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An Intramural Republican Fight Breaks Out Over the C.I.A. Director’s Fate

first_imgWASHINGTON — Internal Republican divisions over the fate of Gina Haspel’s tenure as C.I.A. director have come tumbling into view as some Senate leaders showed support while President Trump’s allies pushed for her ouster, in part over the agency’s role in disseminating the whistle-blower complaint that prompted impeachment, according to current and former administration officials.For weeks, Mr. Trump has been mulling whether to fire Ms. Haspel, the agency’s first female director. Despite Mr. Trump’s refusal to accept his election loss, people close to him understand that his time in office is limited and the window to remove her is dwindling.- Advertisement – Some officials and presidential allies believe that Ms. Haspel failed to do enough to stop the whistle-blower’s complaints about Mr. Trump’s July 2019 call with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine, which prompted impeachment, from moving forward. Others have also grown frustrated with her opposition to declassifying documents related to Russia’s 2016 election interference.White House aides are divided over Ms. Haspel’s removal. Pat A. Cipollone, the White House counsel, opposes it, though other officials are pushing for her dismissal, the officials said. Allies of the president have had “a real issue of trust” with Ms. Haspel for more than a year, a senior administration official said. Ms. Haspel’s congressional allies noted that she is a cabinet official and has a responsibility to answer questions from lawmakers conducting oversight of the intelligence agencies.Tensions over Ms. Haspel’s fate intensified this week after Mr. Trump ordered a string of firings at the Pentagon that began with the ouster of Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper on Monday and continued on Tuesday with the removal of other key Pentagon officials, including the head of intelligence and the leader of the influential policy apparatus. The White House then installed loyalists in top defense posts. Top Republicans came subtly to Ms. Haspel’s defense on Tuesday. Senator Mitch McConnell invited her for a conspicuous meeting in his office.That prompted Arthur Schwartz, an informal adviser to Donald Trump Jr., to accuse top Republicans of trying to manipulate Mr. Trump into keeping Ms. Haspel, who Mr. Schwartz said “undermines Trump and subverts his agenda at every turn.” Making reference to Ms. Haspel’s previous clandestine work overseas managing C.I.A. informants, Mr. Schwartz said Republicans “are getting played by a master case officer.”Senator John Cornyn of Texas responded on Twitter, saying intelligence should not be partisan and is “about preserving impartial, nonpartisan information necessary to inform policy makers.”That invited a response from Donald Trump Jr., who asked whether the senators had discussed Ms. Haspel with members of the administration. “Or,” he concluded in an apparent swipe at Ms. Haspel, “are you just taking a trained liar’s word for it on everything?”Some of Mr. Trump’s allies believe the Russia documents they wanted declassified include information that will undermine established facts about the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia. But others are skeptical the documents will change the understanding of what happened in 2016. Outside investigators who reviewed intelligence gathered at the time for a bipartisan Senate report released this year backed the conclusion that Russia favored Mr. Trump in that election.No decision on whether to declassify the documents has been made. But the ultimate authority to declassify them does not rest with Ms. Haspel. Mr. Ratcliffe or Mr. Trump could ultimately decide to release them, with or without Ms. Haspel’s blessing. The C.I.A. declined to comment.- Advertisement – Though Ms. Haspel had no direct role in the impeachment inquiry, it was prompted by a C.I.A. officer who made an anonymous and indirect complaint to the agency’s general counsel, then filed a whistle-blower complaint to the inspector general of the intelligence community.Mr. Trump has acted against people he has perceived as aiding the impeachment inquiry. After the Senate acquitted the president this year, he fired Gordon D. Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union who testified in the inquiry, and Michael K. Atkinson, the inspector general who investigated the whistle-blower complaint. The White House also effectively blocked the promotion of Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman, the National Security Council aide who was the primary witness in the impeachment hearing, leading to his retirement.White House officials who favor Ms. Haspel’s ouster believe she has been insubordinate to John Ratcliffe, the director of national intelligence, and boxed in the White House on the debate over whether to declassify Russia documents by sharing her concerns with Congress, the senior official said.- Advertisement – – Advertisement –last_img read more

