iPolitics AM: Trudeau hits Montreal year-end media circuit with SNC-Lavalin controversy back in the headlines - iPolitics.ca - Canada News Media
Connect with us

Media

iPolitics AM: Trudeau hits Montreal year-end media circuit with SNC-Lavalin controversy back in the headlines – iPolitics.ca

Published

on


ALSO TODAY: Conservative Party reportedly looking into Scheer office expense claims — Indian foreign affairs minister visits Ottawa

After a serendipitous twist of timing led to his year-end interview with the Canadian Press taking place just hours after news broke that the embattled Quebec engineering firm at the centre of the high-stakes political controversy that dominated the news cycle last spring had struck a deal to avoid prosecution on corruption charges, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau found himself once again on the defensive over how he and his government handled the SNC-Lavalin case.

“Obviously, as we look back over the past year and this issue, there are things we could have, should have, would have done differently had we known, had we known all sorts of different aspects of it,” he acknowledged in an afternoon roundtable suggestion with the wire service.

“But you don’t get do-overs in politics. You only do the best you can to protect jobs, to respect the independence of the judiciary and that’s exactly what we did every step of the way.”

As CBC News reporter Peter Zimonjic points out, the agreement between the company and the federal prosecution service “looks a lot like what it asked the government for in the first place,” as it allowed SNC-Lavalin to avoid a conviction on bribery charges that could have put it on an international contracting blacklist, which is why it’s no wonder that the lawyer for SNC-Lavalin told reporters that they’re “very happy” with the outcome.

Trudeau should likely expect to face more questions on the now seemingly closed case when he hits the Montreal media circuit today, which, as per his itinerary, will include back-to-back interviews on 98.5 FM’s Puisqu’il faut se lever and TVA’s Salut Bonjour as well as his yearly chat with longtime friend Terry DiMonte, host of CHOM FM’s Mornings Rock and an evening appearance on CBC News’ Power and Politics.

Also on his itinerary today: A “community event” at Magasin-Partage Villeray, a “sharing store” that aims to help lower-income families celebrate the holidays.

Meanwhile, if Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer was still clinging to a scintilla of hope that serving notice of his intention to step aside would allow him to shuffle out of the spotlight, the latest dispatch from Global News should squelch any such optimism.

The network is now reporting that the panel of senior Conservatives responsible for overseeing the party’s coffers is now raising questions over nearly $1 million in expenses claimed by Scheer’s office this year.

Citing “multiple party sources,” Global News notes that “the usual expenses submitted from the leader’s office to the Conservative National Council sit in the range of about $200,000 per fiscal year,” but “Scheer’s office expenses came in at over $900,000 for the last fiscal year.”

Finally, the list of high-profile potential contenders for the Conservative leadership now includes former Quebec Premier Jean Charest, who, as per Radio Canada, is now “consulting his family” on whether to take the plunge back into federal politics.

OUTSIDE THE PRECINCT

Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne holds a tete-a-tete with his visiting Indian counterpart, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.

Veterans Minister Lawrence MacAulay  will “formally unveil the updated display dedicated to Daniel J. MacDonald” during a morning event at the Charlottetown building named in honour of MacDonald, who lost an arm and a leg in the Second World War, and later served as veterans minister under Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau.

Moving west to Saskatoon, Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller teams up with Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations chief Bobby Cameron to share the details of new federal support for “youth empowerment, healing and wellness.”

FRESH FROM iPOLITICS

HOT OFF THE WIRES

AT COMMITTEE

Regular House and Senate committee meetings will resume when the House and Senate re-open for parliamentary business.

Committee highlights courtesy of our friends at iPoliticsINTEL.

Don’t miss today’s complete legislative brief in GovGuide.ca!

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Media

China's Hubei province reports 13 new coronavirus deaths – state media – National Post

Published

on


SHANGHAI — China’s central Hubei province, at the center of the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak, reported 13 new deaths caused by the new virus on Jan. 25, state media CCTV reported on Sunday.

Shanghai also reported its first death from the virus.

Hubei also reported 323 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infections.

Separately, the province of Henan reported one death from coronavirus infection. (Reporting by Samuel Shen, Yilei Sun and Vincent Lee; Editing by Sandra Maler)

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Media

Pompeo Denounces News Media, Igniting Outrage – The New York Times

Published

on


WASHINGTON — A core mission of the secretary of state is to promote American values worldwide, including freedom of the press.

