Posts tagged with "Former President Trump"

U.S.A. officially rejoins Paris Climate Agreement

February 22, 2021

The United States officially rejoined the Paris climate change agreement on Friday, February 19, as President Joe Biden continued to put global diplomacy and environmental policy at the center of his agenda, The Wall Street Journal reports.

On his first day in office last month Biden took an initial step toward rejoining the global accord—from which his predecessor in the White House had lost no time disengaging.

Under the agreement’s rules, a country can formally re-enter the pact 30 days after it gives notice to the United Nations. Friday marked the end of that 30-day period.

“The work to reduce our emissions has already begun, and we will waste no time in engaging our partners around the world to build our global resilience,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken wrote on Twitter.

Trump argued that the agreement’s terms weren’t fair to America because other major energy consuming nations weren’t doing enough to cut emissions under the pact. Although Trump repeatedly said during his presidency that the U.S.A. was no longer a party to the agreement; the withdrawal became effective in early November 2020, near the end of his term, because it took time to formally exit the pact.

Biden has named climate change as one of four crises he hopes to address during his presidency, along with the pandemic, the ailing economy and racial injustice, the Journal notes. The president tapped two veteran public advocates for climate action—former Secretary of State John Kerry and former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy—for senior roles in his administration.

Kerry, the U.S. special presidential envoy for climate, will take a leading role in international climate talks. McCarthy, the first-ever White House national climate adviser, will focus on domestic climate matters.

The more than 190 countries that signed the Paris agreement set a goal of containing the rise in global temperatures to no more than 2 degrees Celsius, and preferably to no more than 1.5 degrees, to limit the effects of climate change.

Under the Paris agreement, which was negotiated in 2015 and signed in 2016, each country crafted its own pledge to tackle climate change. The Obama Administration in its pledge, known as a nationally determined contribution, said it would cut U.S. emissions by 26% to 28% below 2005 levels by 2025.

According to the Journal, the Biden administration is now working on a new target. The White House has said the president is expected to announce the target at an Earth Day Climate Summit with world leaders set for April 22.

The president created a National Climate Task Force comprising Cabinet secretaries and other senior officials to help implement his climate agendas.

Research contact: @WSJ

Report: Trump campaign siphoned donor money to his debt-strapped businesses after election loss

February 10, 2021

New financial disclosures have raised myriad questions about the Trump campaign’s post-election spending following #45’s loss to President Joe Biden last November, Salon reports.

Based on campaign finance disclosures, Trump’s re-election campaign spent at least $81,000 in donor money on Trump’s businesses. In addition, the Trump joint fundraising committee—which split its donations with the Republican National Committee—spent another $331,000 in donor funds following the election, according to an analysis by Forbes.

Trump and Republicans plowed millions into his businesses during and after his time in office, Salon notes: All told, the campaign paid at least $2.8 million to the Trump Organization and the joint fundraising committee spent another $4.3 million on Trump’s businesses between January 20, 2017 and December 31, 2020.

Specifically, Salon notes, the joint committee spent more than $300,000 for space, lodging and catering at Trump’s hotel business in the wake of his election loss. The campaign also spent tens of thousands to rent space at Trump Tower after November 3.

The campaign and the joint committee each also separately paid more than $30,000 for air travel to DT Endeavor, a company believed to be owned by Trump.

Trump has as much as $1 billion in business debt that will soon come due. A New York Times investigation into years of his tax returns showed that he has reported hundreds of millions in losses in recent years.

The campaign also reported paying $6,037 to Arizona State Representative Mark Finchem, a Republican who pushed to overturn Trump’s electoral defeat in the state, the Arizona Republic first reported. Finchem, who is not a lawyer, was paid for “legal consulting” in a “recount” effort through a company he did not include in his most recent financial disclosure, according to the campaign’s filings.

Finchem told the Republic that the payment was for costs related to “crowd control and security” for a meeting he held with Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani at a hotel on Nov. 30 about unfounded claims of election-rigging.

He later promoted the Trump rally that preceded the deadly January 6 Capitol riot and was set to speak outside the Capitol that day, according to the Arizona Republic.

Finchem, who said he never got within 500 yards of the Capitol building, posted a photo of a mob of Trump supporters on the Capitol steps, writing that it is “what happens when the People feel they have been ignored, and Congress refuses to acknowledge rampant fraud.”

Now, Newsweek reports, Arizona legislators are considering expelling Finchem from office—claiming he violated his oath and undermined democracy by attending the rally and promoting unfounded allegations of election fraud.

State Representative César Chávez, a Phoenix Democrat, filed an ethics complaint last month, arguing that Finchem’s social media posts “demonstrate beyond any doubt that he was participated in the insurrection in Washington, D.C. and supported others in their efforts.”

The left-leaning watchdog group Accountable.US said the financial disclosure suggested that Trump was “paying state legislators” to join his “two-month crusade to try and stay in power.”

“Mark Finchem must explain this payment from the Trump campaign and how it influenced his official work as a legislator to try and overturn a free and fair election,” a spokesperson told the Arizona Republic.

Meanwhile, Salon reports, while the latest disclosures shed some light on the campaign’s post-election spending, Trump is still sitting on much of the cash he raised from supporters—ostensibly meant to fund his election legal challenges. Trump raised more than $170 million after the election, after bombarding supporters with fundraising appeals; but most of the money went to a fundraising committee he set up after his defeat rather than his legal efforts.

Research contact: @Salon