FROM Molly O'Toole
Presidential tweetstorms and the Russian connection President Trump is reportedly outraged at his staff because the political flap over false statements about Russian officials just won't go away. At the same time, he's added to all the drama with early-morning tweets of unverified charges that former President Obama "wiretapped" Trump Tower. FBI Director James Comey has raised the ante by asking the Justice Department to refute that claim—by the new President who's kept him in office. Today, cabinet members unveiled the amended version of his controversial travel ban. But the Trump agenda faces stiff competition for public attention.
What will Obama's foreign policy legacy be? President Obama gave his final address to the United Nations General Assembly Tuesday . He spent much of the speech talking about the need for international cooperation and diplomacy. He cited progress over the last eight years of his administration, including the Iran nuclear deal, t he Paris Agreement to combat climate change, and the thawing of relations with Cuba. But he also recognized that challenges remain for the international community, particularly in finding a peaceful resolution to the conflict in Syria and doing more to accommodate millions of desperate refugees. How will the state of Syria affect Obama’s legacy? And will his predecessor carry on the policies he’s most proud of?
What Does ‘America First’ mean? Analyzing Trump and Clinton’s Foreign Policy Positions Presidential candidate Donald Trump gave a speech Wednesday on foreign policy, a day after winning five state primaries. His core philosophy is, according to his remarks, “America first.” Trump condemned globalization and nation-building; h e called the foreign policy of the Obama administration "a complete and total disaster." So how do Trump’s foreign policy positions differ from those of Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton, who has been called more hawkish than any of the Republican candidates?
Guantánamo, the Constitution and Presidential Politics In 2008, candidate Barack Obama accused George W. Bush of abusing the power of the presidency to establish the prison at Guantánamo Bay. Now President Obama's accused of doing the same thing -- to close Guantánamo down. It's all about the authority of the Commander in Chief. But, Congress says the remaining inmates are too dangerous to be held in American prisons and has made the transfer illegal. The White House says executive action is "not off the table," which could light a political firestorm in time for next year's presidential campaign.
House Passes Defense Bill Opposed by Obama The House today passed a defense authorization bill calling for $612 billion in Pentagon spending. The President says that's the right amount, but he's still threatening a veto. Molly O'Toole reports for Atlantic Media's online publication, " Defense One ."
The Political Battle over Going to War The Constitution gives Congress the power to declare war, and President Obama has formally asked it to authorize limited warfare against ISIL , the so-called Islamic State. Republicans and Democrats agree on his objective — but they're divided about his proposal. The President's military action would last for just three years with no "enduring" ground combat, but he'd also leave in effect the many options given George W. Bush after 911 . For conservative Republicans, there are too many limits. For liberal Democrats, there aren't enough. As positions are being staked out on Capitol Hill, what would it really take to destroy the Islamic State?
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don’t As the Senate deliberates replacing Obmacare, health coverage for millions of people is at stake. There've been no public hearings, and a draft measure won't be made public. Is the House version so unpopular that that Senate is hiding a version that looks much the same?
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.