Donald Trump vows 'None will dare challenge US military might', White House denies 100,000 National Guard to deport illegal immigrants

Trump promises to beef up military and create jobs Trump promises to beef up military and create jobs
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Donald Trump today vowed to build up a military "so great none will dare to challenge it".

Visiting a Boeing factory in South Carolina for the launch of its new Dreamliner aircraft, Mr Trump said a "big order" of F-18 Super Hornets was being considered.

He quoted George Washington and vowed to pursue a military policy of "peace through strength".

Mr Trump told Boeing employees: "The best way to prevent war is being prepared. We build a military might so great, and we are going to do that, that none will dare to challenge it. None."

Donald Trump tours Boeing plant in South Carolina Credit: AP

It came as the White House denied a report it is considering mobilising as many as 100,000 National Guard troops to round up illegal immigrants, including millions living nowhere near the Mexico border.

An 11-page draft memo, obtained by the Associated Press, called for the unprecedented militarisation of immigration enforcement as far north as Portland, Oregon, and as far east as New Orleans, Louisiana.

Sean Spicer, Mr Trump's spokesman, said the suggestion was "100 per cent false".

The proposal included 11 states. Four of those border Mexico. They are California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.

The other seven states are further north. They are Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana.

Governors in all 11 states would have a choice whether to have their guard troops participate, the memo said.

The memo was written by Mr Trump's US Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, a retired four-star Marine general.

Speaking on board Marine One Mr Spicer vehemently denied there was any plan to mobilise the National Guard.

He said: "It is irresponsible to be saying this. There is no effort at all to round up, to utilise the National Guard to round up illegal immigrants."

It came as the Kremlin has responded to Mr Trump's wild 75-minute press conference on Thursday by ordering state-owned television to stop broadcasting coverage of the US president.

It was the latest signal that Russia is losing confidence that friendly relations could be established with the US under Mr Trump.

Dmitry Peskov, Vladimir Putin's spokesman, said: "We never wore rose-tinted glasses, never had any illusions."

In a wild press conference on Thursday Mr Trump accused the media of undermining his attempts to establish friendly relations with Mr Putin.

Mr Trump has declared the extraordinary press conference, which lasted for more than an hour, one of the "greatest ever".

"Fake media not happy!" he tweeted in the early hours of Friday morning.

It emerged that Mr Trump's choice for national security adviser, Retired Vice Admiral Robert Harward, had turned him down.

CNN reported that he had told a friend the job would be a "s*** sandwich".

Mr Harward issued a statement saying he had turned it down for family reasons.

Trump raises spectre of 'nuclear holocaust' Trump raises spectre of 'nuclear holocaust'
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Trump tweeting again about the media...

 

Object thrown at Trump's motorcade

The Secret Service is investigating an incident where someone appears to have thrown something at President Trump’s motorcade in West Palm Beach today.

The Mar-a-Lago estate owned by Donald Trump Credit: Reuters

The incident happened near Mar-a-Lago as the motorcade traveled from the airport. It was not clear if any of the vehicles were struck. No one was hurt.

A large number of police officers and Secret Service agents gathered at an intersection along Southern Boulevard. A group of protesters had been at the corner when the motorcade passed.

CNN photojournalist Khalil Abdullah at the scene has video of a rock about the size of a baseball and a second item they were examining on the ground. Agents went into nearby stores and a gas station seeking video.

"Enemy of the people..."

 

Michael Flynn also pressured UN while Obama still in power

The short-lived national security adviser was not only talking to the Russians, according to Foreign Policy magazine.

They have just published a story claiming that Mr Flynn was also contacting UN diplomats and trying to persuade them not to vote in favour of a resolution condemning Israeli settlements.

The contact would be another violation of the Logan Act, which states that there can only be one foreign policy voice at a time - and, at that time, it was Barack Obama's team.

The UN Security Council Credit: AFP

Foreign Policy reports:

Several hours before the landmark December 23 vote at the United Nations — which eventually denounced Israeli settlements over a pointed U.S. abstention — the Trump transition team approached the State Department with an urgent request: hand over any cell phone numbers, emails, and other contacts of ambassadors and foreign ministers from the Security Council’s 15 member states. The request, which was described by a former State Department official, was rejected out of fear that it would be used to scuttle American diplomatic aims.

