Related Video: Obama Returns To Campaign Trail, Attacking Trump Twitter users were quick to suggest alternative reasons for why it really sent Trump into a slumber. Some were more lighthearted than others:Randi MayemSinger@rmayemsinger Trump „fell asleep” during Barack Obama’s speech because it wore him out looking up all those words in the dictionary.Mike Wickett@mikewickett#trump fell asleep cuz President Obama used big words. „I think President Obama went further than I thought he would but I think that he almost had to for the good of the country… Trump says he fell asleep while watching. He should wake up and watch what a President is supposed to deal with..”- @TheRevAl w/ @NicolleDWallace pic.twitter.com/tyFtdq1uGPTikkana Niti@natiti_nikkaMaybe Trump fell asleep – to complex sentences for him – but Melania was watching and recording Obama’s speech… „Trump says he fell asleep during Obama’s speech” – http://www.businessinsider.com/trump-fell-asleep-obama-speech-illinois-2018-9 …‘I fell asleep’: Trump unimpressed by Obama’s speech taking aim at him President Donald Trump on Friday said he fell asleep while watching a speech delivered by former President Barack Obama to students in Illinois. „I’m sorry I watched it, but I fell asleep,” Trump…businessinsider.comBruce Mirken@BruceMirkenOf course Trump fell asleep. Obama sometimes uses words of more than 2 syllables.
Trump was in Billings to tout GOP candidate Matt Rosendale, who is hoping to unseat Sen. John Tester (D), and the president spent more than an hour speaking about his accomplishments in the White House. But he spent several minutes wondering what would happen were he to be impeached and said that it would be his supporters’ own fault and would turn America “into a third-world country.”“It is a hell of a place in Washington,” Trump said. “I was thinking if that happened, every time a Republican or a Democrat opposite got elected president…. So let’s say a Democrat got elected someday ― hopefully it’s a long time ― but let’s say we have a Republican House, we will impeach that Democrat, and then a Republican.”“It’s so ridiculous,” he continued. “But we’ll worry about that if it ever happens. But if it does happen, it’s your fault because you didn’t go out to vote. I’ll be the only president in history… they’ll say, ‘What a job he’s done. By the way, we’re impeaching him.’”Many Democrats have gone relatively quiet about the prospect of impeachment as Election Day approaches, worried that touting the prospect now would alienate voters.But following the anonymous editorial published by The New York Times this week, in which a senior Trump administration official wrote that Cabinet officials had discussed removing the president through the use of the 25th Amendment, some lawmakers have turned toward that option as a suitable alternative.“If senior administration officials think the president of the United States is not able to do his job, then they should invoke the 25th Amendment,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) declared Thursday. “Every one of these officials have sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States. It’s time for them to do their job.”The midterms are expected to be a litmus test on Trump’s leadership, with many Democrats hoping a blue wave will shift the balance in one or both chambers of Congress
Sarah Huckabee Sanders urged people to call The New York Times’ opinion desk on Thursday to complain and to demand the name of the senior White House official who purportedly penned an anonymous op-ed criticizing President Donald Trump.
But some people used the number given out by the White House press secretary on Twitter to thank the newspaper instead.
Here’s one call that Sanders will likely detest:
In the voicemail left for Times reporter Kenneth Vogel, an unidentified woman thanks the newspaper “a million times over.” “I know I was supposed to call this to complain, but this isn’t a complaint, this is appreciation,” she adds.
Times national correspondent Elizabeth Dias said she received a similar message “amid all the calls demanding an answer.”
I got a similar call amid all the calls demanding an answer: „Well, Sarah Sanders left your number so we could complain, but I support the New York Times. I’m from Nebraska. Go, New York Times!”
Kenneth P. Vogel
Not sure this is what @PressSec had in mind when she urged people to call The New York Times general switchboard to demand the identity of the writer of the anonymous op-ed.
As did national security editor, Amy Fiscus:
After @PressSec directed people to call the @nytimes and ask the opinion section to out the Op-Ed writer, many have called instead to voice their support for the Op-Ed and the NYT news coverage of the Trump administration. “Print the news, honey!” one told @Emily_Baum
(VATICAN CITY) — Pope Francis told newly ordained bishops Saturday that they must reject all forms of abuse and work in communion to fight the clerical culture that has fueled the sex abuse and cover-up scandal rocking his papacy.
Francis cited his recent letter about combatting abuse during an audience with 74 new bishops from 34 developing countries. The bishops were in Rome for training this week.
