The US is moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Top US officials will attend the opening ceremony of the new embassy, including President Trump’s daughter Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner.
The move is praised by Israel but condemned by Palestinians who are gathering for mass protests. Palestinians seek East Jerusalem as their own future capital, and see the US move as backing Israeli control over the whole city.
For its part, Israel considers all of Jerusalem as its indivisible capital.
Last year, President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital broke with decades of American neutrality on the issue, and put it at odds with most of the international community.
President Trump frequently encouraged crowds at rallies to chant “lock her up”, and vowed to imprison Hillary Clinton over concerns she may have mishandled classified information. An investigation into the matter was closed without charges.
Dozens of emails were exchanged between Jared Kushner and other White House officials on topics including media coverage and event planning, according to Politico, which first published the story.
There is no indication that Jared Kushner shared classified or privileged information through his private email account.
His lawyer, Abbe Lowell, said in a statement: “Mr. Kushner uses his White House email address to conduct White House business.
“Fewer than a hundred emails from January through August were either sent to or returned by Mr. Kushner to colleagues in the White House from his personal email account.”
“These usually forwarded news articles or political commentary and most often occurred when someone initiated the exchange by sending an email to his personal, rather than his White House, address.”
Federal regulations specify how records related to the president and other government activities should be maintained.
The use of private accounts can put official records beyond the reach of journalists, lawmakers, and others who seek publicly-available information.
In the interview with the Fox and Friends morning TV show, Ivanka Trump has criticized “the level of viciousness” her father has been subjected to.
President Trump’s daughter said that it went far beyond what she was expecting.
Ivanka Trump said that she had been left blindsided by the ferocity of some of the attacks leveled against the president.
President Trump is under intense scrutiny in the US, including over the Russia investigations and his business ties.
His daughter said that she felt “very vindicated” by James Comey’s recent Senate testimony, in which the former FBI director spoke about the probe into alleged links between the Trump election campaign and Moscow.
Image source Flickr
Ivanka Trump said his evidence supported her father’s insistence that he was not being personally investigated, and that James Comey had on at least one occasion supplied a leak to The New York Times.
She said that while she was “not expecting the intensity of this experience”, she realized that the business of government “isn’t supposed to be easy”.
“My father and this administration intends to be transformative, and we want to do big, bold things,” Ivanka Trump said.
“With all the noise, with all the intensity of the media coverage… ultimately, we’re really focused on why the American people elected Donald Trump as their president.”
Last week, President Trump’s son Eric told Fox News that he had “never seen hatred like this” and “morals have flown out the window”.
“They’re not even people,” he said as he described his father’s critics.
Ivanka Trump, like her husband Jared Kushner, is a special adviser to the president.
Fox News described her as “a political novice like her dad”, who had “glided past the more controversial interview topics like a seasoned vet”.
The Washington Post described it as a “largely friendly” interview, and noted that Ivanka Trump avoided answering two big questions about James Comey’s evidence and the work of her husband, “masterfully pivoting from an unfavorable subject to a better one”.
The New York Times also noted that Ivanka Trump dodged questions as to whether Jared Kushner had quarreled with other senior members of her father’s team.
According to recent reports, Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, is under FBI scrutiny as part of the Russia investigation.
Reports say investigators believe Jared Kushner has relevant information, but he is not necessarily suspected of a crime.
The FBI is looking into potential Russian meddling in the last year’s election and links with Donald Trump’s campaign. The president denies any collusion.
Jared Kushner’s lawyer said his client would co-operate with any inquiry.
Donald Trump has described the Russia investigations as “the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history”.
US intelligence agencies believe Russia tried to tip the election in favor of Donald Trump, who beat his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.
Image source Wikimedia
US officials, who were not named, told NBC News that the interest in Jared Kushner did not mean the investigators suspected him of a crime or intended to charge him.
Separately, the Washington Post reported that the investigators were focusing on meetings Jared Kushner held last year with the Russian ambassador to the US, Sergei Kislyak, and a banker from Moscow, Sergei Gorkov.
Sergei Gorkov is the head of Vnesheconombank, which has been subject to sanctions imposed by the Obama administration in response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its support for separatists in eastern Ukraine.
Vnesheconombank is under the control of Russian PM Dmitri Medvedev and other members of the government, and has been used to fund major projects such as the 2014 Winter Olympics in the southern Russian resort of Sochi.
Jared Kushner, 36, has said he did not discuss sanctions with Sergei Gorkov.
Last week, former FBI Director Robert Mueller was named by the justice department as special counsel to oversee the Russia inquiry.
Congress is also looking into Moscow’s alleged meddling in the 2016 election and any Trump campaign ties.