But transition officials pressed ahead. In Washington, Trump aides pressed allies, including Egypt and Britain, who both played critical roles in helping the Palestinians draft the measure, to oppose the resolution.

“We were all under pressure” from either Israel or the Trump administration, said one Security Council diplomat.

Trump team send out "media accountability survey"

Supporters of Donald Trump have just received a text message:

From Donald Trump: Help me stop FAKE NEWS! Take the Media Accountability Survey and tell me which one you think is the worst.

It then links to a 25-question survey, which asks whether the responder has faith in CNN, Fox News and MSNBC.

It then goes on to ask questions such as:

  • Do you believe that the mainstream media has reported unfairly on our movement?
  • Do you believe that the mainstream media does not do their due diligence fact-checking before publishing stories on the Trump administration?
  • Do you believe that political correctness has created biased news coverage on both illegal immigration and radical Islamic terrorism?
  • Do you believe that the media wrongly attributes gun violence to Second Amendment rights?
  • Do you believe that the media uses slurs rather than facts to attack conservative stances on issues like border control, religious liberties, and ObamaCare?

I wonder what they will do with the results?

Europe pushes back at Trump's Nato spending policy

Our defence editor Ben Farmer is in Munich, covering the annual security conference.

He writes:

European leaders have pushed back at Donald Trump’s ultimatum that they increase defence spending or risk America scaling back its commitment to Transatlantic protection.

Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor said her country would not accelerate existing, long term plans to ramp up the military budget by 2024 despite a demand by the US this week that countries increase spending by the end of the year. 

The president of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker also said countries must not cave in to US demands.

James Mattis, US defence secretary, earlier this week warned Nato that a new “political reality” after the election of Donald Trump meant it was no longer possible for allies to shirk their share of the defence burden.

James Mattis, speaking at the Munich Security Conference Credit: EPA

Trump pledges to stop 'foreign cheating'

Mr Trump told Boeing employees: "We want products made in America made by American hands."

He pledged to stop "foreign cheating" and to expand the use of the "magic" words "Made in the USA".

Trump: We will stop foreign cheating Trump: We will stop foreign cheating
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Trump: None will dare to challenge our military might

Mr Trump said the US military is looking at a big order of F-18 Super Hornets.

He said: "We are going to fully rebuild our military. We are looking seriously at a big order.

Trump: None will dare challenge our military Trump: None will dare challenge our military
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"We are going to ensure that our great service members have the tools, equipment, training and resources they need to get the job done.

"As George Washington said being prepared for war is the best way to prevent it.

"The best way to prevent war is being prepared. Peace through strength.

"We build a military might so great, and we are going to do that, that none will dare to challenge it, none.

"We will ensure our men and women in uniform have the latest most cutting edge systems in their arsenal."

President Trump promises to 'put our great people back to work'

Standing in front of a new Boeing Dreamliner Mr Trump addressed the company's employees.

He said: "We're here today to celebrate American manufacturing. We're also here to celebrate jobs. We must rely on products made here in the USA."

Trump: I will put our great people back to work Trump: I will put our great people back to work
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Mr Trump told the story of the Wright brothers' first flight.

"That flight was a testament to the American spirit. I saw that spirit all through the campaign."

He promised to "unleash the power of the American spirit and put our great people back to work. We're going to fight for every last American job.

"Our country is all about making dreams come true. We're going to make it the case again."

Senate leader Mitch McConnell 'not a fan' of Trump tweets 

Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader in the US Senate, has criticised Mr Trump for going off message on Twitter and elsewhere.

Mr McConnell said: "I'm not a great fan of daily tweets."

But he adds that he is a fan of what Mr Trump has "actually been doing".

Mr McConnell said on substance Mr Trump was not much different from how other Republican candidates Marco Rubio, Mitt Romney or Jeb Bush would have been as president.

He praised Mr Trump's Cabinet picks as "truly outstanding".

He said despite "the extra discussion that he likes to engage in we're going to soldier on. We like his positions and we're going to pursue them as vigorously as we can."

