Trump teases ‘important announcements’ as he touts ‘very productive’ China trade talks

President Donald Trump on Tuesday hinted at “important announcements” regarding his administration’s high-stakes trade talks with China. Trump tweeted last week that China had agreed to slash the tariffs, although the Chinese government did not confirm or deny it at the time. According to The Wall Street Journal, which cited Chinese officials, Chinese President Xi Jinping has told senior members of his government to follow through on his recent agreement with Trump. The U.S. and China have resta


President Donald Trump on Tuesday hinted at “important announcements” regarding his administration’s high-stakes trade talks with China. Trump tweeted last week that China had agreed to slash the tariffs, although the Chinese government did not confirm or deny it at the time. According to The Wall Street Journal, which cited Chinese officials, Chinese President Xi Jinping has told senior members of his government to follow through on his recent agreement with Trump. The U.S. and China have resta
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Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-12-11  Authors: mike calia
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, stocks, trade, xi, china, teases, tariffs, announcements, chinese, touts, productive, president, truce, talks, trump, important


Trump teases 'important announcements' as he touts 'very productive' China trade talks

President Donald Trump on Tuesday hinted at “important announcements” regarding his administration’s high-stakes trade talks with China.

“Very productive conversations going on with China! Watch for some important announcements!” the president tweeted.

Trump’s optimistic tweet came soon after Bloomberg News reported that China’s government would consider slashing tariffs on U.S. car imports to 15 percent from 40 percent. Auto stocks jumped on the news in premarket trading. Overall, stocks pointed to a higher open as markets looked to bounce back from last week’s rout.

Trump tweeted last week that China had agreed to slash the tariffs, although the Chinese government did not confirm or deny it at the time. In July, China cut tariffs on auto imports to 15 percent from 25 percent, but then soon hiked duties on U.S.-made cars to 40 percent as retaliation for the Trump administration’s aggressive trade moves.

Other signs of potential progress emerged Tuesday. According to The Wall Street Journal, which cited Chinese officials, Chinese President Xi Jinping has told senior members of his government to follow through on his recent agreement with Trump. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer are the main U.S. negotiators in calls with Chinese negotiators.

The U.S. and China have restarted trade negotiations after Trump and Xi reached a truce in their nations’ escalating trade war. The two leaders spoke during a working dinner at the G-20 summit in Argentina on Dec. 1.

As part of the truce, the U.S. and China agreed to a 90-day window to negotiate some significant sticking points between the world’s two largest economies. As part of the interim agreement, Trump said he would hold off on boosting tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods to 25 percent from 10 percent.

Trump’s tweet Tuesday also came during the battle over a Chinese executive who was arrested in Canada, the same day Trump and Xi dined in Argentina, and faces extradition to the United States. Meng Wanzhou, CFO of Chinese telecom giant Huawei, is being held by Canadian authorities in a case related to the company’s alleged sale of equipment containing U.S. components to Iran in violation of international sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

There are concerns that the Huawei case could upset the delicate but broad trade talks between the U.S. and China, although the renewed talks and Trump’s claims indicate it has yet to disrupt the negotiations.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-12-11  Authors: mike calia
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, stocks, trade, xi, china, teases, tariffs, announcements, chinese, touts, productive, president, truce, talks, trump, important


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Trump backs $750 billion defense budget request to Congress, says US official

U.S. President Donald Trump has backed plans to request $750 billion from Congress for defense spending next year, a U.S. official said on Sunday, signaling a Pentagon spending hike at a time of potential belt-tightening elsewhere in the government. The $750 billion would be even more than the $733 billion request that the Pentagon had been expected to make for fiscal year 2020. It is also well above a $700 billion figure Trump cited in October. A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymit


U.S. President Donald Trump has backed plans to request $750 billion from Congress for defense spending next year, a U.S. official said on Sunday, signaling a Pentagon spending hike at a time of potential belt-tightening elsewhere in the government. The $750 billion would be even more than the $733 billion request that the Pentagon had been expected to make for fiscal year 2020. It is also well above a $700 billion figure Trump cited in October. A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymit
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Trump backs $750 billion defense budget request to Congress, says US official

U.S. President Donald Trump has backed plans to request $750 billion from Congress for defense spending next year, a U.S. official said on Sunday, signaling a Pentagon spending hike at a time of potential belt-tightening elsewhere in the government.

