By Kevin Liptak and Barbara Starr, CNN
President Donald Trump says a US ship “destroyed” an Iranian drone on Thursday.
He said the drone came within 1,000 yards of the USS Boxer and ignored “multiple calls to stand down.”
Speaking at the White House Trump said the drone was “threatening the safety of the ship and the ship’s crew” in the Strait of Hormuz and was “immediately destroyed.”
The drone was destroyed using electronic jamming, according to a US defense official.
The crew of the Boxer took defensive action after the drone came within a threatening distance of the US ship, the official said.
“This is the latest of many provocative and hostile actions by Iran against vessels operating in international waters,” Trump added. “The United States reserves the right to defend our personnel, our facilities and interest and calls upon all nations to condemn Iran’s attempts to disrupt freedom of navigation and global commerce.”
He called on other countries to condemn Iran’s action and protect their own vessels.
SALT LAKE CITY — On Twitter, Utah Senator Mitt Romney referred to President Trump’s attack on four democratic congresswomen as destructive, demeaning, and disunifying, but does he consider them racist?
“I choose the words that I think are the most descriptive and I think racially offensive and offensive also to immigrants is an apt and appropriate description. The president has a very unique and noble calling to draw us together regardless of our race, our ethnic origin, our creed, our color and I think on this, the president failed us,” Romney said.
Senator Romney disagrees with the president’s words, but not necessarily his actions.
“I support the president’s policies in large measure and vote with him on a number of things that I think are good for Utah and for the country,” Romney said.
As for the resolution that passed in the U.S. House, condemning his comments and referring to them as racist, Senator Romney is focusing on the actions of his congressional colleagues.
“There’s not been a resolution brought before the Senate. I don’t know whether there will be or not. If there is, I’ll take a look at what it says,” Romney said.
For now, Senator Romney says he’s focusing on his job.
Even if he disagrees with the policies of the four female Democrats now being referred to as “The Squad,” he plans to do so respectfully.
“I think we have to be careful not to suggest that there’s any group of people in America that are not welcome here. We are a melting pot. We’re a nation that welcomes people from different backgrounds but also different points of view,” says Romney.
Right now, Senator Romney is focusing on legislation he’s introduced, which includes cutting down prescription drug costs, cleaning up our air by pushing for higher standards on trucks and automobiles, and helping Hill Air Force base hire qualified former military personnel by removing the six-month holding period that’s currently in place.
WASHINGTON — Utah’s three Republican congressmen issued a joint statement Tuesday after voting against H.R. 89 “Condemning President Trump’s racist comments directed at Members of Congress.”
Rob Bishop, Chris Stewart and John Curtis each voted “nay” on H.R. 89, but clarified that they want “inflammatory rhetoric” to stop.
“From claims that ‘Nancy Pelosi is a racist’ to ‘Border agents are Nazis running concentration camps,’ it has gotten out of control. This resolution and these social media wars do nothing to unify our country and only take time and resources away from our true responsibility to get real legislative work done for the people of Utah,” their statement said. (Read the full statement below.)
On Sunday, President Trump tweeted his views on “Progressive Democrat Congresswomen,” suggesting that they “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”
The tweets were apparently directed at Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA). Of the four, only Omar was born outside of the United States, and she is now a naturalized citizen.
On Monday, Utah Sen. Mitt Romney and Rep. Ben McAdams each issued their own statements condemning Trump’s remarks. (McAdams voted in favor of the resolution.) Sen. Mike Lee remains silent on the issue.
Utah House GOP Members Issue Joint Statement
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, following the vote on H. Res. 489, Condemning President Trump’s racist comments directed at Members of Congress, Rep. Bishop (UT-01), Rep. Stewart (UT-02), and Rep. Curtis (UT-03) issued the following joint statement:
“Freedom of speech is a pillar of our democracy. We are not trying to censor President Trump or House Democrats. But, for the sake of not dividing our nation further, the inflammatory rhetoric needs to stop. From claims that ‘Nancy Pelosi is a racist’ to ‘Border agents are Nazis running concentration camps,’ it has gotten out of control. This resolution and these social media wars do nothing to unify our country and only take time and resources away from our true responsibility to get real legislative work done for the people of Utah.”
Over the weekend, President Donald Trump attacked a group of progressive Democratic congresswomen by sarcastically suggesting that “they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”
To ‘go back where you came from’ is a slur that’s been used against people of color in America — and elsewhere — for decades.
