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Trump: I’ll know whether Kim summit will be successful ‘in first minute’

  • President speaks to press at international summit in Canada
  • Trump guided in nuclear talks by ‘just my touch, my feel’

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Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “Trump: I’ll know whether Kim summit will be successful ‘in first minute'” was written by Sabrina Siddiqui in Washington and Martin Pengelly in New York, for theguardian.com on Saturday 9th June 2018 17.34 UTC

Donald Trump on Saturday said his summit with Kim Jong-un in Singapore would be a “one-time shot”. Speaking to reporters at the G7 summit in La Malbaie, Canada, the US president projected confidence over the prospects for a deal on denuclearization, stating: “I think within the first minute, I’ll know.”

“Just my touch, my feel, that’s what I do,” he said. “How long will it take to figure out if they’re serious? You know, the way they say you know if you’re going to like somebody in the first five seconds, you ever hear that one? I think very quickly I’ll know whether or not something good is going to happen.”

Trump spoke as he prepared to depart for Singapore and the first meeting between a North Korean leader and a sitting US president. The two leaders’ relationship began with a long period of mutual threats and abuse but a surprise and rapid diplomatic thaw has endured despite Trump’s abrupt cancellation of the summit late last month.

“You don’t know, it’s not been done before at this level,” Trump said of attempts to establish peace with a reclusive, authoritarian and nuclear-armed regime. He added: “This is a leader that’s really an unknown personality, people don’t know much about him. I think that he’s going to surprise on the upside, very much on the upside, we’ll see.”

The Trump administration has said it wants a “permanent, verifiable, irreversible” dismantling of North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and a peace treaty to formally end the Korean war, which ceased only with an armistice in 1953.

“It’s a one-time shot and I think it’s going to work out very well,” Trump said, though he also indicated that the summit may only be a starting point, saying it “may not work out. There’s a good chance it won’t work out. There’s probably an even better chance that it will take a period of time, it’ll be a process.”

The president also downplayed suggestions he was not well prepared, a notion he appeared to reinforce earlier this week when he said his approach to the meeting was not about preparation but “about attitude”. Those comments sparked concerns among national security experts that the North Korean leader could outfox his opposite number.

“So we’re going in with a very positive spirit, very well prepared, I think,” Trump said, before misidentifying the site of the meeting. “And by the way, we have worked very well with their people, they have many people now in Shanghai, our people have been – in Singapore – our people have been working very, very well with the representatives of North Korea and I think we’re going to come out fine.”

Asked about suggestions that even granting a meeting to Kim meant conceding valuable ground, he said: “Only the fake news says that. We just got three hostages back, we paid nothing … we have gotten … we haven’t done anything. The haters, they say, ‘Oh, you’re giving him a meeting’ – gimme a break, OK?”

Donald Trump leaves the summit, followed by chief of staff John Kelly, economic adviser Larry Kudlow and national security adviser John Bolton.
Donald Trump leaves the summit, followed by his chief of staff, John Kelly, economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, and national security adviser, John Bolton.
Photograph: Clemens Bilan/EPA

Trump also made lengthy complaints about other countries’ trade policies and doubled down on his claim that Russia should be reinstated to the G7, having been suspended in 2014 after its annexation of Crimea. Trump’s statement on Friday that the Putin regime should be readmitted sparked bipartisan scorn and rebuke from key US allies.

“I think it would be an asset to have Russia back in,” Trump told reporters on Saturday. “I think it would be good for the world, I think it would be good for Russia, I think it would be good for the United States, I think it would be good for all of the countries in the G7.”

Trump blamed Barack Obama for not doing enough to counter Russian aggression in Ukraine, stating: “Obama can say all he wants but he allowed Russia to take Crimea. I may have had a much different attitude.”

Obama condemned Russia’s actions and pursued sanctions against Moscow.

Trump also pushed back at suggestions that under his leadership, amid disputes regarding relations with Russia and international trade, the US was becoming isolated from its traditional allies.

“I would say the level of relationship is a 10,” he said, claiming “we have a great relationship” with the leaders of countries including Germany, France and Canada.

After a prompt from his economic adviser Larry Kudlow, the US president then left the summit.

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010

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George HW Bush has died

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George Herbert Walker Bush, the linchpin of an American political dynasty whose presidency saw the end of the Cold War and the close of an era of American bipartisanship that conflict fostered, has died. He was 94.

During his single term in the White House, the Berlin Wall fell, newly democratic states sprang up across Central and Eastern Europe, and the Soviet Union came to an end. And in the Middle East, the U.S. military launched its most successful offensive since World War II. For a time, Bush rode foreign policy triumphs to high popularity. But he saw his standing plunge during a 1990s recession and lost to Bill Clinton after one term.

On April 22nd President Bush was admitted to the Houston Methodist Hospital  after contracting an infection that spread to his blood. He was said to have been responding to treatments and appeared to be recovering.

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Court Orders White House to give Jim Acosta his hard pass back

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Federal judge Timothy J. Kelly sided with CNN on Friday, ordering the White House to reinstate chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta’s press pass.

