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Donald Trump ‘Politicises’ Thanksgiving Call With Troops

"For having a great family and for having made a tremendous difference in this country," Trump said

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Donald Trump
US President Donald Trump.

US President Donald Trump struck a political tone during a Thanksgiving call with American service members stationed around the world as he steered the conversation toward controversial political topics, the media reported.

Speaking with a US general in Afghanistan, Trump on Thursday likened the fight against terrorists to his efforts to prevent a group of migrants from illegally entering the US, and he assailed federal judges who have ruled against his administration, reports CNN.

The President also pressed the commanding officer of a Coast Guard ship in Bahrain on trade before touting his trade policies and arguing that “every nation in the world is taking advantage of us”.

US Presidents have traditionally called troops stationed abroad during the holidays to boost morale and remind the country of their service.

After the call wrapped, Trump entertained more than two dozen questions from reporters and once again discredited a CIA assessment about the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Trump also drew on US men and women in uniform to justify his controversial deployment of nearly 6,000 US troops to the southern border.

Without evidence, he painted Air Force Gen. David Lyons as a proponent of his hardline immigration policies after Lyons said US troops are fighting in Afghanistan to prevent terrorists from reaching “our shores again”.

The topic brought Trump to another familiar airing of grievances, as he complained over the phone that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has “become a big thorn in our side”.

“It’s a terrible thing when judges take over your protective services, when they tell you how to protect your border. It’s a disgrace,” Trump said.

Trump also defended his daughter, Ivanka, after it emerged earlier this week that she had used a private email account to discuss or relay official White House business.

He called her use of personal email — which appears to have violated federal records laws — “very innocent”.

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At one point, Donald Trump was asked what he was most thankful for on this Thanksgiving, CNN said.

“For having a great family and for having made a tremendous difference in this country,” Trump said.

“I’ve made a tremendous difference in the country. This country is so much stronger now than it was when I took office that you wouldn’t believe it.” (IANS)

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U.S. President Donald Trump Vetoes Measure to End U..S Involvement in Yemen War

ump issued his first veto last month on legislation related to immigration. Trump had declared a national emergency so he could use more money to construct a border wall. Congress voted to block the emergency declaration and Trump vetoed that measure.

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Yemen
Men inspect the site of an airstrike by Saudi-led coalition in Sanaa, Yemen, April 10, 2019. VOA

President Donald Trump on Wednesday vetoed a bill passed by Congress to end U.S. military assistance in Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen.

In a break with the president, Congress voted for the first time earlier this month to invoke the War Powers Resolution to try to stop U.S. involvement in a foreign conflict.

The veto — the second in Trump’s presidency — was expected. Congress lacks the votes to override him.

“This resolution is an unnecessary, dangerous attempt to weaken my constitutional authorities, endangering the lives of American citizens and brave service members, both today and in the future,” Trump wrote in explaining his veto.

Congress has grown uneasy with Trump’s close relationship with Saudi Arabia as he tries to further isolate Iran, a regional rival.

Many lawmakers also criticized the president for not condemning Saudi Arabia for the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi who lived in the United States and had written critically about the kingdom. Khashoggi went into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last October and never came out. Intelligence agencies said Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was complicit in the killing.

U.S.
Congress has grown uneasy with Trump’s close relationship with Saudi Arabia as he tries to further isolate Iran, a regional rival. VOA

The U.S. provides billions of dollars of arms to the Saudi-led coalition fighting against Iran-backed rebels in Yemen. Members of Congress have expressed concern about the thousands of civilians killed in coalition airstrikes since the conflict began in 2014. The fighting in the Arab world’s poorest country also has left millions suffering from food and medical care shortages and has pushed the country to the brink of famine.

House approval of the resolution came earlier this month on a 247-175 vote. The Senate vote last month was 54-46.

Democratic Rep. Eliot Engel of New York, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, voted to end U.S. military assistance to the war, saying the humanitarian crisis in Yemen triggered “demands moral leadership.”

Donald Trump
President Donald Trump on Wednesday vetoed a bill passed by Congress to end U.S. military assistance in Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen. VOA

The top Republican on the committee, Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas, acknowledged the dire situation in Yemen for civilians, but spoke out in opposition to the bill. McCaul said it was an abuse of the War Powers Resolution and predicted it could disrupt U.S. security cooperation agreements with more than 100 countries.

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Trump issued his first veto last month on legislation related to immigration. Trump had declared a national emergency so he could use more money to construct a border wall. Congress voted to block the emergency declaration and Trump vetoed that measure. (VOA)