CNN asked to share their experiences. Here are 8 of those stories, sent in via Twitter and WhatsApp, in their unedited forms:
Sauleh Siddiqui, 35
Washington DC resident
I’m a professor of Civil Engineering and Applied Mathematics and Statistics at Johns Hopkins University and live in Washington DC. I grew up in Pakistan, and came to the US because of college. I am now a naturalized citizen. Last year, I was on a research trip to Berlin with some American colleagues.
I was talking to my European colleagues about how the food and coffee in Europe is so much better than the United States. One of my American colleagues got a bit annoyed at this, and interrupted me and said that I can go back to my country if I don’t like America and that no one forces me to live in the US. I was already a US citizen by then. In college, a professor of international relations once asked me in class where I was from. Once I told him, he said that I should go back to Pakistan once I am done studying so I can fix my country. He said it was a global problem that people like me didn’t go back to fix their own countries
Daniela Perez, 21
I’m a Colombian, naturalized American citizen and I’m a Journalism and Political Science Major at the University of Miami.
I live in Miami which is generally diverse. However, because of my progressive and left leaning ideas, I’ve often been told to go back to where I came from and when I was in high school an anonymous twitter said “Daniela Perez is the reason we need to build a wall” despite being in a “diverse” city and being an American citizen. I’ve even been told this by other Latinx people who were born here because they’ve garnered the language of white radicalism because it gives them a sense of comfort for some reason.
Being told to go back to my country reminds you of how confused you feel about your pertinence in either country. Despite being an “American”, you surely don’t feel like it and as I’ve grown older, I feel confused about my belonging. Because I’m not either and when I felt more American, I was rejected from it. And as someone who tends to be emotional, I feel for my family who made the effort to come here for a better future just to realize that it’s not as great. And that we won’t belong like they told us we would.
I’m passionate about American politics but I’m terrified about being belittled for my background. Especially by the President of the United States
Priscilla A. Gonzalez, 34
I have been told to go back to Mexico. Well, this has happened to me throughout my entire life. I am 34 years old. I grew up in the Rio Grande Valley. I now reside in Corpus Christi, Texas. The last time was in February of this year. I was at a stoplight driving to Louisiana to see my brother. Apparently, a lady was upset because I cut her off (this was not intentional) and yelled at me when we met at the stoplight “Go back to Mexico and called me a Libtard.” I was with my father at the time. I do believe that this woman was upset because I have Beto and Eric Holguin bumper stickers on my car. She had MAGA 2020 stickers.
When I was younger, I did not fully understand, so my reaction was just confused. When I was with my dad, my immediate response was anger, and when my dad noticed I was about to say something back, he told me: “There are some bad and ignorant people in the world, you don’t have to respond to them. Be a better person.”
Jasmine Gaitano, 32
Lives in Japan
Trump’s tweet was a mixture of anger, frustration, and resentment because the leader of our country (and my husband’s commander-in-chief) is single handedly turning back the clock on America’s sociocultural progress and emboldening his base to perpetuate their tribalistic and xenophobic behaviors and it frightens me because this road will take us to an even darker place.
I was born in the Philippines but immigrated to the United States when I was 4 and got my citizenship in the 3rd grade. We settled in Plano, TX when I was in Kindergarten. So it was tough growing up as a minority in a predominately white and affluent suburb. My husband and I are currently stationed in Okinawa, Japan, and we’ll be here until 2021. I’m a teacher and have been teaching almost a year. I got “Go back to China” regularly. One instance where I actually broke down crying was during summer school. This boy was upset that I wasn’t allowing or accepting his advances and he basically told me to go back to China. I laughed a bit bc I was somewhat used to it and said I wasn’t Chinese. He replied with, “Well all of you look the same and have slanted eyes.” I was 13 or 14 at the time.
Nida Allam, 25,
Durham, North Carolina, resident
I was born in Canada my parents are Indian and Pakistani and I am a Muslim woman who wears the headscarf. I’m elected to the North Carolina Democratic Party. I constantly receive messages being told to go back to “the desert” or “olly akbar land” (their attempt at saying allahuakbar). When I was first elected to be an officer of the party a white supremacist wrote an entire article about how I’m corrupting the US.
I live in Durham, NC. When I get messages I genuinely feel concerned not for my safety per se but how as a nation we have failed. Because this type of hatred isn’t something you’re born with its taught, and it’s taught through a lack of information. These people may just be behind a keyboard right now but I fear in this political climate they will feel emboldened to act on their hatred and hurt innocent people.
