It’s all good martinis for us today! Join Jim and Greg as they find endless entertainment in Hillary accusing Tulsi Gabbard of being a Russian asset and Gabbard going nuclear in response. They’re also glad to see President Trump listening to those begging him to take one controversy off the table and scrapping the 2020 G-7 summit at Trump’s Doral resort in Florida. And they have a lot of fun with Julian Castro becoming the latest Democrat to insist they are leaving the race unless they raise a large sum of money by the end of the month.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America devote all three martinis to the Trump-Kim summit. They are happy that President Trump did not promise to revoke any of the North Korean sanctions and that Kim reportedly made concessions on his missile program. They also rip the deal over Trump agreeing to end joint military exercises with South Korea, while only getting a vague promise from Kim to move towards denuclearization. They also berate Trump for lavishing public praise towards Kim, calling it a great honor to meet with him and suggesting Kim loves his people.
Former Trump administration official Dr. Sebastian Gorka is urging the president to take decisive action against Obama administration officials involved in conducting surveillance on the Trump campaign and to release as much information on those efforts as possible.
Gorka, also the author of the forthcoming book “Why We Fight: Recovering America’s Will to Win,” is also applauding President Trump’s decision to cancel the summit with North Korea and believes this shows exactly what kind of a leader Trump is.
Recent, widespread reports indicate that the FBI enlisted an informant to make contact with Trump campaign officials in an effort to investigate – or instigate, as Trump alleges – the connection between the Trump campaign and Russian efforts to meddle in the 2016 campaign.
“It’s the worst political scandal in American history. What we have is one administration deciding that they can spy on another presidential candidate and his campaign for purely political reasons. For more than a year, people laughed when the president said, ‘I was surveilled.’ Now we know that not only was he surveilled, they put covert assets into his campaign,” said Gorka.
Gorka says Trump needs to respond boldly.
“Right now all the key personnel from the last administration must be stripped of their security clearances. The idea that (former CIA Director) John Brennan is feeding Russian propaganda lines on national television and still has his security clearance is absurd,” said Gorka.
He says security clearances should also be revoked for others involved in Operation Crossfire Hurricane, including former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former FBI Director James Comey and 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
Gorka says transparency should also be on Trump’s short list.
“Now we have to see every document associated with Operation Crossfire Hurricane, the illegal political espionage operation authorized by the Obama administration. All those documents must be declassified and the president can do that at the stroke of a pen,” said Gorka.
Gorka is also pleased to see Trump back away from the scheduled June 12 summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un. In a letter to Kim, Trump said he was canceling the meeting because of North Korea’s “openly hostile” language in recent statements.
“North Korea has everything to lose. We have nothing to lose,” said Gorka, who says this episode exhibits the same leadership and negotiation skills that Gorka saw during his time at the White House.
“You see a man who is decisive. He knows what he wants. He’s results oriented. He cares about this country. He’s a pragmatist and a patriot,” said Gorka.
Gorka says Trump’s move to scrap the summit should come as no surprise to anyone who read Trump’s book,
“The Art of the Deal.”
“In chapter two, he states unequivocally (t0) never, ever be so wedded to any deal so that you can’t walk away at any point. That’s exactly what the president did.
“This is a man who isn’t interested in empty pablum or nice pieces of paper to wave at you. He isn’t an individual who looks at the world through ideological filters. He wants results. When he doesn’t get them, he’ll walk away,” said Gorka.
So what happens next in the effort to rid North Korea of nuclear weapons? Gorka says China will play a key role in determining just how badly the U.S.-led sanctions strain the Kim regime financially and possibly lead to an even better deal.
He also believes the days of the Kim regime are numbered.
“This is the great paradox of all dictatorships. They’re very powerful at the top. They deny individual liberties. But at the end of the day, they’re also highly vulnerable because of the denial of human of liberty that they are founded upon. So this is not a regime that can last forever,” said Gorka.
While crippling economic sanctions and and a robust military brought North Korea to the brink of denuclearization, Gorka believes the same results will be more difficult to achieve with Iran due to the Islamist mindset of its leaders.
“At the end of the day, the North Korean dictatorship is evil but they’re rational. When you’re dealing with a theocracy like Iran, there are individuals at the top, amongst the mullahs, who do not think in rational terms. Several of them believe in the occultation of the ‘Hidden Imam’and actually think ideas like apocalypse are a good thing.