Trump, faced with a budget deficit at a six-year high, told his Cabinet earlier this year to come up with proposals to cut spending by their agencies by 5 percent, but he suggested the military would be largely spared.

The $750 billion would be even more than the $733 billion request that the Pentagon had been expected to make for fiscal year 2020. It is also well above a $700 billion figure Trump cited in October.

A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Defense Secretary Jim Mattis had discussed the budget with Trump in recent days and outlined the risks of flat defense spending.

The official said that it was clear during that discussion that Trump wanted to “accelerate the progress his administration has made in rebuilding the military.”

In August, Trump signed a $716 billion defense policy bill.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-12-10  Authors: drew angerer i getty images
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Dow turns negative, drops 200 points as bank shares fall

News of Meng’s arrest broke last week and is reportedly related to possible violations of U.S. sanctions. The arrest is seen as a potential deterrent to the U.S. and China reaching a permanent deal on trade. Huawei is one of the largest tech companies in China and is seen as symbol of pride by the Chinese government. On Dec. 1, President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to a 90-day truce on the countries’ trade spat. He added that additional tariffs will be placed on Chinese


News of Meng’s arrest broke last week and is reportedly related to possible violations of U.S. sanctions. The arrest is seen as a potential deterrent to the U.S. and China reaching a permanent deal on trade. Huawei is one of the largest tech companies in China and is seen as symbol of pride by the Chinese government. On Dec. 1, President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to a 90-day truce on the countries’ trade spat. He added that additional tariffs will be placed on Chinese
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Dow turns negative, drops 200 points as bank shares fall

News of Meng’s arrest broke last week and is reportedly related to possible violations of U.S. sanctions. The arrest is seen as a potential deterrent to the U.S. and China reaching a permanent deal on trade. Huawei is one of the largest tech companies in China and is seen as symbol of pride by the Chinese government. Meng is scheduled to appear at a bail hearing in Canada later on Monday.

Monday’s moves come after a volatile week for investors. The Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite all posted their worst weekly performances since March last week, falling more than 4 percent each, as worries and confusion about the ongoing U.S.-China trade war and fears of an economic slowdown gripped Wall Street.

“The volatility continues,” said Mark Newton, managing member at Newton Advisors, in a note to clients. “Stocks reversed the prior week’s rally violently over the last few days, and now have reached the bottom of the recent trading consolidation that’s been in place for the past few months.”

“Seeing a larger breakdown in the indices at this point would confirm that stocks have definitely started a larger correction that should eventually lead to a bear market,” he said.

On Dec. 1, President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to a 90-day truce on the countries’ trade spat. Both leaders agreed not to slap additional tariffs on billions of dollars worth of goods from their countries. It was not immediately clear, however, when the truce started as administration officials disagreed on the matter. Trump later said on Twitter the cease-fire began on Saturday, when he and Xi struck the deal.

The mixed messages did not stop there, however. National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow told CNBC on Friday that Trump would extend the 90-day grace period if progress in the negotiations was made but a permanent deal could not be reached. Later that day, trade advisor Peter Navarro told CNN that Trump would “simply raise” tariffs on Chinese goods if a permanent deal was not struck after the 90 days.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer warned on Sunday he considers March 1 — when the truce is scheduled to end — as “a hard deadline.” He added that additional tariffs will be placed on Chinese goods if a deal is not reached by then.

Meanwhile, the 3-year Treasury note yield broke above its 5-year counterpart last week. This “yield-curve inversion” stoked fears that a recession could be on its way. Still, many traders believe the inversion won’t be official until the 2-year yield rises above the 10-year yield, which has not happened yet.

Strategists at MRB Partners think investors might be overreacting to the moves in Treasury yields. “Markets are now discounting greater weakness than we expect next year,” they said in a note. “Our neutral stance on equities and underweight on fixed income corresponds with our expectation that stocks will outperform bonds in the year ahead, albeit in choppy fashion.”