Jared Kushner has already agreed to discuss his Russian contacts with the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Calls for a special investigation have mounted since President Trump fired the most recent FBI director, James Comey, earlier this month.
The White House has been engulfed in crisis over allegations that President Trump asked James Comey to drop an inquiry into links between his ex-national security adviser Michael Flynn and Russia.
Michael Flynn was forced out in February after he misled the vice-president about his conversations with Russia’s ambassador before Donald Trump took office in January.
Russia has repeatedly denied any involvement in the US presidential election.
Kushner Companies, owned by Jared Kushner’s sister, has pulled out of presentations planned for China this weekend.
The company was scheduled to pitch real estate opportunities to investors in the southern cities of Shenzhen and Guangzhou at the weekend.
Last week, Nicole Meyer Kushner came under fire for using her brother’s name in a pitch. Jared Kushner is President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and Ivanka Trump’s husband.
Image source Flickr
Critics accused Nicole Meyer Kushner’s company of playing up the family’s White House links. Kushner Companies was courting investors for a New Jersey development called 1 Journal Square. Ethics watchdogs said Meyer appeared to be leveraging family ties to the White House to enrich the family business.
Kushner Companies said the comments were misconstrued but has apologized.
Nicole Meyer Kushner and Kushner Companies president Laurent Morali had been included in promotional material for the upcoming events.
However, on May 11, James Yolles, a spokesman for the company, said in a statement: “No one from Kushner Companies will be in China this weekend.”
In the hearing’s opening remarks chairman Republican Richard Burr said “we are all targets of a sophisticated and capable adversary”.
Ranking Democrat Mark Warner said “Russia sought to hijack our democratic process” by employing a disinformation campaign on social media, which he describes as “Russian propaganda on steroids”.
Mark Warner said March 30 session would examine how Russia may have used technology to spread disinformation in the US, including the possible generation of fake news for voters in key states, such as Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
“We are in a whole new realm around cyber that provides opportunity for huge, huge threats to our basic democracy,” he said.
“You are seeing it right now.”
Image source Getty Images
Former NSA director Keith Alexander will be one of those testifying on March 30.
Jared Kushner, who is married to President Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, volunteered to speak to the Senate Intelligence Committee, the White House has said, and is scheduled to appear next week.
Committee chairman Richard Burr said the panel would not shy away from the truth.
“This investigation’s scope will go wherever the intelligence leads,” he said.
Richard Burr said that there had been “conversations” about interviewing Michael Flynn – who was sacked by President Trump as national security adviser for misleading the vice-president over his contacts with the Russian ambassador – but his appearance is not confirmed.
The Trump presidency has been unable to shake off allegations that members of its team colluded with Russian officials during the election campaign. The president has regularly dismissed the claims as “fake news” and Russia has also ridiculed the allegations.
Ivanka Trump is to have an office in the White House, her lawyer says.
However, President Donald Trump’s daughter will not have an official title or salary when she works in the West Wing – the hub of US executive power.
Ivanka Trump’s lawyer said she would have security clearance and access to classified information.
Her role will be to serve as Donald Trump’s “eyes and ears” while providing broad-ranging advice, her attorney told Politico.
Ivanka Trump said in a statement: “While there is no modern precedent for an adult child of the president, I will voluntarily follow all of the ethics rules placed on government employees.
“I will continue to offer my father my candid advice and counsel, as I have for my entire life.”
The 35-year-old, who owns a fashion brand, will be joining her husband Jared Kushner, who was sworn in as a senior adviser to President Trump.
After Jared Kushner’s appointment was announced, Ivanka Trump’s aides said she would not work for the administration and would instead focus on settling her family in Washington.
Image source Flickr
First Lady Melania Trump has so far chosen to stay in New York with President Trump’s youngest son.
The couple’s political influence has raised questions about possible conflicts of interests.
Federal anti-nepotism laws bar relatives of the president from being appointed to government positions.
However, an exception was made for Jared Kushner after the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel cited the president’s “special hiring authority”.
Ivanka Trump’s lawyer, Jamie Gorelick, told Associated Press: “Our view is that the conservative approach is for Ivanka to voluntarily comply with the rules that would apply if she were a government employee, even though she is not.”
However, some have criticized the decision to give her a White House position, even though she will have no actual job title.
Since the election Ivanka Trump has placed her fashion company’s interests in a trust, handing off day-to-day operations to her top executive.
Her brother-in-law and sister-in-law have been named trustees, the New York Times reports.
A number of Democrats have called for Donald Trump’s naming of his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, as a top adviser to be reviewed over concerns of nepotism and conflict of interest.
The group wants the Justice Department and Office of Government Ethics to scrutinize “legal issues” related to the appointment of Jared Kushner.
His lawyer says the post does not breach anti-nepotism laws.
Jared Kushner, 36, is married to Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka.
