All 4 living ex-presidents indicate Trump’s claim that ‘some of’ them agree with him about the wall isn’t true

All 4 living ex-presidents indicate Trump Claim

President Donald Trump said Friday that a former president had commended him for his commitment to securing funds to build a wall along the nation’s southern border.

However, none of the four living former presidents have said they told Trump they wished they had built the wall.

In a news conference Friday, Trump suggested that at least one prior commander in chief had agreed with his desire to build a wall.

“This should have been done by all of the presidents that preceded me,” Trump said. “And they all know it. Some of them have told me that we should have done it.”

But his predecessors have denied such a conversation.
Jimmy Carter, the oldest living former president, said Monday that it wasn’t him.

“I have not discussed the border wall with President Trump, and do not support him on the issue,” Carter said in a statement tweeted by The Carter Center on Monday afternoon.

Freddy Ford, a spokesman for former President George W. Bush, told CNN that “they haven’t discussed this.”

Former President Bill Clinton spokesman Angel Urena said Clinton “never said that,” adding that “they’ve not talked since inauguration.”

A spokesman for Trump’s immediate predecessor, Barack Obama, did not respond directly to a CNN request for comment, instead passing along comments Obama made as president in which he said a wall isn’t necessary.

All 4 living ex-presidents indicate Trump Claim

“A nation ringed by walls would only imprison itself,” Obama told the assembled representatives of the UN’s member states in September 2016.
In a commencement address at Rutgers University in May 2016, Obama blasted the idea and said a wall was antithetical to America’s history of attracting and growing from “strivers.”

“Suggesting that we can build an endless wall along our borders, and blame our challenges on immigrants — that doesn’t just run counter to our history as the world’s melting pot; it contradicts the evidence that our growth and our innovation and our dynamism has always been spurred by our ability to attract strivers from every corner of the globe,” he said to a cheering crowd.

Obama’s representatives didn’t respond to CNN last week when asked if he was the former president who had spoken with Trump and praised the wall. CNN reached out to Obama’s representatives again Monday.

Brother of American detained in Russia explains why Paul Whelan has passports from 4 countries

Brother of American

The brother of the American detained in Moscow on suspicion of spying spoke to Fox News Monday afternoon about the surreal case of his twin, including his detainment in a notorious Russian prison and the reasons behind his passports from four countries.

“I think Paul’s case proves that truth can be stranger than fiction,” Paul Whelan’s twin, David, told Shep Smith on “Shepard Smith Reporting.”

When Whelan was arrested in late December, he was identified only as an American. Last week, it emerged that he also holds British, Irish and Canadian citizenship.

His brother told Smith: “I’m not sure he actually travelled on all of those passports to Russia. I know he’s been to Russia many times.”

He said his family members were immigrants multiple times. The brothers started out with two passports, English and Canadian. David said his brother got the third, American one, when he came to the U.S. to become a Marine. He received an Irish passport to honor his heritage, when the Irish changed a law to allow grandchildren to get passports.

On Monday the Russian Foreign Ministry said Paul may receive visits from diplomats from the three other countries whose citizenship he holds. U.S. Ambassador Jon Huntsman Jr. visited him in prison last week.

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told the state news agency RIA-Novosti that the other countries have applied for consular visits and “if the arrestee confirms that he wants these visits, they will be arranged.”

Whelan, the head of global security for a Michigan-based auto parts supplier, was in Moscow to attend the wedding of a friend from the Marine Corps when he disappeared, David previously said.

David Whelan noted the U.S. Embassy has indicated it will continue to lead on consular efforts, since Paul entered Russia on a U.S. passport.

The multiple passports his brother has, and the countries involved, have provided his family with a silver lining. He said he feels his brother is safe and protected as they work on the next steps for his release.

Trump pushes for breakthrough peace deal between Kosovo, Serbia

Trump pushes

The Trump administration is working to score what it hopes to be another foreign policy win, this time by encouraging leaders from Serbia and Kosovo to sign a peace agreement in a ceremony that could take place at the White House.

A source confirmed to Fox News a report that Kosovo President Hashim Thaci recently traveled to Germany and met with U.S. Ambassador Richard Grenell to discuss a deal that would lower tariffs on Serb goods, and in general lead to a lessening of tensions. Problems between Kosovo and Serbia – a longtime issue – have recently become so tense that some fear armed conflict may break out.

“President Trump gave both Kosovo and Serbia a clear path towards getting greater U.S. support,” a U.S. official told Fox News. “He wants them to come up with a mutually agreed upon solution. As long as they both agree, then he will support it. Unlike the European position, everything is on the table for the U.S.

Uneasy relations between Serbia and its former province have simmered since Kosovo declared independence in 2008, nine years after a NATO-led military campaign led drove the Serbs from Kosovo. The NATO action came after a Serbian ethnic cleansing campaign drove hundreds of thousands of Kosovars to neighboring countries, and threatened to engulf the states of the foreign Yugoslavia into war.

Thaci’s meeting with Grenell, who as a former spokesperson for the U.S. delegation to the U.N. and foreign policy expert is intimately familiar with the Kosovo-Serb situation, helped raise the profile of the issue. Grennell is regarded a Trump confidante in Europe who has very effective access to the White House.

Trump recently sent letters to both Thaci and Serb President Aleksandar Vucic, asking they accelerate negotiations in an effort to resolve their impasse. As first reported in the Washington Post, Thaci and Vucic published their versions of the Trump letter online.

“Failure to capi­tal­ize on this unique opportunity would be a tragic setback, as another chance for a comprehensive peace is unlikely to occur again soon,” Trump wrote to the Kosovar leader.

In a statement to the Post, Grenell said he and Thaci “spoke about the importance of making long-term decisions instead of reacting in the short term. I was pleased that he agreed, and committed to work to end the tariffs that were recently imposed on Serbian products,” Grenell said in a statement to The Post. “This move would help send the right signals that he is serious about negotiating and help build trust between the parties.”

Trump pushes

Bringing the leaders of Kosovo and Serbia together for a White House ceremony would be seen as a major accomplishment. The deep-seated animosity between the Serbs and Kosovars, who are ethnic Albanians and are predominately Muslim, stretches back centuries.

One expert welcomed the increased U.S. attention on the Kosovo-Serbia issue, particularly in the context of the larger Balkans framework.

“The rising tensions between Serbia and Kosovo — and the way in which Serbia and Russia are working together to foment instability in neighboring Bosnia – pose a real threat to regional peace,” said Daniel Baer, U.S. Ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and advisor to Foreign Policy for America.

“Obviously, offering the White House as a setting is offering a big carrot, but if the administration can use that carrot to achieve a genuine peace between Serbia and Kosovo, including recognition of Kosovo by Belgrade, that would be a significant step forward.”

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