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Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-12-09  Authors: fred imbert, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, chinese, negative, points, shares, week, truce, trade, dow, bank, stocks, turns, deal, fall, reached, tariffs, drops, yield, trump, 200


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Steven Mnuchin under consideration to be next Trump chief of staff

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is one of the advisors to President Donald Trump under consideration to be the next White House chief of staff, according to two people with direct knowledge of the matter. It’s unclear whether Trump himself has spoken with Mnuchin about becoming his next chief of staff. Mnuchin’s potential move to chief of staff would come amid crucial trade talks with China. The New York Times had reported that Mnuchin was a possible contender for the chief of staff job. White


Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is one of the advisors to President Donald Trump under consideration to be the next White House chief of staff, according to two people with direct knowledge of the matter. It’s unclear whether Trump himself has spoken with Mnuchin about becoming his next chief of staff. Mnuchin’s potential move to chief of staff would come amid crucial trade talks with China. The New York Times had reported that Mnuchin was a possible contender for the chief of staff job. White
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Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-12-09  Authors: brian schwartz
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, secretary, kelly, steven, house, trade, consideration, administration, according, staff, trump, treasury, chief, mnuchin


Steven Mnuchin under consideration to be next Trump chief of staff

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is one of the advisors to President Donald Trump under consideration to be the next White House chief of staff, according to two people with direct knowledge of the matter.

Yet Mnuchin has indicated to his inner circle that he feels best served as the head of Treasury, according to these people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity due to the privacy of the ongoing discussions.

Even so, according to a source close to the Treasury secretary, some of Trump’s family members are pushing for Mnuchin as a possible replacement for the departing John Kelly, who is set to leave the administration by the end of the year after an often-chaotic time in the job.

It’s unclear whether Trump himself has spoken with Mnuchin about becoming his next chief of staff. There are other names being mentioned in reports as potential replacements for Kelly, but it’s not clear whether any of them are in position to take the role.

Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs executive, is one of the members of the administration who is considered to be more in favor of free trade, as opposed to hawks such as trade advisor Peter Navarro. Mnuchin’s potential move to chief of staff would come amid crucial trade talks with China. Markets, however, could see Mnuchin’s move away from Treasury as a potentially destabilizing action.

The New York Times had reported that Mnuchin was a possible contender for the chief of staff job.

Mnuchin’s spokesman declined to comment. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders did not respond to requests for comment.

White House budget chief Mick Mulvaney and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, the president’s chief trade negotiator, are also reportedly on the short list.

Lighthizer had said in an interview with CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday that he had not been asked to replace Kelly.

On Sunday, Nick Ayers, the chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence who had been the favorite to replace Kelly, announced he would be departing the administration at the end of the year.

People close to Ayers said he could go back to leading Pence’s political action committee, the Great America Committee.

Kelly, who had a tumultuous tenure since taking over the role in summer 2017, had committed to staying through the 2020 election.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-12-09  Authors: brian schwartz
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Nick Ayers rules out role as new White House chief of staff

Nick Ayers, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, will not be tapped to fill the vacancy left by departing White House chief of staff John Kelly, and will exit the Trump administration by year’s end. Yet the president, eager to tamp down on the storyline of his White House in chaos, wants Ayers to stay on full time. A source familiar with the matter told CNBC the president is expected to make a decision by year’s end. Kelly is expected to depart his role as White House Chief of Staff by th


Nick Ayers, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, will not be tapped to fill the vacancy left by departing White House chief of staff John Kelly, and will exit the Trump administration by year’s end. Yet the president, eager to tamp down on the storyline of his White House in chaos, wants Ayers to stay on full time. A source familiar with the matter told CNBC the president is expected to make a decision by year’s end. Kelly is expected to depart his role as White House Chief of Staff by th
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Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-12-09  Authors: javier e david, jonathan ernst, getty images
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Nick Ayers rules out role as new White House chief of staff

Nick Ayers, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, will not be tapped to fill the vacancy left by departing White House chief of staff John Kelly, and will exit the Trump administration by year’s end.