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Captain Jackie Firenze prepares for final game in Syracuse uniform

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on October 28, 2015 at 8:29 pm Contact Matt: mralex01@syr.edu Jackie Firenze looked like she was starting to tear up.She said she doesn’t like to think about it, but 10 days before her final game at Syracuse, the senior was forced with to think about the inevitable. “It kind of sucks,” she said.Firenze, a two-year captain, has been a leader for the Orange long before she was granted the privilege of wearing the black and white striped band on her right arm. On Saturday, she’ll take the field for the final time as Syracuse (7-10-1, 3-6 Atlantic Coast) hosts No. 7 Clemson (12-3-1, 6-3) at 1 p.m. at SU Soccer Stadium.“Jackie, she’s been crying about it,” her mother, Kelly Firenze, said. “She’s been struggling … especially as it gets closer, knowing that the end is (near).”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe beginning, however, started well before taking the field as a freshman in 2012. The Baldwinsville resident grew up an Orange fan and attended women’s soccer games even before Syracuse head coach Phil Wheddon held the position.When it came time to choose a college, Firenze originally committed to Boston University, but thinking about the field she grew up attending influenced her decision to stay.“She changed her mind at the end and she said, ‘Why would I want to go anywhere else?’” Kelly said.As a freshman, Wheddon said the thing that stood out most about Firenze was an edge to her that he said was probably higher than some of his older players.He said the coaches looked at Firenze then and knew she’d be a captain at some point in her Syracuse career.“Of course it’s challenging stepping into a role where you have a lot more responsibilities,” Firenze said. “But I think I was ready for it.”Firenze said any difficulties adjusting to the new position were lessened by what she learned from Alyscha Mottershead and Jenna Rickan, the two captains her freshman year she credits for helping to mold her into the leader she is now.On the field, Firenze is a vocal presence. She can often be seen shouting directions to teammates and motioning across the field. After a 0-0 tie against Cornell on Sept. 11 — the third straight game SU was unable to muster a goal — Firenze was clear things had to change.She struggled to describe the cause of the scoring struggles but was adamant about figuring it out. The next day, Syracuse held a team meeting and went on to put up two goals in its next game, a 2-1 win over Colgate.The elephant in the room on offense was on the forefront of the captain’s mind.“She’s not afraid,” Wheddon said. “And this is one of the things I appreciate most about Jackie, is she’s not afraid to say the things that are uncomfortable.”On Sunday, the senior walked onto the field for the second half of SU’s game against Wake Forest. Sam Hunt’s “Leave the Night On” blared through the speakers and a proud mother beamed from the wet bleachers.Kelly talked of her favorite memory — when Firenze scored the game-winning goal against UConn her freshman year on a shot that snuck through the goalkeeper’s legs with three seconds left, the only time Syracuse has beaten UConn in the last 21 meetings between the two teams — and mentioned how all good things must come to an end.Firenze has thought of trying to play professionally after Syracuse or coaching at the college level, something her mother said would be the “dream job.” The senior isn’t sure exactly where she’ll go from here, but it won’t be far.“She’s not ready to give it up,” Kelly said. “Soccer is in her future.” Commentslast_img read more

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‘Rosa Parks Human Rights Day’ to be considered

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPettersson scores another winner, Canucks beat KingsHutchinson said such a resolution would make Los Angeles the nation’s first city to declare a Rosa Parks Human Rights Day. The proposal has been endorsed by civil rights leader the Rev. Al Sharpton. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Black civil rights activists will call on the City Council today to declare Saturday “Rosa Parks Human Rights Day” to mark the 52nd anniversary of Parks’ refusal to move from her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Ala. Earl Ofari Hutchinson, president of the Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable, said Parks’ act was a turning point in the civil rights movement, and commemorating it would send a message that efforts must continue to fight bigotry and intolerance. “Today the forces of intolerance are alive and well in America and Los Angeles,” Hutchinson said. Hutchinson cited “the spate of hanging nooses, the rise in hate crimes nationally, black and Latino gang hate violence in L.A.” as the basis for his call. last_img read more

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