I also feel the urge myself to become more politically active and to work for a must just and accepting society.
Miranda Cooper, 42
I never thought that I would hear a sitting US President say something so unAmerican. I thought we were the land of opportunity and a welcoming nation… It made me feel like all of the sacrifices that my grandfather went through, after spendings years as a political prisoner in Cuba, to come to this country and give his children a better life was undone in that stupid hate filled tweet. It was scary because it made me feel like no one is safe.
On two occasions I’ve felt quite out of place despite the fact that I was born here. My family came to the US from Cuba in the 60’s and 70’s. I once worked at an insurance agency in Miami where the owner and manager were non-Hispanic. Once, the manager caught a coworker and I speaking Spanish in private and he started throwing candy from a nearby candy bowl and shouting at me to stop speaking Spanish. The second time was when I got engaged, my now husband’s ex-girlfriend told me to “drive back to Cuba” Yes, DRIVE back to the Island of Cuba.
In the first situation, I felt as if he thought I was less than him because I’m Hispanic. I quit that job immediately and filed a Equal Employment Opportunity complaint against the agency. The second time I recognize that it came from a place of jealousy and anger, so it didn’t hurt as bad. It did make me realize that whether I was born here or not, the fact that I had a Hispanic last name and spoke Spanish, there were still going to be people who viewed me as being less than, whether it be less of a human, less worthy of respect, less intelligent, etc than they are.
In the first instance, even though I filed a complaint, no one (other employees) stood up and opposed his actions. All of the Hispanic coworkers were upset that the manager implemented this “no speaking Spanish” rule even during our private conversations during lunch, restroom, etc. All of them complained in private However, they were all afraid to lose their jobs. It just makes you feel like you battle this fight alone when it happens to you personally.
The second instance, I knew it came from a place of anger and jealousy. However, it was her go to response and something she could say to cause a sting. She even used my ethnicity to put up a Craigslist ad trying to break up my fiancé and I. It was graphic and gross. I actually still have it because I had to file a report to get her to take it down.
Jason Galeas, 19
My mother’s side of the family is Chinese, while my father’s side is white (predominantly greek/British). I was born here, raised here, and can speak and write English better than most people in my area. I go to a top major university in Texas, and am studying environmental science. Most of the people I’ve grown up with my age have never judged me based on my ethnic background, and have treated me the same as everyone else.
The change came when I lived in a rural area of the state for a year, where predominately conservative families doing subsidy farming for a living would not only make assumptions about my race, but also harass others that weren’t “them” (being fully white, growing up in the south on a country farm). This was very new to me, and I had to develop ways to control my frustrations, as even going to a local market would be a very awkward experience, knowing many people were glaring at me as I passed, or country teenagers whispering a racist joke that I’ve heard on TV a thousand times.
One day an older gentleman at a Walmart told my mother and I to “go back to where we came from” in the “rice paddies eating our dogs.” I’ve never heard such harsh racism made is a serious, non-lighthearted way. Of course, I didn’t stand for it, so I told the guy off as best as I could (being a national debate finalist helps build you insults over the years) and made him quiet enough to leave us alone for the rest of the time we were at that section of the Walmart, but man, is it crazy to experience stuff like that. I’m grateful for all my friends and the 99% of all of the people I’ve known in my life that have not even looked at my race as something to judge, but instead, judged me based on my personality and actions, which are the true ways to define someone.
Stephanie Garza, 25
I have a simple example. I’m Hispanic, of Mexican decent. The other day, at work, a customer asked me “what country?” Just that. Sadly I’ve been in this situation before so I knew he meant “what country are you from” and I was pressed when I said America like “no, where are you REALLY from?” As if the fact that I’m not white means American couldn’t be my home just as much as him.
Trump backs away from census citizenship question, direct agencies to hand over citizenship information to Commerce
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump issued an executive order Thursday directing the Commerce Department to obtain citizenship data through means other than the US census, dropping a controversial plan to include a citizenship question on the 2020 census after the Supreme Court blocked it.
Trump repeatedly said in Rose Garden remarks that he’s not backing away from attempting a count of US citizens, but acknowledged legal setbacks in inserting a citizenship question on the nationwide population survey.
“We are not backing down on our effort to determine the citizenship status of the US population,” Trump said in laying out a plan to issue an executive order asking US departments and agencies to find ways to determine a head-count of citizens.
