Jared Kushner gets dragged into the Trump/Russia controversy and the Trump administration thinks about pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement in this edition of “Is This News?”
Much like the animals in “Animal Farm”; all news is equal, but some news is more equal than others! Memorial Day weekend was pretty quiet considering how eventful things usually are with the Trump administration. Still, there were two headlines that caught our eye from this weekend in which we asked; is this news? Before the Memorial Day Weekend, there were dueling stories revolving around White House Aid and President Trump’s Son-in-Law, Jared Kushner. Both stories had Kushner and former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn meeting Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the presidential transition period Trump Tower. However, the Washington Post reported that Kushner had tried to conceal the meeting from intelligence agencies, while the New York Times paints the situation as more innocent with both the Trump associates and Russians discussing strategy on Syria. Even though we already know the answer, is this news? Jared Kushner having clandestine meetings with Russian officials, before Donald Trump was even president?!? YES, THAT IS MOST DEFINITELY NEWS!! The Trump/Russia storyline has become one of those things that has become a regular story during the news cycle. This time, Kushner – who’s traditionally looked at as “the voice of reason” in President Trump’s inner-circle – has now been dragged into the cloud of suspicion regarding the Trump administration and Russia. Each week, a new wrinkle is added to the overall narrative, which is basically killing any chance for forward momentum on their legislative agenda. This isn’t good news for a presidential administration! Considering the two of the major policy goals of the Trump administration is a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) and systematic tax reform, the Trump/Russia stories are acting as major roadblocks on two pieces of legislation that are already extremely hard for Republicans to get behind as is! As long as Trump/Russia headlines continue to dominate the news cycle, legislatively speaking, the Trump administration will get very little accomplished. Politico recently reported, based on comments from Secretary of Defense James Mattis, that President Donald Trump is “open” the Paris Climate Deal. After a G7 meeting last week, multiple reports had President Trump being skeptical about the international climate change deal that would reduce greenhouse gases starting in 2020. So, is President Trump mulling over the Paris Climate Deal news? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kG3Vx6TQMo While this is news, if we’re being honest with ourselves, this shouldn’t surprise anyone. To get an idea of where the Trump administration’s views on environmental regulations lie, look no further than their rollback of almost every environmental protection measure by the Obama administration through executive orders. Or the Trump administration’s interactions with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and where its funding falls in the administration’s proposed budget. Since entering the White House earlier this year, President Trump has been very clear on what he thinks about regarding environmental policy; they only get in the way of economic growth. To the Trump administration, environmental laws just stifle economic growth. While that doesn’t mean President Trump will most definitely break away from the Paris Climate Agreement, however it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the administration is thinking about bowing out from it.
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