This morning ex-White House staffer Ben Rhodes told the Today programme that David Cameron and his aides asked Obama to say the infamous “back of the queue” line. A flick back through Craig Oliver’s Unleashing Demons (via @mrharrycole) shows that at the time Sir Craig claimed the opposite was true and briefed the press accordingly. He recalled:
“There’s some weird whingeing from the Leavers that the fact he said ‘queue’ instead of ‘line’ proves it was written by No 10. I slap it down. ‘Nonsense. The President can speak for himself’.
Who’s lying? Will enjoy hearing Sir Craig spin this one…
Confirmation from ex-White House staffer Ben Rhodes on the Today programme this morning that David Cameron and his aides asked Obama to say Brexit would put the UK “at the back of the queue” for a trade deal with the US. Can’t think why the Remain campaign working with foreign countries to diminish Britain wasn’t popular with voters.
Donald Trump’s press secretary Sean Spicer is making news again this morning after repeating claims first made on Fox News that GCHQ had been involved in ‘wire tapping’ the then President Elect. The network’s ‘Senior Judicial Analyst‘ Judge Napolitano claimed on Tuesday that Fox had “three intelligence sources” for this. “What the heck is GCHQ?”, he asked.
Responding to Spicer, GCHQ took the step of issuing this statement overnight:
“Recent allegations made by media commentator Judge Andrew Napolitano about GCHQ being asked to conduct ‘wire tapping’ against the then President Elect are nonsense. They are utterly ridiculous and should be ignored.”
President Obama has delivered a withering verdict of Jeremy Corbyn: Labour is “disintegrating” because under Jez they have lost touch with “fact and reality.” Obama was speaking in an interview with David Axelrod in which he appeared to forget the Labour leader’s name:
AXELROD: Just a couple more things. Are you worried about the Corbynization of the Democratic Party? Saw the Labor Party just sort of disintegrated in the face of their defeat and move so far left that it’s, you know, in a very — in a very frail state. And there is an impulse to respond to — to the power of Trump by, you know, being as edgy…
OBAMA: On the left.
AXELROD: … on the left.
OBAMA: I don’t worry about that, partly because I think that the Democratic Party has stayed pretty grounded in fact and reality. Trump emerged out of a decade, maybe two, in which the Republican Party, because it had to say no for tactical reasons, moved further and further and further away from what we would consider to be a — a basic consensus around things like climate change or how the economy works. And it started filling up with all kinds of conspiracy theorizing that became kind of common wisdom or conventional wisdom within the Republican Party base. That hasn’t happened in the Democratic Party. I think people like the passion that Bernie brought, but Bernie Sanders is a pretty centrist politician relative to…
OBAMA: Relative to Corbyn or relative to some of the Republicans.
As part of the collective meltdown of the left they are screaming “fascist” because Donald Trump intends to keep his campaign promise to deport criminal illegal immigrants. This is the kind of fascism that is more commonly known as upholding the law…
It is exactly what Hillary promised to do when she was campaigning against Obama in 2008:
“Anybody who committed a crime in this country or in the country they came from has to be deported immediately, with no legal process. They are immediately gone.”
Trump has told CBS 60 Minutes that he expects to deport 2 or 3 million illegals. Much like President Obama himself has overseen during his term in office:Looks like the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement service will just carry on doing its job as normal under Trump…
Obama said Britain would be at “the back of the queue” on trade deals whereas Trump supported Brexit and dislikes complicated deals with trading blocs. This implies Britain would be ahead of the EU in the trade queue.
Trump also likes the UK far more than Obama did. His mother was born in the Isle of Lewis and he chose Scotland to build his most ambitious golf course. Obama had a bust of Churchill removed from the Oval Office.
Brexit negotiations may improve dramatically if Trump’s scepticism about NATO pushes EU countries into the arms of Britain. The UK is the second biggest military power in NATO after America and has nuclear weapons. Trump’s victory has increased cautious speculation that Front National leader Marine Le Pen could win the French election. This would very likely spell the end of the EU as we know it…
Students at Kings College London withdrew a speaking invitation because they found Boris referring to “President Obama’s Kenyan heritage” inappropriate. Yvette Cooper and Chuka Umunna chimed in. The Guardian spluttered indignantly, because Boris wrote “Some said it was a snub to Britain. Some said it was a symbol of the part-Kenyan president’s ancestral dislike of the British empire – of which Churchill had been such a fervent defender”. Here’s what the Guardian itself wrote in 2009 on the same subject:
Nobody accused The Guardian of dog-whistling. Yet the Remainers threw their toys out of the pram over Boris mentioning Obama’s Kenyan heritage in his piece for the Sun last Friday, despite the fact this reasoning was widelyechoed elsewhere at the time the Churchill bust in question was originally removed. Boris was just repeating what others have said without remark – could it all just have been a referendum-related kerfuffle to bash the Brexiteer-in-Chief?
