Donald Trump reveals details of meeting with Kim Jong Un

Historic talks set to take place in Singapore on 12 June

Donald Trump has revealed the venue and date of his meeting with Kim Jong-un
(Image credit: MANDEL NGAN, ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images)

19 March

Trump warned by Republicans to leave Mueller alone

Several senior Republicans have publicly warned Donald Trump not to try to fire special counsel Robert Mueller, following a series of highly charged tweets from the US President on Sunday.

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Trump openly criticised the investigation into possible collusion with Russia, calling out Mueller, who is a Republican, by name and questioning the political make up of the investigation team.

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Republican Senator Lindsey Graham told CNN that any attempt by Trump to fire Mueller would be “catastrophic”, adding: “If he tried to do that, that would be the beginning of the end of his presidency.”

The BBC reports that the warnings came a day after Trump’s personal lawyer John Dowd said “it was time for the special counsel's investigation to end.”

Dowd initially said he was speaking on behalf of the president when he made that statement, but later clarified he was “speaking for myself.”

16 March

Trump ‘preparing to sack’ H.R. McMaster and John Kelly

Two more members of Donald Trump’s inner circle are reportedly set for the chop as the White House shake-up continues.

The timing of the expected departures is unclear, with one official telling The New York Times it could happen imminently, and another saying it could be weeks, or even months.

“Trump is willing to take time executing the move because he wants to ensure both that [McMaster] is not humiliated and that there is a strong successor lined up,” the Post reports, citing five separate sources.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders denied the reports that McMaster is heading for the door.

"Just spoke to @POTUS and Gen. H.R. McMaster - contrary to reports they have a good working relationship and there are no changes at the NSC," Sanders tweeted.

However, CNN claims that “sources with knowledge of McMaster's standing in the White House have repeatedly said that he has been on thin ice for months”.

McMaster, “whom officials have described as never having clicked with the president personally, is sometimes at odds with Trump on policy”, says The New York Times.

The newspaper adds: “The name most often mentioned as a replacement for McMaster has been John R. Bolton... But another option is Keith Kellogg, a retired army lieutenant general who is currently the chief of staff at the National Security Council.”

Trump is also believed to be looking for a replacement for his chief of staff. “Kelly is said to have angered the president by privately saying ‘no’ to the boss too often,” says The New York Times.

But there is a “significant pocket of people” working in the White House who “would be deflated and would consider quitting themselves if Kelly was fired”, says Politico’s Jake Sherman.

The US leader is already faces a battle to get high-level replacements confirmed by the Senate.

Earlier this week he fired Rex Tillerson as secretary as state and named CIA director Mike Pompeo as his replacement. Pompeo's deputy, Gina Haspel, is Trump's choice to step up as the new head of the intelligence agency.

The Republicans’ threadbare majority in the Senate means “Trump will need Democrats to support his picks”, say Politico’s Matthew Nussbaum and Burgess Everett, adding: “The looming struggle to get Cabinet replacements through underscores just how much the political calculus has changed for Trump since the early days of his administration, as Democrats look ahead to the midterms and throw off any semblance of cooperation with the White House.”

15 March

Trump admits making up 'facts' at Trudeau trade talks

Donald Trump has publicly boasted that he made up information about trade at a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Addressing an audience at a fundraiser in Missouri yesterday, the US president said he informed Trudeau that the US runs a trade deficit with its neighbour to the north “without knowing whether that was the case”, according to an audio recording obtained by The Washington Post.

The office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) states that America had a goods and services trade surplus of $12.5bn (£9bn) with Canada in 2016, the latest figures available when Trump made the claim, The Guardian reports.

Trudeau visited the president in Washington DC in October to discuss the ongoing Nafta negotiations.

“Nice guy, good-looking guy, comes in - ‘Donald we have no trade deficit,’” Trump reportedly said in his fundraiser speech. “He’s very proud because everybody else, you know, we’re getting killed.

“So he’s proud. I said, ‘Wrong Justin, you do.’ I didn’t even know... I had no idea. I just said, ‘You’re wrong.’ You know why? Because we’re so stupid... And I thought they were smart. I said, ‘You’re wrong, Justin.’ He said, ‘Nope we have no trade deficit.’”

Trump recounted “a similar story about the meeting” at a rally in December, says Canada’s Global News website.

The president reportedly told supporters: “[Trudeau] said, ‘I’m telling you that Canada has a deficit with the United States.’ I told my people - in front of a lot of people - I said, ‘Go out and check.’”

Trump said his staff found that Trudeau had left out some key details.

“[Trudeau] was right. Except he forgot two categories: lumber timber, and energy. Other than that, he was right. When you add them all together, we actually have a $17bn deficit with Canada,” Trump said.

However, as The Washington Post points out, that figure contradicts the information from the USTR.

The Missouri fundraising speech also saw the president lashing out at US allies and major global economies over trade.

Trump said allies including the European Union, Japan and South Korea, as well as China, had ripped off the US and its workers.

“Our allies care about themselves,” he said. “They don't care about us.”

Trump’s comments “were among his most protectionist to date and didn’t identify a single benefit the United States receives from its trading relationships”, says the Post.

14 March

Trump suggests creating military 'Space Force'

Donald Trump has floated the idea of creating a Space Force, a military branch that would operate in outer space.

"Space is a war-fighting domain, just like the land, air, and sea," the US president said during a speech yesterday at a Marine Corps Air Station in San Diego, California.

"We may even have a Space Force, develop another one, Space Force. We have the Air Force, we'll have the Space Force."

Trump said he originally came up with the term as a joke while discussing US government spending in space.

“I said, ‘Maybe we need a new force, we’ll call it the Space Force,’ and I was not really serious. Then I said, ‘What a great idea, maybe we'll have to do that,’” he admitted.

CNBC says that it was “unclear whether the president was still joking by the time he finished his off-script remarks about a Space Force. The White House did not respond to a request for comment.”

Outlandish as it sounds, the idea is not without precedent. Last June, a group of US congressmen suggested dividing the Air Force into two factions - one focused on aviation and the other dedicated to ventures outside of Earth’s atmosphere.

The plan did not make it into the National Defense Authorisation Act in November, but there were several new directives included that could facilitate such a scheme in the future.

13 March

Hillary Clinton: America ‘doesn’t deserve’ Donald Trump

Hillary Clinton has said that the people of the United States do “not deserve” to have Donald Trump as president.

“If you watch reality TV, you know it means that the person who is the most outrageous, the person who says the politically incorrect things, the person who’s insulting and attacking, drives big ratings,” Clinton continued.

“If people were looking for the reality TV campaign, maybe I should have given them more entertainment.”

She also commented on the pre-election presidential debate, in which the real-estate mogul repeatedly followed her around the stage. “He was stalking me,” she said. “And it was meant to unnerve me, of course, because he’s a large man.”

Clinton said that she had won parts of the country that were “optimistic, diverse, dynamic and moving forward”, while Trump's campaign had been “looking backwards”.

The Republican National Convention (RNC) Research group dismissed Clinton as “bitter” in a tweet yesterday.

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