Scott Pruitt confirmed as head of Environmental Protection Agency

Scott Pruitt, Mr Trump's nominee to lead the Environmetal Protection Agency, has been confirmed by the US Senate.

Democrats and environmental groups had objected to Mr Pruitt claiming he will gut the agency, as the administration readies executive orders to ease regulation on drillers and miners.

Mr Pruitt sued the EPA more than a dozen times while he was Attorney General in the oil and gas producing state of Oklahoma, and he has expressed doubts about the science behind climate change.

But many Republican politicians view him as a welcome change at the EPA, an agency they say declared war on the coal industry during Barack Obama's presidency with rules against carbon emissions.

Mike Dubke tipped for White House communications director

President Trump is expected to name Republican consultant Mike Dubke as White House communications director.

Mr Dubke is the founder of Crossroads Media, which specialises in political advertising.

It would lighten the load on White House press secretary Sean Spicer, who has also been acting as communications director.

Mr Trump initially appointed campaign adviser Jason Miller to the job but he withdrew before the inauguration.

President Trump arrives at Boeing in South Carolina

Arriving with on Air Force One were Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, chief of staff Reince Priebus and chief strategist Steve Bannon.

Air Force One flies over protsesters Credit: AFP

Department of Homeland Security says National Guard plan 'not seriously considered'

Staff members at the Department of Homeland Security told the Associated Press the proposal had been discussed as recently as Friday.

But a DHS official described the memo document as a very early draft that was not seriously considered, and was never brought to the Homeland Security Secretary for approval.

Trump about to arrive at Boeing in South Carolina 

Boeing employees Credit: AP

Mr trump is about to arrive on Air Force One at a Boeing plant in South Carolina.

He's there for the unveiling of the new Dreamliner aircraft.

Boeing employs 7,500 people in south Carolina 

Political cartoonists relishing the Trump presidency

It has been a tumultuous first four weeks under the presidency of Donald Trump.

Political cartoonists have been capturing it all and their work has proliferated on social media.

Mark Molloy has been taking a look at some of the most-shared funnies.

See 14 of the best cartoons here

State governors 'unaware' of National Guard plan

Spokesmen for the governors of Arizona, Utah, Nevada, California, Colorado, Oklahoma, Oregon and New Mexico all said they were unaware of the proposal, and either declined to comment or said it was premature to discuss whether they would participate.

The other three states did not immediately respond.

Sean Spicer denies plan to mobilise National Guard

Sean Spicer, speaking on board Marine One, said: "That is 100 per cent not true. It is false. It is irresponsible to be saying this.

"There is no effort at all to round up, to utilise the National Guard to round up illegal immigrants.

"I wish you guys had asked before you tweeted."

Spicer couldn’t categorically state that it was never a subject of discussion somewhere in the administration.

He said: "I don’t know what could potentially be out there, but I know that there is no effort to do what is potentially suggested It is not a White House document."

 

More than 5.5 million illegal immigrants live in the 11 affected states

If implemented, the impact could be significant. Nearly one-half of the 11.1 million people residing in the US without authorisation live in the 11 states, according to Pew Research Center.

Use of National Guard troops would greatly increase the number of immigrants targeted in one of Mr Trump's executive orders last month, which expanded the definition of who could be considered a criminal and therefore a potential target for deportation.

That order also allows immigration agents to prioritise removing anyone who has "committed acts that constitute a chargeable criminal offence".

Draft memo is guidance for implementing Mr Trump's executive order

While National Guard personnel have been used to assist with immigration-related missions on the US-Mexico border before, they have never been used as broadly or as far north.

The memo is addressed to the then-acting heads of US. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and US Customs and Border Protection.

It would serve as guidance to implement the wide-ranging executive order on immigration and border security that President Donald Trump signed Jan. 25.

Also dated Jan 25 the draft memo says participating troops would be authorised "to perform the functions of an immigration officer in relation to the investigation, apprehension and detention of aliens in the United States."

It describes how the troops would be activated under a revived state-federal partnership programme, and states that personnel would be authorized to conduct searches and identify and arrest any unauthorized immigrants.

The draft document has circulated among Department of Homeland Security staff over the last two weeks.

