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Richard Grenell Tag

European companies are leaving the Islamic Republic of Iran in droves fearing U.S. sanctions after President Donald Trump's decided to withdraw from the 2015 nuclear deal earlier this month. The regime in Tehran is "particularly concerned by the decisions of various European companies to halt their Iranian operations until the future of sanctions was clear," several German newspapers reported on Monday. "The cascade of decisions by EU companies to end their activities in Iran makes things much more complicated," Iranian Foreign Minister said. The statement comes days after the French oil company Total pulled out $5 billion worth of investments from the country fearing U.S. sanctions.

The European Union is considering laws to protect European companies trading with Iran in the wake of new U.S. sanctions. The EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced plans to enact a set of laws that "seek to prevent European companies from complying with any sanctions the US may reintroduce against Iran," Germany's state-run broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported on Friday.

Following President Donald Trump's decision to no longer abide by the Iran nuclear deal, the U.S. ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, has urged the German businesses to stop trading with the Islamic Republic of Iran. "US sanctions will target critical sectors of Iran’s economy. German companies doing business in Iran should wind down operations immediately," Grenell tweeted on Tuesday.

Susan Rice is at the center of the storm over reports that she "unmasked" the names of Trump campaign and transition officials, as described in our prior post, Susan Rice unmasked? Previously said “I know nothing about” Nunes allegations. Given Rice's past tattered history with regard to the Benghazi video, it's almost a certainty that there now will be dual track congressional investigations -- of alleged Trump campaign interactions with Russia and Obama administration attempts to undermine the incoming administration. Seeking to quiet the storm, Rice appeared on Andrea Mitchell's MSNBC show. Mitchell would be viewed as a safe space for Rice in which Rice could explain away the issue.

Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice, infamous for lying repeatedly on national television about the Benghazi attack being the result of a video, may be at the center of the "unmasking" scandal uncovered by Congressman Devin Nunes. We covered yesterday how Dems want Devin Nunes removed, but can’t unhear unmasking allegations. Eli Lake at Bloomberg News reports on the discovery of a suspicious pattern of unmasking requests by Rice near the end of the Obama administration, Top Obama Adviser Sought Names of Trump Associates in Intel:

If you didn't read Legal Insurrection, you might think that liberal arts Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY, just north of New York City, is an island of tolerance, understanding and freedom of thought. That's what its website says. But since you read Legal Insurrection, you know that for the past several years Vassar has been rocked by intellectual intolerance and antisemitism masquerading as anti-Zionism. Some faculty have been in the lead in creating this atmosphere, and the administration more often than not turned away from confronting the problem head on. Here are a few of my posts about Vassar (you can view all of them here):

Former VA Senator Jim Webb is expected to announce his withdrawal from the 2016 Presidential race today during a 1 p.m. speech at the National Press Club. The Real Clear Politics Average currently has Webb polling at just over 1% nationally. Last night the Webb campaign teased the idea of an Independent run; however, new reports from this morning say that Webb will "take time off" to consider his options. Via The Hill:
Webb is said to be frustrated by the huge amounts of money needed to run for president, and has accused national Democrats of clearing the way for Hillary Clinton to be the party’s nominee.

Today's ruling in the Obergefell same-sex marriage case sent shockwaves rolling across the nation. Fox News correspondent Shannon Bream read the decision on the air as the crowd outside the Court cheered: The scene outside the Supreme Court right now is kind of a circus:

In a press conference today, President Obama announced that the U.S. was relocating some personnel out of Iraq, and sending reinforcements for the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. Obama also stated that there would be increased monitoring and surveillance of ISIL insurgents, and increased military support for Iraq, including joint operations centers in Baghdad. Additional equipment also would be sent, in addition to a "small number of American military advisors, up to 300." But, he emphasized, "American forces will not be returning to combat in Iraq" The U.S. is prepared, though, to take "precise" military action if circumstances warranted, but not to support "one sect" against another. As to failure to leave residual forces, Obama said "that was a decision made by the Iraqi government."

Press conference now over. If you missed it, you missed one of the most demeaning, pejorative performances I've ever seen by any President. I say "one of" because it's possible there's a more snide performance I've forgotten. But today was memorable. Just more of the eliminationist rhetoric about ransoms and extortion and so on. And with one exception, all of the questions were completely soft-ball. Obama Presser analysis in one Tweet: Nile Gardner got the headline right (via Fuzzy):

President Obama throws a tantrum

  These were my feelings during the press conference as well: Updates in reverse chron:

Obama held a victory dance over Senate Republicans as part of a press statement today. Before he got around to gloating and calling the Tea Party extremists, Obama started with the big announcement that he had spoken by phone with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani:
I do believe that there is a basis for resolution. Iran’s supreme leader has issued a fatwa against the development of nuclear weapons. President Rouhani has indicated that Iran will never develop nuclear weapons. I’ve made clear that we respect the right of the Iranian people to access peaceful nuclear energy in the context of Iran meeting its obligations.... I also communicated to President Rouhani my deep respect for the Iranian people.
Of course, it was historic. For the Mullahs. Having the U.S. become a participant in preserving Mullah rule against their own people has been the precondition to which Obama always has been willing to agree. That's why he was silent during the 2009 street protests.

1) The innocence of the Obama administration Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on September 14, 2012: This has been a difficult week for the State Department and for our country. We’ve seen the heavy assault on our post in Benghazi that took the lives of those brave...

What an ironic statement from Jennifer Rubin (emphasis mine): It is awfully tempting for pundits to use people and personal conflicts as stick figures in a polemic play reaffirming one’s preexisting impressions and biases. That’s certainly been the case in the Richard Grenell case...

Jennifer Rubin, the "right" blogger at The Washington Post, gained fame throughout the primaries by obsessively skewering each not-Romney who rose in the polls, even not-Romneys like Rick Santorum she had praised when convenient to use against another not-Romney. Because of her platform at WaPo and her...

While Obama has announced his opposition to a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state, the administration's efforts to convince other countries to follow suit have been underwhelming at best. Lost in the chaos of budget negotiations, downgrades, war tragedies and stock market crashlets was the news...