Ex-Lobbyist’s Role in Trump’s Arms Sales to Gulf Nations,” The New York Times online, June 11, 2019

25,527. 6/7/2019

BORDER/MEXICO/STATE/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “….stem the tide of Migration through Mexico, and to our Southern Border. This is being done to greatly reduce, or eliminate, Illegal Immigration coming from Mexico and into the United States. Details of the agreement will be released shortly by the State Department. Thank you!”

Donald Trump, Twitter.com, June 7, 2019 7:31 pm

25,241. 5/23/2019

CONGRESS/GUNS/MIDDLE EAST/MIKE POMPEO/SAUDI ARABIA/STATE/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “The Trump administration is preparing to circumvent Congress to allow the export to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates of billions of dollars of munitions that are now on hold, according to current and former American officials and legislators familiar with the plan. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and some political appointees in the State Department are pushing for the administration to invoke an emergency provision that would allow President Trump to prevent Congress from halting the sales, worth about $7 billion. The transactions, which include precision-guided munitions and combat aircraft, would infuriate lawmakers in both parties. They would also further inflame tensions between the United States and Iran, which views Saudi Arabia as its main rival and has been supporting the Houthi rebels in Yemen in their campaign against a Saudi-led military coalition that includes the United Arab Emirates.

Edward Wong, Catie Edmondson and Eric Schmitt, “Trump Officials Prepare to Bypass Congress to Sell Weapons to Gulf Nations,” The New York Times online, May 23, 2019

25,140. 5/17/2019

CITIZENSHIP/LGBTQ/STATE/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Roee and Adiel Kiviti have been married almost six years and live in the United States. They are both American citizens, as is their 2-year-old son, Lev. However, they say their infant daughter, Kessem, has been denied birthright citizenship under a State Department policy that considers her ‘born out of wedlock’ — and they’re not the first LGBT family to be affected by the policy under the Trump administration. Both children were born in Canada using an egg donor and a surrogate mother. The Kivitis told CNN’s Brianna Keilar that it was ‘a straightforward procedure’ to obtain Lev’s US passport. This was not the case when they sought to do the same for Kessem in early May…Roee and Adiel Kiviti have been married almost six years and live in the United States. They are both American citizens, as is their 2-year-old son, Lev. However, they say their infant daughter, Kessem, has been denied birthright citizenship under a State Department policy that considers her ‘born out of wedlock’ — and they’re not the first LGBT family to be affected by the policy under the Trump administration.”

Jennifer Hansler, “Trump admin is denying citizenship to some children of same-sex couples,” CNN Politics, CNN.com, May 17, 2019 3:09 am

25,057. 5/17/2019

FOREIGN POLICY/IRAN/OBAMA/STATE/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Pressed this week to define President Trump’s goals in escalating military and economic pressure on Iran, one of his top foreign policy aides ticked through a familiar list: End the country’s support for terrorism, stop its missile launches and then, most important, keep Iran more than a year away from the capability to build a nuclear weapon. The United States would insist on ‘zero enrichment for Iran,’ Brian H. Hook, the State Department’s special envoy for Iran, told a small group of reporters. That would assure Tehran could produce no new nuclear material, and thus never get closer to building a weapon than it is now. It was a telling moment in a strange, circular week of mutual threats and missed signals between bitter adversaries. Designing an agreement that would assure it would take Iran a year or more to ‘break out’ and make the fuel to build a bomb — giving the United States, Israel and others plenty of time to respond — was the driving force behind the 2015 nuclear deal that was negotiated under former President Barack Obama.”

David E. Sanger, “To Contain Iran, Trump’s Newest Line in the Sand Looks a Lot Like Obama’s,” The New York Times online, May 17, 2019

25,043. 5/16/2019

FOREIGN POLICY/INTELLIGENCE/IRAN/STATE/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Republican Sen. Jim Risch of Idaho, who chairs the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has been briefed by the Trump administration about the escalating tensions with Iran. But Democratic Rep. Eliot Engel of New York, the chairman of the equally powerful House Foreign Affairs Committee, had not as of Thursday [5-16-19] afternoon. Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, a freshman Republican who chairs a subcommittee of the Foreign Relations Committee, was briefed on the Iran situation about a week ago. But Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina — a veteran GOPer who sits on that same committee and chairs an appropriations subcommittee that oversees funding for the State Department — has not had his calls returned on the matter. As the Trump administration unevenly briefs some members — but not others — about a roiling situation that could lead the US into military conflict, some who are in the dark are left fuming.”

