Donald Trump, impeached by the House of Representatives for abuse of power
and obstruction of Congress, was acquitted after a two-week trial in the
During the House intelligence briefing, President Trump’s supporters argued
that he had taken a hard stance with Russia, and that European ties and
security had been strengthened as a result, the newspaper added.
Adam Schiff later tweeted that if Donald Trump was in any
way “interfering” with the sharing of information between US
intelligence agencies and Congress regarding foreign interference in the
election process, the president was “jeopardizing” attempts to stop
Joseph Maguire was a favorite to be nominated for the permanent Director of
National Intelligence (DNI) post, the Washington
However, the publication said President Trump changed his mind when he found
out about the briefing, and what he called the “disloyalty” of his
The president announced this week that Joseph Maguire would be replaced by
Richard Grenell, the US ambassador to Germany and a Trump loyalist.
Two Trump administration officials
told the New York Times that the
replacement of Joseph Maguire, so soon after the contentious briefing, was a
US intelligence officials say Russia
interfered in the 2016 presidential election to boost Donald Trump’s campaign
and cause chaos within the US electoral process.
Democrats criticized the president
for appointing Richard Grenell, who has previously played down the extent of
Russian interference in the last election, and has celebrated the rise of
far-right politicians in Europe.
Ned Price, a former aide to President Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama, said the president had “dropped the charade that he has any use for intelligence”.
In a televised address on September 11, 2019, President Donald Trump dropped a bombshell on the U.S. vaping industry by announcing his intention to ban e-liquid across the country in all flavors except tobacco. The stated reasons behind the ban were twofold. First, a terrible lung illness relating to vaping had just begun to sweep across the country, and health officials didn’t yet understand that the illness was caused by the use of illegal cannabis products rather than legal nicotine products. Second, it had become obvious by 2019 that underage use of vaping products had taken hold across the country and wasn’t going to resolve itself any time soon. Members of the federal government felt that, without direct action, the number of teen vapers would only continue to grow.
What happened next was a firestorm that no one in the Trump
administration – not even Trump himself – could ever have predicted.
Trump Underestimates the Importance of Vaping Voters
The first sign that President Trump potentially made a grave mistake on September 11 came in the form of widespread reports suggesting that Trump’s allies in the Republican party were unhappy about the proposed e-liquid flavor ban. As it turned out, Trump had failed to consider the number of people he’d be offending – and more importantly, where those people lived – before proposing the ban. In the 2016 Presidential election, Trump won by extremely narrow margins in key battleground states such as Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Georgia. The margins were smaller, in fact, than the populations of people who vape in those states.
Many of those who vape claim that they will vote based on
that issue alone and will vote against anyone who limits their access to vaping
products. If what those people say is true, banning all flavored e-liquids
could easily lead to a loss of support in the battleground states in which
Trump won in 2016 – and that could easily ruin Trump’s bid for reelection in
Trump largely went silent on the vaping issue after his September 11 announcement. News reports suggested that Trump hadn’t been aware before the announcement of the impact that a total e-liquid flavor ban would have on his support among voters or on small businesses across America. The loss of the country’s vape shops would also mean the loss of tens of thousands of jobs – not exactly the kind of event that Makes America Great Again.
Trump Administration Proposes a Compromise on the Vaping Issue
By the end of 2019, news reports suggested that the
possibility of an all-out ban on all flavored e-liquids was no longer on the
table. By that time, President Trump had met with representatives from the
vaping and tobacco industries along with various public health advocates. The
meetings gave Trump a better understanding of the impact that a flavor ban
would have on the economy and on his support among adult vapers. In addition,
it was very clear by then that the vaping-related lung illness had nothing to
do with commercial nicotine e-liquid products.
In the end, the Trump administration did two things in an
attempt to curb teen vaping.
The federal government raised the minimum age nationwide
for buying tobacco and vaping products from 18 to 21. That was done with the
goal of preventing 18-year-old students from buying things like JUUL pods and giving
them to younger students.
The FDA removed all pre-filled vape pods and
cartridges in flavors other than tobacco and menthol from the market. Bottled
e-liquid for refillable vaping devices remained legal in all flavors. Teen
vapers overwhelmingly prefer the JUUL e-cigarette brand – which uses pre-filled
pods – and in surveys, underage vapers have said that sweet flavors are a major
part of what attracts them to vaping. In removing those products from the
market, the government hopes that vaping will become less attractive to teens.
The government conducts a yearly survey of students to gauge the effectiveness of its tobacco control policies. The results of that survey are released around the end of the year. As of late 2019, more than 5 million teens – about 27.5 percent of high school students and 10.5 percent of middle school students – reported vaping regularly. We will find out in late 2020 whether the government’s new policies have done anything to reduce teen nicotine use.
How Will Vaping Influence the 2020 Presidential Election?
In a private Oval Office meeting in early 2020, President Trump reportedly expressed regret over his involvement in federal vaping policy. Supposedly, he said that he “never should have done that [expletive] vaping thing.”
The reason for Trump’s unhappiness, however, has nothing to
do with the infringement on vapers’ rights or the impact that the government’s
policies may have on small business. The problem is that Trump unwittingly made
himself the face of those policies when he could have easily left the decisions
to Congress and the FDA and let others handle the political fallout.
The government’s new vaping policies are a compromise, and a
compromise means that none of the stakeholders are completely happy. On one
side, Trump is dealing with angry adult vapers who are upset over the lack of
respect for their rights and angry about the fact that the government opted to
punish everyone instead of going after the individual companies that obviously
stepped over the line and marketed their products inappropriately.
On the other side, Trump is dealing with angry tobacco control activists who believe that the government’s new policies haven’t gone far enough – and, in terms of combating teen vaping, they are probably correct. Teens might say that the flavors the flavors of the products have enticed them to vape, but that isn’t really true. Youth-oriented marketing enticed those teens to vape, and the extremely high nicotine strengths of products like JUUL kept them coming back. Banning flavored pods isn’t going to stop teens from vaping when they’re already addicted to nicotine.
Tobacco control has always been a contentious topic, and the
teen vaping issue is not going away. If President Trump loses his bid for
reelection in 2020, it’s entirely possible that it’ll be because he “did that
During his roughly 80-minute speech,
President Trump reiterated key themes of his winning 2016 campaign.
The president pledged to continue a
crackdown against illegal immigration, one day after tweeting that US
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) would soon begin removing
“millions of illegal aliens” from the country.
He told Florida supporters: “We believe our country should be a
sanctuary for law-abiding citizens, not for criminal aliens.”
Donald Trump also accused Democrats
of seeking to legalize illegal immigration in order to boost their voting base,
and said they “want to destroy our country as we know it”.
President Trump described his opponents as a “radical left-wing
mob” who he said would bring socialism to the US.
He told the crowd: “A vote for
any Democrat in 2020 is a vote for the rise of radical socialism and the destruction
of the American dream.”
President Trump also praised the economy, criticized the Mueller
investigation into alleged collusion between the 2016 Trump campaign and
Russia, and referred to media covering the event as “fake news back
Donald Trump also elicited “lock her up” chants from supporters when he brought up Hillary Clinton, despite her not being in the 2020 race.
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