On Sunday, The Wall Street Journal and NBC News, citing sources familiar with the mater, reported that Ayers and President Donald Trump were unable to agree on a time-frame for him to serve, effectively ending negotiations for the 36-year old political veteran to take the senior administration role.

On Twitter, Ayers confirmed that he was leaving Washington, but said he would continue to work to advance the president’s policy goals.

NBC and The New York Times reported on Saturday that Ayers was only willing to commit to an interim term through the spring, as his family is expected return to Georgia, citing people familiar with the discussions. Yet the president, eager to tamp down on the storyline of his White House in chaos, wants Ayers to stay on full time.

Rep. Mark Meadows, the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, is now being considered at the retired general’s permanent replacement, Axios reported on Sunday, citing unnamed sources. A source familiar with the matter told CNBC the president is expected to make a decision by year’s end.

Kelly is expected to depart his role as White House Chief of Staff by the end of the year, Trump announced on Saturday, ending a tenure marked by tensions with his boss and confrontations with other key administration figures.

Kelly’s departure follows several months of controversy and turmoil, and comes at a time when the president’s agenda is imperiled by a midterm election in which Democrats recaptured the House of Representatives. The chief of staff vacancy is just the latest changing of the guard at the administration’s highest levels, which includes the U.S. Attorney General, United Nations ambassador and Joint Chiefs of Staff.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-12-09  Authors: javier e david, jonathan ernst, getty images
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Trump announces John Kelly to depart White House by year’s end

John Kelly is expected to depart his role as White House Chief of Staff by the end of the year, President Donald Trump said on Saturday, ending a tenure marked by tensions with his boss and confrontations with other key administration figures. The president announced the news on the front lawn on the White House, following days of swirling speculation around the retired Marine Corps general’s exit for months amid disagreements with Trump. Nevertheless, in his brief remarks to reporters, Trump ca


John Kelly is expected to depart his role as White House Chief of Staff by the end of the year, President Donald Trump said on Saturday, ending a tenure marked by tensions with his boss and confrontations with other key administration figures. The president announced the news on the front lawn on the White House, following days of swirling speculation around the retired Marine Corps general’s exit for months amid disagreements with Trump. Nevertheless, in his brief remarks to reporters, Trump ca
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Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-12-08  Authors: jacob pramuk, javier e david, christina wilkie, tucker higgins, saul loeb, afp, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, kelly, house, months, chief, reported, depart, staff, end, john, trump, ayers, white, president, announces


Trump announces John Kelly to depart White House by year's end

John Kelly is expected to depart his role as White House Chief of Staff by the end of the year, President Donald Trump said on Saturday, ending a tenure marked by tensions with his boss and confrontations with other key administration figures.

Kelly’s departure follows several months of controversy and turmoil, and comes at a time when the president’s agenda is imperiled by a midterm election in which Democrats recaptured the House of Representatives. The chief of staff vacancy is just the latest changing of the guard at the administration’s highest levels, which includes the U.S. Attorney General, United Nations ambassador and Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The president announced the news on the front lawn on the White House, following days of swirling speculation around the retired Marine Corps general’s exit for months amid disagreements with Trump. Nevertheless, in his brief remarks to reporters, Trump called Kelly “a great guy” and that he appreciated his service.

“We’ll be announcing who will be taking John’s place” over the next day or two, Trump said, en route to the annual Army-Navy football game. Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, Nick Ayers, is reportedly among the candidates who could succeed Kelly, but Reuters reported that the parties were still thrashing out the details.

NBC News and The New York Times reported on Saturday that Ayers was only willing to commit to an interim term through the spring, as his family is expected return to Georgia, citing people familiar with the discussions. Yet the president, eager to tamp down on the storyline of his White House in chaos, wants Ayers to stay on full time.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-12-08  Authors: jacob pramuk, javier e david, christina wilkie, tucker higgins, saul loeb, afp, getty images
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James Comey’s closed-door testimony on 2016 FBI probes

In transcripts of a closed-door hearing released on Saturday, Comey reiterated that there was “no substantive case” against the former Secretary of State for mishandling classified information. As part of an agreement with the Republican-led House Judiciary Committee, lawmakers agreed to release a full transcript of Comey’s testimony within 24 hours. “I remember being concerned about whether she should remain involved, especially after the tarmac visit,” the transcript of Comey’s remarks read. T