Manu Raju, “Administration’s uneven handling of Iran intelligence leaves some in Congress fuming,” CNN Politics, CNN.com, May 16, 2019 9:50 pm

25,005. 5/15/2019

IRAN/IRAQ/STATE/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “The State Department on Wednesday [5-15-19] ordered the evacuation of non-emergency staff from the U.S. Embassy in Iraq, a move that comes as the U.S. government has alluded to risks of an attack by the Islamic Republic or its proxies in the region. The Wednesday order follows a travel advisory posted on the embassy’s website Sunday [5-12-19] urging American citizens not to travel to Iraq and to remain vigilant. The department said in light of the heightened tensions, non-emergency staff at both the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and the U.S. Consulate in Erbil would be evacuated, adding that the government’s ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens there is ‘extremely limited.’ The State Department has also temporarily suspended normal visa services at both locations, Wednesday’s announcement said. Tensions with Tehran have heightened in recent weeks, with the U.S. adding additional sanctions targeting Iran in the wake of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s announcement that his nation would end its compliance with portions of a 2015 nuclear agreement unless the deal’s other signatories renegotiate. The U.S., which helped negotiate the deal under President Barack Obama, withdrew from it last year under President Donald Trump.”

Caitlin Oprysko, “Amid rising tension with Iran, non-emergency staff evacuates U.S. Embassy in Iraq,” Politico, May 15, 2019 8:02 am

24,914. 5/12/2019

DEMS/FBI/STATE/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “‘The Democrats have nothing. Just want to distract from this President. The FBI was not doing its job, the State Department was covering things up everyday for Hillary. At the end of the day they’re fearful of what they did, and should be fearful. This is a tough…..”

Donald Trump, Twitter.com, May 12, 2019 5:33 am

23,691. 4/3/2019

FOEIGN POLICY/MIKE POMPEO/STATE/TRUMP PEOPLE: “Secretary of State Mike Pompeo named former Fox News contributor Morgan Ortagus, a previous critic of President Donald Trump, as the new State Department spokesperson Wednesday [4-3-19]…Ortagus, a Navy reserve officer, was the anticipated pick for the job and has extensive foreign policy experience. But in 2016, she slammed then-candidate Trump for an ‘isolationist foreign policy approach’ and lambasted his mockery of the physically and mentally disabled as ‘disgusting,’ a CNN review found. With Wednesday’s announcement, it appears Ortagus is ready to join the Trump administration after turning down several opportunities to do so in the past, according to a source familiar. Her allies in the administration include several members of the Trump family, including senior adviser and daughter of the President Ivanka Trump, who Ortagus praised in an op-ed last week for her work on The Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also pushed for her hiring. And while she would replace another Fox News alum in former spokesperson Heather Nauert, allies emphasize that her foreign policy and communications experience significantly outweighs that of her predecessor.”

Zachary Cohen and Caroline Kelly, “Pompeo names Morgan Ortagus as State Department spokeswoman,” CNN Politics, CNN.com, April 3, 2019 8:20 pm

23,673. 4/2/2019

STATE/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/TRUMP PEOPLE: “Former Fox News contributor Morgan Ortagus, the expected pick to become the next State Department spokesperson, repeatedly criticized President Donald Trump during the 2016 Republican presidential primary, a CNN review found. Ortagus publicly lambasted then-candidate Trump over what she called his ‘isolationist foreign policy approach,’ and blasted behavior she qualified as ‘disgusting’ and ‘not serious.’ However, she quickly reinvented herself as a vocal Trump supporter after he secured the party’s nomination and has remained a key TV surrogate for the administration over the last two years. Ortagus would bring deep foreign policy experience to the job. While she is perhaps best known for her appearances on Fox News, the active Navy Reserve officer previously served as a Treasury Department intelligence analyst during the Obama administration and a spokesperson with the US Agency for International Development under President George W. Bush. That experience sets her apart from former spokesperson Heather Nauert in the high-profile State Department position, allies say.”

Zachary Cohen and Andrew Kaczynski, “She blasted Trump as ‘disgusting’ in 2016. Now she may join his administration.,” CNN Politics, CNN.com, April 2, 2019 10:53 pm

23,596. 3/29/2019

STATE/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/TRUMP PEOPLE: “A huge thanks to @HeatherNauert for serving America at the @StateDept. Great work! I’m proud to have you join the Fulbright board! https://t.co/oq0ZaA3MID 

Donald Trump, Twitter.com, March 29, 2019 10:26 pm

23,522. 3/27/2019

HUMAN RIGHTS/MIKE POMPEO/NORTH KOREA/STATE/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “A former State Department official turned congressman questioned Mike Pompeo on Kim Jong Un’s culpability for human rights violations, pressing the Secretary of State to answer how such a person could be likeable. Rep. Tom Malinowski, a former assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights and labor, asked Pompeo whether the North Korean leader was responsible for the country’s labor camps and the deaths of his uncle and half-brother…The New Jersey Democrat then asked whether Kim ‘was responsible for the decision not to allow Otto Warmbier to come home until he was on death’s door.’ North Korea released Warmbier in June 2017 after more than a year of imprisonment. He was returned to the US in a coma, blind and deaf. He never regained consciousness and died days later at the age of 22. US officials blamed North Korea for the brain damage that led to his death. Pompeo deferred to remarks from President Donald Trump, who said after his second summit with Kim that he did not hold him responsible for Warmbier’s death.”