Their seminar took place during a crisis for the pope: a lone archbishop has alleged Francis covered up for a now-former U.S. cardinal who was accused of sexually molesting children and adult seminarians.
Francis has ignored calls from clergy and ordinary faithful to respond directly to the claims, saying there were times when “silence and prayer” were the best response.
However, the pontiff spoke in a general way about the Catholic Church’s abuse scandal to the new bishops. Many of them hail from dioceses where mishandled clerical abuse cases haven’t erupted publicly like it has in the United States, Europe and parts of Latin America.
“Just say no to abuse — of power, conscience or any type,” Francis said, adding that to do so the bishops must reject the clerical culture that often places clergy on a pedestal and which Francis himself has blamed for fueling the scandal.
Francis also told the new bishops they are there to serve their flocks, and must work in communion with the church, not as lone actors.
“The bishop can’t have all the gifts — the complete set of charisms — even though some think they do, poor things,” Francis said. The church, he said, needs unity of bishops “not lone actors working outside the chorus, conducting their own personal battles.”
It was perhaps an indirect swipe at Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, who broke with centuries of Vatican protocol and pontifical secret to name names and denounce two decades of cover-up by top Vatican bishops, cardinals and popes of the misconduct by ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick.
Specifically, Vigano said he told Francis about McCarrick in 2013, but claimed Francis nevertheless rehabilitated the American cardinal from sanctions that Pope Benedict XVI purportedly imposed in 2009 or 2010.
The Vatican has refused repeated requests for information about what, if any, sanctions were imposed on McCarrick, and what, if anything, Francis did about them.
Vigano’s bombshell accusations have plunged the papacy into crisis, with a steady trickle of revelations coming out about who knew what and when about McCarrick — and what they did with that information.
On Friday, Catholic News Service, the news agency of the U.S. bishops’ conference, published a 2006 letter from a top Vatican official confirming that the Holy See knew as early as 2000 about McCarrick’s penchant for inviting seminarians into his bed.
The letter, from now-Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, confirmed a key part of Vigano’s testimony: That a New York City priest, the Rev. Boniface Ramsay, had written the Vatican’s U.S. ambassador in November 2000 complaining about McCarrick’s behavior.
Previously, there were reports that a group of concerned Americans had travelled to the Vatican in 2000 to complain about McCarrick, and Ramsay himself had said he had written the letter in 2000.
But the documentary evidence of Sandri’s 2006 missive confirms that Ramsay’s 2000 letter had indeed arrived in the Vatican, hadn’t been lost in a pile of mail or ignored, and was still so present and relevant six years later that Sandri cited it in a simple request to Ramsay for information about a job applicant.
Vatican watchers have compared the McCarrick cover-up scandal to that of the Rev. Marcial Maciel, the 20th-century Catholic Church’s most notorious pedophile. Maciel’s sex crimes against children were ignored for decades by a Vatican more impressed by his ability to bring in donations and vocations.
Like Maciel, McCarrick was a powerful and popular prelate who funneled millions in donations to the Vatican. He apparently got a calculated pass for what many in the church hierarchy would have either discounted as ideological-fueled rumor or brushed off as a mere “moral lapse” in sleeping with adult men.
Francis in July accepted McCarrick’s resignation as a cardinal after a U.S. church investigation determined that an allegation he fondled a teenage altar boy in the 1970s was credible.
McCarrick’s lawyer has said the allegations against him are serious and that he intends to invoke his right to due process at the appropriate time.
Antigovernment protests rock Basra, Iraq
TOPSHOT – Iraqi protesters gather at the burnt-down local government headquarters in the southern city of Basra on September 7, 2018 during demonstrations over poor public services. – Basra has seen a surge in protests since September 4, with demonstrators torching government buildings as well as political party and militia offices, as anger boils over after the hospitalisation of 30,000 people who had drunk polluted water. (Photo by Haidar MOHAMMED ALI / AFP) (Photo credit should read HAIDAR MOHAMMED ALI/AFP/Getty Images)
Iraqi security forces deployed on the streets of Basra on Saturday, a day after protesters in the southern city stormed the Iranian consulate and torched government buildings in violence that rocked the oil-exporting Shiite heartland and sparked alarm across a conflict-weary country.
The deployment came after an alliance of powerful Shiite militias, many of them backed by Iran, vowed to respond to the violent protests that have gripped the city for the past week, raising the threat of further violence.
At least 15 people were killed and 249 injured in clashes between protesters and security forces this week, health officials say.