Trump said agencies would be required to provide the Commerce Department with documents and records of citizens and non-citizens, which he said would help provide an accurate picture of US citizenship.
After a week of uncertainty about his next move. Trump tweeted Thursday morning he would be holding a press conference in the Rose Garden in the afternoon about “the census and citizenship.”
The Supreme Court late last month blocked a citizenship question from being added to the 2020 census. The bitter controversy centers around whether the administration can ask all recipients a citizenship question on the 2020 census for the first time since 1950 — a move that could impact the balance of power in states and the House of Representatives, which are based on total population.
Adding the question, critics say, could result in minorities being undercounted by scaring off even legal residents or naturalized citizens from completing the decennial questionnaire, which is also used to determine funding for an array of government programs.
The expected decision to back off the census fight was first reported by ABC News.
The Census Bureau, which falls under the Commerce Department, has long favored using administrative records — including data from the Social Security Administration, IRS, US Citizenship and Immigration Services and the State Department — to gather citizenship data, rather than asking individuals to self-report their status on the census itself.
Key Republican senators said early Thursday they had not been briefed by the White House on the contours of Trump’s action. Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Roger Wicker, a Republican from Mississippi who has oversight of the Census Bureau, said he has not had discussions with the White House.
Democrats made clear they were prepared to fight any new effort to add a citizenship question.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that the House of Representatives will vote next week on criminal contempt for Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross over their refusal to answer questions about internal discussions surrounding the citizenship question.
“Next week the full house will vote on a resolution of criminal contempt for Attorney General Barr and Secretary Ross so we can enforce our subpoenas and get the facts,” Pelosi said. This comes after the House Oversight Committee voted last month to hold Barr and Ross in contempt over the dispute.
The vote has been scheduled for Tuesday, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer tweeted later on Thursday.
Pelosi, when asked if Trump could still add the citizenship question by executive action, replied: “I don’t know.”
Some type of direct action by Trump had been one of several avenues explored by the administration to place the question on the decennial population survey following the late June Supreme Court ruling.
The Trump administration initially announced printing would go forward without the citizenship question. Government attorneys had asserted to the courts that the printing process — either with or without the question — needed to begin on July 1 to avoid extra costs.
That approach was thrown into disarray when Trump abruptly changed course last week, ordering officials to find another way to add the question — something the Supreme Court left the door open to in its ruling. White House and Justice Department officials spent the Independence Day holiday considering ways to include the question.
One unanswered question was how the administration would implement the addition of the question to the census forms after printing had begun. Options included reprinting the forms that have been printed without the question, or printing a supplemental page.
Civil rights groups pledged to take swift legal action against any efforts to go ahead with adding a question.
“The Supreme Court has spoken. The Trump administration’s effort to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census is unlawful,” Dale Ho, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Voting Rights Project, said on Thursday. “If President Trump takes executive action, we will take legal action.”
Even though it is not in session, the Supreme Court would be able to respond to any pressing litigation related to a citizenship question on the 2020 census. The nine justices often handle emergency requests, such as motions from prisoners facing execution, while on recess and out of their columned building across from the Capitol. The justices conduct business through telephone conversations and emails, as well as through information relayed to their law clerks and other court personnel.
Some justices, however, had public plans to travel overseas later this month. Through George Mason University law school programs, Brett Kavanaugh is scheduled to be in England and Neil Gorsuch in Italy. Chief Justice John Roberts, who would oversee the handling of any requests for immediate court action, usually spends some weeks each summer at his vacation home in Maine.
The issue still faces ongoing action in the lower courts.
There is already a motion asking federal Judge Jesse Furman in New York to totally prohibit the administration changing the census or adding the question in any way. A Census Bureau official said during a trial last year that the form could be finalized after June, and as late as October, but only if “exceptional resources” were provided. He did not specify a dollar figure.
Legal maneuvering is expected to stretch through the summer in two federal trial courts. The New York court is set to hear arguments from critics of the question that the government should be sanctioned. In Maryland, a judge recently reopened the trial after an ACLU-led group presented what they say is new evidence the question was proposed with discriminatory motives. A hearing on the evidence is scheduled for after the Labor Day weekend.
WASHINGTON — The Pentagon is wary of it. The city of Washington openly opposed it. And even some White House officials wonder whether a speech meant to be apolitical will stay that way — and whether crowds will materialize to watch it.