Jennifer Hansler, “Diplomat turned lawmaker presses Pompeo: ‘What’s to like’ about Kim Jong Un?,” CNN Politics, CNN.com, March 27, 2019 8:19 pm

23,382. 3/20/2019

BRAZIL/STATE/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/VENEZUELA: “In the past month alone, Brazil has called for a regime change in Venezuela. Iraq is inching forward in discussions with the Kurds. Mexico has threatened to not ratify the new NAFTA. Turkey threatened to nullify local election results. Thailand has passed a troubling cybersecurity law that alarms human rights activists. Guess what? At a time of growing global tensions, the United States does not have a single appointed ambassador on the ground in one of these countries. In fact, close to 80  senior leadership posts at the State Department, the U.S. Agency for International Development and other U.S. international affairs agencies are vacant. More than 40 of those posts have nominees pending before the Senate, while at least 35 critical leadership positions await a nominee from the White House. Two years into this administration and at the start of a new Congress, this crisis is both an unforced error and a unilateral disarmament of our civilian forces, with significant risks to our national security. It is time to stop blaming either end of Pennsylvania Avenue and swiftly move forward on diplomatic nominations and confirmations, especially given the backdrop of China trade talks and nuclear tensions with North Korea.”

Liz Schrayer, “Global tensions rise while too many U.S. diplomats are MIA. Trump and Congress, get on it.,” USA Today, March 20, 2019 9:44 am

23,311. 3/13/2019

HUMAN RIGHTS/MEDIA/SAUDI ARABIA/STATE/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “The State Department’s human rights report for 2018 released Wednesday [3-13-19] notes Saudi Arabia’s killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi without mentioning Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who US intelligence services believe ordered the premeditated murder. The annual report catalogs violence, repression and cruelty around the world, under a mandate set by Congress in foreign aid and trade laws. President Donald Trump has defended violators and spent little time addressing human rights. His administration officials have only selectively raised the issue and his State Department has made subtle changes to the annual report that seem to signal human rights and civil liberties are a lower priority. Where previous administrations’ reports referred to a country’s human rights ‘problems,’ the Trump administration’s reports call them human rights ‘issues.'”

Nicole Gaouette and Jennifer Hansler, “US human rights report notes Khashoggi killing, avoids mention of Saudi prince,” CNN Politics, CNN.com, March 13, 2019 4:06 pm

23,139. 3/7/2019

NORTH KOREA/NUCLEAR/STATE/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “A senior State Department official on Thursday [3-7-19] expressed optimism that the denuclearization of North Korea could be achieved during President Donald Trump’s first term, despite the lack of progress during the recent Hanoi summit and expert assertions to the contrary…The official’s statements come in the wake of a failed summit last month between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The meeting failed to make any progress toward the US’ goal, resulting instead in what Trump has come to call ‘the walk.’ The official maintained Thursday that both sides left ‘on very good terms’ but conceded that “we’re not as far along as we’d like to be.’ Experts, however, have said it could take up to 10 or 15 years for North Korea to completely denuclearize, given how technical the process is. They see the Trump administration as having expressed lofty goals.”

Kylie Atwood and Jennifer Hansler, “Trump administration still hopeful for North Korea denuclearization in first term,” CNN Politics, CNN.com, March 7, 2019 8:15 pm

22,999. 3/1/2019

MELANIA/STATE: “Melania Trump will help present international courage awards to a group of women for the third straight year. The White House says the first lady will participate in the 2019 International Women of Courage Celebration on March 7 at the State Department. She helped present the awards in 2017 and 2018. In a statement Friday, Mrs. Trump says she’s proud to be first lady of a country ‘where our democracy not only allows, but empowers, the ability to defend and promote all of our rights.’ She adds that the women being recognized next week are ‘beacons of hope for many around the world.’ The International Women of Courage award has been given to more than 120 women from more than 65 countries since its inception in 2007.”

Associated Press, “Melania Trump to Help Present State Department Courage Award,” The New York Times online, March 1, 2019

22,937. 2/28/2019

STATE/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/VIETNAM: “RT @StateDept: President @realDonaldTrump and @SecPompeo participate in a Press Conference in Hanoi, Vietnam, on February 28, 2019. https:/…”

-Donald Trump, Twitter.com, February 28, 2019 5:10 am