In transcripts of a closed-door hearing released on Saturday, Comey reiterated that there was “no substantive case” against the former Secretary of State for mishandling classified information. As part of an agreement with the Republican-led House Judiciary Committee, lawmakers agreed to release a full transcript of Comey’s testimony within 24 hours. “I remember being concerned about whether she should remain involved, especially after the tarmac visit,” the transcript of Comey’s remarks read. T
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James Comey's closed-door testimony on 2016 FBI probes

Former FBI Director James Comey on Friday defended his conduct and the bureau’s handling of the months-long investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server, even as he acknowledged in hindsight that the conduct of key officials involved in the case may have created the appearance of bias.

In transcripts of a closed-door hearing released on Saturday, Comey reiterated that there was “no substantive case” against the former Secretary of State for mishandling classified information. As part of an agreement with the Republican-led House Judiciary Committee, lawmakers agreed to release a full transcript of Comey’s testimony within 24 hours.

However, Comey told the U.S. House Judiciary Committee and House Oversight Committee that he was unaware of a series of text messages between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, two agents formerly assigned to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe.

Strzok and Page were romantically linked, and exchanged thousands of disparaging messages about President Donald Trump during and after the election, while appearing to promote Clinton’s candidacy. Replying to a Congressman’s question, Comey suggested he would have blocked the agents from continuing in their roles in the probe.

“To the extent you’re asking about communications of Page and Strzok, if I had known about those things that they were communicating that I’ve seen in [the media], I would not have had them…playing any role in connection with that investigation,” Comey said, in response to a lawmaker’s question.

“The challenge for me is I haven’t read all the texts, but based on what I saw — have seen in the media since I left the FBI, that unless there was some explanation for that that I was missing, in my judgment, they wouldn’t have remained part of the investigation,” Comey added.

He also characterized the infamous Phoenix tarmac meeting between former Attorney General Loretta Lynch and former President Bill Clinton during the probe of his wife as inappropriate given the circumstances. “I was very concerned by the appearance of that interaction,” Comey said, according to the transcript.

“I remember being concerned about whether she should remain involved, especially after the tarmac visit,” the transcript of Comey’s remarks read. “But before I had an opportunity to discuss that with anyone at DOJ, the Attorney General announced that she would not recuse but would accept my recommendation and that of the career prosecutors.”

Comey sidestepped many of the questions related to the ongoing Russia investigation, but repeated that Trump was not the subject of the 2016 counterintelligence investigation involving four unnamed people linked to his campaign.

The transcripts cover the first of what is expected to be two days of hearings with Comey in the House of Representatives. The former FBI director is due to appear before the committees again on Dec 17.

Download a copy of the transcript here.

–Reuters and CNBC’s Kevin Breuninger contributed to this article.

Read the transcript of Comey’s entire testimony below.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-12-08  Authors: javier e david, getty images
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Ford and VW considering an expansive alliance likely to echo across the global auto industry

Barring a last-minute hitch, two of the world’s largest automakers plan to announce a far-reaching alliance shortly after the new year, one that will cover a wide swath of territory and a broad range of technologies, new and old. Diess noted that he had told the president VW is”considering building a second car plant” that would supplement the automaker’s existing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee that has already doubled in size since opening in 2011. But there appear to be other options Volks


Barring a last-minute hitch, two of the world’s largest automakers plan to announce a far-reaching alliance shortly after the new year, one that will cover a wide swath of territory and a broad range of technologies, new and old. Diess noted that he had told the president VW is”considering building a second car plant” that would supplement the automaker’s existing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee that has already doubled in size since opening in 2011. But there appear to be other options Volks
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Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-12-08  Authors: paul a eisenstein, david becker, getty images, patrick t fallon, bloomberg, source
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, likely, told, plant, automotive, echo, global, auto, president, considering, trump, talks, expansive, alliance, vw, industry, american, volkswagen, ford


Ford and VW considering an expansive alliance likely to echo across the global auto industry

Barring a last-minute hitch, two of the world’s largest automakers plan to announce a far-reaching alliance shortly after the new year, one that will cover a wide swath of territory and a broad range of technologies, new and old.

