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Rep. Walter Jones, N.C. Republican who sharply opposed Iraq war, dies at 76

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But it was his stark reversal of his support for Bush’s war in Iraq that Jones was most famous for, a turnabout that marked the beginning of a period increasingly outside the House Republican mainstream.

Jones initially supported the war in 2002 — even going so far as to have spearheaded the effort to persuade the House cafeterias to rename french fries as “Freedom Fries” to protest France’s opposition to the U.S.-led war.

“This is a real tribute,” he said at the time. “Whenever anyone orders Freedom Fries, I hope they will think about our men and women who are serving in this great nation.”

But he soon regretted the vote, he told The Associated Press in 2017. After he attended funeral services for Marine Sgt. Michael Bitz in 2003, he wrote an apologetic letter to Bitz’s family. And he continued writing such letters — more than 11,000 to relatives of dead U.S. service members in the following years.

When Jones wrote that first letter, “there were a lot of emotions going through my mind, and I still carry today the pain of voting for an unnecessary war,” he told The Daily Tar Heel, the student newspaper at the University of North Carolina, in November 2017.

Jones told the newspaper that he also began regularly visiting wounded service members at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Maryland “to be reminded that war is hell — people die; people get wounded.”

Jones was a conservative Democrat when he first ran to succeed his father in Congress in 1992. He lost, and in 1994, he joined the Republican Party and was elected as part of the so-called Republican Revolution led by Rep. Newt Gingrich, R-Ga.

But Jones’ opposition to the war after 2003 highlighted his growing estrangement from some elements of his party. Jones voted with the party 81 percent of the time over his full congressional career — but only about 60 percent of the time after Trump was sworn in in January 2017.

He called on Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., then the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, to step aside from the committee’s investigation of alleged Russian influence in the 2016 election, arguing that Nunes was too closely tied to Trump.

And he consistently opposed U.S. military actions overseas since Trump took office, sharply criticizing U.S.-led operations in Afghanistan and Syria.

Colleagues remembered Jones on Sunday as a man of principle who stood up for his beliefs even when they were unpopular.

“He was a public servant who was true to his convictions and who will be missed,” Democratic North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said in a statement.

Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., said: “He always did what he felt was right for his constituents, his district, and his country, and it was no wonder why he was so widely admired and trusted.”

CORRECTION (Feb. 11, 2019, 12:30 a.m. ET): A previous version of this article misidentified North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper’s party affiliation. He is a Democrat, not a Republican.



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Brexit Party vs Labour Party: Who will win CRUNCH EU elections in MAJOR SIGN to MAY

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NIGEL Farage has seen a surge in support for his Brexit Party after only forming it in January. But will the Brexit Party win the EU elections ahead of Labour and the Conservatives in a major sign to Theresa May?

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What the Mueller report says about Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr.

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By Elizabeth Chuck

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s 448-page report contains plenty of new details about President Donald Trump’s actions before and after the 2016 election — but it also puts a spotlight on the family members he’s leaned heavily on during the campaign and his presidency.

Notably, the report contains revelations about a 2016 meeting between President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, incoming national security adviser Michael Flynn and a Russian envoy. It also provides details about how Ivanka Trump and other members of the president’s inner circle reacted after learning about eldest son Donald Trump Jr.’s emails setting up the infamous June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Russians; and it confirms correspondence between Donald Jr. and WikiLeaks about hacked Clinton campaign emails.

Jared Kushner

Among Kushner’s many appearances in the report is his and Flynn’s meeting with Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak at Trump Tower in New York after the 2016 election. The New York Times and others reported that the meeting that November was about improving relations between the two countries, and they discussed establishing a secure line of communication with Russia.

Mueller’s report confirms those details and adds that the three also discussed U.S. policy toward Syria.



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European elections 2019 explained: Who’s voting – and for WHAT? What is at stake?

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THE European Elections will take place between April 23 and 26. But who is voting and what is at stake?

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