Weekend Review: Trump Celebrates End to “Collusion Delusion”
President Trump has claimed victory in the conclusion of Robert Mueller’s investigation, telling a crowd at a rally in Michigan that “the collusion delusion is over.”
Trump also told supporters that the special counsel “completed its report and found no collusion and no obstruction” — a statement which is not entirely accurate.
Within days of receiving a copy, Attorney General William Barr had completed a four-page summary of Mueller’s report — which is rumored to be over 300 pages and was written over the course of more than two years. He quoted the special counsel as saying the president was not exonerated for obstruction of justice by the investigation and concluded the decision was left to him.
Barr then declared there was no evidence of obstruction and no reason for the president to do so if there was no original crime (collusion) proven.
Many are demanding the full report by Mueller be made available to the public for further interpretation.
Nevertheless, Trump declared “the Russia hoax is dead” and accused Democrats of being “sick people” as well as “defrauding the public.”
“This was nothing more than a sinister effort to undermine our historic election victory and to sabotage the will of the American people,” the president declared while promising accountability for those behind the probe.
Devos Proposed Cutting Millions in Funding for Special Olympics
U.S. Education Secretary Betsy Devos recommended a nearly $18 million reduction in funding for the Special Olympics, a decision she defended during review of her 2020 budget proposal.
Wisconsin Rep. Mark Pocan informed Devos during her testimony that her proposal would affect 272,000 kids.
President Trump’s 2020 budget proposed cutting education funding for the third year in a row to prioritize military spending and construction of the border wall.
Devos told the House subcommittee that her department “had to make some heavy decisions” in regards to budget cuts and stated the Special Olympics would be better funded by philanthropic efforts.
In response to the controversy, Trump told reporters outside the White House that he had “just authorized funding of the Special Olympics.” However, Congress is responsible for final review and approval of the administration’s budget proposals.
Responding to the president’s claim, Devos released her own statement to express pleasure that Trump saw “eye to eye” with her on funding the “Special Olympics grant.”
Trump Cuts Assistance for Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, Threatens to Close US/Mexico Border
A State Department spokesperson told ABC News that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has given the direction to end all US assistance programs for the “Northern Triangle.”
“I’ve ended payments to Guatemala, to Honduras, and to El Salvador. No money goes there anymore,” Trump told reporters, claiming $500 million total would be withheld.
The three countries supply the most migrants to the US due to unstable economies, political corruption, and rampant violence. Trump’s advisers have warned that assistance to those countries is important to avoid further increases in illegal immigration.
Still, President Trump has repeatedly threatened the cuts and it seems as though he will be following through this time.
The president also said he will close the southern border with Mexico as early as next week if the country does not find a way to stop Central American migrants from entering the US.
Trump suggested that Mexico has the power to stop the flow at their own southern border, which would in turn decrease the number of migrants who are able to travel to the US.
Mexico was one of the largest US goods export markets in 2017 but Trump claimed “we lose so much money with them” that the border closing “would be a good thing.”
Analysts have concluded that closing the US border with Mexico would inevitably lead to an increase in inflation and unemployment for American citizens.
Biden Accused of Unwanted Touching
Former Vice President Joe Biden faces allegations of unwanted affection after a former Nevada assemblywoman claimed that he put his hands on her shoulders, smelled her hair, and gave her a prolonged kiss on the back of her head without consent.
Lucy Flores alleged that Biden did this while campaigning for her in 2014. She described the encounter as an “imbalance of power” due to the fact that Biden was vice president at the time. Flores said that she was “embarrassed,” “shocked,” and “confused” by Biden’s behavior, which she found to be disrespectful.
Biden’s spokesman said in a statement that “neither then, nor in the years since, did he or the staff with him at the time have an inkling that Ms. Flores had been at any time uncomfortable, nor do they recall what she describes” in regards to Biden.
Brexit Deal Rejected by Lawmakers for Third Time
The United Kingdom faces the prospect of a messy divorce from the European Union (EU) as lawmakers have rejected a Brexit deal for the third time.
The House of Commons voted 344-286 against the withdrawal agreement which was struck between Prime Minister Theresa May and the EU.
The UK is now left with the option to depart in two weeks in a “no-deal” Brexit or after a long delay for ratification of a new deal.
May stated that the House “has been clear it will not permit leaving without a deal. And so we will have to agree an alternative way forward.” The departure is currently scheduled for April 12.
Lawmakers are anticipated to continue voting on Monday to attempt to create a deal with enough support to pass.