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‘Absolute amateur hour’: Trump’s own officials blast his latest botched handling of foreign affairs

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Officials within Donald Trump’s administration are expressing frustration and anger at the president’s inability to focus on how to handle Iran and vented about what one called “absolute amateur hour” at the White House to The Daily Beast.

According to the report, “The Trump administration keeps sending conflicting and contradictory messages to Iran about its terms for new negotiations,” adding that “For several months, the United States has been actively attempting to pass messages, via allies, to the Iranians in an effort to move closer to beginning formal diplomatic talks with Tehran. ”

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The report notes that internal squabbles about what to do — with National Security Adviser John Bolton on one side using military solutions and Trump on the other side not wanting to enter into a military conflict — are sending mixed messages to allies and intermediaries alike.

“The latest mixed messages and instructions have included at times wildly differing details on preconditions the U.S. would demand for official sit-downs between the two countries, and varying proposals for the length of time for which the Americans would consider suspending economic sanctions on Iranians,” the Beast reports.

Summing it up, one former senior administration official who was involved in the infighting, called it “Absolute amateur hour.”

“U.S. officials, European officials, and individuals involved in the disparate talks between the U.S. and Iran [explained] top Trump administration national security officials are divided about what to put on the table when it comes to negotiating with Tehran, including whether to ease a select set of sanctions, keep them in place, or suspend them altogether,” the report states. “The tensions stem, in part, from President Trump’s desire to consider a new deal while some of his advisers are more reluctant to do so, according to two European officials and three individuals associated with brokering talks between Washington and Tehran.”

“The clashing messages are also causing headaches inside the upper echelons of the Trump administration. They’ve annoyed the president on multiple occasions in recent months, according to a source who’s been in the room when those tensions have been discussed at the White House. One source noted that the president had instructed subordinates several weeks ago to clear up the confusion and knock it off with the diplomatic discord,” the report concludes.

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Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan to give up royal titles — ‘the hardest #Megxit possible’

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Britain's Prince Harry and his wife Meghan will give up their royal titles and public funding as part of a settlement with the Queen to start a new life away from the British monarchy.

The historic announcement from Buckingham Palace on Saturday follows more than a week of intense private talks aimed at managing the fallout of the globetrotting couple's shock resignation from front-line royal duties.

It means Queen Elizabeth II's grandson Harry and his American TV actress wife Meghan will stop using the titles "royal highness" -- the same fate that befell his late mother Princess Diana after her divorce from Prince Charles in 1996.

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GOP senator tells home-state press that impeachment trial must be ‘viewed as fair’: report

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Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) spoke to local reporters on Saturday about her role in the upcoming Donald Trump impeachment trial.

Murkowski explained she would likely vote with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on an initial vote on whether to allow witnesses. However, she left the door open to voting for witnesses after House impeachment managers make their opening case.

"I don't know what more we need until I have been given the base case," she said. "We will have that opportunity to say 'yes' or 'no' ... and if we say 'yes,' the floor is open."

Overall, Murkowski said it was important for the trial to been viewed as fair.

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White House press secretary urged to do her job: ‘We don’t pay you to be a Twitter troll’

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White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham was blasted on Saturday over the confusion resulting from her refusal to hold daily press briefings.

CNN senior media reporter Oliver Darcy was alarmed that Grisham's assistant, Hogan Gidley, was forcing reporters to refer to his remarks as coming from a "sources close to the President's legal team."

Darcy noted that Trump had repeatedly questioned the veracity of unnamed sources, making it problematic for Gidley to demand to be quoted as such.

https://twitter.com/oliverdarcy/status/1218704788432572422

Grisham responded to the criticism and asked Darcy to "stop with the righteous indignation.

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