With that raft of concern as its backdrop, President Donald Trump’s pet project — an Independence Day celebration of the military — will proceed in extravagant fashion on Thursday (unless, of course, it rains). And that’s a sharp change from how the holiday has been marked in the nation’s capital by previous presidents from either party.
“It will be the show of a lifetime!” Trump declared optimistically a day before.
The spectacle is likely to delight many Americans who view the military as one remaining unifying force for pride in a country divided along political, racial and economic lines. But it’s also drawn skepticism and criticism for its costs and political hue.
There will be flyovers of military jets, including a B-2 stealth bomber, F-22 fighter jets and the blue-and-white airliner that usually serves as Air Force One.
Bands will herald the branches of the military with their official march songs. M1 Abrams tanks transported by heavy rail will sit on display, though precisely where will depend on whether the ground can support their weight.
There will be about 750 to 800 military personnel taking part in the celebration, a defense official tells CNN. And that doesn’t include the 900 hundred members of the DC National Guard who have been activated to provide traffic control and security on the streets and in the subway system.
Trump will speak around 6:30 p.m., and there will be a 21-gun salute, according to the defense official. The President will then speak about each military service. He will first talk about the Coast Guard, with his remarks followed by the Coast Guard flyover. This format will be repeated for the Air Force, followed by its flyover, then the Navy, the Marine Corps and the Army. Trump will then make closing remarks and the Navy flight team the Blue Angels will do their demonstration, which will be followed by fireworks.
Trump is hoping for an enormous crowd, and July Fourth reliably draws plenty of people to Washington. But the last time he delivered an address on the National Mall, on Inauguration Day, he was disappointed by the turnout, or at least in the way the turnout was depicted on the news.
That’s left some of his aides working overtime to fill out the space along the Mall where he will speak. It’s not clear that their efforts will be successful, and some people who were offered tickets this week — including donors and administration officials — said they’d already made other plans.
Trump will address the masses in front of Abraham Lincoln’s 19-foot marble likeness, framed by the iconic Doric columns of the 16th president’s memorial. He’ll face a crowd of US military families, patriotic onlookers — and ticketed VIPs, including some of his Republican allies.
It’s all a vastly scaled-up version of how presidents ordinarily celebrate July Fourth, the date American colonists officially served notice to Britain in 1776. Usually the holiday is marked with a picnic for service members and their families on the White House South Lawn, followed by a viewing of fireworks over the Washington Monument.
Presidents haven’t traditionally delivered public remarks, much less an address on the National Mall. And the day hasn’t been marked by such overtly militaristic displays.
That’s caused concern even among US military brass that their ranks could end up politicized, according to people familiar with the matter. In the planning for the event, Pentagon leaders had reservations about putting tanks or other armored vehicles on display, a source with direct knowledge of the situation said.
As the final details come together, several top military chiefs of the individual services are not attending and instead are sending alternates, though some said they had prior plans.
The White House has insisted Trump’s speech will not be political and will instead honor the military and its service to the country. But Trump has a way of turning even official events into political moments, including at military installations, often to the delight of the rank-and-file troops he’s addressing.
And even his own top aide, Kellyanne Conway, told reporters this week that the speech would highlight “the success of this administration.”
The military displays Trump ordered up — which include the flyovers, tanks and other ceremonial units such as the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps, the US Army Band (“Pershing’s Own”) and the US Marine Corps Silent Drill Team — have led some to compare the event to the authoritarian parades seen in places like China or North Korea.
But Trump’s inspiration was actually a parade in France, which he witnessed with delight on Bastille Day in 2017. He immediately began formulating plans to stage a parade of his own, though cost estimates later caused him to reduce his aspirations to the speech and military pageant that will be seen Thursday.
Through it all, Trump has taken enormous interest in even the smallest details, from the staging to the military equipment on display.
It’s those details that are likely to ratchet up the costs of the event, though the massive fireworks display that will cap the evening has been donated.
Already, the National Park Service is redirecting nearly $2.5 million to help cover costs related to the July 4 extravaganza, according to The Washington Post, money that the paper says is usually “primarily intended to improve parks across the country.”
It’s not clear how much the event will cost altogether, though Trump attempted to downplay the amount on Wednesday.
“The cost of our great Salute to America tomorrow will be very little compared to what it is worth,” he wrote on Twitter. “We own the planes, we have the pilots, the airport is right next door (Andrews), all we need is the fuel. We own the tanks and all. Fireworks are donated by two of the greats. Nice!”
