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Emails show State Department raised serious ethics concerns about Trump’s secretary of transportation

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Officials in the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) spent months planning for Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao’s visit to China, but after all that planning and preparation, the trip was canceled. And the New York Times’ Eric Lipton is reporting that the State Department “raised ethics concerns” in response to some of Chao’s actions when the trip was being planned.

In a Twitter thread, Lipton notes that the ethics concerns came about because in China, Chao’s “family was in the shipping business.” Chao, who is married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, “took a particular interest in picking out gifts for officials she would meet in China,” Lipton tweets.

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Lipton, in the thread, posts an August 27, 2017 e-mail from Chao in which she discusses possible gifts for Chinese officials. Chao, in the e-mail, writes, “When I was secretary of labor, I had a number of White House logo souvenirs like: candy bars, leather portfolios, etc. …. Can you find out how to get these White House gifts for us to bring as gifts to VIPs in China? Get a list, prices/items, etc. They will NOT be given out like water or candy…. but to special people.”

Lipton, in his thread, reports that the DOT “went to great lengths” to “hide any evidence from THE NYT that Chao’s staff was communicating with FOREMOST (the family shipping company that does business in China) while they worked to prepare for this trip. Everything is redacted. Well, almost everything.”

Lipton also explains that after ethics questions were raised by the State Department, the trip was canceled “within a matter of days.”


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Damning CNN timeline shows how Trump ‘thinks white people matter more than nonwhite people’

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CNN's Brianna Keilar on Monday delivered a damning verdict on President Donald Trump's racist attacks on Democratic lawmakers -- and she backed it up with a timeline of the president's bigoted words and actions.

During a segment about Trump’s weekend tweets, in which he told Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) to “go back” to their countries despite the fact that all four are American citizens, Keilar argued that the president's racism is part of a pattern of bigotry that's followed him throughout his life.

"This fits a pattern to the president who has long made it clear that he thinks white people matter more than nonwhite people, even if they're American," she said. "30 years ago he called for the death penalty for the Central Park Five, five minority youths who were falsely accused of rape. Trump [is] still refusing to believe their innocence 16 years after they were exonerated."

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MSNBC host says Trump just openly embraced racists: ‘This actually feels different to me’

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On Monday, President Donald Trump went on an unhinged rant against Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).

In an often rambling question session with reporters, Trump repeatedly told the two Congresswomen to leave America (both are U.S. citizens) if they're so critical of the U.S. and Israel.

MSNBC host Ali Velshi observed that Trump had truly crossed the line and directly appealed to the sentiments of white nationalists.

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MSNBC's @AliVelshi: This time "actually feels different to me. This feels like the president really owning the idea that he's saying things that are attractive to white nationalists and racists." pic.twitter.com/vtK1T3GHuU

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World hunger on the rise with more than 820 million at risk, UN report says

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More than 821 million people suffered from hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition worldwide last year, the United Nations reported Monday -- the third year in a row that the number has risen.

After decades of decline, food insecurity began to increase in 2015 and reversing the trend is one of the 2030 targets of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.

But getting to a world where no one is suffering from hunger by then remains an "immense challenge," the report said.

"The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World" was produced by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and other UN agencies including the World Health Organization.

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