Washington Today (8-3-23): Donald Trump pleads not guilty to 2020 election & Jan 6 attack chargesAug 11, 2023
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todayon C-Span radio for Thursday, August 3, 2023, former President Donald Trump appears in federal court in Washington DC accused of trying to overturn his loss in the
electionand remain in office. He has been arrested, charged and prosecuted. Pleads Not Guilty and Released U.S. House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer Releases Transcript of Committee's Closed-Door Interview with Hunter Biden's Former Business Partner Devin Archer About Any Involvement of Joe Biden when he was vice president. We'll talk to Washington examiner reporter Sarah Bedford. about what she revealed in the transcript: So far Republicans and Democrats on the committee have been giving different assessments.
Secretary of State Anthony Blinken says Russia must be confronted for using the Black Sea and Ukraine's grain as blackmail while leading the United Nations Security Council. Meeting on global food instability and the impact of war on famine and reports that the US military may send armed personnel to commercial ships in the Strait of Four Measures to prevent Iran from seizing civilian ships will provoke reaction of the Pentagon in front of the Elijah Barrett Prettyman federal courthouse. Courthouse in Washington D.C. Several dozen protesters, some for and others against forming President Donald Trump, as he appears to face
chargesrelated to his actions after the
electionand before the January 6 capital insurrection.
More Interesting Facts About,
washington today 8 3 23 donald trump pleads not guilty to 2020 election jan 6 attack charges...
CBS News reports that former President Trump appeared. in the federal courtroom Thursday for his arraignment on four felony counts accusing him of trying to overturn the results of the 2020 election and pleaded not
guiltyin the latest case brought by special prosecutor Jack Smith. Donald Trump appeared before a magistrate judge in the US District Court in Washington DC to deny the
charges, which are the most serious criminal allegations he faces when the arraignment began shortly after 4 p.m. ET, the former president stood to take the oath by stating his name and age, the judge then formally read the charges and reminded him of his rights, he said.
He understood and pleaded innocent again. This is from CBS News. Keep going. The judge agreed to release Donald Trump under conditions that he does not violate federal law and appears in court when necessary. He is also prohibited from discussing the facts. case with potential witnesses, except through attorneys, the arraignment lasted about half an hour, the next hearing is scheduled for August 28, but Donald Trump will not be required to attend that CBS News report and after Donald Trump left that court and headed back to Ronald Reagan. Washington National Airport made a statement before boarding the plane. It was also very sad driving through Washington D.C. and see the dirt and the decay and all the broken buildings and walls and the graffiti.
This is not a place that I left, it is a very sad place to see when you look at what is happening. This is a persecution of a political opponent. This was never supposed to happen in America. This is the chase for the person who is leading by very, very substantial numbers in the Republican primaries and who is leading Biden by a wide margin. a lot, so if you can't beat him, you go after him or prosecute them, we can't let this happen in America. Thank you very much, choose, you want these judgments to be made.
Former President Donald Trump stands on the tarmac at Reagan National Airport before being boarded on a plane after appearing in a courtroom in Washington DC to face federal charges on federal charges including obstruction, conspiracy to defraud, conspiracy against citizens' rights, all of which carry prison sentences if found
guilty. Alina Haba is a spokesperson for Save America Pac, the president's re-election finance effort and earlier, while he was in the courtroom, she spoke to reporters. Coincidence: This is the Biden political law fair we've seen time and time again, it's a departure from everything they've done and if you don't believe me. look at the facts March 17 Hunter accidentally admits it was his laptop from hell the next day Prosecutor Alvin Bragg charges President Trump June 8 FBI document released showing Ukrainians paid Biden crime family millions and million dollars the day after the Mar-A-Lago raid and the Mar-A-Lago indictment last week Hunter Biden's attractive plea deal fell apart when the judge realized he had blanket immunity next a superseding indictment against Donald Trump July 31 Devin Archer is going to testify in front of the house that was only after they failed to jail him before the fact of what happens the next day, the January 6 indictment that we are for here
todaythis is no coincidence this is election interference at its finest against the leading candidate Right now, for president, for either party, President Trump is under siege in a way we have never seen before.