The millionaire will step down as boss of his family’s real estate business and publisher of the New York Observer newspaper in order to comply with ethics laws, his lawyer Jamie Gorelick said.
Jared Kushner will also divest “substantial assets”, she said.
Donald Trump will be inaugurated as the 45th US president on January 20.
Several of his cabinet picks have business interests that will be scrutinized at confirmation hearings taking place this week.
Donald Trump’s selection for attorney general, Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, is the first to face Senate confirmation hearings on January 10. He was turned down for a federal judgeship in 1986 because of alleged racist remarks.
Unlike cabinet positions, advisers are considered part of White House staff and do not require approval from Congress.
Jared Kushner is a vastly wealthy property developer and publisher who played an influential role in Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and has been included in key meetings with foreign leaders during the transition period.
Image source Wikimedia
An Orthodox Jew whose grandparents were Holocaust survivors, Jared Kushner was raised in Livingston, New Jersey, and went on to study sociology at Harvard.
His father, also a property mogul, was jailed for tax evasion, illegal campaign contributions and witness tampering in 2005 by Chris Christie – then the US attorney for New Jersey.
Jared Kushner is said to have played a key role in the ousting of Chris Christie, by then New Jersey governor, from Donald Trump’s presidential campaign team last year.
In his new role, Jared Kushner will initially focus on trade policy and the Middle East, according to officials from the transition team.
On January 8, Jared Kushner and Donald Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon met UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.
The nepotism rule, signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson in 1967, prevents public officials from promoting a relative “to a civilian position in the agency in which he is serving or over which he exercises jurisdiction or control”.
It is thought to have been prompted by JFK’s appointment of brother Robert to the post of attorney general in 1960.
The law would stop a president from giving a cabinet job to a relative – but it is unclear whether it applies to positions in the White House team.
Those that say it does not point to President Bill Clinton’s appointment of First Lady Hillary Clinton as chair of his health care reforms package in 1993.
In their letter, the Democratic lawmakers, all members of the House Judiciary Committee, argue that a “strong case” can be made that the 1967 federal anti-nepotism statute applies to staff working in the White House, a position rejected by Donald Trump’s team.
They also raise questions about how, even with significant divestment, Jared Kushner could completely avoid conflicts of interest in his White House role.
Concerns have been raised about his relationships with foreign investors.
The New York Times reported on January 7 that Jared Kushner met the head of an insurance group with links to the Chinese government over development plans for his skyscraper, 666 Fifth Avenue, just days after Donald Trump won the presidential election. His spokeswoman, quoted by the paper, said the timing of the meeting was a coincidence and he had already decided to sell his stake in the building.
As his appointment as special adviser was announced, Jared Kushner’s lawyer, Jamie Gorelick, said he was committed to complying with federal ethics laws and had consulted with the Office of Government Ethics about what steps to take.
She added that he would not be paid for the advisory role.
Jared Kushner’s wife, Ivanka Trump, will step down from executive roles at the Trump Organization as well as her own fashion brands.
However, she will not be taking an official role in her father’s government – for now at least – and instead will focus on raising her children.
Reports said last week that Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner and their children would be moving into a $5.5 million home in Washington DC’s wealthy Kalorama neighborhood – at least for some time.
The Obama family is due to be moving to the same area after leaving the White House.
Meanwhile, Donald Trump announced in November that his wife, Melania, would be staying in New York – at least initially – after his inauguration to allow their youngest son, Barron, to finish the school year.
A JetBlue passenger has been kicked off a plane after he accosted Ivanka Trump, the eldest daughter of President-elect Donald Trump.
“Your father is ruining the country,” the man shouted as the aircraft prepared for departure from JFK airport in New York, a passenger told TMZ.
Witnesses said Ivanka Trump ignored the man and distracted her children with toys.
JetBlue airlines said in a statement that “the decision to remove a customer from a flight is not taken lightly”.
Image source Flickr
The statement continued: “If the crew determines that a customer is causing conflict on the aircraft, the customer will be asked to deplane, especially if the crew feels the situation runs the risk of escalation during flight.”
Shortly before the Palm Beach, Florida-bound flight’s departure, a New York university professor tweeted that Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner were aboard the plane “flying commercial”.
“My husband chasing them down to harass them,” Matthew Lasner tweeted.
According to TMZ, Matthew Lasner’s partner, Dan Goldstein, shouted: “Why is she on our flight? She should be flying private.”
However, Matthew Lasner tweeted: “My husband expressed displeasure in a calm tone, JetBlue staff overheard, and they kicked us off the plane.”
JetBlue’s statement added that its “team worked to re-accommodate the party on the next available flight”.
Palm Beach is home to Ivanka Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate, where he plans to spend the coming holiday season with his family.
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