Draft memo says '100,000' National Guard could be used to round up illegal immigrants

The Trump administration is considering a proposal to mobilise as many as 100,000 National Guard troops to round up unauthorized immigrants, including millions living nowhere near the Mexico border, according to a draft memo obtained by The Associated Press.

The 11-page document calls for the unprecedented militarisation of immigration enforcement as far north as Portland, Oregon, and as far east as New Orleans, Louisiana.

Four states that border on Mexico are included in the proposal - California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas - but it also encompasses seven states contiguous to those four - Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana.

Governors in the 11 states would have a choice whether to have their guard troops participate, according to the memo, written by U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, a retired four-star Marine general.

Kremlin spokesman: 'We never wore rose-tinted glasses'

Nadia Beard reports:

The Kremlin has said that it is too soon to determine the course Russia-US relations will chart, but that Moscow is not disappointed with recent statements from the Trump team because “we never wore rose-tinted glasses, never had any illusions”, Putin’s spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said to journalists today. 

The statement adds to mounting evidence that the Kremlin is quickly losing its initial faith in Trump’s administration to usher in a period of detente between the two nations. Since his election in November last year, Russian state media has featured relentless coverage of Trump, whose mentions on the news was reported last month to have even eclipsed that of Vladimir Putin. 

But on Thursday, news surfaced that the editorial team at Russia’s largest state-owned television media company, VGTRK, had been ordered by management, who are widely understood to abide by Kremlin instructions, to halt all coverage of Trump.

It was a move that appears to respond to Moscow’s frustration with the White House’s hardening line on Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine and its annexation of Crimea in the days before.

Rush Limbaugh praises 'most effective' Trump press conference  

Rush Limbaugh, the king of US conservative talk radio, called Mr Trump's performance "one of the most effective press conferences I have ever seen".

He added: "The press is going to hate him even more after this. Don’t misunderstand, when I say effective, I’m talking about rallying people who voted for him to stay with him."

President Trump heads to South Carolina 

Later today Mr Trump will focus on American manufacturing as he heads to a Boeing facility in South Carolina for the unveiling of its new Dreamliner aircraft.

Boeing employs more than 7,500 people in South Carolina.

Reince Priebus says Mr Trump did "fantastic job"

Mr Trump's chief of staff Reince Priebus praised his handling of the press conference.

Mr Priebus told Fox News that Mr Trump is a great "salesman" and that "there's no person better to speak for President Trump than President Trump."

He said it "was an effective way to sum up what his message was yesterday and he did a fantastic job".

Mr Preibus called recent media reports about the Trump administration "totally fake" or "grossly overstated."

Vicente Fox criticises press conference

Vicente Fox, the former Mexican president, was not impressed by Mr Trump's press conference.

Mr Fox told CNN: "He sounded so sad, so depressed, that he's not even convinced himself.

"I think he went back to his old job, to be a showman. That's his aspiration.

"Number one we are not paying the wall. He's cheating Congress and the American people because they will have to pay $25 billion for a thing that is not going to work."

Kellogg 'still in play' for NSA role

 General Keith Kellogg, who has been acting in the role since Michael Flynn stepped down, is still "in play" to be Donald Trump's national security advisor, Trump tweeted this morning. 

Three others are apparently also in the running, after first pick Robert Harward declined the role on Thursday. One of them is likely to be former CIA director David Petraeus, who was among the first three men in the running. The other two candidates are yet to be revealed

My press conference was 'the greatest ever' says Trump

Donald Trump has been up and tweeting since about 5.30am in New York, when he declared yesterday's extraordinary press conference "one of the greatest ever', according to Rush Limbaugh:

 

'Wildest show on earth' - how the papers reacted

Donald Trump launched an extraordinary attack on the news media on Thursday afternoon in a wide-ranging, wild 75-minute press conference.

Shortly before it emerged that Mr Trump's choice for national security adviser had turned him down, he insisted his team was running "like a fine-tuned machine" and lampooned the mainstream media that he said was peddling "fake news".

“I open the paper and I see stories of chaos, chaos,” he said. “It’s the exact opposite. This administration is running like a fine-tuned machine, despite not being able to get my cabinet approved.” 

So how did the newspapers report on the press conference? Take a look at a round up here.

 

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