Obama insisted the referendum decision is British voters’ and theirs alone… and then came the bombshell threat. The outgoing President secured tomorrow’s headlines by warning a US-UK trade deal post-Brexit “won’t happen any time soon” and claiming Britain “will be at the back of the queue”. Of course it’s because we’re in the EU that we don’t have a trade deal with the US. How will voters react when they see the US President threatening them on the News at Ten?
Also worth bearing in mind that currently with no trade deal in place with the US, the UK is the biggest investment partner already and the US is the biggest investor in the UK ($324 billion). UK investment in the US last year was $282 billion. Over a million Americans work for British companies and over a million Britons are employed by American companies. We are already at the front of the queue doing $56 billion of transatlantic trade last year…
Boris is coming in for heavy criticism for writing that a bust of Winston Churchill was removed from the White House and returned to the British embassy when Obama took office. Sky News’ Faisal Islam reports that Boris’ claim is “not true”, the Guardian say it has been “debunked”. They point to this White House statement and photo from 2012 showing Obama and Cameron inspecting a Churchill bust in the private residence of the White House, outside the Treaty room:
Yet that statement was pure spin…
As the Telegraph revealed four years ago, there were originally two matching busts of Churchill by Jacob Epstein in the White House. The one referred to in the White House statement does indeed remain in place. Yet when Obama took over from Bush, the second bust was moved to the residence of Sir Peter Westmacott, who was then Britain’s ambassador to the US. The White House were forced to admit that they had indeed returned the bust. Boris is proven right…
UPDATE: The British Embassy claim it was Obama’s decision:
“It was lent for the first term of office of President Bush. When the President was elected for his second and final term, the loan was extended until January 2009. The new President has decided not to continue this loan.”
UPDATE II: Obama just confirmed at the joint press conference with Camaeron that it was his decision to remove the Oval Office Churchill bust and replace it with one of Martin Luther King. Yet in 2012 White House comms director Dan Pfieffer insisted:
“The bust that was returned as a matter of course with all the other artwork that had been loaned to President Bush for display in his Oval Office and not something that President Obama or his Administration chose to do”
Obama has just exposed his spinner telling a straight lie…
Boris leads the counter-charge against Obama this morning
“For the United States to tell us in the UK that we must surrender control of so much of our democracy – it is a breathtaking example of the principle of do-as-I-say-but-not-as-I-do. It is incoherent. It is inconsistent, and yes it is downright hypocritical.”
The leader of a country that was founded after fighting for independence from a foreign empire is seeking to convince the British that they don’t need their own “Independence Day”. Cameron solicited this endorsement and hopes it will be the turning point in the referendum campaign.
The challenge for Brexiteers is to turn Obama into a negative for the Remainers. The Remainers are making their argumentum ad verecundiam, that all these important people and organisations say “Remain”. The Brexiteers need to show that it is in voters’ interests to leave the EU, that the likes of big business, the IMF and the White House do not have their individual best interests at heart. That taking back control of the country from the hands of the Davos-attending elite, with priorities counter to our own national interests, is in the best interests of ordinary people…
Barack Obama’s eco-wonks have unveiled a bizarre report claiming that climate change is racist, particularly targeting “communities of color, immigrant groups, [and] Indigenous peoples”. The document, titled The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment, was released to much fanfare by the Obama administration on Monday, and states:
“While all Americans are at risk [from climate change], some populations are disproportionately vulnerable, including those with low income, some communities of color, immigrant groups (including those with limited English proficiency), Indigenous peoples, children and pregnant women, older adults, vulnerable occupational groups, persons with disabilities, and persons with preexisting or chronic medical conditions.”
It goes onto absurdly claim that climate change represents a bigger public health challenge than Polio did, and that in the coming decades America could see an epidemic of heat stroke, respiratory failure, and even tropical maladies such as the West Nile virus. […] Read the rest