Friday, July 13, 2018

President Trump, First Lady Melania Trump meet Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle



President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump met Queen Elizabeth II Friday at Windsor Castle.  (AP)

President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump joined Queen Elizabeth II in an official greeting ceremony at Windsor Castle Friday, in the first meeting between the two heads of state since the 2016 election.

The monarch welcomed Trump and Mrs. Trump in the courtyard of the castle for a social visit with the queen, who does not share her political views.

The 92-year-old has met every U.S. president who held office since her coronation in 1952, with the exception of Lyndon B. Johnson. She also met Harry Truman when she was a princess, meaning she has met 12 sitting U.S. presidents.

Queen Elizabeth II, left, and President Trump, right, met for the first time Friday.  (AP)

rump and the queen walked up and down the garden, inspecting a guard of honor, formed by the Coldstream Guards. They then spent around 30 minutes getting acquainted over tea inside the castle.

The president’s visit with the queen came after a joint press conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May. The two leaders pledged their full cooperation on trade and other issues, easing tensions after Trump gave an explosive interview with The Sun in which he criticized May’s handling of Brexit and called into question a U.S.-U.K. trade deal.

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Despite comments in the interview, Trump on Friday said he supported whatever decision May comes to regarding Brexit, Britain’s departure from the European Union.

“Once the Brexit process is concluded—and perhaps the U.K. has left the EU, I don’t know, whatever you’re going to do is okay with us,” Trump said. “Just make sure we can trade together. That’s all that matters.”

First Lady Melania Trump, left, Queen Elizabeth II, center, and President Trump, right, stand for the National Anthem at Windsor Castle.  (AP)

May promised a trade deal with the U.S. and with others around the world, noting that she and Trump came up with an “ambitious deal that works for both countries,” that would build on the U.K.’s independent trade policy.

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Trump touted the U.S. relationship with the U.K. as “the highest level of special.”

The queen poses for a photo with President Trump and Melania in the Grand Corridor during their visit to Windsor Castle  (AP)

Trump also used the interview to praise the queen, calling her a "tremendous woman".

"If you think of it, for so many years she has represented her country, she has really never made a mistake," he said. "You don't see, like, anything embarrassing. She is just an incredible woman. My wife is a tremendous fan of hers. She has got a great and beautiful grace about her."

Trump will travel to Scotland over the weekend, and then to Helsinki, Finland for a highly-anticipated summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, which will be his last stop on his four-country European tour.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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In London, pro-Trump counter-protesters hit with abuse, some violence


Trump supporters face off with anti-Trump protesters in London.  (Fox News/Adam Shaw)

LONDON –  A small enclave of pro-Trump supporters were hit by waves of verbal abuse, and even a few moments of violence, on Friday as they made their stand for the U.S. president amid widespread protests. 

The group of about two-dozen Trump supporters camped out outside The Silver Cross pub and were quickly surrounded by anti-Trump protesters and a circle of police who tried to keep the peace.

The supporters chugged beer and sang pro-Trump football chants, waved U.K. and U.S. flags and threw back counter-slogans at the glowering protesters who accused them of being fascists and Nazis.

“Nazi scum, off our streets,” the anti-Trump crowd yelled, countered by chants of “Trump, Trump, Trump.”

While a tense truce held for the most part, one protester broke through the police cordon and hit a Trump supporter before being dragged away. He told Fox News that he had been told by police that the protester had been arrested but later released.

“We’re here to show that President Trump is welcome,” James Goddard, sporting a shiny red ear, told Fox News. He accused the protesters of ignoring controversial figures such as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and others and being brainwashed by the mainstream media.

Later, another anti-Trump protester tried to break through, but was intercepted by police and thrown up against the wall.

Augustine Chukwuma Obodo said he loves “everything” about Trump and was representing “Friends of Trump UK.”

“They are surprised to see a black man as a Trump supporter,” he said, wearing a red MAGA cap.

Sure enough, an anti-Trump protester pointed her finger through the police barrier at him: “Excuse me, what’s a black guy doing there?”

The supporters also chanted in support of Tommy Robinson, a controversial right-wing activist who was jailed last month after filming outside a court room. A pro-Robinson rally is planned for Saturday.

“Tommy’s not coming home,” one Trump and Robinson opponent yelled at them.

Avi Yemini, of the Australian Liberty Alliance, said he had come to support Trump.

