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President Donald Trump has tweeted a picture of a $100,000 check he recently wrote to the Department of Homeland Security, his latest donation to a federal agency.

Trump pledged as a candidate in 2016 to not accept the $400,000 annual presidential salary he would be due if elected.

Trump says the press doesn’t like writing about his donations "nor do I need them to."

He also claims if he didn’t make the donations, there would be "hell to pay from the FAKE NEWS MEDIA!"

By law, he must be paid, so Trump has donated the quarterly payments to various federal departments and agencies.

Source: Fox News National

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Monday that her department may have been founded to combat terrorism, but its mission is shifting to also confront emerging online threats.

China, Iran and other countries are mimicking the approach that Russia used to interfere in the U.S. presidential election in 2016 and continues to use in an attempt to influence campaigns on social media, she said. Under threat are Americans’ devices and networks.

"It’s not just U.S. troops and government agents on the front lines anymore," she Nielsen said. "It’s U.S. companies. It’s our schools and gathering places. It’s ordinary Americans."

Devices and networks are "mercilessly" targeted, she said. Those responsible are "compromising, co-opting, and controlling them."

Nielsen was speaking about the priorities of a sprawling department created after the Sept. 11 attacks. It handles counterterrorism, election security and cybersecurity, natural disaster responses and border security — President Donald Trump’s signature domestic issue.

The president on Friday issued his first veto, to secure money for a U.S.-Mexico border wall. Nielsen did not specifically mention that fight, but made clear that she sees a humanitarian and security crisis at the border because of an increasing number of Central American families crossing into the U.S. to seek asylum.

While the overall number of migrants coming into the U.S. is down from a high of 1.6 million in 2000, the number of families crossing the U.S.-Mexico border has reached record highs. The system is at a breaking point, she said.

Nielsen said the department has introduced tougher screening systems at airports and is working with the State Department to notify other countries of stricter information-sharing requirements. She said the countries that work with the U.S. will make the world safer, and those that do not "will face consequences."

Source: Fox News National

A cancer-stricken U.S. Navy veteran from California who was first detained in Iran while visiting a girlfriend has been sentenced to 10 years in prison there on charges of insulting the country’s supreme leader and posting a photo on social media, his lawyer said Friday.

U.S. State Department officials informed the family of Michael White about the sentence after receiving the information from the Swiss government, which represents U.S. interests in Iran, said Mark Zaid, White’s attorney.

White, 46, of Imperial City, Calif., was sentenced to two years in prison for insulting the country’s top leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and 10 years for posting a private photo, Zaid said. It appeared the sentences were to run concurrently, the lawyer said, according to the New York Times.

RELATIVES OF AMERICANS HELD IN IRAN TESTIFY BEFORE HOUSE SUBCOMMITTEE

White served in the Navy for 13 years and is believed to be the first American detained in Iran since President Trump took office. White’s family told the paper he had traveled to Iran to visit a woman he had met online.

White’s mother, Joanne White, told the paper she fears that her son is in failing health. He suffers from an unspecified form of cancer and recently received chemotherapy, but requires access to further medical care, according to his mother, the Wall Street Journal reported.

U.S. government efforts to get White released could face difficulties given the fractured relationship between Washington and Tehran that sunk to a new low after the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal last year.

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Other Americans have recently been imprisoned in Iran — Siamak Namazi, since October 2015; his father Baquer Namazi, since February 2016; and Xiyue Wang, since August 2016 – on charges of spying and other activities. Another, Robert Levinson, has been missing in Iran since 2007.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News National

A U.S. Navy veteran held in Iran, the first American known to be detained since President Donald Trump took office, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison, his lawyer said Saturday.

Mark Zaid told The Associated Press that Michael White was convicted on charges of insulting Iran’s supreme leader and posting private information.

Zaid says he learned of the sentence from the State Department, which in turn learned of it from the Swiss government, which looks over American interests in Iran.

Iranian state media have not reported the sentence, which was first reported by The New York Times.

White, of Imperial Beach, California, went to Iran to see a girlfriend he met online and had booked a July 27 flight back home. He never returned.

Trump has pursued a maximalist campaign against Tehran that includes America’s withdrawal from Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers. Iran has in the past detained Westerners and dual nationals to use them as leverage in negotiations.

Source: Fox News National

President Donald Trump issued the first veto of his presidency on Friday, overruling Congress to protect his emergency declaration for border wall funding.

