The Weekly National News Roundup – by Shlomo Rudman

Deficit Jumps – The US Treasury announced that the 2018 national deficit had ballooned to $779 billion, a 17% increase over 2017 and the highest level in six years. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin blamed the rising deficit as being due to irresponsible and unnecessary spending. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office reported that the increase was due in part to Trump’s tax cut bill which was passed by Congress last year. The CBO estimates that the deficit will increase to $981 billion in 2019 and will be over $1 trillion each year following. During a Cabinet meeting this week, President Trump directed his Cabinet members to find ways to cut 5% off each of their department’s budgets.

Saudi Arabia Confesses – Jamal Khashoggi, the columnist who suddenly went missing following a visit to the Saudi Arabia consulate in Instanbul, was killed by agents of the Saudi king, the regime admitted. The confession came amid rising international pressure on Saudi Arabia for information regarding Khashoggi’s disappearance. Turkey has shared audio recordings of the Khashoggi’s murder with the US, in which the gruesome details of the political assassination can be heard. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo traveled to Saudi Arabia to discuss the case with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, after which he said he believed the Saudis would be conducting a complete investigation into the matter. US intel officials say that evidence is mounting that Mohamed bin Salman was directly involved in ordering the execution.

McGahn Out – White House counsel Don McGahn quietly left his post on Wednesday. He had served as White House counsel for President Trump for the first 18 months of his administration, helping direct and coordinate the White House’s handling of the Russia investigation, and was a key player in Trump’s reshaping of the federal courts via conservative appointments. President Trump announced that Washington lawyer Pat Cippolone would be the next White House counsel. Cippolone, a partner at a law firm, is an experienced litigator and former Justice Department official, having served the DOJ during George H.W. Bush’s administration.

Warren Tests DNA – Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, often referred to derisively by President Trump as Pocahontas, tested her DNA this week to prove that she indeed has American Indian roots. Her assertions of being part American Indian have dogged her since her 2012 Senate run. The results showed that she was likely between 1/64 and 1/1024 part American Indian. Cherokee nation official Chuck Hoskin Jr. released a statement calling Warren’s stunt “inappropriate and wrong”. Warren demanded that Trump pay $1 million to charity, as he had previously promised to do if she were able to prove her heritage being American Indian, but President Trump said this week that he would only pay up if he can personally test her DNA.

New Iran Sanctions – The United States has slapped new sanctions on a massive network of Iranians companies and banks accused of funding the regime’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. The US hopes to choke off funding to the IRGC with the implementation of the new sanctions, as well as deter others from doing business with Iran. A spokesman for Iran’s mission to the UN called the new sanctions a “unilateral campaign of bellicosity against Iran”.

US, South Korea Cancel Exercise – On Friday, the United States and South Korea mutually agreed to suspend a planned joint military exercise so as not to disturb the continued diplomatic negotiations with North Korea. The decision was made between Secretary of Defense James Mattis and South Korean Minister of National Defense Jeong Kyeong-doo at a meeting in Singapore. President Trump has long criticized the joint military exercises, saying they are a waste of money and unnecessarily provocative.

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  1. No surprise, all those tax cuts for the wealthy have to be paid for some way. These huge deficits will just increase with the next tax cut for the wealthy.

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