President Trump and his legal team and all members of his team will continue to fight not for him but for the American people. I'll answer some questions. The president has called this a witch hunt. you just presented several examples of that. Any other ideas that the president has communicated to you in terms of why this is happening and why he calls it a witch hunt. I think a witch hunt is really the way anyone should describe this because it's not something we've seen in our time this isn't even political this goes beyond that a witch hunt is when you relentlessly
attackyour opponent when you
attackrelentlessly what you fear most people are afraid of someone who can't be bought by Washington people are afraid of someone who is independently wealthy and who has given up his good life to fight for this country and that scares a lot of politicians who are career politicians, unfortunately because they will get back there and I know they will fight for every one of us so that this doesn't happen to us, but the special counsel says that Trump could have disagreed with the results and talked about it, it's not a crime, the difference is what he did. try to change the votes, so what did you do to try to change the votes that you are referring to by bringing cases using the law appropriately, as opposed to what we are sitting here today, since it is not appropriate what the President Trump?
He said go patriotically and peacefully and protest? That is an American right, that is why we are the United States and we are not a third world country, although I will say that today I do not feel like we are in the United States, yes, in case we move forward before or after the 2024 presidential election, I think that each court must consider this as a whole, it is not about the January 6 case, it is about the fact that in a couple of months we have seen them try to tie up and I, as a lawyer, have never seen this tie up an individual who is a campaign who is running a campaign running for president so he's in court depositions and distracted so he doesn't run properly for 2024 and, frankly, he's not going to work Lena Haba is general counsel and legal spokesperson for the Save America pact that supports Donald Trump's bid to retake the White House in 2024 and spoke while Donald Trump was back in federal court Donald Trump pleaded not guilty to all four related federal charges against him with the special counsel's investigation of the 2020 election.
Cameras were not allowed in the courtroom, but there were reporters there who could be taking notes. ABC News has a little bit of that. Special Prosecutor Windham took the stand and requested a speedy trial. This case will benefit from a normal order, including a speedy trial, he said, but the defense said it needs ample opportunities to review a large amount of evidence that will be presented by the government. Defense attorney John Laurel told the judge they need an understanding from the government about the magnitude of the discovery, including electronic data and documents, the judge responded to Windham by saying the court would ensure a fair trial, without elaborating, there will be a fair process. and a fair trial in this court, the judge said I'm sure of that, but Laurel continued to raise issues saying that special prosecutor Jack Smith has had three and a half years to investigate this matter and there are also a number of agents and attorneys who are assisting the government in this proceeding and all we would ask is the opportunity to fairly defend our client, but to do that we are going to need a little time, the judge told Laurel to raise any concerns with the supervising district judge the trial, which reporting from ABC News that same day a coalition of groups held a press conference on the National Mall titled Not Above the Law, one of them was Christina Harvey, executive director of the stand up group America, this afternoon Trump will be prosecuted for the third time, this time for his attempts to overturn the 2020 election to cling to power even after he knew he had lost Trump and his Maga cronies are repeatedly trying to lie about Trump's crimes and many experts are focusing In the political theater of this moment in who is up and who is down on any particular day, it is important that we take a moment to step back and think about what is fundamentally at stake with this accusation.
What this accusation is really about. It's about whether we, as Americans, when we cast our vote, can truly be sure that our vote will be counted no matter what political party we belong to and no matter who we voted for, it's about whether a president and his allies can or not discarding the votes of voters they don't like to stay in power, it's about whether or not we are a democracy or an authoritarian regime where elections are held. just for show and the same people seem to stay in power regardless of the will of the voters, the answer must be clear: we, the American people, elect our leaders and not the other way around, we decide whether our leaders stay or go because this is a democracy and that is something most of our elected leaders seem to understand until recently.
Over the past week we have seen many Republicans rush to defend Trump, including many Republican presidential candidates who have said that if they become president they will interfere with the Department. of Justice and in processes like these the accountability of Trump and his accomplices is crucial if we want to prevent the next Trump or Trump from again undermining the will of the voters Now that Trump has been charged for his crimes against our democracy, we must finally allow that the Department of Justice and the courts do their job without interference from anyone, we cannot allow anyone to interfere and we cannot allow Trump and his cronies to rewrite history Christina Harvey is executive director of the stand up group America at a press conference today The National Mall with leaders of other groups with a similar vision on the latest impeachment against Donald Trump was held a few hours before Donald Trump appeared in federal court in Washington D.C. and he will plead not guilty to the four charges against him in relation to the accusations. of attempting to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, six other co-conspirators are named in the indictment but have not been officially named, U.S.