Flanked by law enforcement officials as well as the parents of children killed by people in the country illegally, Trump maintained that he is not through fighting for his signature campaign promise, which stands largely unfulfilled 18 months before voters decide whether to grant him another term.

Trump said: "It is a tremendous national emergency," adding, "our immigration system is stretched beyond the breaking point."

A dozen defecting Republicans joined Senate Democrats in approving the joint resolution on Thursday, which capped a week of confrontation with the White House as both parties in Congress strained to exert their power in new ways. It is unlikely that Congress will have the two-thirds majority required to override Trump’s veto, though House Democrats have suggested they would try nonetheless.

Trump wants to use the emergency order to divert billions of federal dollars earmarked for defense spending toward the southern border wall. It still faces several legal challenges in federal court.

Trump is expected to issue his second veto in the coming weeks over a congressional resolution seeking to end U.S. backing for the Saudi Arabian-led coalition fighting in Yemen. The resolution was approved in the aftermath of the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

Source: Fox News National

President Donald Trump had an hour-long, classified meeting on Afghanistan Friday a day after a top Afghan official openly complained that the Trump administration was keeping his government in the dark about its negotiations with the Taliban.

Vice President Mike Pence, Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, CIA Director Gina Haspel and Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton were among those who gathered in a secured room at the Pentagon called the "tank." The meeting was a classified briefing about Afghanistan, according to a White House official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the subject of the private briefing.

The Pentagon has been developing plans to withdraw as many as half of the 14,000 troops still in Afghanistan. Pat Shanahan, the recently installed acting secretary of defense, said he has no orders to reduce the U.S. troop presence, although officials say that is at the top of the Taliban’s list of demands in exploratory peace negotiations.

U.S. Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad, the administration’s main negotiator with the Taliban, recently concluded a 13-day session with leaders of the insurgent group to find a way to end the 17-year war.

Khalilzad said the two sides reached two "draft agreements" covering the withdrawal of U.S. troops and guarantees that Afghanistan would not revert to a haven for terrorists. But he was unable to persuade the Taliban to launch talks with the Afghan government.

The two sides seem to be in agreement about the withdrawal of American forces, but divided over the timeline and whether a residual force would remain.

Taliban officials have told The Associated Press that the insurgents want a full withdrawal within three to five months, but that U.S. officials say it will take 18 months to two years. The Americans are likely to insist on a residual U.S. force to guard the American embassy and other diplomatic facilities, and may press for a counterterrorism force as well.

Afghanistan’s national security adviser Hamdullah Mohib said he visited Washington on Thursday to publicly complain that the Trump administration has alienated the Afghan government, legitimized the militant network and is crafting a deal that will never lead to peace. His blunt remarks prompted a scolding from State Department officials.

Mohib, the former Afghan ambassador to the United States, said talks about withdrawing troops should be conducted with the Afghan government, which has a bilateral security agreement with the U.S. He also suggested that the negotiations conducted by Khalilzad, a veteran American diplomat who was born in Afghanistan, are clouded by Khalilzad’s political ambitions to lead his native country.

___

Associated Press writer Zeke Miller in Washington contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News National

President Donald Trump was poised to issue the first veto of his presidency Friday afternoon, after a bipartisan rebuke of the national emergency he declared to circumvent Congress and fund his long-stalled southern border wall.

A dozen defecting Republicans joined Senate Democrats on the joint resolution Thursday, which capped a week of confrontation with the White House as both parties in Congress strained to exert their power in new ways. And Trump made clear how he planned to respond, tweeting the word "VETO!" in all caps just moments after the vote.

Trump will issue the veto at a ceremony in the Oval Office at 3:30 p.m., flanked by law enforcement as well as the parents of children killed by people in the country illegally, White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said.

Gidley said it marks "a sad moment and a very important moment" for the country, and alleged the vote against the president was also a vote "against the America people and their safety and security."

The 59-41 tally on Thursday, and the Senate’s vote a day earlier to end U.S. involvement in the war in Yemen, promised to force Trump into the first vetoes of his presidency as he faces a now-divided Congress. The House is planning a vote to override the expected veto on the national emergency, which is likely to occur on March 26 following next week’s recess. But it is unlikely that Congress will have the votes to override it.

Two years into the Trump era, a dozen Republicans, pushed along by Democrats, showed a willingness to take the political risk of defecting. The 12 GOP senators, including the party’s 2012 presidential nominee, Mitt Romney of Utah, joined the dissent over the emergency declaration order that would enable the president to seize for the wall billions of dollars Congress intended to be spent elsewhere.