But on Saturday, Mike Pompeo, the top American diplomat, lashed out at a reporter from NPR and what he called the “unhinged” news media in an extraordinary statement, apparently angered by her description of an interview she conducted with him on Iran and Ukraine.

The statement, which used the fiery language to attack the news media that has become a regular trademark of President Trump’s, ignited outrage online among foreign policy experts, scholars of diplomacy and press freedom advocates, who accused Mr. Pompeo of violating the mission and nonpartisan nature of his office.

The interview between Mr. Pompeo and the reporter, Mary Louise Kelly, circulated widely after it published on Friday night. Describing a tense exchange after a taped part of the interview, Ms. Kelly said that Mr. Pompeo shouted at her repeatedly, using the “f-word” and challenged her to find Ukraine on an unlabeled map that his aides pulled out, which she did.

In his statement, released on Saturday morning by the State Department, Mr. Pompeo said: “It is shameful that this reporter chose to violate the basic rules of journalism and decency. This is another example of how unhinged the media has become in its quest to hurt President Trump and this administration.”

He added, “It is no wonder that the American people distrust many in the media when they so consistently demonstrate their agenda and their absence of integrity.”

Mr. Pompeo also said Ms. Kelly, a veteran reporter who is a host of “All Things Considered,” had lied in “setting up our interview” and in agreeing to have the “post-interview conversation” off the record.

On the program, Ms. Kelly said Katie Martin, an aide to Mr. Pompeo who has worked in press relations, never asked for that conversation to be kept off the record, nor would she have agreed to do that.

Mr. Pompeo’s statement did not deny Ms. Kelly’s account of obscenities and shouting. NPR said Saturday that Ms. Kelly “has always conducted herself with the utmost integrity, and we stand behind this report.”

Mr. Pompeo has occasionally issued statements calling on authoritarian governments to respect press freedoms. But he has insulted journalists and has even cursed at diplomatic reporters in private meetings.

His Saturday statement was notable for the public — and broad — denunciation of the news media.

The fact that it was released by his office, a department known for its decorum, made it even more galling to many observers.

Five Democratic senators sent a letter on Saturday to Mr. Pompeo denouncing his “irresponsible” comments and the “corrosive effects of your behavior on American values and standing in the world.”

“The unavoidable reality is Pompeo never would have been in contention for a senior-level appointment in a normal GOP administration,” Thomas Wright, the director of the Center on the United States and Europe at the Brookings Institution, said on Twitter. “He was promoted beyond his abilities because so many people were ruled out. The delta between what’s required & what he has is now on full display.”

Mr. Pompeo, a hawkish evangelical Christian who is a former Republican congressman from Kansas, tries hard to display loyalty to Mr. Trump and reiterate the president’s positions on issues. Mr. Pompeo has aspirations to run for president in 2024, his associates say, and he ties his political future to Mr. Trump’s support.

But the Saturday statement was the clearest echo yet of Mr. Trump, who frequently attacks the news media as the “enemy of the people.”

Some journalists pointed out that Mr. Pompeo appears to erupt more often at female reporters. In an interview with Deirdre Shesgreen of USA Today last year, Mr. Pompeo at one point appeared to belittle the reporter by repeating her name nine times: “No, not O.K., but. Deirdre, Deirdre, Deirdre, Deirdre, Deirdre, Deirdre, Deirdre, Deirdre, Deirdre. Not O.K., but.”

For some, Mr. Pompeo’s treatment of Ms. Kelly underlined a persistent hostility toward women. Cathryn Clüver, executive director of the Future of Diplomacy Project at Harvard Kennedy School, said, “This secretary of state is a bully and a misogynist.”

Mr. Pompeo’s statement included a puzzling reference to Bangladesh: “It is worth noting that Bangladesh is NOT Ukraine.”

The line implied, though did not specifically assert, that when Mr. Pompeo challenged Ms. Kelly to identify Ukraine, which is in Eastern Europe, on an unlabeled map, she had mistakenly pointed to Bangladesh, in South Asia. But some speculated Mr. Pompeo had meant to write Belarus, which borders Ukraine.

Mr. Pompeo has been widely criticized both within the State Department and outside for failing to defend veteran diplomats who testified last fall in the impeachment inquiry and who have been attacked publicly by Mr. Trump.