House Oversight Committee Chairman James Coma, R-Kentucky, released today the transcript of a closed-door interview his committee conducted with Hunter Biden's former business partner Devin Archer, an article read on the hill in the days between the interview and the transcript's release, members House members have offered conflicting interpretations of the testimony with Republicans arguing that it proved President Biden lied when he said he had never spoken to his son about foreign business dealings and Democrats claiming the opposite, saying the testimony showed the president did not. He was involved in his son's business. In a minute we'll first talk to a journalist about what's in the transcript.
Devin Archer was interviewed by former Fox News host Tucker Carlson for Carlson's podcast. I have many children. I am very close to them. I talk to them every day. Yes, I never called them as a speaker during a business meeting. It's strange. Many children are close to them, do you call them on loudspeaker during business meetings? um, I mean, what's this about a grown man calling his father on speakerphone during a business meeting? And to be clear, sometimes it was the call that was coming in. and the speaker continued so it's just the presence that you have to have, I mean you understand DC well, so the power of having that access in that conversation and it's not on a scheduled conference call and it'spart of your family is like the pinnacle of power in DC 100.
I guess I'm going against the lie that I hear people tell with a straight face, Congressman Goldman, for example, that I really don't know what was going on. you're getting a call from the vice president and you put it on speaker, it's not just hey dad, I'm in a meeting with some friends, right? Let me, let me put my dad, the vice president, on speaker, yeah, yeah, in the rear view. it's uh it's an abusive soft power I would say an abuse of soft power Devin Archer interviewed by Tucker Carlson for the Tucker Carlson Podcast Washington Examiner Reporter Sarah Bedford writes that the House Oversight Committee released Devon Archer's transcript on Thursday amid competing summaries of Archer's responses were submitted by both Republicans and Democrats and he now joins us by phone thanks for being with us.
You've looked at the transcript. What does he say? Know? I think there was a bit of disappointment for both sides in this transcript. Devin Archer is a very close aide to Hunter Biden and didn't provide the real smoking gun that Republicans were looking for, but this was a far cry from an exoneration of Joe Biden if you step back and think about how far we've gone from Never Talking About Deals. with my son to participate in at least 20 conference calls with Hunter Biden's business associates, attend in-person meetings with people Hunter Biden knew to work on these foreign lobbying deals and you know, I don't think the The conversations would necessarily have to be substantive to remain unethical at best and still reveal Joe Biden's initial statements about all of this as misleading, so I think Democrats have a little reason to be nervous about what Devon Archer also said that if there was anything new as part of the many hours they spoke with him, any new information came out well.
I think you know there's been a lot of plausible deniability about President Biden and his absence from Hunter Biden's business dealings. the fact that there is now a credible witness who says that Joe Biden participated in several of these conversations with trading partners; he was not necessarily conducting business while speaking on the telephone with these business partners; true, he said that most of the conversations were casual in nature, but the fact that we now have evidence that Joe Biden knowingly spoke with these business partners and you know the White House continues to say that Hunter Biden had no business with his father, but Archer's testimony kind of shows that Joe Biden was kind of Hunter Biden's business, he was selling the ability to call the vice president on the phone at any time and you know, at best, that Joe Biden participated willingly and allowed him to create that perception in his article on
washingtonexaminer.com. titled nine takeaways from the Devon Archer transcript, the first is that Biden's lawyers intervened, you know, this is an interesting exchange that took place at the beginning of the interview.
Matthew Schwartz is Devin Archer's lawyer and he stood up and, sort of, I said you know, I got some correspondence over the weekend and this interview took place on Monday, so this is just a couple of days. before they arrived. I received correspondence from Mr. Biden's lawyer warning me about the Mazar-type questions we might ask. I confronted and you know, for that reason I am going to stop some lines of questions that are outside the scope of Mazar-type questions. I believe it is a reference to a Supreme Court case involving former President Donald Trump. in which Donald Trump, his legal team successfully convinced the Supreme Court that presidents should have more protection from congressional oversight than other federal agencies, so you know, this looks like potentially an attempt by a lawyer related to the Biden family, an attempt to protect some. lines of questioning that could have focused more on what Joe Biden's role was in the deal, so I don't think House Republicans are going to be satisfied with this interview alone.
