Photo: A deserted Abu Samra border crossing to Saudi Arabia, in Qatar June 12, 2017. (Tom Finn/Reuters)
FROM THIS EPISODE
In October, candidate Donald Trump said, "If Hillary [Clinton] is elected she would be under protracted criminal investigation, likely followed by the trial of a sitting president. Hey, this is just what we need. Just what we need." Last week, after fired FBI Director James Comey testified before Congress, President Trump insisted he was not under investigation, declaring, "No collusion. No obstruction. He's a leaker."
But today, the President tweeted a very different message: "I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director. Witch Hunt." That's his first acknowledgement that he's under investigation. Peter Nicholas, White House reporter for the Wall Street Journal, says the investigation is likely to expand to include several members of the White House over the firing of Comey.
Qatar is a small branch of the Arabian Peninsula. Oil has made its few hundred thousand citizens wealthy, and the US uses its airbase to launch airstrikes against ISIS. But Egypt, Saudi Arabia and other nearby countries have now cut off contact and diplomatic relations — claiming that Qatar has funded terrorism. President Trump agrees, but his Secretary of State calls for calm -- and the US is selling Qatar $12 billion worth of jet fighters.
Correction: In today's show we incorrectly said that Qatar sticks out into the Red Sea. It's located on the Persian Gulf.
Finn on the Qatar border blockade
Finn on Qatar saying fighter jets deal shows deep US support
Alyahya on the Gulf rift
Kaye on need for quiet diplomacy, not taking sides
Carlstrom on the Qatar crisis pushing Hamas back to Iran
Florida's Republican Senator, Marco Rubio, flew to Miami today with President Trump and introduced him, "A year a half ago an American president landed in Havana to outstretch his hand to the regime. Today an American president lands in Miami and reached out his hand to the people of Cuba." The President claimed he's fulfilled his campaign promise to reverse Obama's diplomatic re-engagement.
Julia Sweig, senior researcher at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas-Austin and author of Cuba: What Everyone Needs to Know, discusses how the new changes will affect Americans, Cubans and the hospitality industry – including the Trump Organization.
Julia E. Sweig
More From To the Point
Can Trump undo the nuclear deal with Iran? Iran is thumbing its nose at tough talk from President Trump. His call for renegotiating the nuclear deal is falling flat with diplomats from other countries. Their priority is weapons that already exist… in North Korea, which said today that Trump has "declared war."
The silent suffering of Myanmar's Rohingya Former supporters of Aung San Suu Kyi, the elected leader of Myanmar, are demanding that she give up her Nobel Peace Prize. She's been silent about vicious atrocities committed by the military in her Buddhist-majority country. We get the background of a humanitarian crisis that's not as simple as it looks.
Raids, warrants and wiretaps: Mueller's investigation heats up Recent revelations spell bad news for Paul Manafort, President Trump's one-time campaign chair. We get a progress report on Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Russia's involvement in last year's presidential campaign.
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