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
Special: ‘Trump Baby’ flies over Big Ben… President Trump flies to Europe this week for meetings with NATO, the Queen and Russia’s President Putin. But the president won’t be the only Trump flying when he lands in the UK. An enormous, orange “Trump baby” balloon, complete with a diaper and cell phone is set to float just above the streets of London, for all to see. What else do British protestors have in store?
On the road to SCOTUS: Politics trumps the law Conservative Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s Senate confirmation looks highly likely, but crucial issues won’t go away. The Supreme Court may see cases involving abortion, health care and the limits of presidential power. Can Democrats use upcoming hearings to dramatize what’s at stake--before November’s elections?
Politics and ‘incivility’ One Democrat wants Trump aides confronted in public over separating immigrant families. But her party’s leaders call that “incivility.” The question is: does moderation accomplish real change -- or is it a smokescreen for the status quo? When it comes to achieving racial equality, what’s worked and what hasn’t?
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