Trump Visits Troops In Afghanistan, Says Taliban Talks Back On

(FILES) In this file photo taken on November 13, 2019 US President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and a group of Republican senators in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC. President Donald Trump on November 18, 2019 said he is “strongly” considering answering a challenge from opposition Democrats to testify in his own impeachment investigation. 
MANDEL NGAN / AFP

 

US President Donald Trump said Thursday that he had resumed talks with Taliban insurgents as he made a surprise trip to Afghanistan to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with troops.

On a brief visit to the Bagram airbase outside the capital Kabul, Trump served turkey to soldiers in a cafeteria, posed for photographs and delivered a speech after meeting Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

“The Taliban wants to make a deal and we’re meeting with them and we’re saying it has to be a cease-fire and… now they do want to do a ceasefire,” he told reporters.

About 13,000 US troops remain in Afghanistan, 18 years after the United States invaded in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks.

“There’s nowhere I’d rather celebrate this Thanksgiving than right here with the toughest, strongest, best and bravest warriors on the face of the earth,” Trump, on his first trip to Afghanistan, told the troops.

“I’ve just come from serving Thanksgiving dinner to some of you… and we had a good time.”

Trump joked that he sat down and started eating mashed potato but was called away before he even tasted his turkey.

“I should’ve started with that instead of the mashed potatoes, I made a mistake,” he said.

“But I hope everyone enjoyed the fantastic meal, it certainly did look good and hopefully everyone can get some well-deserved rest this holiday.”

Rocky Path To Peace

The United States earlier this year reached a deal with Taliban insurgents to pull US troops from the country and wind down America’s longest war in return for security guarantees.

But Trump made a shock move in September, describing the year-long talks as “dead” and withdrawing an invitation to the insurgents to meet near Washington due to the killing of a US soldier.

The Taliban refuses to negotiate formally with the Afghan government, but diplomatic efforts have continued to foster dialogue and plant the seeds of an eventual brokered peace deal.

“For a period of time we’ve been working to make a deal,” Trump said. “We’ve made tremendous progress over the last six months… and at the same time we’ve been drawing down our troops.”

Ghani thanked Trump for “putting limits on the type of peace that will ensure the gains of the past year and ensure your security and our security.”

Afghanistan remains roiled by violence, and US presidents are still only able to make unannounced visits due to the security threat.

In Washington, Trump’s relations with the US military leadership have badly soured over his repeated interference in high-profile discipline cases.

On November 15, Trump — the commander-in-chief — reversed the demotion handed down to Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher who was accused of war crimes but was found guilty of a lesser offense.

Trump said that Gallagher had been “treated very badly” by the navy, and ordered that he would not be expelled from the elite SEAL (Sea, Air and Land) force.

Next Phase Of Trump Impeachment Hearings Set For Dec 4

 

 

The House Judiciary Committee said Monday it would begin hearings on December 4 in the next phase of the impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump — inviting the US president and his lawyer to attend.

Jerry Nadler, chairman of the Democratic-controlled committee, said the first hearing would begin at 10:00 am (1500 GMT).

“The Committee looks foward to your participation in the impeachment inquiry as the Committee fulfills its constitutional duties,” Nadler said.

He said the purpose of the hearing was to determine whether the committee would recommend articles of impeachment to the full House of Representatives.

Michael Bloomberg ‘Will Fail’ If He Joins White House Race – Trump

File photo dated March 5, 2018 shows Michael Bloomberg posing after being appointed Special Envoy for Climate Action UN by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at the United Nations headquarters in New York. Bloomberg is preparing to enter the crowded race to become the Democratic nominee for the 2020 presidential election, US media reported November 7, 2019. KENA BETANCUR / AFP

 

US President Donald Trump mocked “little” billionaire and former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg on Friday, saying his potential opponent for the 2020 election would fail if he joined the race.

“He doesn’t have the magic to do well… Little Michael will fail,” Trump told reporters at the White House as he headed to the southern state of Georgia to rally support.

“There’s nobody I’d rather run against than Little Michael.”

Trump Sues Banks In Bid To Block Congress Subpoenas

US President Donald Trump stands prior to receiving a bowl of shamrocks from Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar during a Shamrock Bowl Presentation in honor of St. Patrick’s Day in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, March 14, 2019.
SAUL LOEB / AFP

US President Donald Trump, along with his family and businesses, on Monday sued Deutsche Bank and Capital One in an attempt to stop them from complying with Congressional subpoenas issued as part of a probe into foreign political influence.

The subpoenas — which the Trumps described in their suit as “intrusive and overbroad” — were issued to several banks by the Democratic-majority House’s intelligence and financial services committees, which are looking into the president’s finances as part of a larger probe into election meddling by Russia.

The lawsuit is the latest step in Trump’s fightback against the Democrats, and alleges that the subpoenas have “no legitimate or lawful purpose.”

“The subpoenas were issued to harass President Donald J. Trump, to rummage through every aspect of his personal finances, his businesses, and the private information of the President and his family, and to ferret about for any material that might be used to cause him political damage,” said the suit, filed with the US federal court in the Southern District of New York.

“No grounds exist to establish any purpose other than a political one.”

The suit accuses Congress of stepping beyond its law-making mandate into law enforcement, and says the subpoenas violate the financial privacy rights of Trump and his family.

Deutsche Bank was one of the few major Western financial institutions to continue to lend to Trump’s real estate empire after several of its casinos went bankrupt in the 1990s, resulting in claims by creditors valued at $330 million in present-day dollars.

“We remain committed to providing appropriate information to all authorized investigations and will abide by a court order regarding such investigations,” the German bank said in a statement.

But the Trumps want to block any such disclosures, and have requested in their latest lawsuit “a permanent injunction prohibiting Deutsche Bank and Capital One from disclosing, revealing, delivering, or producing the requested information, or otherwise complying with the subpoenas.”

Their filing also argues that Congress is seeking information about “events that occurred while President Trump was a private citizen, years before he was even a candidate for public office.”

 Following the money

The suit comes weeks after the release of a heavily redacted version of the Mueller report, which concluded an almost two-year investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

The president described it as a “complete exoneration.”

But Democrats believe the investigation has revealed serious wrongdoing by Trump and have not yet decided on whether they want to push for impeachment.

The Congressional subpoenas to the banks were announced days ahead of the release of the Mueller report, and House member Adam Schiff described the one sent to Deutsche Bank as “friendly.”

Explaining why the banks were subpoenaed, Maxine Waters, chair of the House Financial Services Committee, said the body was investigating “the potential use of the US financial system for illicit purposes.”

The committee, she added, “is exploring these matters, including as they may involve the president and his associates.”

AFP

Trump, Kim Optimistic Over Nuclear Talks

US President Donald Trump (L) listens to North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un during a meeting at the Sofitel Legend Metropole hotel in Hanoi on February 27, 2019. Saul LOEB / AFP

 

US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un smiled, shook hands and dined Wednesday in Hanoi, expressing optimism that their highly personal brand of diplomacy will lead to a deal on the totalitarian state’s nuclear weapons.

At the start of around two hours of talks and dinner at a luxury hotel in the Vietnamese capital, Trump predicted a “very successful” summit, due to resume Thursday and end in a still unspecified signing ceremony.

The two-day get-together follows up on the leaders’ initial historic meeting in Singapore in June, where Trump launched his charm offensive to try and get Kim to give up his nuclear arsenal.

Shaking hands and smiling in front of a bank of a dozen alternating the US and North Korean flags, they briefly took questions from reporters before starting one-on-one talks, then the dinner.

Critics said the Singapore summit was light on concrete results but Trump said the Hanoi talks would be “equal or better than the first” time. Kim said: “I am certain that a great outcome will be achieved this time that will be welcomed by all people.”

READ ALSO: Theresa May To Seek MPs’ Approval For New Brexit Strategy

The White House said that on Thursday Trump and Kim will meet again one-on-one, before continuing talks alongside advisers throughout the morning.

This will culminate in a “Joint Agreement Signing Ceremony,” the White House said without providing further detail.

A press conference is also scheduled before Trump returns to Washington.

But the president has been dogged by scandal at home, where his former lawyer Michael Cohen described him as a “conman” in nationally televised testimony to Congress starting shortly after Trump finished Wednesday’s negotiations on the other side of the world.

Asked by reporters if he had any reaction to Cohen’s bombshell testimony about hush money payments and murky business dealings in Russia, Trump simply shook his head.

 Bidding to make history 

Seeking a big foreign policy win to push back against domestic troubles, Trump believes he can make history with North Korea and claims Japan’s prime minister has already nominated him for a Nobel Peace Prize.

His goal is to persuade Kim to dismantle his nuclear weapons and resolve a stand-off with the deeply isolated state that has bedeviled US leaders since the end of the Korean war in 1953.

To lure Kim into radical change, Trump is believed to be considering offering a formal peace declaration — though perhaps not a formal treaty — to draw a line under the technically still unfinished war.

At the same time, Washington faces mounting pressure to extract significant concessions from Kim, who has so far shown little desire to ditch his nuclear capability.

Washington and Pyongyang disagree even on what denuclearisation means precisely. And while North Korea has now gone more than a year without conducting missile and nuclear tests, it has done nothing to roll back the weapons already built.

From insults to love 

A former real estate tycoon who often boasts he is one of the world’s best negotiators, Trump is pitching a vision of North Korea as a new Asian economic tiger if it surrenders its nuclear status.

He said the country could quickly emulate the summit’s host, Vietnam — a communist state once locked in devastating conflict with the United States, but now a thriving trade partner.

Trump sent a tweet touting North Korea’s “AWESOME” potential if his “friend” Kim takes the non-nuclear route.

And Trump has invested himself personally in the relationship with Kim, creating the diplomatic equivalent of a Hollywood odd-couple bromance.

Before Singapore, they were slinging bizarre insults — Trump calling Kim “rocket man” and Kim calling him a “dotard.”

With North Korea then busily testing missiles and conducting underground nuclear tests, analysts feared the duo were egging each other on towards a catastrophic confrontation.

Now, Trump talks of “love” and claims that his ground-breaking policies defused the threat posed by Kim.

Critics warn Trump is so keen to score a deal that he could give away too much, too quickly, endangering US allies South Korea and Japan.

In Singapore, Trump took his own generals by surprise when he announced a suspension of military exercises with the South — something the North badly wanted.

Washington would ideally like Kim to dismantle a key nuclear facility at Yongbyon, allow in international inspectors, or even hand over a list of all his nuclear assets — something the North Koreans have categorically refused to do.

In return, Trump is believed to be considering dangling relief from tough international sanctions. Opening diplomatic liaison offices is another possible US concession.

Another possibility is a joint declaration to end the Korean War — a hugely symbolic gesture which some analysts fear would upset the delicate power balance in a region where the US and China are already struggling for influence.

Those pushing for a scaled-back US foreign policy footprint around the world would welcome the gambit.

“If you get an end of the war declaration, I think that’s really important symbolically because it starts to change the mentality,” Daniel Davis, at the conservative Washington-based Defense Priorities think tank, told AFP.

And Trump deserves credit, he said.

“You just can’t ignore the fact that he’s the only one of the last nine American presidents that has even gotten to this point. No one else has even had the conversations, no one else has had these summits.”

AFP

Obama Plays Santa, Surprises Sick Children In Washington Hospital

This photograph, obtained courtesy of the Obama Foundation, shows former US President Barack Obama delivering gifts, greeting patients and their parents at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC, December 19, 2018. Chuck Kennedy / THE OBAMA FOUNDATION / AFP

 

Former US president Barack Obama took on a new high-profile role as Father Christmas on Wednesday for a surprise visit to sick children in Washington.

Sporting a festive Santa hat and armed with a sack of gifts, he delighted young patients at Children’s National hospital with gifts and hugs.

 

 

“I just want to say thank you to all of you guys,” Obama told staff, who greeted him with rapturous cheers, in a video he shared on his Twitter account.

 

 

“We’ve had the chance to talk to some of the wonderful kids and their families,” he added.

“As the dad of two girls, I can only imagine in that situation to have nurses and staff and doctors and people who are caring for them and looking after them… that’s the most important thing there is.”

 

The 44th president of the United States still lives in Washington, where he last year dressed up as Santa to visit middle school students at a Boys & Girls Club in the capital.

 

George W. Bush Has Sweet Exchange With Michelle Obama At Father’s Funeral

 

Former US president George W. Bush shared a light moment with former First Lady Michelle Obama at the funeral for his father George H.W. Bush on Wednesday, appearing to slip her a piece of candy before the service began.

The 43rd US president had also given Michelle Obama a mint during the memorial service in September for Arizona Senator John McCain.

As the 72-year-old Bush arrived at the National Cathedral for the state funeral for his father — the 41st US president — he shook hands with President Donald Trump and his wife, Melania.

Bush then shook hands with former President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, causing her to smile when he passed her what appeared to be a piece of candy.

Bush then continued down the row, shaking hands with former president Bill Clinton, former First Lady Hillary Clinton, former president Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn.

Michelle Obama later explained the exchange at the McCain memorial during an interview on NBC’s Today show.

“We are forever seatmates because of protocol,” she said of Bush. “That’s how we sit at all the official functions so he is my partner in crime at every major thing where all the formers gather.

“So we’re together all the time, and I love him to death. He’s a wonderful man. He’s a funny man,” she said.

George H.W. Bush died on Friday at the age of 94.

Week Of Solemn Tributes For Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush

Streven Grimes who served in the Gulf war from 1990- 1991 and served in the military from 1975 to 2007 salutes, in tribute to former US President George H. W. Bush, at the makeshift memorial formed outside the home of President George H.W. Bush in Houston, Texas on December 1, 2018

 

Flags flew at half-staff across the United States on Saturday as Americans prepared for a week of solemn tributes to George H.W. Bush, in his home state of Texas and in the US Capitol, a day after the former president died aged 94.

Tributes poured in from world leaders in memory of the 41st US president, who guided America through the end of the Cold War and launched the international campaign to drive Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein’s forces from Kuwait.

Many of those same leaders are expected to attend Bush’s state funeral next week, alongside President Donald Trump and his wife Melania. Trump was notably absent from the funerals of the statesman’s late wife Barbara, and of veteran fellow Republican John McCain.

Although the two Republican presidents were in many ways polar opposites — the soft-spoken, patrician Bush reportedly once dismissed the blustering New Yorker as a “blowhard” and even voted for his rival Hillary Clinton — Trump paid the late leader a gracious tribute, saying he had “inspired generations of his fellow Americans to public service.”

“His accomplishments were great from beginning to end,” Trump tweeted.

Declaring a national day of mourning for December 5 — when the federal government and New York Stock Exchange will close in Bush’s honor — Trump also signaled his respect by calling off a press conference planned at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires.

The days-long national farewell to Bush will begin Monday with a commemoration in Houston, where the Bushes lived for years and where he died on Friday surrounded by friends and family.

From there, Bush’s casket will travel to Washington on board Trump’s presidential aircraft — in what the US leader called “a special tribute that he deserves very much.”

The former president will lie in state in the US Capitol between Monday and Wednesday ahead of a state funeral at the towering National Cathedral, expected to draw dozens of dignitaries from around the world.

Bush’s remains will travel back to Texas late Wednesday, where he will lie in repose at St Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston with a funeral service the next day preceding his internment at the George Bush Presidential Library in College Station. He will make his final journey aboard a funeral train.

At the presidential library on Saturday, people came to sign the memorial book in Bush’s honor, or lay flowers at the feet of his statue.

“We wanted to come here and at least respect senior George Bush because he was a great president, and a great human being,” said Bhoumin Mehta, a well-wisher from Sugar Land, southwest of Houston.

 ‘Grace, civility and social conscience’

Bush was a decorated World War II pilot, diplomat and onetime CIA chief who saw his son George follow in his footsteps to the Oval Office — making them only the second father-son duo in American presidential history, after John and John Quincy Adams.

From former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to current heads of state, leaders praised Bush both for his strength and his moderation, as well as the commitment to internationalism typified by his assembling of a global coalition to oust Iraqi invaders from Kuwait in 1991.

The oldest surviving former US president Jimmy Carter said Bush’s administration “was marked by grace, civility and social conscience.”

Britain took the rare step of lowering flags in government buildings, while Germany’s President Frank-Walter Steinmeier praised Bush’s “unwavering support” for the country’s reunification.”

Gorbachev called him “a true partner” in winding down the Cold War.

French President Emmanuel Macron mourned the loss of a leader who “strongly supported the alliance with Europe” — drawing an unspoken contrast to Trump’s frequent criticisms of the Old Continent.

Suffering from Parkinson’s disease, Bush had been wheelchair-bound and in failing health. He is survived by his five living children and 17 grandchildren.

According to Bush’s longtime friend, the former secretary of state James Baker, quoted by The New York Times, Bush’s final words were to the younger George, who was put on the speaker phone to say goodbye, to tell him he had been a “wonderful dad” and that he loved him.

“I love you, too,” Bush replied.

 ‘New world order’

Born on June 12, 1924 in Milton, Massachusetts into a wealthy political dynasty, Bush left school to join the US Navy during World War II.

He flew 58 combat missions and was shot down over the Pacific by Japanese anti-aircraft fire.

He returned home and graduated from Yale University before briefly working in the Texas oil industry.

But the world of politics was calling this son of a US senator.

He served in the US House of Representatives, as Washington’s envoy to China and as chief of the Central Intelligence Agency before becoming Ronald Reagan’s vice president.

Eight years later, in accepting his party’s nomination for president in 1988, Bush pleaded for a “kinder, and gentler nation.”

Bush was a foreign policy pragmatist who led the United States through the turbulent end of the Cold War and the fall of the Soviet Union.

He declared a “new world order” in 1990 and — backed by a 32-nation coalition — drove Iraq from Kuwait with a lightning air and ground assault.

The crushing sanctions he imposed on Iraq, however, were blamed by Iraqis for thousands of deaths, drawing him the bitter nickname of “Mr Embargo.”

And Panamanians said his invasion of their country in 1989 claimed hundreds of civilian lives.

But it was primarily a weak economy at home that cost him the 1992 election, won by upstart Democrat Bill Clinton.

In his later years, Bush turned to philanthropy, joining forces with Clinton to raise funds for victims of the 2004 Asian tsunami and the 2010 Haiti earthquake, and with ex-presidents Clinton, Carter, Barack Obama and son George to raise money for hurricane victims in Texas last year.

AFP

De Niro, Biden Latest Suspected Targets As Trump Slams Media

This combination of file photos created on October 25, 2018 shows top L-R: actor Robert De Niro former US President Barack Obama , former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and billionaire George Soros; bottom L-R: former US Vice President Joe Biden, Democratic lawmaker Debbie Wasserman Schultz, former CIA director John Brennan, and California Democratic Representative Maxine Waters. Biden and De Niro were the latest targets on October 25, 2018, of a spree of suspicious packages and pipe bombs sent to opponents of US President Donald Trump.
 / AFP / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA

 

Former US vice president Joe Biden and Hollywood megastar Robert De Niro were the latest targets on Thursday of a spree of suspicious packages and pipe bombs sent to opponents of Donald Trump as the US president lashed out at the media for stirring up “anger.” 

Political foes of the Republican commander-in-chief accused him of inciting violence after pipe bombs were sent to Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, CNN and other figures who are loathed by Trump supporters.

With midterm elections less than two weeks away, the president reacted first by calling for unity but then reverting to attacking the media, which he stepped up early Thursday.

“A very big part of the Anger we see today in our society is caused by the purposely false and inaccurate reporting of the Mainstream Media that I refer to as Fake News,” Trump tweeted.

“It has gotten so bad and hateful that it is beyond description. Mainstream Media must clean up its act, FAST!”

The spree began Monday with a device found at the New York home of billionaire liberal donor George Soros.

The FBI said a total of seven suspicious packages were sent in New York, Washington and Florida, including to Obama’s attorney general Eric Holder and two to Maxine Waters, a California lawmaker.

On Thursday, a New York police bomb squad removed a similar looking package sent to De Niro at the TriBeCa Productions company he co-founded, sending it for analysis.

In June, 75-year-old De Niro received a standing ovation at the Tony Awards in New York for using an expletive to condemn Trump. During the 2016 campaign, the actor slammed the Republican as “blatantly stupid.”

‘Endless hostility’

US media reported that a suspicious device was also addressed to Obama’s former vice president, Joe Biden, often rumored as a potential Democratic presidential candidate for 2020, in Delaware on Thursday.

The packages were sent in manila envelopes with bubble wrap, marked with computer-printed address labels. Each listed Debbie Wasserman Schultz, former chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, as the sender, including misspellings of her last name, the FBI said.

CNN evacuated its New York bureau after a pipe bomb was found in the mailroom together with an envelope containing white powder.

The packaging was addressed care of CNN to former CIA director John Brennan, who has appeared on the channel as a guest and is perhaps Trump’s toughest critic from the national security community.

CNN is known for its often critical coverage of the Trump administration and has constantly provoked the ire of the president.

On Wednesday, Trump condemned the mail-bombs, saying “acts of political violence” have “no place in the United States.”

“The media also has a responsibility to set a civil tone and stop the endless hostility and constant negative, and often times false attacks and stories,” he later told a campaign rally in Wisconsin.

#MAGABomber trended as users flooded Twitter with accusations that Trump had incited the attempted attacks and highlighting the toxic remarks he has leveled against the pipe bomb targets in the past.

The FBI, US Secret Service, and local police have mounted a full-scale criminal investigation, appealing to members of the public to come forward with any information they may have.

 ‘False attacks and stories’

Liberal and left-wing critics accuse Trump’s rhetoric-laden “Make America Great Again” presidency of emboldening right-wing extremists. He recently endorsed the body-slamming of a reporter and routinely denounces critical press as “fake news.”

Top Democrat lawmakers Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer on Wednesday accused Trump of condoning “physical violence and dividing Americans.”

“It’s a time of deep divisions, and we have to do everything we can to bring our country together,” said Clinton, who has remained an outspoken political force despite her stunning loss to Trump in 2016.

“There is a total and complete lack of understanding at the White House about the seriousness of their continued attacks on the media,” said CNN president Jeff Zucker.

There has been no claim of responsibility and no one was yet known to have been arrested.

The Secret Service said the Clinton and Obama packages were “identified during routine mail screening procedures” and that neither were ever at risk of receiving them.

Republican lawmakers followed the White House in issuing condemnations.

Soros, the target of the first device, has long been a hate figure for right-wing groups and lives in Bedford, New York, not far from the Clintons.

The 88-year-old is one of the world’s richest men and supported Clinton in 2016. He has been accused by nationalists of sponsoring protests and seeking to push a liberal, multicultural agenda.

AFP

Amid Criticism, Kanye West Shows Love For Trump

US President Donald Trump meets with rapper Kanye West (R) in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, on October 11, 2018. SAUL LOEB / AFP

 

Rap megastar Kanye West loves Donald Trump and proved it in dramatic fashion Thursday, leaping from his seat at a White House meeting to hug the president.

“I love this guy,” Kanye declared in the Oval Office.

The rapper had been invited to lunch to discuss prison reform but turned what was would ordinarily have been a staid White House photo-op into what must have been one of the most unusual encounters in the Oval Office’s storied history.

Talking at speed on everything from Trump’s protectionist trade policies to black gun crime and “infinite amounts of the universe,” Kanye left the normally talkative president almost speechless with his performance.

“That was quite something,” Trump said at the end Kanye’s freewheeling soliloquy.

“It was from the soul. I just channeled it,” the musician said, adding — to gasps from presidential staff — that Trump “might not have expected to have a crazy motherfucker like Kanye West supporting him.”

The rapper, who has broken ranks with much of the left-leaning entertainment industry to come out in support of Trump, even said he could be president himself — but “only after” Trump in 2024.

AFP

U.S. President Donald Trump Turns 72

US President Donald Trump outside the White House on the South Lawn. Photo: Nicholas Kamm / AFP

 

President Donald Trump on Thursday turned 72, having returned to the fray of Washington politics after his gruelling trip to Singapore for the summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Trump in 2016 was the oldest person to assume the US presidency — he was 70 then — although Ronald Reagan was 73 when he was re-elected in 1984.

Trump’s health, both physical and mental, have been the subject of keen interest in America.

He underwent an official physical in January and the then White House physician Ronny Jackson described his health as “excellent.”

When Trump was still a presidential candidate, his then personal doctor Harold Bornstein released a letter on Trump’s behalf in December 2015 in which he described the businessman’s health in grand hyperbole.

It depicted Trump’s blood pressure and laboratory results as “astonishingly excellent,” his physical strength and stamina as “extraordinary,” and said he would be “the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.”

Last month Bornstein told CNN that Trump had personally dictated the letter.

Bornstein also said last month that a bodyguard visited his Park Avenue office last year and confiscated the president’s medical records.

Bornstein said the “raid” took place on February 3, 2017, two days after The New York Times quoted the physician as saying he had prescribed Trump a hair growth medicine for years.

AFP

Macron, Trump Discuss ‘Peace And Stability In Middle East’

Trump, Macron Call For 'New' Nuclear Deal With Iran
US President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron hold a joint press conference at the White House in Washington, DC, on April 24, 2018. PHOTO: Ludovic MARIN / AFP

 

French President Emmanuel Macron spoke by telephone Tuesday with Donald Trump, just hours before the US president is widely expected to pull out of a key nuclear deal with Iran, his office said.

In a terse statement, the Elysee Palace said only that the two men “discussed matters relating to peace and stability in the Middle East,” with no specific mention of Iran.

Macron has positioned himself as the emissary for European officials seeking a compromise that would keep the deal intact, after months of warnings by Trump that it fails to guarantee Tehran won’t eventually build a nuclear weapon.

He had hoped to successfully argue his case during a state visit to Washington last month, but later made no secret that he believed Trump had already made up his mind to scrap the Obama-era accord.

Their discussion Tuesday came as Britain, Germany, France and a senior EU official met Iran’s deputy foreign minister Abbas Araghchi in Brussels and “used this opportunity to reiterate their support to the continued full and effective implementation of the (deal) by all sides”, the bloc said in a statement.

Trump said on Twitter that he would announce his decision at 1800 GMT, in what could be his most consequential foreign policy move yet.

AFP