That isn’t entirely truthful — the planes used in the flyovers will come from California, Missouri, Kentucky and Florida. And the costs of the event extend well beyond the military equipment.
For example, just the “transparent ballistic armor” used to protect the President during his speech could cost more than $24,000, according to government records.
In Trump’s view, the additional costs of staging the event are worth the show — though what happens to that show if it rains isn’t clear.
Chances of rain for the District should be about 50% on Thursday, with the highest chance from 4 to 9 p.m. ET. The Salute to America events are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET.
It’s still a question whether storms, fueled by the heat and humidity, will form directly over the capital. But if thunderstorms do form above the National Mall, they won’t move much and could lead to a few hours of lightning, strong winds and heavy rain.
A spokesperson for the Department of Interior said in a statement on Wednesday that the events on the National Mall would proceed “rain or shine.”
Former President Jimmy Carter suggested Friday that a full investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election would show that Donald Trump didn’t win the presidency.
“There’s no doubt that the Russians did interfere in the election. And I think the interference, although not yet quantified, if fully investigated would show that Trump didn’t actually win the election in 2016. He lost the election and he was put into office because the Russians interfered on his behalf,” Carter said at the Carter Center’s retreat in Leesburg, Virginia.
Asked if he believes Trump is an illegitimate president, Carter paused for a moment.
“Based on what I just said, which I can’t retract,” Carter said to audience laughter.
Special counsel Robert Mueller’s report found that Russia waged a “sweeping and systematic” influence campaign during the 2016 election with the goal of electing Trump, but did not establish a conspiracy between Trump’s campaign and Moscow.
Until now, the former one-term Democratic president had shared a warmer relationship with the current President more than Trump has had with any other living president.
Though he has been critical of Trump’s foreign policy and accused him of deepening racial divisions, Carter has also shown a willingness to help Trump.
He took a phone call from Trump in April — the first time the two had spoken — to discuss US-China trade negotiations.
Carter also offered to travel to North Korea in order to meet with Kim Jong Un on Trump’s behalf, according to a Democratic US lawmaker.
In 2017, Carter told The New York Times that the media was “harder on Trump than any other president certainly that I’ve known about.”
President Donald Trump threatened Iran with “obliteration” Tuesday, saying an attack on “anything American will be met with great and overwhelming force.”
“In some areas, overwhelming will mean obliteration. No more John Kerry & Obama!” the President tweeted.
Earlier Tuesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the White House is “suffering from mental disability” and behaving as “no sane person” in the wake of new sanctions imposed by US this week — partly in retaliation over the downing of an American drone.
Those comments prompted a response from Trump who said “Iran’s very ignorant and insulting statement, put out today, only shows that they do not understand reality.”
“Their leadership spends all of its money on Terror, and little on anything else. The U.S. has not forgotten Iran’s use of IED’s & EFP’s (bombs), which killed 2000 Americans, and wounded many more,” he added.
Trump’s figures regarding Iranian responsibility for American deaths appeared to be significantly higher than those provided by the State Department and the Pentagon in April, which said “at least 603 US personnel deaths in Iraq” were the result of attacks by Iran-backed militants between 2003 and 2011.
Rouhani also said those “in charge of the White House are feeling frustrated” by the state of play in the region, according to the semi-official Tasnim news agency. He added that the US had wrongly expected to “create chaos” in Iran in two to three months, during his speech to senior health officials.
During an unannounced trip to Afghanistan, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called Rouhani’s comments, “a bit immature and childlike.”
“But know that the United States will remain steadfast,” he added.
Tensions between the US and Iran are now at their highest level in years, coming on the back of last week’s downed US drone, but also stretching to 2018 when Trump walked away from the Iranian nuclear deal implemented by his predecessor Barack Obama.
After weeks of building tensions, Trump threatened airstrikes on Iran last week — calling them off just minutes before they were due to begin — and on Tuesday his national security adviser, John Bolton, continued the administration’s tough rhetoric.
Bolton referred to Iran as a “radical regime” that supports “violent provocations abroad,” ahead of a trilateral meeting with his Israeli and Russian counterparts in Jerusalem.
But he also added that Trump had “held the door open to real negotiations.”
“All that Iran needs to do is walk through that open door,” said Bolton, known for being one of the administration’s most hawkish advisers on Iran.