“He stands for freedom, he stands for everything that’s right in the world,” he said, then gestured toward the protesters. “These people, they hate freedom.”

“I questioned them today at the blimp and I was called a Nazi,” he said. “I’m wearing a kippah on my head and I was called a Nazi.”

Police presence ramped up and kept distance between pro- and anti-Trump supporters, but it didn’t stop a few bottles being thrown from the anti-Trump side.

Despite being massively outnumbered, the pro-Trump enclave didn’t appear to be spooked by the hundreds of anti-Trump protesters hurling abuse at them.

“From previous experience, we’ve got nothing to worry about,” Tom English, from Manchester, told Fox News.

Adam Shaw is a reporter covering U.S. and European politics for Fox News.. He can be reached here.

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IN OTHER NEWS

Russian officers indicted for allegedly hacking Clinton campaign, DNC emails



A federal grand jury has indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers for allegedly hacking emails from the Hillary Clinton campaign and Democratic Party during the 2016 election, the Justice Department announced Friday.

“The internet allows foreign adversaries to attack America in new and unexpected ways,” Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said during a press conference.

All 12 defendants are members of GRU, the Russian intelligence agency.

The case stems from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russia’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. It comes as President Trump plans to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin for a summit in Helsinki on Monday.

The indictment amounted to the clearest allegation yet of Russian meddling in the election, blaming Moscow for the email hacking scandal that rocked the 2016 race by revealing embarrassing and politically damaging discussions by major Democrats. The charges swiftly fueled calls from Democratic lawmakers for Trump to cancel his Putin summit.

But as Trump continues to describe the probe as a "witch hunt," the White House downplayed the allegations.

“Today’s charges include no allegations of knowing involvement by anyone on the campaign and no allegations that the alleged hacking affected the election result,” said Lindsay Walters, the deputy White House press secretary. “This is consistent with what we have been saying all along.”

Of the 12 defendants, 11 are charged with conspiracy to commit computer crimes, eight counts of aggravated identity theft and conspiracy to launder money. Another is charged with a separate conspiracy to commit computer crimes.

The 29-page indictment says starting in March 2016, the Russian agents used “a variety of means to hack the email accounts of volunteers and employees” of Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Her campaign chairman, John Podesta, famously had his emails leaked during the campaign.

They also targeted campaign committees, like the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the indictment said.

“The conspirators covertly monitored the computers of dozens of DCCC and DNC employees, implanted hundreds of files containing malicious computer code and stole emails and other documents from the DCCC and DNC,”  it read.

By April 2016, according to the documents, the defendants began to release the hacked materials to the public by using fictitious online personas like DCLeaks and Guccifer 2.0.

The indictment comes as Mueller's team has investigated whether anyone associated with the Trump campaign assisted the Russians.


But during his press conference, Rosenstein said, "there is no allegation in this indictment that any American citizen committed a crime."

He also said, "There is no allegation that the conspiracy changed the vote count or affected any election result. The special counsel's investigation is ongoing.”

The announcement came at the same time Trump was meeting with Queen Elizabeth II in England, with plans to meet Putin for a summit on Monday.

Trump has previously cited Putin's denials of election interference, while saying he would like their two countries to get along.

“President Trump should cancel his meeting with Vladimir Putin until Russia takes demonstrable and transparent steps to prove that they won’t interfere in future elections," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Friday. "Glad-handing with Vladimir Putin on the heels of these indictments would be an insult to our democracy.”

Rosenstein said he briefed the president on the charges this week.
  
Though the indictment listed the Democratic groups, Rosenstein made a point of not naming the political affiliation of the hacked organizations during his press statement, saying it’s important to think “patriotically” and not politically in the face of such threats.

Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who served as chairman of the Democratic National Committee during the time period, took aim at Trump in a statement.

“I’m pleased that the Justice Department is following the facts wherever they may lead, despite Donald Trump’s dangerous distortions and his refusal to acknowledge the conclusions reached by the American intelligence community,” she said.

Russian individuals have previously been indicted as part of the case. In February, Mueller brought a case against 13 Russians and three Russian companies who are accused of setting a “strategic goal to sow discord in the U.S. political system, including the 2016 presidential election.”

In that case, the defendants are accused of spreading derogatory information about Clinton, denigrating Republican candidates Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio -- and ultimately supporting Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders and then-Republican candidate Donald Trump.

Fox News' Jake Gibson and Chad Pergram contributed to this report.