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Iran is wrong, Trump can dump nuke deal
by Mark Hensch

The State Department on Tuesday acknowledged President-elect Donald Trump can exit President Obama’s nuclear agreement with Iran.

“It’s not a formal treaty, and, of course, no one else can prevent any party to this agreement from walking away,” spokesman Mark Toner told reporters Tuesday, according to The Washington Examiner. "The counterargument is, why would anyone walk away? Because it’s effective.”

Toner said State cautions against leaving last year’s historical pact regarding Iran’s nuclear energy capabilities. The spokesman noted his agency is promoting the deal’s merits to the incoming Trump administration, however.

Toner added extending expiring legislation that levied sanctions on Iran is not in violation of the agreement’s conditions.

“We obviously reject those views,” he said. "We’ve been very clear that what we call a ‘clean’ extension of the Iran Sanctions Act is entirely consistent with our commitments in the [Iran deal].

“And, in any case, Secretary [of State John] Kerry would retain waiver authority and would continue to waive all sanctions, the relevant sanctions authorized by the legislation. And that’s what we committed to do in the [Iran Deal] and so we retain that capacity, I guess, is the point.”

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani earlier Tuesday slammed Trump for threatening to abolish the landmark 2015 deal.

“[Trump] wants to do many things, but none of his actions would affect us,” he said during a speech at the University of Tehran, according to Reuters.

“Do you think that the United States can rip up the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear deal]? Do you think we and our nation will let him do that?”

Rouhani additionally hammered Congress for passing legislation that extended the Iran Sanctions Act for 10 years, making it easier for sanctions on Iran to be re-implemented.

“If the Iran Sanctions Act is carried out, it will be a clear and very obvious violation of the agreement and will be met with a very harsh response from us,” he said, according to the New York Times.

Last year’s deal between the U.S., Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany with Iran last year eased economic sanctions in exchange for greater restrictions on Tehran’s nuclear capabilities.

Trump fiercely criticized the pact on the campaign trail, vowing in March, for example, he would “dismantle the disastrous deal."

http://thehill.com/policy/international/middle-east-north-africa/309150-state-iran-is-wrong-trump-can-dump-nuke-deal


Trump to meet with Kissinger Tuesday
by Jessie Hellmann

Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger will meet with President-elect Donald Trump Tuesday, according to pool reports.

Kissinger, who served under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, met with Trump after he won the presidency and earlier during his campaign.

Kissinger also met with China's Xi Jinping on Friday, which some saw as an attempt to ease concerns there about the incoming Trump administration.

The meeting came as Trump took a phone call with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, a break with decades of U.S. foreign policy that could cause friction between the U.S. and China.

On Monday, Trump also met with Robert McFarland, who served as President Ronald Reagan's national security adviser from 1983 to 1985.

Jason Miller, Trump's transition spokesman, told the pool McFarland had a "great discussion with the president-elect’s national security team."Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger will meet with President-elect Donald Trump Tuesday, according to pool reports.

Kissinger, who served under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, met with Trump after he won the presidency and earlier during his campaign.

Kissinger also met with China's Xi Jinping on Friday, which some saw as an attempt to ease concerns there about the incoming Trump administration.

The meeting came as Trump took a phone call with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, a break with decades of U.S. foreign policy that could cause friction between the U.S. and China.

On Monday, Trump also met with Robert McFarland, who served as President Ronald Reagan's national security adviser from 1983 to 1985.

Jason Miller, Trump's transition spokesman, told the pool McFarland had a "great discussion with the president-elect’s national security team."

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/308898-trump-to-meet-with-kissinger-tuesday


Obama family travel, vacations, cross $85 million mark
by Paul Bedard

The first family has spent over $10 million a year on travel and vacations, and the still growing bill has crossed over $85 million in eight years, according to a watchdog group.

Judicial Watch, which has charted the travel of presidents for years, on Monday said that it has received a new batch of bills for the first family's Christmas break in Hawaii, bringing that trip to nearly $5 million. The Obama's are expected to return to Hawaii this Christmas.

The expenses cover items such as security, flights and hotel rooms for staff and U.S. Secret Service. They do not include the price of prepositioning ships and aircraft in the area or much of the communications costs.

Judicial Watch announced today that it obtained records from the U.S. Secret Service revealing that its travel expenses for the First Family's 2015 Hawaiian vacation cost taxpayers $1.2 million, which bring the total cost of the vacation trip to at least $4.8 million. This was the Obamas' eighth Hawaiian family vacation. The trip has become an annual event for the Obamas. To date, Obama's and his family's travel expenses total at least $85,029,819.

The records obtained by Judicial Watch for Obama's Secret Service travel to Hawaii reveal the following expenses totaling $1,234,316.67:

Hotel and lodging costs totaled $1,000,458.63.

The Secret Service spent $165,893.88 on car rentals.

Air and rail expenses totaled $67,964.16.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/obama-family-travel-vacations-cross-85-million-mark/article/2608882#!
 
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