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In confirmation hearings, Biden Aides points to tough approach to China

At Ms Haines’ hearing, she promised to take a non-partisan approach to intelligence gathering. Although she did not mention her name, Mr Trump’s current Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe, she has made it clear that she will take a different approach. Democrats have accused Mr. Ratcliffe of giving political direction to the information he presents to the White House and acting more like a partisan aide than a non-political official with various declassifications and publication of documents intended to help Mr. Trump.

“One of the first things I would like to do is send a clear message to the intelligence community that we are supposed to produce non-political and unvarnished intelligence to the president-elect, to his senior advisers,” Haines told the Senator Angus King. , independent from Maine. “The president himself expects this and will expect the intelligence community to provide information whether he wants to hear it or not.

She was also asked several questions about far-right groups and she pledged to help the FBI and examine attempts by foreign governments to influence extremist organizations in the United States.

Lawmakers told her about China and how much priority it would place on improving intelligence gathering and counterintelligence, but also whether it supports an aggressive stance by the Biden administration.

“China is challenging our security, our prosperity, our values ​​across a range of issues and I support an aggressive stance,” Haines said. “This is where we are now and the one that is more assertive than where we were in the Obama-Biden administration.”

Republican and Democratic senators pushed Ms. Haines on the issue. Senator Mark Warner, Democrat from Virginia, who is on the verge of becoming chairman of the intelligence committee, said he was part of an old bipartisan consensus that wrongly concluded that more Beijing was part of “the order. global ”, the more it would follow the international. standards. Now, he has expressed concern about China’s efforts to influence American policymakers, strengthen its military, dominate new technologies, steal intellectual property, and oppress its own people.

In response, Ms Haines said intelligence agencies should focus more on China. While the administration should try to work with China on issues like climate change, in the intelligence world, Beijing was not a partner.

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Madeleine Dean: charge official points out her experience in ethics

WASHINGTON – A week ago, Representative Madeleine Dean, Democrat of Pennsylvania, was among lawmakers hiding on the floor of the House gallery, donning an emergency hood as tear gas was fired into the rotunda and demonstrators threatened to enter the room.

Ms Dean, almost two weeks into her second term, is now one of the impeachment officials that President Nancy Pelosi of California has appointed to present the case of President Trump’s impeachment on the grounds that he committed serious crimes and offenses.

“The President and many members of this chamber have shamelessly peddled dangerous untruths about this election – despite warnings as to the destination of those lies,” Ms. Dean told the House before voting to impeach Mr. Trump. “Last Wednesday, those lies and dangers found their way inside this Capitol. This hateful rhetoric is another virus – it’s time to take down its host. “

Within the Democratic caucus, she was one of the earliest supporters of continuing an impeachment inquiry against the president just over a year ago and has shown little reluctance in approving a second impeachment. charge.

In an opinion piece that appeared in The Philadelphia Inquirer after she voted to impeach Mr. Trump in 2019, Ms. Dean admitted that she challenged a number of the president’s policies, such as his “indifference to the environment” and ” inhumanity and brutality towards the vulnerable. ”But she added that while these were not open to attack, the articles of indictment, rooted in“ attacks on our constitutional order ”, were of another case.

“To heal, we need responsibility and truth,” Ms. Dean said Wednesday. “It starts with recognizing the President’s dangerous lies and their deadly consequences.”

At 19, Ms Dean volunteered for her first campaign for a state representative, where she met her husband. After earning a law degree and opening her own practice, she changed careers to become an Assistant Professor in the English Department at La Salle University and taught writing and ethics.

She was elected state representative in 2012 and then applied for a seat in Congress after the 2016 election. In Congress, she won a seat on the House Judiciary Committee. She won her second term by 19 points in November.

Hidden in her pocket Constitution, which she takes with her at all times, is a copy of the Beatitudes.

“I carry them with me because one is a guide to life – a high standard to achieve – and the other is the law of the land,” Ms. Dean said. “One is how to live as a human being and how to live as a citizen.”

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Strong and ‘close to the boss’ points of view: how the US envoy reshaped a conflict

Previous administrations, he said, had struggled simply to bring the Palestinians to the negotiating table. Waiting for the Palestinians to agree to talks before moving forward gave them a veto on the process, Friedman said, which only encouraged them to adopt unreasonable demands.