We're talking to Sarah Bedford of the Washington Examine and the last element of her nine conclusions is that Devin Archer received the right of immunity, which was an introduction in the transcript, actually occurred during questioning by Democrats, which means that More than two hours had passed since the interview, but Mr. Archer's lawyer explained that Mr. Archer had spoken to a grand jury in Delaware Delaware is where the United States attorney's office continues to investigate Hunter Biden's business dealings and that he had made under an immunity deal that was also previously unknown and provides a little more context as to why Devon Archer is willing to speak out now when all the events he's discussing are sometimes close to 10 years ago, if not , he knows more in the past, so the fact that he was recently granted immunity makes a little more sense why he is willing to be more forthcoming with Congress. investigators and, as you've probably seen, also speaking publicly to the media and finally, what happens now, what happens next in the house oversight and in the committee investigation.
Well, the House Judiciary Committee on EST is investigating what IRS whistleblowers said about alleged favors. treatment given to the Bidens there are several other business associates of Hunter Biden that House Republicans are working to contact. They want to talk to a man named Rob Walker, for example, who also worked on these Chinese and European businesses. talk to Tony Boblinski, who is working with Hunter Biden on a Chinese trade deal that went wrong and has become quite public against Biden, and you know that the emails from Hunter Biden that Republicans have received for years provide a sort of cheat sheet. route for many things.
Some of these associates could provide more information, but it's unclear how many of them will be willing to talk to the House Oversight Committee, they don't have the kind of immunity agreement that Devin Archer has, and this is a criminal investigation. Still, at the end of the day, I'm not sure how many of those Witnesses will be willing to take the risk without that protection. Sarah Bedford is an investigative reporter from Washington. You can find her article at
washingtonexaminer.com and on Twitter or X Sarah. C Bedford, thank you very much, thank you, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports Vice President Kamala Harris will make several stops Thursday in Wisconsin to tout the administration's broadband efforts just weeks before the Republican presidential candidates arrive in Milwaukee For the first big event of the 2024 election cycle, the visit to Wisconsin is Vice President Harris's first in a campaign season that is once again expected to put the battleground state in the national spotlight.
Milwaukee is ground zero for the Republican Party's efforts to unseat incumbent Democratic President Joe Biden and the city is currently preparing. for the first nationally televised debate between the major candidates on August 23 again this is from the Milwaukee Journal sentinel continues that the vice president will begin her day alongside Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., in the Samina Corporation electronics manufacturing plant near Kenosha. where the telecommunications company Nokia plans to manufacture new broadband network electronics products starting in 2024. Here is the vice president, so today I am proud to announce that Nokia, a company based in Finland, will expand this factory here in Kenosha and will hire up to 200 new employees.
They will build the pieces necessary to connect people to high-speed Internet, and let me tell you that a big part of this project is thanks to Senator Baldwin's advocacy. Really these made in America requirements were a priority for her and for any of you that know her personally, when you have a priority in mind, you will find out until you do something about it and she was focused on creating jobs in communities like this and they understand That this is all part of a broader strategy, President Biden and came to office with a plan to strengthen the United States economy.
We knew that for too long our economy has not worked for workers. Entire communities have been left out and left behind. The economy has leaked. Well, it benefited large corporations and the wealthiest Americans, but not regular Americans. Friends, when President Biden and I took office, we decided to invest in America's workers, create millions of jobs, rebuild American manufacturing, repair our roads and bridges, expand clean energy production, replace every lead pipe in our nation to connect all homes. to high-speed Internet and to ensure that every person in America, no matter where they start, has access to the opportunities and tools they need to thrive, all called bidenomics, Vice President Kamala Harris today adds a plant of electronics manufacturing in Pleasant Prairie Wisconsin. near Kenosha Republican Congressman Dan Bishop of North Carolina writes Politico announced that he will run for North Carolina attorney general next year and will leave his congressional district to seek state office in the Tar Heel State.