“The question in Iran is who is in ascendance, the less rational individuals or the more rational individuals? If it’s the latter, then we can probably see some positive results coming out of Tehran as well,” said Gorka.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America applaud President Trump for backing away from next month’s summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, proving he is not desperate for deal and keeping Kim off balance. While denouncing kneeling during the national anthem as the time or place to make a protest, they also slam Trump for suggesting maybe NFL players who kneel for the national anthem “shouldn’t be in the country.” And they unload on former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper for randomly concluding that Russian efforts to meddle in the 2016 campaign definitely made the difference in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania and flipped the election results from Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump. Jim points out that Clapper and other Trump critics simply refuse to believe that voters made a choice they don’t like.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are in a great mood again today, starting with the news that five of the “most wanted” ISIS figures are now in custody after good work by the Iraqis, the Americans, and the Turks. They also swell with pride as three Americans wrongly imprisoned in North Korea come home to a powerful welcome at Joint Base Andrews. And while these major accomplishments take place, California liberals are busy mandating that everyone building a new home in the state will soon be required to install solar panels, which could mean an extra $20,000 in building costs.
The testimonies of persecuted Christians and policy proposals to address the brutality highlighted the World Summit in Defense of Persecuted Christians this week in Washington, and both left religious freedom activists ready to work even harder to protect the right of free religious expression around the world.
Persecution of Christians is on the rise throughout the world, with some experts concluding we’re seeing the worst oppression of believers in recent memory.
“We are definitely seeing an expansion of persecution issues around the world. Pew Center estimates that 79 percent of the world lives in a place that faces high or very high social hostilities and government restrictions on religion and religious expression. That’s true for the persecuted church but it’s also true for all sorts of other places as well,” said 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative Director of Policy Relations Nathan Wineinger.
He says this week’s summit had a two-fold purpose.
“The main focus was on figuring out how people around the world can call leaders to account and make sure that the persecution of Christians is addressed in policy and in practice on the ground,” said Wineinger.
“We (also) heard from people who experienced really horrific moments of persecution. Also people from Iraq and Syria talked about the importance of Christian forgiveness in confronting persecution issues,” said Wineinger.
He says the testimonies of persecuted believers were the most gripping moments of the summit.
“I heard the story about a pastor who had been abducted in Iraq and for nine days was held and tortured, and then after that is finally released. When he gets out, he goes and tells his congregation to forgive the people who had persecuted him and to not take vengeance,” said Wineinger.
He says similar acts of love were also heard.
“It was extremely powerful to hear those people talking about how they’re moving forward, how they’re bringing healing to their communities, about how they’re bringing aid, food and shelter to displaced people. That was really powerful testimony about how to respond to persecution,” said Wineinger.
While the scourge of ISIS in Iraq and Syria dominates headlines related to persecution, Wineinger says there are plenty of other places where persecution is rampant, including countries most Americans rarely think about.
“Sri Lanka faces dozens of situations where churches are attacked or individuals are attacked. That’s a country we don’t hear about very much because it’s a small country but persecution is happening there,” said Wineinger.
The 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative is calling for some specific steps around the globe, namely for the United Nations to appoint a special envoy to the Lake Chad area of Africa, where Boko Haram is still wreaking havoc on believers.
Here at home, the group is urging President Trump to put forward a nominee to be U.S. ambassador for religious freedom.
“Now that we have a new administration, we need to see that administration maintain that commitment with a highly-qualified individual and they need to put that individual in quickly so that the work of the International Religious Freedom office at the State Department can continue,” said Wineinger.
Wineinger says there is already a dedicated staff in place but it cannot do much until a leader is in place who will not only chart a clear course but also have the ear of the president and secretary of state.
He also says another priority is to implement a new religious freedom training program for foreign service officers that became law last year.
“The Frank R. Wolf International Freedom Act that President Obama signed into law last year requires that foreign service officers take training on the importance of religious freedom and how that composes part of our human rights initiatives. It;s very important that that training be put into place so that foreign service officers have the tool and training they need to be advocates for religious freedom in embassies around the world,” said Wineinger.