"The Senate’s waking up a little bit to our responsibilities," said Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., who said the chamber had become "a little lazy" as an equal branch of government. "I think the value of these last few weeks is to remind the Senate of our constitutional place."

Many senators said the vote was not necessarily a rejection of the president or the wall, but protections against future presidents — namely a Democrat who might want to declare an emergency on climate change, gun control or any number of other issues.

"This is constitutional question, it’s a question about the balance of power that is core to our constitution," Romney said. "This is not about the president."

Thursday’s vote was the first direct challenge to the 1976 National Emergencies Act, just as Wednesday’s on Yemen was the first time Congress invoked the decades-old War Powers Act to try to rein in a president. Seven Republicans joined Democrats in calling for an end to U.S. backing for the Saudi Arabian-led coalition in the aftermath of the kingdom’s role in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Even without the numbers needed to override a veto, the twin votes nevertheless sent a message from Capitol Hill.

"Today’s votes cap a week of something the American people haven’t seen enough of in the last two years," said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, "both parties in the United States Congress standing up to Donald Trump."

The result is a role-reversal for Republicans who have been reluctant to take on Trump, bracing against his high-profile tweets and public attacks of reprimand. But now they are facing challenges from voters — in some states where senators face stiff elections — who are expecting more from Congress.

Centrist Maine GOP Sen. Susan Collins, who’s among those most vulnerable in 2020, said she’s sure the president "will not be happy with my vote. But I’m a United States senator and I feel my job is to stand up for the Constitution, so let the chips fall where they may."

Trump’s grip on the party, though, remains strong and the White House made it clear that Republicans resisting Trump could face political consequences. Ahead of the voting, Trump framed the issue as with-him-or-against-him on border security, a powerful argument with many.

"A vote for today’s resolution by Republican Senators is a vote for Nancy Pelosi, Crime, and the Open Border Democrats!" Trump tweeted. "Don’t vote with Pelosi!" he said in another, referring to the speaker of the House.

A White House official said Trump won’t forget when senators who oppose him want him to attend fundraisers or provide other help. The official was not authorized to speak publicly on internal deliberations so spoke on condition of anonymity.

Trump brought on the challenge months ago when he all but dared Congress not to give him the $5.7 billion he was demanding to build the U.S.-Mexico wall, threatening a federal government shutdown.

Congress declined and the result was the longest shutdown in U.S. history. Against the advice of GOP leaders, Trump invoked the national emergency declaration last month, allowing him to try to tap about $3.6 billion for the wall by shuffling money from military projects, and that drew outrage from many lawmakers. Trump had campaigned for president promising Mexico would pay for the wall.

The Constitution gives Congress the power of the purse, and lawmakers seethed as they worried about losing money for military projects that had already been approved for bases at home and abroad. The Democratic-led House swiftly voted to terminate Trump’s order.

Senate Republicans spent weeks trying to avoid this outcome, up until the night before the vote, in a script that was familiar — up until the gavel.

___

Associated Press writers Mary Clare Jalonick, Catherine Lucey, Zeke Miller, Padmananda Rama and Andrew Taylor in Washington and Marc Levy in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, contributed.

Source: Fox News National

President Donald Trump is poised to sign the first veto of his presidency after a dozen defecting Republicans joined Senate Democrats to block the national emergency he’d declared in an effort to circumvent Congress to fund his long-stalled southern border wall. The rejection capped a week of confrontation with the White House as both parties in Congress strained to exert their power in new ways.

The bill was hand-delivered to the White House around 5:30 p.m. Thursday evening. And Trump made clear how he planned to respond, tweeting the word "VETO!" in all caps just moments after the vote.

White House spokeswoman Mercedes Schlapp would not say when the veto would happen, but told reporters Friday that Trump is "doing what he believes is his constitutional duty, which is to protect the American people."

She also said the president was "incredibly disappointed" with Republicans who voted for the measure.

The 59-41 tally on Thursday, and the Senate’s vote a day earlier to end U.S. involvement in the war in Yemen, promised to force Trump into the first vetoes of his presidency as he faces a now-divided Congress. The House is planning a vote to override the expected veto on the national emergency, which is likely to occur on March 26 following next week’s recess. But it is unlikely that Congress will have the votes to override it.

Two years into the Trump era, a dozen Republicans, pushed along by Democrats, showed a willingness to take the political risk of defecting. The 12 GOP senators, including the party’s 2012 presidential nominee, Mitt Romney of Utah, joined the dissent over the emergency declaration order that would enable the president to seize for the wall billions of dollars Congress intended to be spent elsewhere.

