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Brexit FURY: UK fishermen ‘first thrown overboard’ if Boris serious about EU trade deal

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Trump says John Kelly must ‘keep his mouth shut’ after ex-chief of staff said Vindman did the right thing

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President Donald Trump blasted his former chief of staff John Kelly on Thursday after the ex-top aide said Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman did the right thing in reporting his concerns about Trump’s July 25 call with Ukraine’s president.

“When I terminated John Kelly, which I couldn’t do fast enough, he knew full well that he was way over his head,” Trump tweeted. “Being Chief of Staff just wasn’t for him. He came in with a bang, went out with a whimper, but like so many X’s, he misses the action & just can’t keep his mouth shut, which he actually has a military and legal obligation to do.”

“His incredible wife, Karen, who I have a lot of respect for, once pulled me aside & said strongly that ‘John respects you greatly. When we are no longer here, he will only speak well of you,” Trump continued. “Wrong!”

Trump was responding to comments Kelly made during a 75-minute speech and question-and-answer session at a Wednesday night event before students and guests at Drew University in New Jersey, which The Atlantic reported.

The retired Marine Corps general, who also served as Trump’s Homeland Security secretary prior to taking on the job as his chief of staff, said Vindman was simply following his military training in reporting concerns about Trump’s call.

That phone call, in which Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, his son Hunter and Democrats, led to Trump’s impeachment. Last week, the Senate acquitted the president on two charges, although it was the first time in history a member of a president’s own party — Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah— voted to convict.

Vindman “did exactly what we teach them to do from cradle to grave,” Kelly said. “He went and told his boss what he just heard.”

Vindman, who was the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council and testified in the House impeachment inquiry, was escorted out of the White House last week. Trump later attributed Vindman’s removal to the impeachment.

Kelly said Vindman was right to flag the call because it marked a huge change in U.S. policy toward Ukraine and suggested the content of that call was akin to hearing “an illegal order.”

“Through the Obama administration up until that phone call, the policy of the U.S. was militarily to support Ukraine in their defensive fight against … the Russians,” Kelly said, according to The Atlantic. “And so, when the president said that continued support would be based on X, that essentially changed. And that’s what that guy [Vindman] was most interested in.”

“We teach them, ‘Don’t follow an illegal order. And if you’re ever given one, you’ll raise it to whoever gives it to you that this is an illegal order, and then tell your boss,'” Kelly added.

Kelly, who departed the administration in late 2018, was also critical of other areas of the Trump presidency. He said Trump “tried” to get North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to give up his nuclear weapons “but it didn’t work.”

“I’m an optimist most of the time, but I’m also a realist, and I never did think Kim would do anything other than play us for a while, and he did that fairly effectively,” Kelly said.

In announcing Kelly’s impending departure in 2018, Trump told reporters: “John Kelly will be leaving — I don’t know if I can say ‘retiring.”’

“But, he’s a great guy,” Trump continued.



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Bloomberg calls Trump a ‘carnival barking clown’ after president labels him a ‘tiny version’ of Jeb Bush

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President Donald Trump insulted former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg over his height again Thursday, prompting the billionaire Democratic presidential candidate to blast Trump as “a carnival barking clown.”

Promoting a photoshopped image of Bloomberg posted by White House social media director Dan Scavino, Trump called Bloomberg “a LOSER who has money but can’t debate and has zero presence, you will see.”

“He reminds me of a tiny version of Jeb ‘Low Energy’ Bush, but Jeb has more political skill and has treated the Black community much better than Mini!” Trump said, resurfacing his attack on Bush from the last campaign and pointing to years-old eye-opening comments Bloomberg made in defense of “stop and frisk” — a policy Trump has backed as president — that gained attention this week.

Trump continued in a second tweet that Bloomberg “is a 5’4” mass of dead energy who does not want to be on the debate stage with these professional politicians.”

“No boxes please,” Trump said. “He hates Crazy Bernie and will, with enough money, possibly stop him. Bernie’s people will go nuts!”

Bloomberg snapped back on Twitter, saying that he and Trump “know many of the same people in NY.”

“Behind your back they laugh at you & call you a carnival barking clown,” Bloomberg continued. “They know you inherited a fortune & squandered it with stupid deals and incompetence. I have the record & the resources to defeat you. And I will.”

Bloomberg mentioned Trump’s remarks during a campaign event in North Carolina on Thursday.

“Somebody said, you know, that he’s tall and he calls me little Mike, and the answer is, Donald, where I come from we measure your height from your neck up,” he said, adding, “I am not afraid of Donald Trump. Donald Trump is afraid of us, and that’s why he keeps tweeting all the time.”

“If he doesn’t mention you, you got a big problem,” he continued. “But the president attacked me again this morning on Twitter. Thank you very much, Donald. He sees our poll numbers, and I think it’s fair to say he is scared because he knows I have the record and the resources to defeat him, and with you, with you together, we can get it done.”

Trump has repeatedly mocked Bloomberg’s height and refers to him as “Mini Mike.”

In a pre-Super Bowl interview, Trump said he thinks “of little” when he hears Bloomberg’s name.

“You know, now he wants a box for the debates to stand on. OK,” Trump told Fox News. “It’s OK. There’s nothing wrong. You can be short. Why should he get a box to stand on? He wants a box for the debates. Why should he be entitled? Does that mean everyone else gets a box?”

“I think it’s very unfair for the Democrats. But I would love to run against Bloomberg,” Trump said. “I would love it.”

It was unclear what Trump was referring to in claiming Bloomberg requested a box to stand on during an upcoming Democratic primary debate, something Trump again pointed to Thursday.

Bloomberg is listed as 5 feet, 8 inches tall on Google.

In response to those insults, Bloomberg’s campaign said Trump was “lying.”

Trump “is a pathological liar who lies about everything: his fake hair, his obesity, and his spray-on tan,” Bloomberg campaign spokesperson Julie Wood said in a statement.

The attacks come as Bloomberg has risen in several national polls as well as in Super Tuesday states. Bloomberg has built up a massive campaign infrastructure even while he opted to bypass the first four states on the Democratic primary calendar. He is expected to qualify for the debate stage in the upcoming Las Vegas contest, which will be hosted by NBC News and MSNBC.



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Boris Johnson’s power grab: Prime Minister tightens grip as Sajid Javid forced out

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Sajid Javid quit as Chancellor yesterday after losing a Downing Street power struggle with Boris Johnson. During a dramatic Cabinet reshuffle, Mr Javid walked out of the Government after rejecting the Prime Minister’s demand for his four-strong team of Treasury advisers to be sacked and replaced with appointees from No10.

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