The deal will serve as something of a jointly played jigsaw puzzle, allowing Ford Motor and Volkswagen to leverage their strengths and offset weaknesses at a time when the global automotive industry is facing not only traditional competitive challenges but the risks posed by massive technological transformation. Among the key elements expected to be part of the deal will be a cooperative effort to bring to market electrified and autonomous vehicles, something each of the companies already has spent billions of dollars developing.

“We are in quite advanced negotiations and dialog with Ford to really build up a global automotive alliance, which also would strengthen the American automotive industry,” Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess told reporters in Washington, D.C. after meeting with President Donald Trump earlier this week, offering the most substantial comment on the carmakers’ negotiations yet.

The meeting, which included other European auto executives such as Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche, was aimed at easing trade tensions that have seen Trump threaten to impose major new tariffs aimed at restricting access to the American market by European automakers.

Diess noted that he had told the president VW is”considering building a second car plant” that would supplement the automaker’s existing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee that has already doubled in size since opening in 2011.

But there appear to be other options Volkswagen is considering as it moves forward with talks with Ford. That includes the possibility of taking over one of the American company’s existing, underutilized assembly plants. It is also possible, several sources close to the talks have hinted, that VW could wind up sharing more than one plant with Ford.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-12-08  Authors: paul a eisenstein, david becker, getty images, patrick t fallon, bloomberg, source
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Trump to nominate Mark Milley, who oversaw Iraq, Afghanistan conflicts, to Joint Chiefs of Staff

President Donald Trump announced Saturday that he’s picked a battle-hardened commander who oversaw troops in Iraq and Afghanistan to be the nation’s next top military adviser. If confirmed by the Senate, Gen. Mark Milley, who has been chief of the Army since August 2015, would succeed Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Trump tweeted the announcement, saying “I am pleased to announce my nomination of four-star General Mark Milley, Chief of Staff of the United Sta


President Donald Trump announced Saturday that he’s picked a battle-hardened commander who oversaw troops in Iraq and Afghanistan to be the nation’s next top military adviser. If confirmed by the Senate, Gen. Mark Milley, who has been chief of the Army since August 2015, would succeed Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Trump tweeted the announcement, saying “I am pleased to announce my nomination of four-star General Mark Milley, Chief of Staff of the United Sta
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Trump to nominate Mark Milley, who oversaw Iraq, Afghanistan conflicts, to Joint Chiefs of Staff

President Donald Trump announced Saturday that he’s picked a battle-hardened commander who oversaw troops in Iraq and Afghanistan to be the nation’s next top military adviser.

If confirmed by the Senate, Gen. Mark Milley, who has been chief of the Army since August 2015, would succeed Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Dunford’s term doesn’t end until Oct. 1. Trump said the date of transition is yet to be determined.

Trump tweeted the announcement, saying “I am pleased to announce my nomination of four-star General Mark Milley, Chief of Staff of the United States Army – as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, replacing General Joe Dunford, who will be retiring. I am thankful to both of these incredible men for their service to our Country!”

Dunford is a former commandant of the Marine Corps and commander of coalition troops in Afghanistan. Milley commanded troops during several tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Trump’s decision, which he announced before leaving Washington to attend the annual Army-Navy football game in Philadelphia, caught some in the Pentagon by surprise on Friday. Normally an announcement on a new chairman wouldn’t be expected until early next year. The officials said the Air Force chief, Gen. David Goldfein, was also a strong contender for the job, but they indicated that Milley has a very good relationship with the president.

Trump hinted earlier Friday that he would make an announcement on Saturday, when he attends the game and is expected to perform the coin toss to decide which team gets the ball first. “I can give you a little hint: It will have to do with the Joint Chiefs of Staff and succession,” he said.

Milley is known as a charismatic, outgoing leader who has not been afraid to offer candid and sometimes blunt assessments to Congress. Last year he admonished the House Armed Services Committee for its inability to approve a defense budget, slamming it as “professional malpractice.” And in 2016, he told lawmakers, in answer to a direct question, that women should also have to register for the draft now that they are allowed to serve in all combat jobs.

