terrorism

Administration wants to reimburse Taliban’s travel expenses
As if ‘life imitating The Onion’ according to one taxpayer advocate

Taliban members would be reimbursed for their travel to peace talks if the Trump administration gets its way. House appropriators are not enthusiastic about the plan. (Majid Saeedi/Getty Images)

The Trump administration asked Congress earlier this year for funds to reimburse Afghanistan’s Taliban for expenses the insurgent group incurs attending peace talks, according to a spokesman for the chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense.

The money would cover the Taliban’s costs for expenses such as transportation, lodging, food and supplies, said Kevin Spicer, spokesman for Indiana Democrat Peter J. Visclosky, in a statement for CQ Roll Call.

Trump downplays China trade ‘squabble,’ rattles sabre at Iran
POTUS: ‘We would send a hell of a lot more troops than’ 120,000 reportedly being mulled

President Donald Trump talks to reporters as he leaves the White House here on April 5. He was back on the South Lawn talking about Iran and China on Tuesday morning. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump called stalled trade talks with America’s biggest economic rival, China, just “a little squabble,” even as Congress and the markets are increasingly unnerved by it, and, touching on another foreign policy hot spot, suggested he would send more than 120,000 U.S. troops to the Middle East to confront Iran.

The remarks came after The New York Times reported the administration is considering sending troops to the Middle East. The president already has ordered a carrier strike group and bomber wing to the region. 

Trump team struggles with Iran, global tests after months of Mueller probe battles
Former official: ‘Provocative actions against Iran’ seem to have imprint of John Bolton

National security adviser John Bolton has struck a hawkish tone on Iran and other global hotspots despite President Donald Trump’s “America first” philosophy. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images file photo)

After months of mostly battling domestic political foes, the Trump White House is suddenly juggling a handful of potentially volatile situations from South America to the Middle East to East Asia.

President Donald Trump, his top White House aides and outside surrogates have largely spent the months since November’s midterm elections pre-butting, then rebutting special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report on Russian election meddling. But since its release last month, the commander in chief has been forced to deal with Venezuela’s political strife, a defiant North Korea, a chill in trade talks with China and a newly aggressive Iran.

Rep. Duncan Hunter defends Navy SEAL charged with murder of teenaged ISIS fighter
Prosecutors say Special Warfare Operator Chief Edward Gallagher stabbed the fighter and posed for photos with his body

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., argued helmet footage exonerates Special Warfares Operator Chief Edward Gallagher premeditated murder. Gallagher faces a trial by court-martial this month for war crimes. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Duncan Hunter held a screening for Capitol Hill lawmakers Wednesday, showing combat footage of a moment when military prosecutors say a Navy SEAL stabbed a teenage captive to death.

Hunter told reporters at a press conference that video captured on a helmet camera exonerates Special Warfare Operator Chief Edward Gallagher of the alleged war crime. Gallagher faces a trial by court-martial at Naval Base San Diego on May 28 for premeditated murder and other charges.

Trump says China would best Buttigieg even as his own trade talks slow
President returns to Florida, where polls show an uphill re-election battle

President Donald Trump greets supporters during a rally at the Van Andel Arena on March 28 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He was in Panama City, Florida, Wednesday evening for another rally. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump mocked congressional Democrats at a campaign rally in Florida on Wednesday and called on them to end their investigations into his business and personal activities.

“It’s time to end the nonsense,” the president said of House Democrats’ probes on a day when Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler said the country has entered a “constitutional crisis.”

Senate vote upholds Trump veto of Yemen resolution
The vote didn't reach the two-thirds majority needed to overturn President Donald Trump’s veto last month

Sens. Mike Lee, R-Utah, center, Tim Scott, R-S.C., left, and Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, conduct a news conference in the Capitol on December 19, 2018. Lee was one of several lawmakers who gave impassioned pleas to override a veto by President Donald Trump on a resolution to end U.S. military participation in the Yemen civil war. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate on Thursday voted to uphold a presidential veto of a resolution that would have ordered an end to U.S. military participation in the civil war in Yemen.

The vote came despite impassioned bipartisan pleas from lawmakers like Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, who argued Saudi Arabia does not deserve “unflinching, unwavering, unquestioning” U.S. support for its involvement in the war.

Ky. Rep. says Ocasio-Cortez tweet is uncivil and puts coal mine tour in doubt
Rep. Andy Barr asked her to educate coal miners about the Green New Deal

Rep. Andy Barr, R-Ky., addressed a letter to the office of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez about civility this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Kentucky congressman who invited Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to tour a coal mine in his district appeared to rescind the invitation this week after she tweeted a critique of fellow Republican Rep. Dan Crenshaw.

Ocasio-Cortez acted uncivilly when she criticized Crenshaw, Rep. Andy Barr said Monday.

California Democrats brand attack by Duncan Hunter campaign ‘racist’
Republican renewed effort to tar challenger Campa-Najjar as ‘national security threat’

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., faces condemnation from two Democratic members of the California delegation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A California lawmaker ripped Rep. Duncan Hunter for relying on a “racist” campaign strategy by repeatedly describing his challenger, who has Palestinian heritage, as a “national security threat.”

Democrat Rep. Mike Levin called on the Hunter campaign to stop relying on anti-Muslim conspiracy theories to undercut his challenger in the 2020 race, Ammar Campa-Najjar.

Trump likely to put economic, military ties ahead of human rights with Egypt’s Sisi
POTUS expected to warn Egyptian leader against closer military ties with Russia, official says

President Donald Trump welcomes Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi during his arrival at the White House in 2017. Trump is expected to try to keep the Egyptian leader from drifting too close to Russia during their meeting on Tuesday. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images file photo)

When Donald Trump welcomes Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to the White House on Tuesday, expect the U.S. president to stress military cooperation even amid questions about that country’s human rights record.

Human rights groups are accusing Sisi’s government of torturing political foes and using death sentences against opponents. What’s more, the Egyptian parliament has approved constitutional changes that would extend Sisi’s time in office.

Rep. Clay Higgins’ ‘Cajun John Wayne’ videos draw criticism ... again
The video follows 3 fires at black Baptist churches in ten days

Rep. Clay Higgins, R-La., reprised his role as a “Crime Stoppers” tough guy this week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Clay Higgins reprised his role as a tough-talking sheriff’s deputy nicknamed “Cajun John Wayne” this week condemning fires that engulfed three predominantly black Louisiana churches. But the Republican drew criticism for rebuking the violence without acknowledging his past inflammatory statements and endorsements of anti-government militia groups.

Fires at the Baptist churches in St. Landry Parish, Louisiana, are prompting fears that they were the targets of arson in a racist hate crime. Investigators have been cautious in their public statements, but acknowledged Sunday that the blazes are connected.