The ruling was an initial victory for CNN in its lawsuit against President Trump and several top aides.

The lawsuit alleges that CNN and Acosta’s First and Fifth Amendment rights are being violated by the suspension of Acosta’s press pass.

Kelly did not rule on the underlying case on Friday. But he granted CNN’s request for a temporary restraining order.

This result means that Acosta will have his access to the White House restored for at least a short period of time. The judge said while explaining his decision that he believes that CNN and Acosta are likely to prevail in the case overall.

CNN is also asking for “permanent relief,” meaning a declaration from the judge that Trump’s revocation of Acosta’s press pass was unconstitutional. This legal conclusion could protect other reporters from retaliation by the administration.

“The revocation of Acosta’s credentials is only the beginning,” CNN’s lawsuit alleged, pointing out that Trump has threatened to strip others’ press passes too.

That is one of the reasons why most of the country’s major news organizations have backed CNN’s lawsuit, turning this into an important test of press freedom.

But the judge will rule on all of that later. Further hearings are likely to take place in the next few weeks, according to CNN’s lawyers.

(CNN)

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CNN sues President Trump for banning reporter Jim Acosta

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CNN is filing a lawsuit against President Trump and several of his aides, seeking the immediate restoration of chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta’s access to the White House.

The lawsuit is a response to the White House’s suspension of Acosta’s press pass, known as a Secret Service “hard pass,” last week. The suit alleges that Acosta and CNN’s First and Fifth Amendment rights are being violated by the ban.

The suit is being filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday morning, a CNN spokeswoman confirmed.

Both CNN and Acosta are plaintiffs in the lawsuit. There are six defendants: Trump, chief of staff John Kelly, press secretary Sarah Sanders, deputy chief of staff for communications Bill Shine, Secret Service director Joseph Clancy, and the Secret Service officer who took Acosta’s hard pass away last Wednesday. The officer is identified as John Doe in the suit, pending his identification.

The six defendants are all named because of their roles in enforcing and announcing Acosta’s suspension.

Last Wednesday, shortly after Acosta was denied entry to the White House grounds, Sanders defended the unprecedented step by claiming that he had behaved inappropriately at a presidential news conference. CNN and numerous journalism advocacy groups rejected that assertion and said his pass should be reinstated.

On Friday, CNN sent a letter to the White House formally requesting the immediate reinstatement of Acosta’s pass and warning of a possible lawsuit, the network confirmed.

In a statement on Tuesday morning, CNN said it is seeking a preliminary injunction as soon as possible so that Acosta can return to the White House right away, and a ruling from the court preventing the White House from revoking Acosta’s pass in the future.

“CNN filed a lawsuit against the Trump Administration this morning in DC District Court,” the statement read. “It demands the return of the White House credentials of CNN’s Chief White House correspondent, Jim Acosta. The wrongful revocation of these credentials violates CNN and Acosta’s First Amendment rights of freedom of the press, and their Fifth Amendment rights to due process. We have asked this court for an immediate restraining order requiring the pass be returned to Jim, and will seek permanent relief as part of this process.”

CNN also asserted that other news organizations could have been targeted by the Trump administration this way, and could be in the future.

“While the suit is specific to CNN and Acosta, this could have happened to anyone,” the network said. “If left unchallenged, the actions of the White House would create a dangerous chilling effect for any journalist who covers our elected officials.”

Acosta has continued to do part of his job, contacting sources and filing stories, but he has been unable to attend White House events or ask questions in person — a basic part of any White House correspondent’s role.

Acosta is on a previously scheduled vacation this week. He declined to comment on the lawsuit.

On CNN’s side, CNN Worldwide chief counsel David Vigilante is joined by two prominent attorneys, Ted Boutrous and Theodore Olson. Both men are partners at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.

Last week, before he was retained by CNN, Boutrous tweeted that the action against Acosta “clearly violates the First Amendment.” He cited the Sherrill case.

“This sort of angry, irrational, false, arbitrary, capricious content-based discrimination regarding a White House press credential against a journalist quite clearly violates the First Amendment,” he wrote.

David McCraw, the top newsroom lawyer at The New York Times, said instances of news organizations suing a president are extremely rare.

Past examples are The New York Times v. U.S., the famous Supreme Court case involving the Pentagon Papers in 1971; and CNN’s 1981 case against the White House and the broadcast networks, when CNN sued to be included in the White House press pool.

The backdrop to this new suit, of course, is Trump’s antipathy for CNN and other news outlets. He regularly derides reporters from CNN and the network as a whole.

Abrams posited on “Reliable Sources” on Sunday that CNN might be reluctant to sue because the president already likes to portray the network as his enemy. Now there will be a legal case titled CNN Inc. versus President Trump.

But, Abrams said, “this is going to happen again,” meaning other reporters may be banned too.

“Whether it’s CNN suing or the next company suing, someone’s going to have to bring a lawsuit,” he said, “and whoever does is going to win unless there’s some sort of reason.”

(CNN)

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