Bolton said later Tuesday that Trump called him prior to sending tweets threatening Iran and said the President asked him to “get the message out” that Iran, in Trump’s words, will face “great and overwhelming force” if it attacks “anything American.”
PALMETTO, Fla. – A Florida woman who stabbed herself multiple times in the abdomen said she did so because of President Donald Trump, KTTV reported.
Responding officers said the woman was found standing outside her apartment Sunday; she lifted her shirt to show them three stab wounds.
“I’m tired of living in Trump’s country. I’m tired of Trump being president,” she reportedly told the police.
The report said the woman cited those reasons for her self-inflicted harm.
KTTV reported the unidentified woman had a history of hurting herself.
President Donald Trump called D-Day veterans assembled in Normandy on Thursday “the pride of our nation.”
“You are the glory of our republic and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts,” Trump said in remarks at the Normandy American Cemetery in northern France.
“You are among the very greatest Americans who will ever live,” Trump said.
Speaking after his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, Trump said the country’s debt to the veterans who participated in the landings was “everlasting.”
“Today we express our undying gratitude,” Trump said.
Trump is the latest in a string of presidents to mark the anniversary of D-Day in France, each successive ceremony seeing fewer and fewer of the veterans who carried out the harrowing mission make it back to the windswept cliffs and stretches of sand. Now in their 90s, and of a thinning generation with first-hand memory of the war, those veterans will join Trump and other world leaders to mark the occasion near the American cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer.
Trump delivered remarks and met with some of the few remaining survivors from that day — many of whom were teenagers when they received their orders. Later he’ll sit for talks with Macron before departing for his golf course in Ireland, where he is spending two nights.
The US alliance with France and other nations who fought together in World War II is “unbreakable,” Trump said Thursday in Normandy.
“Our cherished alliance was forged in the heat of battle, tested in the trials of war, and proven in the blessings of peace,” Trump said. “Our bond is unbreakable.”
He said the commemoration ceremonies on the cliffs and beaches of Normandy were meant to honor the men — many just teenagers — who lost their lives there.
“We come not only because of what they did here, we come because of who they were. They were young men with their entire lives before them,” Trump said.
Born a year after the fighting ended, Trump is a beneficiary of the post-war prosperity those veterans’ gallantry helped provide. And while Trump this week has already hailed the heroism of the Allied forces, he also downplayed the very notion of obligatory military service, saying his own avoidance of the Vietnam War was because he “was not a fan of that war.”
The comment and Trump’s habit of desecrating certain war heroes while wrapping himself in the militaristic elements of his position will color Thursday’s appearance, which comes after a state visit to the United Kingdom.
During his three-day stay in London, Trump’s hosts sought to underscore the importance of the western alliance and the geopolitical systems that were put in place after the war — some of which, like NATO and the European Union, Trump has questioned.
British Prime Minister Theresa May gifted the President a copy of the Atlantic Charter, which defined US and UK goals for the war and its aftermath.
Queen Elizabeth II, staunchly apolitical, said during a toast that the international institutions created after the war were as necessary as ever.
“While the world has changed, we are forever mindful of the original purpose of these structures: nations working together to safeguard a hard-won peace,” she said.
Appearing wowed by the trappings of royal hospitality, Trump has hailed transatlantic alliances during his gracious public appearances.
He stuck closely to script on Wednesday when he appeared onstage to read a prayer during a commemoration ceremony in Portsmouth, on the English south coast.
“Our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity,” Trump intoned before dancers emerged to the upbeat strains of “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B,” the wartime ditty sung by the Andrews Sisters.
His reading came from a radio address President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered on the evening of the Normandy landings.
But even under the weight of history, Trump has also lashed out at all manner of foes, including potential 2020 rival, Democrat Joe Biden, Bette Midler and the mayor of the city in which he was staying.
And confronted during an interview with his own avoidance of war during Vietnam — he received a draft deferment for bone spurs in his foot — Trump revealed a view that questioned the idea of service as a national obligation.
“Well, I was never a fan of that war, I’ll be honest with you. I thought it was a terrible war,” Trump said. “I thought it was very far away.”
Usually, presidents seek to rise above partisan sniping when overseas or marking moments of historic significance — or both, as Trump is doing this week.
His divided mindset was apparent as he was preparing to depart Ireland for France on Thursday morning.
Quoting a Fox News host and close friend, Trump vented that mainstream media outlets weren’t covering his UK visit positively enough.
Two minutes later, it was history on his mind.
“A big and beautiful day today!” he wrote.