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Saturday, December 03, 2016

For the final panel of the day, senior operatives from the Trump and Clinton campaigns sat across from each other around a big rectangular formation of tables. There were moments when it seemed like a very good thing that 10 feet separated them.

Earlier in the day, there was a sense of good humor and mutual respect between the various campaigns (more than a dozen were represented). But with the Trump and Clinton teams face to face, and with the weight of history being written, it turned ugly fast.

Here are some key moments: read more


Friday, December 02, 2016

President-elect Donald Trump spoke with the President of Taiwan Friday in a move that threatens to trigger a diplomatic showdown with China. The conversation marks the first publicly reported call between a U.S. president or president-elect and the leader of Taiwan since Washington established diplomatic relations with Beijing in 1979. It is certain to incense China, which considers Taiwan a renegade province, and risks throwing US-China relations into a tailspin before Trump takes the oath of office on January 20. An Obama administration official said there was no contact with either the White House nor the State Department about the call beforehand. "This could be damaging," said Barry Pavel, director of the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security at the Atlantic Council. "We'll see the Chinese reaction in several hours. I don't expect it to be pretty." read more


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Manafort took Trump to the mountaintop. It's a place Manafort knows well, where he still has contacts and friends. For years, he was the King of K Street, defining the modern-day cash-for-foreign-access lobbying system that Trump criticized during his campaign but has embraced during the presidential transition period. That leaves Manafort poised to return to the role he knows best in D.C.: the most influential man you'll never see.

Manafort is unlike many of the other political strategists of his vintage. Manafort came up in Washington as a young Republican in the 1970s. After helping Gerald Ford fend off an advance by Reagan in 1976, Manafort became one of the first hires to help the Reagan campaign in 1980. Then, with his man in office, he became one of the first to cash in on his connections to the new White House. read more


Monday, November 28, 2016

The candidate who threatened to lock up Clinton for mishandling classified information considers a retired general who pleaded guilty to leaking secrets to be his top diplomat.

It calls into question the sincerity of Trump's stance on the importance of safeguarding the nation's secrets, according to former government officials and intelligence experts -- a stance that was driven home with campaign trail chants of "Lock her up." read more


The Economist: Geopolitics waits for no man, not even the United States' president-elect. Little more than a week after Donald Trump's victory, Xi Jinping, president of the world's second-largest economy, set off for Latin America -- his third trip there since 2013 -- clutching a sheaf of trade deals. They were proposed long before the change of government in Washington. But at a time when the image of the big, bad yanqui seems to be making a comeback, Xi may find himself with an opportunity to boost Chinese influence in the American backyard. The death of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), from which Trump has said he will withdraw, may also prove an opportunity. China is hoping to use a meeting in Peru of 21 Pacific Rim economies to boost the prospects of its TPP-alternative, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, which includes India and Japan, but not the United States. read more


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