The article continues. The decision sparks an incredibly competitive race for position. Historically dominated by Democrats, Bishop, a member of the Liberty Caucus, has the kind of national profile and history of challenging the establishment that could flood the race with attention and cash. Congressman Bishop was on WBT today, a radio station in Charlotte, North Carolina, the last time a Republican was elected attorney general in North Carolina was Zeb Walzer in 1896. So as the Republican party has matured and we've had a genuine two-party system in North Carolina, this is one of the two Council of State offices that Republicans have never won and one reason is, for example, that Josh Stein, the Democrats, legally pursued offices related to a large number of resources.
Josh Stein raised more than $10 million in his last cycle in 2020 and his Republican opponent raised about half a million dollars overall. choice that will not achieve it and not only that, but for many other reasons it seemed that after careful deliberation by Joe, my wife and I, um, uh, over the course of many months, we have decided that this is what correct for me. What to do to return to North Carolina I practiced law for almost 30 years and I was a serious lawyer I still am, I miss it, I missed it as part of my life and I think it is a particular time to reinforce support for prosecutors in the first place line.
Law Enforcement Officers I think there is an opportunity to use the influence of that office to restore law and order in our cities like Asheville, particularly Charlotte and some others, and if we have a lot of problems that, frankly, are in everywhere but are especially problematic in urban areas, congressman. Dan Bishop, R-North Carolina, confirmed today on WBT radio in Charlotte that he will formally announce Friday that he will run for North Carolina attorney general in 2024, resigning his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives after three mandates. The race for North Carolina attorney general is an open seat because The incumbent you mentioned Josh Stein, the Democrat, is running for governor on Wall Street today.
The Dow Jones was down 66 points, the Nasdaq was down 13 points, 11. The Labor Department says the number of Americans who filed for unemployment benefits last week was 227,000, up 6,000 from the week. before a Reuters article reads that the overall labor market remains strong as employers hoard workers after struggling to find work during the Covid-19 pandemic, while there have been high-profile layoffs in the manufacturing sectors. technology and finance, small businesses continue to increase their workforce after being pushed out by Large companies are recruiting workers that, according to Reuters, the July employment report comes out on Friday. Washington today continues at a time when citizens are truly informed that our Republic is thriving.
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Reuters story US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken on Thursday urged all countries at the United Nations to tell Russia to stop using the Black Sea as blackmail after Moscow abandoned a deal it had allowed Ukraine to safely ship its grain to Global Markets, Global Markets Secretary Blinken announced. that almost 90 countries had endorsed a brief draft statement from the United States pledging to take action to end the use of food as a weapon of war and the starvation of civilians as a war tactic that, reporting from Reuters, its secretary flashes at UN security headquarters council meeting Since Russia withdrew from the deal on July 17 ignoring appeals from the world grain prices have risen more than eight percent worldwide Foreign Ministry Kenya called Russia's move and I quote a stab in the back the Kremlin claims it broke the deal because international sanctions were restricting its agricultural exports in reality the sanctions explicitly exclude food and fertilizers in fact at the time Russia abandoned the initiative was exporting more grain at higher prices than ever and what has been Russia's response to the world's bombings of anguish and outrage Mining of Ukrainian granaries Port entrances that threaten to attack any ship in the Black Sea, regardless of its flag, without import its cargo, these actions are consistent with Russia's decision last month to block Prosperity's reauthorization of critical humanitarian assistance to Syria, the country where after the devastating February 12 earthquake. millions of people do not have enough to eat, the United States stands ready to renew efforts to commission this vital lifeline if the United Nations and Syria cannot find a way forward, we also greatly appreciate Turkey and others working to restore the agreement cereals, all members of In this Council, all members of the United Nations should tell Moscow to no longer use the Black Sea as blackmail and to treat the most vulnerable people in the world as if it took enough advantage of this unjustified and excessive war .
Secretary of State Anthony flashing at the United Nations Security Council meeting in New York City today on Global food insecurity, especially that caused by war, not just the war in Ukraine, Deputy Ambassador of Russia at the UN Dimitri Polansky defended Russia's decision to withdraw from the Black Sea grain initiative and blamed the United States and other Western countries for supporting global food policies. which, according to him, are designed to keep prices high and benefit colleagues in the largest transnational food corporations, a year ago, in response to calls from the UN, we put aside our doubts and agreed to a grain deal, but Here too, Western countries have managed to put everything in their favor: one of the two parties to the agreement, the Black Sea initiative quickly turned from humanitarian to commercial, as a result, only three percent of the green exported went to countries of The duplicity of our former Western partners was even clearer in their arrogant unwillingness to comply with the second part of the agreement: the UN memorandum on Russian food and food supplies. fertilizers to world markets and this despite the fact that Russia's share of the world wheat market is 20%, while Ukraine's is less than five percent, this means that Russia makes a significant contribution to food security world and is a strong and responsible international supplier of agricultural products, not to mention the exceptional role played by Russian fertilizers and global food security, it would seem that, given these obvious facts, Western countries should focus on ensuring that green and fertilizers Russians can reach countries in need without obstacles, this is not part of our Western colleague's plans.