As the Army’s top leader, he helped shepherd the groundbreaking move of women into front-line infantry and other combat positions, while warning that it would take time to do it right. More recently, he has worked with his senior officers to reverse a shortfall in Army recruiting when the service fell far short of its annual goal this year.

He also played a role in one of the Army’s more contentious criminal cases. While serving as head of U.S. Army Forces Command at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Milley was assigned to review the case of former Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who abandoned his post in Afghanistan and was held captive by the Taliban for five years.

Milley made the early decision to charge Bergdahl with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. Bergdahl was eventually found guilty, reduced in rank to private, dishonorably discharged and fined $10,000, but was spared any additional prison time.

A native of Winchester, Massachusetts, and a fervent supporter of the Boston Red Sox and other city teams, Milley received his Army commission from Princeton University in 1980. An infantry officer by training, he also commanded Special Forces units in a career that included deployments in the invasion of Panama in 1989, the multinational mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina to implement the Dayton Peace Accords, and the Iraq war.

The Milley move starts a series of military leadership changes in coming months, including successors in 2019 for Adm. John Richardson as the chief of Naval Operations, Gen. Robert Neller as commandant of the Marine Corps, and Air Force Gen. Paul Selva as vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs. Trump also will pick a replacement for Milley as Army chief.

Goldfein began his term as Air Force chief of staff in 2016, so wouldn’t be expected to step down until the summer of 2020.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-12-08  Authors: getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, nominate, milley, conflicts, army, chief, staff, joint, gen, troops, trump, oversaw, chairman, chiefs, iraq, mark


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Anti-election meddling group makes A.I.-powered Trump impersonator to warn about ‘deepfakes’

Artificial intelligence (AI) is getting frighteningly close to being able to mimic humans, and advances in the technology could be a major risk for democracies worldwide. That’s the worry held by the Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity, a U.S.-European organization looking at combating interference in Western elections by hostile foreign actors. Members include former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and ex-Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves. ASI gained attention earlier this year f


Artificial intelligence (AI) is getting frighteningly close to being able to mimic humans, and advances in the technology could be a major risk for democracies worldwide. That’s the worry held by the Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity, a U.S.-European organization looking at combating interference in Western elections by hostile foreign actors. Members include former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and ex-Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves. ASI gained attention earlier this year f
Anti-election meddling group makes A.I.-powered Trump impersonator to warn about ‘deepfakes’ Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-12-07  Authors: ryan browne
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, aipowered, online, meddling, impersonator, group, asi, trump, commission, antielection, democracies, president, technology, developed, deepfakes, makes, attention, audio, warn


Anti-election meddling group makes A.I.-powered Trump impersonator to warn about 'deepfakes'

Artificial intelligence (AI) is getting frighteningly close to being able to mimic humans, and advances in the technology could be a major risk for democracies worldwide.

That’s the worry held by the Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity, a U.S.-European organization looking at combating interference in Western elections by hostile foreign actors.

It was set up last year by Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Denmark’s former prime minister and ex-secretary general of NATO, and Michael Chertoff, former U.S. secretary of homeland security, and is part of Rasmussen’s political foundation, the Alliance of Democracies. Members include former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and ex-Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves.

Using technology developed by London-based AI firm ASI Data Science, the pro-democracy group focused its attention on a new phenomenon in online communities known as “deepfakes,” computer-generated video or audio made to look or sound as though someone is doing or saying something they have not. ASI gained attention earlier this year for its work with the British government on spotting and removing online Jihadist propaganda.

The commission and ASI recently developed an online quiz where users can listen to audio from human impersonators of President Donald Trump — including the voices of comedian Alec Baldwin on “Saturday Night Live” and award-winning Trump impersonator John Di Domenico — alongside algorithm-generated audio mimicking Trump’s voice repeating their lines.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-12-07  Authors: ryan browne
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, aipowered, online, meddling, impersonator, group, asi, trump, commission, antielection, democracies, president, technology, developed, deepfakes, makes, attention, audio, warn


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