Last April, Mr. Pompeo played a pivotal role in Mr. Trump’s political plans involving Ukraine — at the heart of the impeachment charges — by ousting Marie L. Yovanovitch, the ambassador to Ukraine and an anticorruption advocate. After Ms. Kelly had asked whether he owed Ms. Yovanovitch an apology and whether he had tried to block Mr. Trump’s shadow Ukraine policy, Mr. Pompeo to cut off the interview after nine minutes.

“I’ve defended every single person on this team,” Mr. Pompeo said.

When Mr. Pompeo objected to the Ukraine questions, Ms. Kelly said she had told an aide a day earlier that it would be a topic of discussion.

Ms. Kelly said Mr. Pompeo leaned toward her and glared at her before leaving with his aides, one of whom later asked her to accompany her to Mr. Pompeo’s private living room, but without the recorder. There, Mr. Pompeo, “shouted at me for about the same amount of time as the interview itself had lasted,” Ms. Kelly said.

“He was not happy to have been questioned about Ukraine,” Ms. Kelly said. “He asked, ‘Do you think Americans care about Ukraine?’ He used the f-word in that sentence and many others.”

That statement could complicate Mr. Pompeo’s planned trip to Ukraine next week, which comes as Mr. Trump’s impeachment trial is underway. Mr. Pompeo plans to meet with President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday in Kyiv, making him the first cabinet official from the Trump administration to meet with Mr. Zelensky since the impeachment inquiry began in the fall.

Mr. Pompeo has canceled planned trips to Ukraine twice since November.

Michael Levenson contributed reporting from New York.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Media

Pompeo doesn't deny he cursed out NPR reporter, condemns 'unhinged' media – CNBC

Published

on


U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at the U.S. State Department

Win McNamee | Getty Images

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday continued his attacks on an NPR reporter who reported that he cursed and shouted at her after she questioned him about the Trump administration’s firing of the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.

Pompeo accused reporter Mary Louise Kelly of lying, but did not deny her account of what happened.

“NPR reporter Mary Louise Kelly lied to me, twice,” Pompeo asserted, without evidence. “First, last month, in setting up our interview and, then again yesterday, in agreeing to have our post-interview conversation off the record.”

“It is shameful that this reporter chose to violate the basic rules of journalism and decency. This is another example of how unhinged the media has become in its quest to hurt President Trump and this Administration. It is no wonder that the American people distrust many in the media when they so consistently demonstrate their agenda and their absence of integrity,” he added.

Kelly said that Pompeo cut off their recorded interview when she questioned him on why he has not defended former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch. After the interview, Kelly said that she was taken to Pompeo’s private living room, where he shouted and cursed at her and challenged her to find Ukraine on a map.

“He asked, ‘Do you think Americans care about Ukraine?’ He used the F-word in that sentence and many others,” Kelly told “All Things Considered” co-host Ari Shapiro on Friday.

“He asked if I could find Ukraine on a map. I said yes, and he called out for aides to bring us a map of the world with no writing. I pointed to Ukraine. He put the map away,” she said. “He said, ‘People will hear about this.'”

Kelly said that an aide never asked that the meeting with Pompeo be held off the record — nor would she agree to that. She also said she told the State Department afterwards that she was going to report what happened, but did not hear back.

Pompeo ended his statement by saying, “It is worth noting that Bangladesh is NOT Ukraine,” implying that Kelly, who previously covered national security for NPR and has a masters in European Studies from Cambridge University, identified Bangladesh on the map instead of Ukraine.

Members of the media quickly came to Kelly’s defense following Pompeo’s accusations.

“Pompeo’s official response [to Kelly] doesn’t deny her account of his bullying & cursing,” wrote New York Times diplomatic correspondent Edward Wong. “This is an attack on news organizations from the top US diplomat, someone who is supposed to defend press freedoms. It’s obvious he’s playing to an audience of one — Trump.”

“Pompeo also undermines his credibility on the facts of the episode in the statement,” Wong wrote. “There is little chance [Kelly], a Cambridge-educated expert on Europe, would have pointed to Bangladesh if he asked her to identify Ukraine on an unlabeled map.”

Nancy Barnes, NPR’s senior vice president of news, said on Saturday that Kelly “has always conducted herself with the utmost integrity, and we stand behind this report.”

The State Department did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending