Baghdadi Killing: ‘Hero’ Dog To Get White House Homecoming – Trump

 

The “hero” dog wounded in the US commando raid that culminated in the death of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is getting a White House homecoming next week, President Donald Trump said Thursday.

Trump revealed that the military dog, a Belgian Malinois, is named “Conan” — heretofore a closely guarded secret because the information could be used to identify the special forces unit that carried out the raid in Syria over the weekend.

Trump posted a photomontage on Twitter showing him bestowing a medal of honor on the dog with the legend: “AMERICAN HERO.”

“Very cute recreation, but the ‘live’ version of Conan will be leaving the Middle East for the White House sometime next week!” he tweeted.

It was unclear what else lies in store for Conan, but it has been noted that Trump is the first US president in more than a hundred years who doesn’t own a dog.

Conan was injured chasing Baghdadi into a dead end tunnel in his Syrian hideout, where the cornered IS leader detonated a suicide vest, killing himself and two children, according to the US account.

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, said earlier this week that the hero dog was expected to make a full recovery and was already back with his handlers.

The photomontage that Trump retweeted was produced by the conservative publication Daily Wire.

It used a White House picture of the president draping the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military medal, around the neck of James McCloughan, a former army medic distinguished for saving lives under fire during the Vietnam War.

AFP

White House Condemns Video Of Trump Attacking Media

 

The White House on Monday condemned a video depicting a fake President Donald Trump shooting and stabbing media figures and political opponents that was shown at a conference for his supporters.

In the internet meme — taken from a scene in the 2014 spy comedy “Kingsman: The Secret Service” — the president’s head is superimposed on a man opening fire on people whose faces have been replaced with the logos of media outlets including CNN, The Washington Post and NBC TV.

“The @POTUS @realDonaldTrump has not yet seen the video, he will see it shortly, but based upon everything he has heard, he strongly condemns this video,” White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said in a tweet.

During the rampage inside the “Church of Fake News,” the Trump character strikes the late senator John McCain on the back of the neck and torches the head of Senator Bernie Sanders, a 2020 Democratic presidential rival.

He throws Republican senator Mitt Romney to the ground and strikes former president Barack Obama in the back and slams him against a wall.

The organizer of last week’s three-day “American Priority” event — which was held at the president’s Trump National Doral Miami resort — said the clip was part of a “meme exhibit.”

The New York Times reported that the president’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., his former spokeswoman, Sarah Sanders, and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis were among the scheduled speakers.

“American Priority rejects all political violence and aims to promote a healthy dialogue about the preservation of free speech,” Alex Phillips told The New York Times.

 ‘Endorsement of violence’ 

CNN wrote on Twitter: “This is not the first time that supporters of the President have promoted violence against the media in a video they apparently find entertaining, but it is by far and away the worst.”

The network called on the White House to denounce the clip, saying “anything less equates to a tacit endorsement of violence.”

The White House Correspondents’ Association also called on Trump to denounce the meme.

“At a conference of Trump supporters, they played a video of our president murdering journalists in a church,” tweeted Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke.

The former Texas congressman noted that Trump supporter Cesar Sayoc was jailed last year to CNN and prominent Democrats, while only two days ago a shooter opened fire on a wedding in a small town church in New Hampshire.

“This video isn’t funny. It will get people killed,” he said.

Media organizations have come under regular verbal attack from Trump and his supporters.

At rallies, the US president repeatedly encourages the crowd to boo and heckle journalists covering the event, calling them “fake news” and “enemy of the people.”

Trump has previously tweeted a roughly edited video clip of him attacking a wrestler whose head had been superimposed with a CNN logo.

AFP

White House Refuses To Cooperate In Trump Impeachment Probe

 

A defiant White House declared war Tuesday against the impeachment investigation of Donald Trump, blasting the process as partisan, illegitimate and unconstitutional and saying neither the president nor his administration will cooperate.

In a fiery letter, the White House threw down the gauntlet to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the chairmen of three congressional panels leading the inquiry, challenging them to proceed with their effort to oust Trump despite zero future cooperation.

“Put simply, you seek to overturn the results of the 2016 election and deprive the American people of the president they have freely chosen,” White House counsel Pat Cipollone wrote in an eight-page letter.

“Your inquiry lacks any legitimate constitutional foundation, any pretense of fairness, or even the most elementary due process protections,” he said of the probe, which is weighing whether Trump abused his office by seeking a corruption probe in Ukraine of his rival Joe Biden.

“President Trump cannot permit his administration to participate in this partisan inquiry under these circumstances.”

Pelosi fired back, terming the letter “manifestly wrong” and describing it as “another unlawful attempt to hide the facts.”

“Mr President, you are not above the law. You will be held accountable,” she said, warning that “continued efforts to hide the truth of the president’s abuse of power from the American people will be regarded as further evidence of obstruction.”

The stand-off set Washington on a path toward a constitutional crisis and into unknown territory, with the potential for a court showdown just as the nation gears up for the 2020 election.

The White House’s chief objection was the fact the House of Representatives had not held a formal vote to launch the inquiry.

Democrats say it is not needed because the impeachment process is in its earliest stages, equivalent to gathering evidence for an indictment.

Only afterward would the Democrats call a vote. If a majority of House members back impeachment, the matter shifts to a trial in the Senate, currently controlled by Republicans.

Top Senate Republican Mitch McConnell expressed support for Trump’s strategy, tweeting that the House had failed “to follow the same basic procedures that it has followed for every other President in our history.”

The White House letter capped a day of explosive developments that included Trump barring a key witness, Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, from speaking to Congress — calling it a “totally compromised kangaroo court.”

In response, Democrats slapped Sondland with a subpoena that “compels” him to appear on October 16.

‘Stonewalling’

Pelosi formally launched the impeachment inquiry last month after revelations Trump pressured Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky in a July 25 phone call.

Biden, the former vice president who is seeking the 2020 Democratic nomination, joined the chorus of condemnation, tweeting that Trump “must stop stonewalling Congress.”

Sondland, a major donor to Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, was one of a handful of US diplomats on a text message chain between July and September that goes to the heart of the investigation.

The messages involving Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani show them coordinating to pressure Kiev into investigating Biden, as Ukraine sought US military aid and access.

House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff said investigators have learned that Sondland has text messages or emails on a personal device that are “deeply relevant” to the probe, but that State is withholding them.

‘Evidence of Obstruction’

“The failure to produce this witness, the failure to produce these documents” was “additional strong evidence of obstruction,” Schiff told reporters.

Lawmakers have an opportunity on Friday to hear from another key witness in the Ukraine scandal: former US ambassador to Kiev Marie Yovanovitch, who is scheduled to appear before the House Intelligence Committee.

US media has reported that Trump removed her from her post because she opposed his efforts to get Ukraine to investigate Biden.

It was unclear whether Trump will block Yovanovitch’s testimony.

Following the White House’s letter, members of the Trump administration will not be authorized to testify in Congress and will ignore subpoenas, a senior administration official told reporters.

He insisted that the White House was “definitely avoiding saying there’s no way we’d ever cooperate,” but he declined to discuss “hypothetical situations” in which a change might come.

Ukraine Scandal: Democrats Threaten To Subpoena White House

The White House in Washington DC/AFP

 

Democrats leading an impeachment inquiry of Donald Trump Wednesday threatened to subpoena the White House if it fails to turn over documents related to the president’s efforts to get Ukraine to probe a political rival.

“The White House’s flagrant disregard of multiple voluntary requests for documents — combined with stark and urgent warnings from the (intelligence community’s) Inspector General about the gravity of these allegations — have left us with no choice but to issue this subpoena,” said the chairmen of House committees on intelligence, foreign affairs and oversight.

The trio said they were giving the White House until Friday to comply before issuing a subpoena for documents largely related to Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukraine’s president.

AFP

US Judge Orders White House To Reinstate Reporter’s Pass

US President Donald Trump speaks to the media before leaving the White House in Washington, DC for Camp David in Maryland on August 30, 2019. MANDEL NGAN / AFP

 

The White House was ordered Tuesday by a federal judge to reverse its suspension of a reporter’s press credentials.

Playboy reporter Brian Karem’s White House pass was temporarily revoked after he argued with President Donald Trump’s former aide Sebastian Gorka at a July Rose Garden event.

Karem’s “hard pass” — a long-term White House press pass — was suspended for 30 days in August by Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham, who cited his lack of “professionalism” and “decorum.”

But US District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras determined the standards for press behavior had not been made clear before the event and granted a preliminary injunction restoring Karem’s pass.

“Grisham failed to provide fair notice of the fact that a hard pass could be suspended under these circumstances,” the judge wrote.

The press secretary had cited the three rules regarding press etiquette — published after CNN reporter Jim Acosta temporarily lost his hard pass in November after a testy exchange with Trump.

But Judge Contreras dismissed the rules as too vague.

He said that as White House events appear to vary greatly in character, professionalism alone was “too murky” to rely upon.

Grisham had not originally cited the Acosta rules in her letters to Karem, Contreras said, “which casts some doubt on whether she thought that (they) provided any meaningful notice.”

Karem lost his pass after arguing with Gorka at Trump’s Social Media Summit, which was open to the press, in July.

A video of the two trading insults quickly went viral.

Karem called the attendees “a group of people who are eager for demonic possession.”

Gorka responded by shouting, “You’re not a journalist! You’re a punk!”

Karem celebrated the decision Tuesday by tweeting, “God bless the Constitution, free speech, due process,” and also thanking his lawyers.

AFP

Trump Walks Out On Democrats As Impeachment Talk Heats Up

US President Donald Trump waves as he leaves a press conference in the Rose Garden of the White House on May 22, 2019, in Washington, DC. PHOTO: Jim WATSON / AFP

 

Donald Trump erupted in fury Wednesday at unrelenting probes into his links to Russia, as the top Democrat in Congress accused the president of a “cover-up” that could be an impeachable offense.

A livid Trump abruptly shut down a White House meeting with Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, announcing he could not deal with them on policy until “phony investigations” are brought to a close.

The clash marked a dramatic escalation in Trump’s war of words with congressional opponents seeking to bring him to account for what they say is presidential wrongdoing.

Trump’s ire was seemingly triggered by House Speaker Pelosi, his nemesis in Congress, who declared following an emergency meeting with lawmakers earlier Wednesday: “We believe that the president of the United States is engaged in a cover-up.”

“I don’t do cover-ups,” Trump shot back at a hastily arranged Rose Garden press event moments after the aborted White House talks.

“So get these phony investigations over with,” Trump said — warning a failure to do so would spell gridlock on issues like fixing the country’s infrastructure, on which the two sides had hoped for a breakthrough Wednesday.

“You can’t investigate and legislate simultaneously,” he added. “It just doesn’t work that way.”

A two-year investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller into Russia’s interference in the 2016 US election concluded there was no hard evidence Trump’s campaign colluded with Moscow.

But the prosecutor said he could not rule clearly on whether Trump obstructed justice, leaving it to the Trump-appointed attorney general, Bill Barr, to declare there was no obstruction.

‘Impeachable offense’

The Democrats’ decision to pursue the grey areas of the investigation — and their open discussion of whether to pursue the politically perilous process of impeachment — has enraged Trump.

“PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT!” he tweeted Wednesday, as he stepped up his attacks on the probes.

Any pretense of cooperation on policy evaporated as Trump and Pelosi locked horns, with the impeachment issue inching toward center stage in Washington.

Trump was visibly angry when he arrived at the meeting with Pelosi and Schumer, according to people familiar with what transpired.

The president did not shake hands or sit down, and accused Pelosi of saying something “terrible.”

Republican leaders sought to pin the blame on Democrats.

“Their obsession with impeaching this president is paralyzing any progress we could be making,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said on Twitter.

Speaking after she left the White House, Pelosi doubled down, charging that Trump could have committed an impeachable offense by publicly refusing to comply with congressional subpoenas connected to Mueller’s probe.

She likened it to the “cover-up” that brought down former president Richard Nixon in the Watergate crisis.

“The fact is, in plain sight, in the public domain, this president is obstructing justice and he’s engaged in a cover-up,” she told a Washington conference. “And that could be an impeachable offense.”

In a letter to the Democratic Caucus Pelosi wrote that Trump threw a “temper tantrum” — something the president denied.

“This is not true,” Trump tweeted late Wednesday. “I was purposely very polite and calm, much as I was minutes later with the press in the Rose Garden.”

He then wrote that House Democrats only want “put the Mueller Report behind them and start all over again. No Do-Overs!”

Pelosi’s remarks appeared to reflect the growing anger by Democrats at White House stonewalling, even as she has worked hard to tamp down talk of impeachment.

A day earlier, Democrats were left seething when Trump’s former lawyer Don McGahn, a key figure in the Mueller report, refused to testify about obstruction allegations against the president.

Goading Congress?

Democrats also argue that Barr is subverting congressional oversight powers in order to protect the president.

But on Wednesday, the House Intelligence Committee’s chairman said the Justice Department had agreed to begin honoring a subpoena for material related to Mueller’s probe.

Despite her accusation of a cover-up, Pelosi has been mindful of the politically-charged nature of an impeachment move ahead of a 2020 presidential election, especially one that is likely to fail in the Republican-led Senate.

She has argued in favor of keeping the focus on educating the public through the court process and congressional probes, rather than leaping to impeachment.

The issue has divided Democrats for months. Even as some in Congress — and several Democratic presidential contenders — are eager to assert its historical oversight powers as a check against the executive, there are concerns the tactic could backfire, energizing Trump’s base ahead of the election.

“He’s really trying to goad Congress into impeaching him,” congressman Peter Welch, a member of Democratic leadership, told CNN.

Pelosi and Schumer meanwhile offered their own scathing descriptions of Wednesday’s heated scene.

Schumer called the meeting’s dramatic cancellation “a pre-planned excuse” and said “what happened in the White House makes your jaw drop.”

Likewise suggesting Trump manufactured the row to avoid committing to an enormously expensive infrastructure bill, Pelosi said: “I pray for the president of the United States.”

AFP

Trump’s Son Subpoenaed As Congress Battles White House Over Russia Report

FILE PHOTO: US President-elect Donald Trump along with his son Donald, Jr., arrive for a press conference at Trump Tower in New York, as Allen Weisselberg (C), chief financial officer of The Trump, looks on January 11, 2017. PHOTO: TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP

 

The Russia probe plunged Washington into turmoil on Wednesday as Donald Trump’s son reportedly was ordered to testify before a Senate panel and the White House refused to release material on investigations into the president.

A day after the top Republican in Congress called the Russia probe “case closed,” Trump’s conflict with his Democratic opponents escalated to new heights as a House panel voted to hold the nation’s Attorney General Bill Barr in contempt for refusing to turn over key documents.

Following a day of drama that included Trump asserting executive privilege for the first time in his presidency, the Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee took the surprise step of issuing a subpoena to Donald Trump Jr to testify as part of its investigation into Russian election interference, US media reported.

It was the first known legal summons issued to a member of the president’s family to force testimony in the ongoing investigation, and comes after special counsel Robert Mueller declined to accuse Trump’s 2016 campaign of criminal conspiracy to collude with the Russians.

Trump Jr, 41, has testified voluntarily in private once to the committee, and was peppered with questions about a June 9, 2016 meeting at Trump Tower in New York that he and other campaign officials had with a Russian lawyer who had offered them dirt on Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Committee aides would not confirm the subpoena or what they want to discuss with the president’s eldest son, who currently helps run the Trump Organization.

Citing a person close to Trump Jr, The Wall Street Journal reported he had offered to answer questions in writing from the committee, and planned to fight the subpoena, which demands he testify in person.

‘Constitutional crisis’

The White House has been seeking to shield a large swathe of material — including redacted portions of Mueller’s report — subpoenaed by lawmakers seeking to exert their oversight responsibility.

The rare move to invoke executive privilege came as the House Judiciary Committee took its most substantive step yet against a member of the Trump administration by approving a contempt motion against Barr.

“This was a very grave and momentous step we were forced to take today,” committee chairman Jerry Nadler said after the party-line vote.

Nadler said the contempt citation will proceed “rapidly” for a full House vote but did not offer a timeline.

He accused Trump and the White House of stonewalling by preventing America’s congressional representatives from conducting oversight of the executive branch.

“It’s an attack on the essence of our democracy,” Nadler said. “We are now in a constitutional crisis.”

The Department of Justice swiftly shot back, branding the contempt vote “inappropriate political theatrics.”

Hours earlier, Trump made clear he would assert his executive privilege to keep Mueller’s full report under wraps.

“Neither the White House nor Attorney General Barr will comply with Chairman Nadler’s unlawful and reckless demands,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said.

Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd stressed that Trump had moved to keep “the entirety of the subpoenaed materials” from the eyes of Congress.

Nadler warned that such action “represents a clear escalation in the Trump administration’s blanket defiance of Congress’s constitutionally mandated duties.”

Democrats have struggled with their battle plan in the wake of the Mueller report.

Some have called for impeachment proceedings against Trump, while others stress the need to refocus on issues affecting everyday Americans ahead of the 2020 election.

Trump claimed the document exonerated him of wrongdoing. On the question of obstruction of justice, the report did not conclude Trump committed a crime, but Mueller wrote that “it also does not exonerate him.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Trump’s nemesis in Congress, has refrained from calling for his impeachment.

But on Wednesday she voiced support for the contempt move, and delivered a stinging message about the White House refusal to release the unredacted report.

“Is this what it looks like when you have nothing to hide?” Pelosi tweeted.

‘A disgrace’

For several hours in the tense judiciary hearing, lawmakers traded barbs about Barr’s brazen protection of the president and the calculated effort by Democrats to punish him and gain access to key material.

Addressing a rally of supporters in Florida on Wednesday night, Trump defended his attorney general as “great” and said that after Mueller’s two-year probe found “nothing,” the Democrats were not finished.

“You know it was going to be, like, ‘we want the Mueller report.’ Now they say, ‘Mueller report, no, we want to start all over again.’ It is a disgrace.”

Barr defied a subpoena to turn over a complete copy of Mueller’s report and the underlying evidence, and last week refused to testify before the House Judiciary Committee.

The panel approved the 27-page contempt citation in which Nadler wrote that even the redacted report “offers disturbing evidence and analysis that President Trump engaged in obstruction of justice at the highest levels.”

AFP

Former US VP, Joe Biden Announces Interest To Run For White House In 2020

Former US Vice President Joe Biden / AFP

 

Former US Vice President Joe Biden announced Thursday that he is running for the White House, positioning the veteran Democrat as a frontrunner among the many candidates seeking to challenge Donald Trump in 2020.

The party’s 76-year-old senior statesman became the most experienced and recognized Democrat in the race, a popular former vice president dominating early polls following months — even years — of campaign planning.

In a tweet accompanied by a three-and-a-half minute video, Biden said he could not stand idly by as US President Donald Trump “fundamentally altered the character of this nation”.

“The core values of this nation… our standing in the world… our very democracy… everything that has made America — America — is at stake,” he wrote in the post.

READ ALSO: Saudi Faces Rising Criticism After Mass Execution

“That’s why today I’m announcing my candidacy for President of the United States.”

Biden, whose working-class appeal remains intact despite nearly half a century in Washington politics, is seen as a comforting, known quantity for American voters who will be vetting some 20 Democrats now officially in the presidential field.

But recent controversy over his tactile style, particularly with women, could dampen a rollout that he envisioned as the final main entry to the Democratic primary battle.

Even before his official announcement, Biden, who served eight years as Barack Obama’s vice president, led most surveys of Democratic voters.

The RealClearPolitics poll aggregate puts him a favourite with 29.3 percent support, followed by independent Senator Bernie Sanders at 23 percent.

White House Confirms Trump Will Declare ‘National Emergency’ To Fund wall

White House Condemns 'Heinous' Killing Of Journalists In Afghanistan
White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders arrives at a press briefing at the White House in Washington, DC, on April 25, 2018. NICHOLAS KAMM / AFP

 

The White House confirmed on Thursday that President Donald Trump will declare a national emergency in an attempt to bypass Congress and get more funding for his Mexico border wall project.

Trump will also sign off on a congressional bill that would authorize a much smaller amount of wall money than the president had been demanding.

“President Trump will sign the government funding bill, and as he has stated before, he will also take other executive action — including a national emergency — to ensure we stop the national security and humanitarian crisis at the border,” spokeswoman Sarah Sander said.

More to follow…

White House Denies Cancelling Trade Talks With China

 

The White House said high-level trade talks with Beijing were proceeding uninterrupted, quickly rebutting media reports that progress toward resolving their trade war had faltered.

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He is to meet his US counterparts in Washington next week as the two sides work to resolve their trade disagreements by March 1, when a 90-day truce is due to expire, allowing US import duties on Chinese goods to increase sharply.

Washington and Beijing imposed tit-for-tat tariffs on more than $360 billion worth of goods in two-way trade last year.

Trump initiated the trade war because of complaints about unfair Chinese trade practices — concerns shared by the European Union, Japan and others.

The Financial Times and CNBC both reported Tuesday afternoon that Washington had cancelled a preliminary meeting set for this week ahead of Liu’s visit.

American officials had reportedly cited a lack of progress on the most difficult issues in the trade dispute — including allegedly forced technology transfers and far-reaching structural reforms to China’s economy.

The reports sent Wall Street even further into the red. US stocks had already opened lower on downgraded forecasts for global economic growth.

But, shortly before the close of trading in New York, top White House economic aide Larry Kudlow flatly denied the reports during an appearance on CNBC.

“With respect, the story is not true,” Kudlow said Tuesday.

“There was never a planned meeting that was cancelled.”

China’s foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying concurred Wednesday at a regular press briefing, adding that she had not heard of any changes and that “both sides remain in contact on China-US trade consultation issues”.

Stock prices recovered some of their losses following Kudlow’s remarks but still finished substantially lower for the day. Asian markets were mixed on Wednesday.

Kudlow said the United States continued to press the Chinese on the subject of intellectual property and state intervention in markets, among other matters.

He also said American officials were insisting that any agreement have teeth to ensure Beijing’s compliance.

“Enforcement is absolutely crucial to the success of these talks,” Kudlow said.

“Will it be solved at the end of the month? I don’t know. I wouldn’t dare predict and want to make sure people understand how important that is to put it on the table.”

If both sides fail to reach a resolution to the trade war, US duty rates on $200 billion in Chinese goods are due to rise to 25 percent from their current 10 percent, a prospect that has shaken markets in recent months.

Last year, the Chinese economy posted its slowest annual growth in nearly three decades, according to official figures published Monday in Beijing, underscoring concerns the trade conflict with the United States could sap the strength of the world’s second-largest economy and harm global growth in the process.

Suspected Terrorist Arrested For Planning To Attack White House

 

Authorities in the US state of Georgia have arrested a 21-year-old man who sought to buy explosives and an anti-tank rocket for a “jihad” suicide attack on the White House planned for Thursday.

Byung Pak, the US attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, announced the arrest of Hasher Taheb of Cumming, Georgia late Wednesday after a months-long FBI investigation sparked by a tip from the local community “that Taheb had become radicalized.”

According to the indictment, Taheb tried to recruit an informant and an undercover FBI agent into a plan to attack the White House and other targets in Washington, including the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial and an unnamed synagogue.

Wanting to fulfil his “duty” to conduct jihad and expecting to become a “martyr,” Taheb originally hoped to travel to Islamic State-held territory in the Middle East, he told the FBI source, the indictment said.

But because he had lost his passport, Taheb told the informant it would be better to launch attacks inside the United States.

On December 7, 2018, he met the undercover agent and revealed a hand-drawn diagram of the White House West Wing, where the president’s office is located.

In the subsequent weeks, Taheb detailed what weapons he wanted to acquire for the plot, and assigned the FBI agent to obtain them: semi-automatic weapons, grenades and an AT-4 shoulder-mounted anti-tank weapon.

His plan was for the trio to jointly launch the attack on what he referred to as “game day,” eventually pinpointed as January 17.

“Specifically, he described his plan to use the AT-4 to blow a hole in the White House so that the group could enter,” the indictment said.

Taheb advised the source “that jihad was the best deed in Islam and the peak of Islam,” the indictment said.

On Wednesday, the three met in the parking lot of a store in Buford, Georgia where the FBI agent was to hand over the explosives and weapons, all of which had been rendered inert.

When Taheb took delivery of the weapons, he was arrested.

Officials and the indictment provided no background on Taheb or whether he had made any contact with jihadist groups abroad.

But Pak said no targets in Washington or Georgia were ever truly threatened by the plot.

In a separate case, on Thursday a 49-year-old man, Demetrius Nathaniel Pitts or Abdur Raheem Rafeeq, was arrested in a Cleveland, Ohio suburb and charged with planning a terror attack on the city on July 4, the US Independence Day holiday.

Undercover FBI agents communicated with Pitts for months on the plot before arresting him.

“Pitts, a US citizen living in Ohio, pledged his allegiance to Al-Qaeda,” a Justice Department statement said.

AFP

Flasher Arrested Outside White House

White House On Lockdown After Shots Fired
The moon is seen above the White House on February 28, 2018 in Washington, DC. MANDEL NGAN / AFP

A choice political gesture or holiday merriment went awry? A man has been arrested after exposing himself in front of the White House.

Five people were posing together for pictures Sunday at around 1:30 am near the north fence of the White House when a police officer saw more than he wanted from one of them.

The man, turning around to face the executive mansion, “proceeded to lower his pants and undergarment exposing his genital to plain view,” said the incident report by Washington police.

The suspect was arrested for indecent exposure, a misdemeanor. Police did not assign a motive.

While it was unlikely that President Donald Trump or his family caught a glimpse of the flasher, the incident came after Trump postponed a holiday trip to Florida due to a political showdown that has partially shut down the US government.

AFP