Since June, Basra has been shaken by the most serious protests in the oil-rich southern region in years, with angry residents complaining of poor public services. In recent days, protests escalated, as crowds turned their rage on neighboring Iran, blaming its outsized influence in Iraq’s political affairs for their misery and calling for radical change. Iran controls powerful Shiite militias in Basra, home to some of the largest oil fields in Iraq. (AP)
WASHINGTON (AP) — Despite dire U.S. warnings and fears of a humanitarian disaster, the Trump administration has little leverage to stop Russia, Iran and Syria pressing ahead with a massive military assault against Syria’s northwest Idlib province.
Washington has threatened military action in case of a chemical weapons attack but its mixed messaging on retaining a U.S. presence in Syria and a cut in aid has diminished its already limited influence over the seven-year conflict.
So the administration, which has criticized former President Barack Obama for his inaction on Syria after the war started in 2011, risks appearing powerless to prevent the three nations’ plan to retake Syria’s last rebel-held area. It’s an operation that many warn will cause major bloodshed among a vulnerable population of 3 million people.
And on Saturday, Syrian government and Russian warplanes targeted the province’s southern edge in what activists described as the most intense airstrikes in weeks. More than 60 air raids killed at least four civilians in southern Idlib, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and rescue workers.
While the new U.S. special envoy for Syria said this week that America will stay in Syria until the complete eradication of the Islamic State group, there’s little assurance that President Donald Trump won’t again seek the withdrawal of the roughly 2,000 U.S. troops in the country. And in a sign of the administration’s shrinking commitment to Syria, it has pulled more than $200 million in stabilization funding for liberated areas, telling other nations they should step up to pay.
A summit in Tehran on Friday between Russian President Vladimir Putin, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was seen as a chance for a diplomatic solution before a full-scale assault on Idlib. The three nations are all tacitly allied against IS and in support of a unified, stable Syria, but have differing views of how to achieve those ends.
After Friday’s talks, the U.N. envoy for Syria told the U.N. Security Council there were indications that the three leaders intend to continue talking to avoid a catastrophe. But above all, the summit highlighted the stark differences among these allies of convenience, with Putin and Rouhani opposing Erdogan’s call for a cease-fire.
As they discussed the fate of Idlib, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley was talking tough in New York, telling the Security Council that the United States would consider any assault on the province as a „dangerous escalation” of the conflict that has already claimed more than 400,000 lives and forced more than 5 million Syrians to flee the country.
„If (Syrian President Bashar) Assad, Russia, and Iran continue, the consequences will be dire,” said Haley, who was chairing the council meeting. „The Assad regime must halt its offensive … Russia and Iran, as countries with influence over the regime, must stop this catastrophe. It is in their power to do so.”
Those remarks capped a week of rising U.S. rhetoric opposing the Idlib operation.
On Monday, Trump tweeted: „President Bashar al-Assad of Syria must not recklessly attack Idlib Province. The Russians and Iranians would be making a grave humanitarian mistake to take part in this potential human tragedy. Hundreds of thousands of people could be killed. Don’t let that happen!”
A day later, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo expanded on the tweet, and renewed calls for the conflict to be resolved through the U.N.-led Geneva Process, which has been stalled for years. And on Thursday, the man Pompeo chose to be his point-man on getting the Geneva process back on track, veteran diplomat James Jeffrey, reiterated Trump’s message, saying the U.S. would use all the „tools” it has to respond to a chemical attack.
Another „tool” in the U.S. arsenal is economic pressure. The U.S. Treasury Department slapped sanctions on nine people and companies for assisting weapons or fuel transfers to the Assad regime on Thursday. But sanctions have been ineffectual since they first began to be applied during the Obama administration.
Even American airstrikes launched against the Assad government have had limited impact in the past.
Twice before the U.S. has resorted to missile strikes in response to chemical weapons attacks, only to see them used again. As Syrian forces prepare for the assault on Idlib, U.S. and UN officials again see signs that those internationally prescribed weapons are being readied for the battlefield.
„There’s lots of evidence that chemical weapons are being prepared,” Jeffrey told reporters Thursday.
Officials and analysts will be watching Idlib closely over the next week ahead of U.N.-led talks on Syria in Geneva on Sept. 14.
„The Trump administration is really at a Hail Mary moment,” said Nicholas Heras, a Syria analyst and fellow at the Center for New American Security. Idlib is the last opportunity for the U.S. to increase leverage in Syria, he said, and if the province falls before the Geneva talks, Trump administration efforts to re-engage with peace talks will likely fail.
Heras warned that the Trump team is late to formulate a coherent Syria policy.
„It’s like trying to save the house as it’s burning down,” he said.