"The Senate’s waking up a little bit to our responsibilities," said Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., who said the chamber had become "a little lazy" as an equal branch of government. "I think the value of these last few weeks is to remind the Senate of our constitutional place."

Many senators said the vote was not necessarily a rejection of the president or the wall, but protections against future presidents — namely a Democrat who might want to declare an emergency on climate change, gun control or any number of other issues.

"This is constitutional question, it’s a question about the balance of power that is core to our constitution," Romney said. "This is not about the president."

Thursday’s vote was the first direct challenge to the 1976 National Emergencies Act, just as Wednesday’s on Yemen was the first time Congress invoked the decades-old War Powers Act to try to rein in a president. Seven Republicans joined Democrats in calling for an end to U.S. backing for the Saudi Arabian-led coalition in the aftermath of the kingdom’s role in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Even without the numbers needed to override a veto, the twin votes nevertheless sent a message from Capitol Hill.

"Today’s votes cap a week of something the American people haven’t seen enough of in the last two years," said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, "both parties in the United States Congress standing up to Donald Trump."

The result is a role-reversal for Republicans who have been reluctant to take on Trump, bracing against his high-profile tweets and public attacks of reprimand. But now they are facing challenges from voters — in some states where senators face stiff elections — who are expecting more from Congress.

Centrist Maine GOP Sen. Susan Collins, who’s among those most vulnerable in 2020, said she’s sure the president "will not be happy with my vote. But I’m a United States senator and I feel my job is to stand up for the Constitution, so let the chips fall where they may."

Trump’s grip on the party, though, remains strong and the White House made it clear that Republicans resisting Trump could face political consequences. Ahead of the voting, Trump framed the issue as with-him-or-against-him on border security, a powerful argument with many.

"A vote for today’s resolution by Republican Senators is a vote for Nancy Pelosi, Crime, and the Open Border Democrats!" Trump tweeted. "Don’t vote with Pelosi!" he said in another, referring to the speaker of the House.

A White House official said Trump won’t forget when senators who oppose him want him to attend fundraisers or provide other help. The official was not authorized to speak publicly on internal deliberations so spoke on condition of anonymity.

Trump brought on the challenge months ago when he all but dared Congress not to give him the $5.7 billion he was demanding to build the U.S.-Mexico wall, threatening a federal government shutdown.

Congress declined and the result was the longest shutdown in U.S. history. Against the advice of GOP leaders, Trump invoked the national emergency declaration last month, allowing him to try to tap about $3.6 billion for the wall by shuffling money from military projects, and that drew outrage from many lawmakers. Trump had campaigned for president promising Mexico would pay for the wall.

The Constitution gives Congress the power of the purse, and lawmakers seethed as they worried about losing money for military projects that had already been approved for bases at home and abroad. The Democratic-led House swiftly voted to terminate Trump’s order.

Senate Republicans spent weeks trying to avoid this outcome, up until the night before the vote, in a script that was familiar — up until the gavel.

___

Associated Press writers Mary Clare Jalonick, Jill Colvin, Padmananda Rama and Andrew Taylor in Washington and Marc Levy in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, contributed.

Source: Fox News National

President Donald Trump is at the Pentagon where his talks are expected to touch on the final battle to retake the Islamic State group’s last pocket of territory in Syria.

Trump is meeting with acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, who’s been at the helm of the Pentagon since Jan. 1. He took over when Jim Mattis left, following Trump’s decision to pull U.S. troops out of Syria. Trump hasn’t said if he’s nominating Shanahan for the post.

Shanahan faced tough questions from senators on Thursday about Trump’s desire to use $7 billion in military construction project funds to pay for a wall on the southern border.

The administration also is facing new opposition from the Afghan government, which says it’s being left in the dark about U.S. talks with the Taliban.

Source: Fox News National

John Bolton, President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, says North Korea’s allegations that he and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo created an atmosphere of hostility and mistrust at last month’s nuclear summit in Hanoi are "inaccurate."

North Korea’s Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui said Friday that Trump was willing to talk, but was influenced by uncompromising demands by Pompeo and Bolton. She said the "gangster-like stand of the U.S. will eventually put the situation in danger."

Bolton said Friday he has spoken with his South Korean counterpart about the North Korea allegations.

The North said Kim Jong Un (gihm jung oon) will decide soon whether to continue the talks aimed at getting him to give up his nuclear weapons in exchange for sanctions relief.

Source: Fox News National


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