Foreign policy expert Richard Haass explained the risks President Donald Trump faced in his planned one-on-one meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin.
The president has agreed to meet alone with Putin, with no other U.S. officials present, which panelists on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” agreed was incredibly unusual and dangerous.
“It’s almost as if he has something to hide,” said host Joe Scarborough.
Haas, the longtime president of the Council on Foreign Relations, said the meeting was fraught with peril.
“It’s beyond unusual,” Haass said. “You often have small meetings. I worked for presidents, usually the president and his opposite number and one staffer, most often the national security adviser — that would be the small meeting. Then you have the larger meeting and each side would have six or ten people.”
Trump also met alone with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un last month in Singapore, but a follow-up meeting this weekend with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo went poorly — in part because the president failed to reach a conclusive agreement on nuclear disarmament.
“Last time it was done was Singapore,” Haass said. “We’ll be dealing for a long time with the fallout of that.”
He said the stakes in a Trump-Putin meeting were too high to come out with dueling narratives, which happened after his meeting with Kim.
“This meeting, of all meetings, given the stakes, given the political backdrop, given the stakes, you really need a careful record for followup,” Haass said. “You need to document what Putin said, you want to document what the president said.”
“The consequences here of the United States and Russia,” he added, “whether it’s over Ukraine, Syria, we could talk about the specific issues of the two having the same kind of reaction of the United States and North Korea, where you essentially have two different readouts of the meeting, is really dangerous.”
Trump Jr. and McGahn didn’t testify before the Mueller grand jury — and a federal judge wants to know why
During the Russia investigation, former special counsel Robert Mueller sought testimony from a long list of people. But according to a court filing on Sunday, two people who Mueller did not force to testify before a grand jury were Donald Trump Jr. and former White House Counsel Don McGahn. And U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell wants to know why.
The court filing on Sunday, according to The Week, was in response to a ruling Howell made on Thursday — when Howell asserted that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) was withholding too much information from the House Judiciary Committee, chaired by Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York. The House Judiciary Committee, The Week’s Peter Weber reports, has been “wrangling” with DOJ over the evidence that Mueller obtained during his lengthy investigation.
James Byrd, Jr., John William King, and the history of American lynching
In February, 1999, John William King – who was executed in Huntsville, Texas on April 24, 2019 –became the first white man in modern Texas history to be sentenced to death for killing a black person. How that black person, James Byrd, Jr., died was no mystery. Three self-proclaimed white supremacists had drawn up a plan to start a race war while they were in prison. These men chained Byrd to the back of their pickup truck and dragged him for a mile and half until his head and right arm were torn from his body by a concrete culvert on Huff Creek Road in Jasper County.
Have we become too paranoid about mass shootings?
Many Americans worry about when – not if – another mass shooting will occur, and a Gallup poll from September found that nearly half of Americans fear being a victim of one of these attacks.
After the film “Joker” was released, you could see these fears play out.
Many announced they wouldn’t see it in theaters. The film’s deranged main character, they said, would inspire people like the Aurora shooter, who, in 2012, killed 12 people and wounded 70 others during a screening of “Dark Knight Rises.”