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Trump is shaping new ‘liberal’ order to block Russia, China, Iran, says Mike Pompeo

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U.S. President Donald Trump’s top diplomat promised on Tuesday a new democratic world order in which Washington will strengthen or jettison international agreements as it sees fit to stop “bad actors” such as Russia, China and Iran from gaining.

In a twist on Trump’s “America First” policy, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Trump was not abandoning its global leadership but instead reshaping the post-World War Two system on the basis of sovereign states, not multilateral institutions.

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“In the finest traditions of our great democracy, we are rallying the noble nations to build a new liberal order that prevents war and achieves greater prosperity,” Pompeo told diplomats and officials in a foreign policy speech.

“We are acting to preserve, protect, and advance an open, just, transparent and free world of sovereign states,” Pompeo said, adding that China’s ability to benefit from the current U.S.-led system of trade and other agreements was an example of “the poisoned fruit of American retreat.”

Pompeo, a former Army officer who is regarded as a Trump loyalist with hawkish world views, said Trump was also pushing both the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund to stop funding countries such as China, saying they already had access to financial markets to raise capital.

Pompeo’s address, which was met with polite applause, rejected concerns among many traditional U.S. allies that Trump is undermining the West by withdrawing from climate, free-trade and arms control accords.

Pompeo said such criticism was “plain wrong.”

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Pompeo said Trump was reforming the liberal order, not destroying it. He cited Britain’s decision to quit the European Union as a sign supranational organizations were not working.

He also took aim at “bureaucrats” responsible for upholding multilateralism “as an end in itself” and cast doubt on the EU’s commitment to its citizens.

That drew a rare rebuke from the European Commission, the bloc’s executive.

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Asked to reply to the Secretary of State’s remarks, its chief spokesman offered an explanation of how the EU executive is subject to control by citizens via the directly elected European Parliament and by the governments of the member states.

“So for those people who come to Brussels and coin an opinion without knowing how our system works, that’s how our system works. And that’s our reply,” Margaritis Schinas said.

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Pompeo’s speech marks the latest attempt by a Trump official to place the president’s decisions into a coherent policy plan, after visits to Brussels by his vice president and other senior U.S. officials.

European leaders are troubled by Trump’s rhetoric and say that his decision to pull out of the Paris climate change accord and the 2015 Iran nuclear deal undermine European priorities.

Alluding to Trump’s policies in a speech on Monday in Cambridge, Massachusetts, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini warned of “the rule of the jungle” replacing the rule of law.

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Pompeo said the United States was acting correctly.

“Our administration is … lawfully exiting or renegotiating outdated or harmful treaties, trade agreements, and other international arrangements that don’t serve our sovereign interests, or the interest of our allies,” he said.

Under pressure from Washington, the U.S.-led NATO alliance is expected later on Tuesday to declare Russia in formal breach of a nuclear arms control treaty, paving the way for Trump to withdraw from the Cold War-era agreement.

NATO’s European allies have pressed Trump not to follow through with his threat to quit the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty with Moscow, signed in 1987, but instead to work to bring Russia into compliance with the pact.

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However, diplomats said they were now trying to limit the fallout of the decision by staggering the expected U.S. withdrawal into next year and first formally accusing Russia of breaking the INF agreement, which rid Europe of land-based nuclear missiles. Russia denies violation of the pact.

Reporting by Robin Emmott; Editing by Richard Balmforth


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
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Maddow reports on ‘a tide of major newspaper editorials’ drowning Trump’s impeachment defenses

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On Thursday, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow noted the sheer volume of editorial boards from newspapers across America calling for President Donald Trump's impeachment and removal from office.

"The editorials that Steve Cohen introduced into the record there that Doug Collins from Georgia said he wanted to read and Steve Cohen said 'I'd love for you to read them,' they're part of a tide of major newspaper editorials that have come out all of a sudden in the last few days in favor of impeachment," said Maddow. "USA TODAY's editorial board saying, quote, 'Until recently we believed impeachment proceedings would be unhealthy for an already polarized nation, rather than simply leaving Trump's fate up to voters next November. But Trump's egregious transgressions and stonewalling in his thuggish effort to trade American arms for foreign dirt on Joe Biden resembled Richard Nixon. It's precisely the type of misconduct the framers had in mind when they wrote impeachment into the Constitution."

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‘People died in Ukraine’: Democrat lectures Doug Collins for Trump’s abuse of power costing lives

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During Thursday's impeachment hearing, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) laid bare the human cost of President Donald Trump's decision to withhold military aid from Ukraine to force them to hunt for dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden's family — something that ranking member Doug Collins (R-GA) spent the previous day denying.

"In my colleague's efforts to defend this president, you want him to be someone he's not. You want him to be someone he is telling you he is not," said Swalwell. "You're trying to defend the call in so many different ways, and he's saying, guys, it was a perfect call. He's not who you want him to be. And let me tell you how selfish his acts were. And ranking member Collins, you can deny this as much as you want. People died in Ukraine at the hands of Russia," said Swalwell. "In Ukraine, since September 2018 when it was voted on by Congress, was counting on our support. One year passed and people died. And you may not want to think about that, it may be hard for you to think about that, but they died when the selfish, selfish president withheld the aid for his own personal gain."

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Trump administration heavily redacted documents concerning their withholding of Ukraine aid

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The Trump administration has refused to disclose how key officials at the Department of Defense and the White House Office of Management and Budget reacted to President Trump’s decision to halt military aid to Ukraine.

On Nov. 25, federal district court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ordered the administration to produce records reflecting what these officials said to one another about the legality and appropriateness of Trump’s order. The Center for Public Integrity sought the information in Freedom of Information Act requests filed in late September.

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