You confirmed this unambiguously the day before yesterday, Madam President, so how can we talk about any kind of desire on the part of your country to address international food security issues? The only thing that drives you is the desire to punish Russia and its chimeras of treating you with a strategic defeat. You do not care in the least about the interests of the countries of the global South, but we do, that is why I repeat once again that if all the problems that we have raised publicly, including in this chamber, regarding the implementation of the Russian memorandum are eliminated we will be ready to participate once again in the Black Sea initiative the deputy ambassador of Russia to the United Nations Dimitri Palensky also spoke about the resolution before the UN Security Council and in doing so said that Russia has the right to attack Ukraine's grain export infrastructure in the Black Sea port cities, we know the word made by our American colleagues before the meeting of today to agree on a declaration by the president of the Security Council on hunger and conflict, despite the fact that this document did not come to fruition incorporating all the provisions that we proposed, we consider it possible to support it in a spirit of compromise the consequences of restrictive measures and unilateral sanctions illegitimate measures that have a direct negative impact on food security in the world have been left out of the document.
It would also have been appropriate to recall a third paragraph of article 54 of the additional protocol to the Geneva Conventions of 1949, according to which the prohibitions of attacking or destroying agricultural infrastructure do not apply if said infrastructure is used to support members of the Armed Forces or in direct support of military action Dimitri Palanski Russia's deputy ambassador to the United Nations at today's meeting of the Council of U.N. security on global food insecurity some Associated Press stories on the war in Ukraine Russian bombing on Thursday damaged the Landmark Church in the town of Kirsten that once held the remains of the renowned 18th-century commander who exercised Russian control through the southeast of modern Ukraine and annexed the Crimean peninsula.
Kirison Church dating from 1781 is one of the most notable buildings in the city. It was once the location of Prince Gregory Potemkin's barrels, a favorite. Russian Empress Catherine the Great and a Russian court on Thursday imposed fines on Apple and the host of Wikipedia for failing to remove material deemed to be false information about Russia's military actions in Ukraine. Story from Military.com Marines guarding the US embassy in Niger. will remain in place despite a partial evacuation of non-essential embassy staff as the country remains gripped by a coup, the State Department said Thursday. The Pentagon said there has been no change in the military posture in the West African country that was plunged into political turmoil last week. and that the state department had not requested any help with the evacuation which from Military.com John Kirby is a spokesman for the White House National Security Council, informed reporters today yesterday, I think, as you saw, given the events in course in Niger, uh and with the limited commercial flight options out of an abundance of caution, we made the decision to temporarily reduce our staff at the embassy in Miami, I want to reiterate that this is out of an abundance of caution, it was something tested, we still have not seen any direct threats directed at US citizens, but we continue to advise US citizens not to travel to Niger at this time and our embassy, while it remains open, remains open only for limited emergency assistance to the USS now at the same time that we have been tireless in our commitments diplomats at the highest level to help the people of Niger preserve their hard-won democracy, as the President said in a statement this morning.
Nigeria faces a major challenge to its democracy and at this critical time the United States stands firm and will continue to support the people of Niger. I want to reiterate our support for democratic values, the constitutional order, the rule of law and human rights, including the right to peaceful assembly, and we continue to call for the safe release as president and we. We have also been steadfast in supporting the efforts of ECOWAS, the African Union and other governments in the region to help mediate this crisis. The actions of a few are not only subverting Nigerian democracy, they are also undermining Nigerian security, creating a potential vacuum that terrorist groups can very Well, we will try to exploit and while we were giving diplomacy a chance and we are still given an opportunity, we will continue to review all our options around our cooperation with the Nigerian government, given these events.
