Cohen Testimony, Trump Meeting, Updates From Cuba, & AOC Under Investigation

The North & South American News Roundup 05/03/2019

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americas, trump

This week was all about Donald Trump and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. If you could force those two to live together, you would get the greatest reality TV show ever made. While the president was the focus of testimony by Michael Cohen and while he was in peace talks with Kim Jong Un, Ocasio-Cortez was involved in a lot of left side infighting. This is the last week in review.

Michael Cohen Testimony

Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, made his second appearance before Congress this Thursday. This was Cohen’s first appearance since he was convicted of perjury from his first testimony. It was also his first appearance before a Democrat-controlled house. While Cohen accused Trump of racism and bigotry, little of what he said was new. Cohen did say that Trump wanted Cohen to lie in the instance Cohen was convicted on, he said Trump did not directly tell him to lie.

The conversation around Cohen was largely on his credibility, but Cohen did not reveal any new information, nor did he allege any criminal misconduct. The hearing ended up being the nothingburger it was expected to be, despite round the clock coverage by the major networks. House Republicans are also trying to investigate Cohen for perjury again for some statements made during the hearing.

Trump Meets Kim in Vietnam

While he was the topic of discussion in Washington, Donald Trump was in Vietnam for a summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. The peace talks stalled, unfortunately, and Trump came home early with no deal. However, a lot still came out of the summit.

First, Donald Trump implied that Kim Jong Un had no knowledge of the imprisonment and murder of American Otto Warmbier, who was released to the U.S. in 2017 in a persistent vegetative state and died shortly after making back to America. Trump has since walked back the comment, after pressure from Democrats and Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Then, on Saturday, the U.S. announced an end to the war games on the Korean peninsula that North Korea has long criticized. The movement is clearly one of good faith, trying to bring Kim back to the table, and hopefully put total nuclear disarmament on it as well. However, later that day, it was revealed that North Korea had cyber attacked US targets during the summit. Trump’s deal-making will be put to the test as he tries to achieve peace on the Korean peninsula without appearing too weak to critics at home.

FEC Takes a Look at Ocasio-Cortez’s Campaign

It was a rough week for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. On Monday, the FEC announced a complaint about the redirection of over a million dollars in PAC funds towards two private businesses. Ocasio-Cortez and her campaign manager Saikat Chakrabarti have been named respondents in the complaint. If the money was being funneled into their own pockets, or towards another third-party, the pair could be in serious trouble, and jail time is not out of the question. You can read the write-up from our own Killian Hobbs here.

Ocasio-Cortez Leads Democrat Infighting

Ocasio-Cortez butted heads not only with the FEC this week but also with members of her own party. While Democrats in the House passed the first gun control bill this session on an expansion of background checks, Republicans slipped an amendment in that required ICE be notified if a person here illegally tried to buy a gun. The amendment passed with the help of more than two dozen Democrats, and Ocasio-Cortez went off on them on Twitter.

Reports also circulated that Ocasio-Cortez threatened to put moderate Dems on a primary hitlist, though she denies that. Of the 26 Democrats who flipped, 22 live in districts that Trump won, and 18 are freshmen, so their yes votes make total sense as they are the most vulnerable members of the House.

Patrick Moore, the co-founder of Greenpeace, went after Ocasio-Cortez over the last few days on Twitter over her “Green New Deal.” He criticized the legislation itself, pointing out how major the economic backlash would be, and calling the freshman Congresswoman a “pompous little twit.” He also attacked her defense of eating a hamburger, in which she said “I also fly & use A/C” because she’s “living in the world as it is.” Moore, like many others, was quick to point out that there is an Amtrack she could take, she could just open a window, and vegan options do currently exist. He finished off his tweet saying “… you have ZERO expertise at any of the things you pretend to know.”

Cuban Libertarian Party in Danger

Cuba looks to draft a new constitution that would make it harder to oppose the Communist Party, make things even harder for the Libertarian Party of Cuba who already risks their relative freedom to advocate for liberty on the communist island. One member said “… If the referendum passes, we are all legally traitors.” The party is already under lockdown by Cuban police, and many members are in jail on fabricated charges. Further legalizing the political persecution of dissidents will revert Cuba back to its peak totalitarian days. You can read a detailed write-up from Donald Keller at Think Liberty.

You can read more from Andrew Bartholomew on Think Liberty here.

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