- Today The White House said that Israeli settlements outside of Israel’s borders “may not be helpful” in bringing about peace. This is a pivot from President Donald Trump’s previous stance of complete support for the policies of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “While we don’t believe the existence of settlements is an impediment to peace, the construction of new settlements or the expansion of settlements beyond their current borders may not be helpful in achieving that goal,” said the White House today.
- “After missile test, a war of words erupts between Trump and Iran.” Today the White House scorned Iran for its launch of a ballistic missile. “A top advisor to Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said on Thursday that Iran would not be intimidated by threats from “an inexperienced person,” said national security advisor Michael T. Flynn.
- DHS Secretary: “Border wall should be finished in two years.” Today, during his first television interview as Homeland Security secretary, General John F. Kelly told Fox News he wants the U.S.-Mexico border wall to be finished in two years, which is a pretty ambitious timeline for an executive order signed by President Trump last week.
- U.S. makes limited exceptions to sanctions on Russian spy agency. Today, the U.S. Treasury Department changed sanctions on Russian intelligence agency FSB, creating some exceptions to the policy put in place by former President Barack Obama regarding Moscow hacking the U.S. presidential election with cyber attacks on political organizations.
- Trump bashes ‘very bad’ U.S. refugee deal with Australia, in a phone call last week with Australia’s prime minister, President Trump called a deal with Australia to take in refugees held at detention centers in Oceania, said the Washington Post and CNN. “What was supposed to be a friendly call between allies that was supposed to last an hour went south in under 25 minutes. Trump reportedly blasted the agreement, accused Australia of seeking to export the “next Boston bombers” and bragged about his Electoral College victory, among other things, before hanging up on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.”