Tag: State Department

Trump Administration Sued Over Social Media Screening for Visa Applicants

WASHINGTON — A pair of documentary film organizations sued the Trump administration on Thursday over its requirement that foreigners disclose their social media accounts — including pseudonymous ones — when they apply for visas. The lawsuit, which raises novel issues about privacy and surveillance in the social-media era, challenged a rule the State Department put […]

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Trump Administration Moves to Upgrade Diplomatic Ties With Sudan

WASHINGTON — The United States said on Wednesday that it would begin exchanging ambassadors with Sudan after a 23-year gap, a sign the countries intend to strengthen diplomatic ties. The announcement by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was the Trump administration’s vote of confidence in a new Sudanese civilian-led government installed in August after a […]

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The Owner of the New York Jets Fired a Career Diplomat for Daring to Mention Obama

A career diplomat with nearly three decades of service under his belt said a Trump appointee canned him for a simple sin: He talked about Obama. Lewis Lukens, the former deputy chief of mission at the U.S. embassy in London, recounted his October 2018 firing a GQ magazine article published Tuesday. It was an unceremonious […]

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White House Lifts Mysterious Hold on Military Aid to Lebanon

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration told Congress on Monday that it had lifted a hold last week on $105 million of military aid to Lebanon that budget officials had imposed without explanation. In recent weeks, lawmakers and reporters had asked administration officials about the mysterious monthslong hold, which echoed the freeze of military aid to […]

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New Documents Reveal Details of Pompeo’s Role in Ukraine Affair

WASHINGTON — Internal State Department emails and documents released late Friday further implicate Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a campaign orchestrated this year by President Trump and his personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani to pressure Ukraine for political favors. The emails indicate that Mr. Pompeo spoke at least twice by telephone with Mr. Giuliani […]

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The Four Lessons of Impeachment

After two weeks of compelling testimony in the House impeachment inquiry, it’s worth weighing what has emerged. Four conclusions stand out. First, there is now overwhelming testimony and evidence that affirm the deeply troubling revelation contained in President Trump’s summary of his “perfect” July 25 phone call with the newly elected president of Ukraine, Volodymyr […]

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Hill and Holmes Impeachment Hearings: What We’ve Learned So Far

WASHINGTON — David Holmes, a career diplomat and political counselor to the United States embassy in Ukraine, and Fiona Hill, a former Europe and Russia expert at the White House, schooled lawmakers on Thursday on the United States’ geopolitical relationship with Ukraine and provided some new details about the efforts to pressure Ukraine to announce […]

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Who Is David Holmes, the U.S. Embassy Official Testifying Today?

Democrats and Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee will take turns on Thursday questioning David Holmes, a career diplomat who said he was told President Trump cared more about investigating his political rivals than about the welfare of Ukraine. As a political counselor to the United States Embassy in Ukraine’s capital, Mr. Holmes was privy […]

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Sondland Says He Followed Trump’s Orders to Pressure Ukraine

WASHINGTON — An ambassador at the center of the House impeachment inquiry testified on Wednesday that he was following President Trump’s orders, with the full knowledge of other top administration officials, when he pressured the Ukrainians to conduct investigations into Mr. Trump’s political rivals in what he called a clear “quid pro quo.” Gordon D. […]

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Sondland, Defiant, Says He Followed Trump’s Orders to Pressure Ukraine

WASHINGTON — An ambassador at the center of the House impeachment inquiry testified on Wednesday that he was following President Trump’s orders with the full knowledge of several other top administration officials when he pressured the Ukrainians to conduct investigations into Mr. Trump’s political rivals, detailing what he called a clear quid pro quo directed […]

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Sondland, in Act of Defiance, Says He Followed Trump’s Orders in Ukraine Pressure Scheme

WASHINGTON — An ambassador at the center of the House impeachment inquiry testified on Wednesday that he was following President Trump’s orders with the full knowledge of several other top administration officials when he pressured the Ukrainians to conduct investigations into Mr. Trump’s political rivals, detailing a “clear quid pro quo” directed by the president. […]

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Sondland Admits He Helped Giuliani, Trump With ‘Quid Pro Quo’

WASHINGTON — A top Trump administration official now admits that he had a direct call with President Trump in which they discussed “investigations” — one of a number of damning new details that tie the Ukraine pressure campaign directly to the president and his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani. U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon […]

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White House Attacks Its Ukraine Expert as He Says Trump Call Was ‘Inappropriate’

WASHINGTON — The White House attacked its own top Ukraine expert on Tuesday as he offered sworn testimony before the House’s impeachment inquiry that President Trump’s request to Ukraine’s president to investigate Democratic rivals had been “inappropriate” and validated his “worst fear” that American policy toward that country would veer off course. On the opening […]

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Israel’s West Bank Settlements Do Not Violate International Law, U.S. Says

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration declared on Monday that the United States does not consider Israeli settlements in the West Bank a violation of international law. The policy shift may doom any peace efforts with Palestinians. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the move on Monday afternoon. The decision was first reported by The Associated […]

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The Revenge of the Bureaucrats

The opening hearings on the Ukraine scandal demonstrated that mundane government processes and seemingly colorless bureaucrats are what keep our country going. It was these sorts of unknown public servants who maintained the executive branch functioning during Watergate — and are doing so now while our distracted president and his acolytes try to circumvent the […]

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Labeled ‘Bad News’ by the President, an Ambassador Headlines a Bad Day for Trump

WASHINGTON — “In my line of work, perhaps in your line of work as well, all we have is our reputation,” Marie L. Yovanovitch, the ousted American ambassador to Ukraine, said on Friday. “This has been a very painful period.” It was just after 9 a.m. and the career diplomat and self-declared “private person” found […]

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Who Is Marie Yovanovitch? Former Ambassador Testifies in Impeachment Hearing

WASHINGTON — Before President Trump fired her as his ambassador to Ukraine, Marie L. Yovanovitch was an anonymous career diplomat who served in the kind of unglamorous posts — Kyrgyzstan, Armenia and eventually Ukraine — typically reserved for civil servants because political donors and friends of the president don’t covet them. Now Ms. Yovanovitch, known […]

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Who Is Marie Yovanovitch? Former Ambassador Testifies Today

WASHINGTON — Before President Trump fired her as his ambassador to Ukraine, Marie L. Yovanovitch was an anonymous career diplomat who served in the kind of unglamorous posts — Kyrgyzstan, Armenia and eventually Ukraine — typically reserved for civil servants because political donors and friends of the president don’t covet them. Now Ms. Yovanovitch, known […]

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American-Born Woman Who Joined ISIS Is Not a Citizen, Judge Rules

WASHINGTON — A federal judge ruled on Thursday that Hoda Muthana, an American-born woman who joined the Islamic State in 2014 and says she now wants to return home to her family in Alabama, is not an American citizen. In a surprise ruling from the bench, the judge, Reggie B. Walton of the Federal District […]

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Trump’s Choice: National Security or Political Obsession

The last two impeachment investigations of the past half-century began with a third-rate burglary and an extramarital affair. They quickly expanded to question the credibility and ethics of the president, but never touched on America’s national interests in the weightiest geopolitical confrontations of their eras. The sober, just-the-facts testimony of two previously little-known diplomats on […]

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On Capitol Hill, Old School Washington Keeps Circus at Bay

WASHINGTON — After so much noise, a formal feeling fell upon the Capitol. The civil servants had entered the room. In a sense, seriousness itself stood trial on Wednesday as William B. Taylor Jr., the top American diplomat in Ukraine, and George P. Kent, a top State Department official, strode into the velvet-draped hearing room […]

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