Trump and Putin Status: “In a Relationship”

By: Amanda Blohm - Aug 3, 2016, 9:31 am
Trump critics claimed he doesn’t know about Russia’s political activities (wikimedia).

At a campaign rally on Monday night in Pennsylvania, Donald Trump spoke about the United States’ relationship with Russia and how, contrary to popular belief, a more stable one could benefit national security.

The Republican presidential nominee highlighted the importance of improved relations with Putin and Russia by affirming that, since Russia was also in possession of nuclear weapons, it was in the United States’ best interest to stabilize the relationship. Additionally, a stronger bond with Russia could mean help destroying ISIS.

“If we could get Russia to help us get rid of ISIS — if we could actually be friendly with Russia — wouldn’t that be a good thing?”

Trump’s remarks regarding Russia and the help it could provide were met with loud cheers of approval from the crowd at the rally. He received even more when he mocked his opponents for criticizing his stance, which not only included opposing candidate Hillary Clinton and her running-mate Tim Kaine, but other Democrats and even Republican party members such as Senator and former 2008 presidential candidate John McCain.

“They said, ‘Putin likes Trump,’” he said. “’How dare he like Putin?’”

Trump also caused controversy by calling NATO all but “obsolete,” claiming he would not necessarily come to the defense of member states in the event of invasion. Instead, he said he would rather decide whether or not to provide any type of aid based on whether the country in question had “paid its dues to the alliance.”

Trump has received further criticism for his comments regarding the Crimea Crisis of 2014.

In an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on Sunday, Trump said of Putin:

“I have my own ideas, okay? He’s not going to go into Ukraine, okay?”

The interviewer, confused, reminded Trump that Russia already had, which led to Trump trying to clarify himself. He later on stated that perhaps Crimea was “better off” with Russia.

The Clinton campaign responded with a comment from senior policy advisor Jake Sullivan:

“What is he talking about? Russia is already in Ukraine. Does he not know that? What else doesn’t he know?”

The senior policy advisor was wary of Trump’s statements regarding his “invitation to the Russians to invade” NATO allies in Eastern Europe.

Regardless of whether or not he truly made a mistake and did not know Russia had already invaded Crimea, what is certain is that Trump is definitely embracing a connection with Putin. After having denied it for a long time, he is accepting it and justifying it in the name of the country’s national security.

What will happen to the relationship between the United States and its NATO allies should Donald Trump be elected as president?

Sources: The New York Times, CNN.

Argentina: Former Presidential Candidate and Buenos Aires Governor Faces Corruption Charges

By: Raquel García - @venturaG79 - Aug 3, 2016, 9:25 am

EspañolThe former governor of the Buenos Aires Daniel Scioli is being investigated for extracting AR $20 billion (US $1.3412 billion) of public funds in 2014 and 2015. This Sunday, July 31, the TV show La Cornisa revealed details regarding records showing Scioli's cash withdrawals. The Argentinean newspaper La Nación reported that the investigators, led by prosecutor Alvaro Garganta, said it was "the largest looting of public funds in history" and estimated it was 10 percent of Buenos Aires' budget last year. Read more: Argentina Judge Freezes Accounts of Kirchner’s Daughter Amid Investigation Read more: Argentina: Plea Deal Bill Targeting Corruption Delayed in Congress It is suspected that the money would have been used in the 2015 presidential campaign. Scioli was denounced on June 2 by National Deputy and ally of Mauricio Macri, Elisa Carrio, who accused him of money laundering and illicit enrichment. La Nación said the investigation focused on tracking the irregular activity of budget funds. Garganta subpoenaed the Banco Provincia and the Court of Auditors of Buenos Aires to obtain part of the record of the hundreds of thousands of cash withdrawals. Garganta also found "inconsistent and irregular" shopping bills and services. // "I started backward," the lawyer said. "By the end, I found a huge surprise. As we had already detected irregularities and inconsistencies in the extraction of cash from extra-budgetary accounts of the Cabinet, I asked the current authorities of Banco Provincia to track all withdrawals of funds during the years 2014 and 2015. My team discriminated private and public funds, and determined that during those two years during the political campaign, they withdrew more than AR $20,000 million in cash." The former governor issued a statement Monday, August 1 refuting the accusations against his administration. "I am under the ethical and political obligation to assert the absolute falsity of the allegations that have been made against me and my government officials," Scioli said in the statement. He said never during his tenure were irregular cash withdrawals made from the Banco Provincia of Buenos Aires. "The reality is that according to law and administrative and banking standards, electronic transfers were made from the single account of the treasury of the province to accounts of different agencies for payment of wages and overtime to provincial government workers, as well as all other obligations that demanded the functioning of the government and its companies," Scioli explained. "These procedures are legally correct and are still used by the new authorities of the province to make payments of salaries and services," said the former presidential candidate. "I hope the facts are clarified as soon as possible to disrupt misleading interpretations of objective data," he added. Earlier, the former Head of the Buenos Aires Cabinet Alberto Pérez said complaints against Scioli management "have no form of support." Perez said he was "astonished" by the "lack of rigor" of the information released yesterday in the television program La Cornisa. He explained the money transfers were "electronic" and were used to pay wages and overtime. "They are electronic transfers of Banco Provincia to the different jurisdictions to pay wages and overtime. Specifically those that I saw on TV were for teacher incentives and payment of wages," he said. Source: La Nación, Clarín

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