John Kirby is the strategic communications coordinator for the National Council The Security Council, in an audio-only virtual press conference today, the association press quotes five unnamed US officials telling them that the US military is considering placing armed personnel on ships commercials traveling down the street of Hormuz in what would be an unprecedented action aimed at stopping Iran. Since 2019, Iran has seized a series of ships in the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf as part of its effort to pressure the West over negotiations over its collapsed nuclear deal with world powers. Pentagon press secretary Pat Ryder was asked about this and couldn't confirm it and then there was this follow-up question.
Let's go to Missy Ryan Washington Post. Hi, sorry, I just unmuted it. Thanks Pat, just wanted to do a related follow up. to the AP report on the straight news. I know you can't confirm that, um, but um, uh, just to provide a little bit of background on existing operations related to trying to deter Iranian maritime aggression in that area, can you talk? about the Department's current approach to that and also give us more details about the activities of the Baton groups, what exactly they are going to do once everyone gets to the theater, just so we understand what the current status is, thank you, yes. thank you Missy, so we'll come back to, you know, with a few more details in terms of once they hit theaters, but generally speaking, as we've talked about before, increasing presence by working with our partners in the region. and increase the pace and tempo of our overall patrols throughout the region, the intent again is to be closer so we can respond more quickly to any potential provocation and deter any type of Iranian aggression, so we will continue to focus on that, but As I just highlighted in the previous question, it is important to see it through the lens that we are not doing it alone, we are doing it as part of a coalition in the region to ensure that the Strait of Hormuz remains open to freedom of navigation. and that we are deterring any type of evil activity.
Pentagon Press Secretary Pat Ryder and Air Force Brigadier General at the Pentagon press conference referred to the Baton group in the Associated Press article that was first reported citing anonymous Americans. Officials say the United States is considering sending armed personnel to commercial ships traveling through the Strait of Hormuz. AP writes that this comes as thousands of Marines and sailors on both the amphibious assault ship USS Baton and the USS Carter Hall, a landing ship, head to the Persian Gulf, those Marines and sailors could provide the column backbone of any armed guard mission in the Strait through which 20 percent of the world's crude oil passes.
Hilda's retirement ceremony at the Pentagon today for Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville is a position that is likely to be maintained. vacant for some time as U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Alabama, has suspended rapid approval of a few hundred military nominations and promotions and is protesting the Defense Department's policy of paying women in states that restrict the abort your expenses to travel to the states. that allow abortion more easily General Randy George, current vice chief of staff of the Army, has been nominated by President Biden to be the new chief of staff and has had a Senate hearing on the armed services.
The Marine Corps is now led by an acting commander. In the next two months, the chief of naval operations and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff will retire, adding those positions also to the list of temporary leaders, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, currently the one who will retire, General Mark. milley spoke today at the Tactical Courage retirement ceremony every day in The Crucible of Combat, but no matter the challenge,He always maintained his integrity and never lost sight of his inner North Star, he fought not for today but for tomorrow so that we would protect and defend. the Constitution of the United States of America for our children and our children's children, each of us temporarily occupies a moment and Jim is no different, soon someone else will step forward to continue leading our military, but this experiment We call Freedom.
America is worth fighting for not just today but forever, and Jim, you have fought for this country with bravery and honor and you have led our military with distinction, on behalf of the Joint Force, on behalf of a nation grateful to you. and Maria and Michael and Jessica and Ryan thank you to your father Joe to your mother Barbara your brothers and sisters all of us here today are here to honor you and just say thank you, we thank you and your entire family, we thank you for a lifetime of service selfless to the greatest nation on Earth and may God bless you and your family in your retirement and may God bless America General Mark Miller Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Army Chief of Staff General's Retirement Ceremony James McConville Senator Tommy Tuberville recently submitted a report called a document that separates myth from fact and said that it is his right as a senator to suspend military nominations and promotions and that doing so does not affect readiness, unlike woke policies from the Pentagon, writes President Biden.
In a recent speech he said Senator Tupperville's withholdings have created a growing cascade of damage and disruption to national security. Thanks for listening to Washington Today, which you can get as a podcast on the C-SPAN now mobile app and wherever you find your podcast and for stories. in the headlines in Washington, emailed every day, subscribe to c-span's evening newsletter verbatim at c-span.org connected slash have a good night
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