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The Journal Gazette

  • Associated Press President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump watch a flyover with Polish President Andrzej Duda and wife Agata Kornhauser-Duda.

  • Hunter

Thursday, June 13, 2019 1:00 am

Politics

US to send 1,000 troops to Poland

News services

WASHINGTON – The United States will send 1,000 more troops to Poland as part of a growing security and economic partnership between the two countries, President Donald Trump said Wednesday. He and Polish President Andrzej Duda differed over Russia's intentions toward the U.S. ally.

“We would like Russia to be our friend, but unfortunately, Russia again is showing its very unkind, unpleasant imperial face,” Duda said, noting its attacks on Georgia in 2008 and Ukraine in 2014. He spoke through a translator during a news conference with Trump in the White House Rose Garden, where they discussed details of the military deal.

Trump, who has a history of appearing to defer to Russia, seemed to downplay Duda's concerns. “I hope that Poland is going to have a great relationship with Russia. I think it's possible. I really do,” Trump said.

Democrats reject weapons move

House Democrats rebuffed attempts by Republicans on Wednesday to authorize funding for so-called low-yield nuclear weapons that the Trump administration says are key to deterring Russia.

Republicans put forward two amendments to fund the weapons in a defense bill, but both were rejected in a voice vote Wednesday. A formal roll-call vote on the amendments was planned for later.

Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith, D-Wash., eliminated funding in the legislation for low-yield nuclear weapons that could be placed on submarines. He said the weapons increase the likelihood of nuclear conflict. Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming accused Smith of “disarming” America. “It is unilateral disarmament by definition,” Cheney said. “This is a capability that our adversaries have, it is a capability that they have the ability to deploy.”

Sanctions put on Iran Guard partner

The Trump administration on Wednesday imposed sanctions on an Iraq-based affiliate of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, one more in a series of steps intended to pressure Tehran following President Donald Trump's decision last year to withdraw from the landmark nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic.

The Treasury Department said the penalties target the South Wealth Resources Company in Baghdad and two of its registered agents. It said the company and the two men are linked to the Guard's foreign wing, or Quds Force, and have trafficked hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of weapons to Shiite militias in Iraq.

Hunter's wife to change her plea

The wife of U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter is planning to change her not guilty plea in a federal corruption case alleging that she and her husband, a close ally of President Donald Trump, spent more than $250,000 in campaign funds on vacations and other personal expenses.

Margaret Hunter, who worked as her husband's campaign manager, was scheduled to appear in federal court Thursday to change her plea. It's unclear what the change will be or what it could mean for the congressman.

The couple pleaded not guilty last year after a federal grand jury in San Diego indicted them on charges of using campaign cash on trips to Italy and Hawaii, golf outings, school tuition, theater tickets and other personal expenses between 2009 and 2016.

Executive admits to bribery role

A former health care executive admitted Wednesday to taking part in a conspiracy to bribe a former Arkansas lawmaker who is also the governor's nephew, in a widening corruption probe that's ensnared several legislators and lobbyists.

Robin Raveendran, 63, pleaded guilty before a federal judge in Missouri to conspiracy to commit bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds. The former executive vice president of Preferred Family Healthcare said he and others bribed former Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson in exchange for the lawmaker backing legislative actions that benefit Preferred Family.