Tehran: Iran confirmed it is holding US Navy veteran Michael R White at a prison in the country, making him the first American known to be detained under President Donald Trump’s administration. White’s detention adds new pressure to the rising tension between Iran and the US, which under Trump has pursued a maximalist campaign against Tehran that includes pulling out of its nuclear deal with world powers. The New York Times has quoted White’s mother saying she learned three weeks ago her son is alive and being held at an Iranian jail.
Govt shutdown: Trump walks out of meet with Dems
US President Donald Trump walked out of a meeting with congressional Democrats to end a partial government shutdown, now in its third week, calling the discussions “a total waste of time”. “Just left a meeting with Chuck (Schumer, House Minority Leader) and Nancy (Pelosi, House Speaker), a total waste of time. I asked what is going to happen in 30 days if I quickly open things up, are you going to approve Border Security which includes a Wall or Steel Barrier? Nancy said, NO. I said bye-bye, nothing else works!” Trump tweeted.
Top congressional Democrats blasted Trump after the meeting at the White House, accusing him of indifference to struggling federal workers and not trying to negotiate as the government shutdown drags on, reports CNN. “He asked Speaker Pelosi, ‘Will you agree to my wall?’ She said no. And he just got up and said, ‘Then we have nothing to discuss’, and he just walked out. Again, we saw a temper tantrum because he couldn’t get his way, and he just walked out of the meeting.” Meanwhile, two Indian-American lawmakers criticised Trump for his plans to declare a national emergency to build a wall along the Mexican border that has led to a partial government shutdown.
Ro Khanna, the California Democrat, in a series of tweets talked about the implications of the shutdown and how it is affecting Americans as the partial government shutdown entered 20th day on Thursday, making it the second-longest in the US history. Indian-American Senator Kamala Harris also criticised Trump and called the shutdown a “crisis of the President’s own making”. In another development, Iranian television published a new footage of the arrest of British-Iranian Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe at Tehran airport in 2016, before she was sentenced to five years in prison. Also, Dy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, whose office managed the Russian collusion investigation, is planning to resign from his position at the Department of Justice. He is expected to leave after confirmation of attorney general nominee William Barr.