Fri, Oct 13, 2017: Trump announces decision to decertify Iran deal

President Trump announced on Friday his decision to disavow the Iran nuclear agreement, threatening to leave the deal altogether if it was not amended to permanently block Tehran from building nuclear weapons or intercontinental missiles.

But even as he delivered a fire-breathing indictment of the Iranian government’s activities around the Middle East, he stopped short of unraveling the agreement reached by President Barack Obama two years ago.

“We will not continue down a path whose predictable conclusion is more violence, more chaos, the very real threat of Iran’s nuclear breakout,” Mr. Trump declared at the White House in a speech that was intended to define a broad strategy for confronting Iran.

Mr. Trump’s decision not to certify that Iran was complying with all terms of the agreement came after a fierce debate inside the administration, according to a senior official familiar with the discussions and who agreed to describe them on the condition of anonymity.

Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis argued that it was in the national security interests of the United States to keep the deal’s constraints on Iran. The two men succeeded, over time, in persuading Mr. Trump not to immediately scrap the accord, despite his campaign promise to do so.

Click here to read more from The New York Times.

Fri, Oct 13, 2017: Trump rallies conservatives in speech at Values Voters Summit

President Donald Trump dove into America’s culture wars on Friday, touting his administration for “returning moral clarity to our view of the world” and ending “attacks on Judeo-Christian values.”

Trump, nine months into his presidency, has found it harder to get things done than the ease with which he made promises on the campaign trail, making speeches to adoring audiences like Friday’s in Washington key to boosting the President’s morale. And the audience at the Values Voter Summit, an annual socially conservative conference, didn’t fail to deliver.

“We are stopping cold the attacks on Judeo-Christian values,” Trump said to applause, before slamming people who don’t say “Merry Christmas.”

“They don’t use the word Christmas because it is not politically correct,” Trump said, complaining that department stores will use red and Christmas decorations but say “Happy New Year.” “We’re saying Merry Christmas again.”

The comment drew thunderous applause. Continue reading “Fri, Oct 13, 2017: Trump rallies conservatives in speech at Values Voters Summit”