“A flood of refugees in Israel? It will never happen, ”he said. “Divide Jerusalem? That will never happen. Israel is giving up parts of its biblical heart? That will never happen.

He said the White House had “injected a much needed dose of realism into the Palestinian psyche about what is achievable and what is not.”

The Palestinians do not agree.

Husam Zomlot, who led the Palestinian diplomatic mission in Washington until it closed, said Friedman’s sense of his accomplishments was illusory. Far from strengthening US influence in the conflict, he said, Friedman had reduced it to almost zero, virtually destroying any hope of a two-state solution.

“It was the American mafia on our Capitol,” he said, alluding to the recent insurgency in Washington. “Same logic, same behavior. It’s Friedman. And just as Congress has done, the Biden administration will have to wipe the floor completely from US-Palestinian relations and the peace process. “

Mr. Friedman claimed that the Trump peace plan, by setting requirements for financial transparency, human rights and other standards for Palestinians to achieve statehood, was in fact “a gift to the people. Palestinian “which would make their” quality of life much more bearable. . The warming of Israel’s relations with the Arab states, he argued, “would open the imagination of the Palestinians to what might be.”

He also insisted that the Trump administration has never sought to aid Mr. Netanyahu’s re-election campaigns – though his recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, to name but one plum widely perceived as a campaign giveaway, or came just two weeks before the premiere. votes.

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Hillary Clinton points to the “gracious” letter the last losing Republican president wrote to his successor.

Providing another example of how President Trump’s reaction to his electoral loss differs from that of other presidents, Hillary Clinton on Tuesday released a letter that an incumbent President George HW Bush wrote to a new president, Bill Clinton , in 1993.

“You will be our president when you read this note, ”Mr. Bush, a Republican and the latest incumbent to lose reelection, wrote to Mr. Clinton, his Democratic successor, on inauguration day. “Your success is now the success of our country. I root you hard. Good luck.”

“This is how it’s done in America,” Ms. Clinton wrote on Instagram, calling the letter “gracious”.

“From the very beginning, American presidents have accepted the will of the people and participated in a peaceful transfer of power,” she writes. “This is what makes our democracy so unique and so enduring.”

To be fair, Mr. Trump has 71 days to write a similar note to Mr. Biden. But given the way things are going so far, that move seems unlikely. Mr Trump broke Washington standards for four years, has yet to admit he lost the election and is blocking the start of a period of peaceful transition, breaking a long-standing precedent.

Mr. Bush was the last president to serve before Mr. Trump. But the similarities end there.

“This is how we see it and the country should see it – that the people have spoken and that we respect the majesty of the democratic system,” said Mr. Bush in his election night concession speech in 1992 “Just called Governor Clinton went to Little Rock and offered my congratulations. He ran a solid campaign. I wish him good luck in the White House.

Transitions have already faced obstacles. The most recent – in 2016, when Mr. Trump was preparing to take over from President Barack Obama – was difficult and overdue due to the shaking of Mr. Trump’s team. Eight years earlier, Mr. Obama’s transition was difficult because he had to replace his chief of staff on several occasions.

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Twitter points to Trump posts that made premature or baseless claims of victory about voter fraud.

For the sixth time in less than 24 hours, Twitter flagged President Trump’s tweets on Wednesday for violating his rules, as they included unsubstantiated allegations of widespread electoral fraud and premature declarations of victory in key battlefield states. .

Twitter attached warnings to each of the president’s tweets, but also to others posted by his allies, including, among others, his official campaign account, White House press secretary Kayleigh mcenany and the president’s son Eric trump. All three had, like the president, claimed Mr. Trump’s victory in Pennsylvania, a race no major news agency has said was decided.

At least three of Mr. Trump’s posts were hidden and one was partially hidden, but each allowed Twitter users to view them. The platform also restricted the ability of users to retweet or repost messages from the president who had violated company standards.

Twitter’s actions came as the possible path to Mr. Trump’s re-election narrowed, with former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. winning over Wisconsin and Michigan, two states of the so-called Blue Wall of the Midwest that Mr. Trump won in 2016.

Mr Trump falsely claimed on Wednesday afternoon that he won not only Pennsylvania but also Georgia and North Carolina, states in which he had topped early vote totals, but where a significant number of ballots remained without count. In each case, his lead was diminishing.

Mr. Trump has nearly 88 million Twitter followers, who have been accused of Republicans bias during the campaign.