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Max de Haldevang

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More Than Half the World’s Population Still Doesn’t Have a U.S. Ambassador

March 29, 2017 Since he fired all the US ambassadors who were political appointees of Barack Obama, US president Donald Trump has had only two replacements confirmed by the Senate: Nikki Haley, to the United Nations, and David Friedman, to Israel. That means the US has no top representative to 57 countries and...

Trump’s Proposed Increased in Military Spending is Almost as Big as Russia's Entire Defense Budget

March 20, 2017 As president Donald Trump was proposing a $54 billion defense spending hike on March 16, something rather different was happening in Russia. With its economy sputtering, there are reports that it could slash its military budget by 25%. The actual figure is actually more likely to be around 5%, explains...

The Top U.S. Diplomat No Longer Receives Visits From Other Top Diplomats

March 10, 2017 In normal times, a visit by the foreign minister of one of America’s closest allies would be coordinated by the State Department from start to finish, with a meeting between the minister and the secretary of State in the midst of it. But in US president Donald Trump’s Washington, not...

Donald Trump Used His Club’s Restaurant as a Situation Room This Weekend

February 13, 2017 Normally, when an urgent issue of international security arises, the US president retires to a secure area where smartphones are forbidden. On Saturday, however, news of North Korea’s missile test arrived just as Donald Trump was having dinner with Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe at Trump’s private Mar-a-Lago club. And...

Hillary Clinton Says Putin Authorized DNC Hacking Because of 5-Year Grudge

December 16, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow It’s no secret Russian President Vladimir Putin and Hillary Clinton share a strained history—dating back to the rockiest period of Putin’s presidency in 2011, when demonstrators filled the streets to protest allegedly fraudulent elections. Then-Secretary of State Clinton seemed to side with the protestors, saying she had “serious concerns” about...

Trump Postpones Announcement About Separating His Business Interests From the Presidency

December 13, 2016 When Donald Trump promised last month that on Dec. 15 he would be leaving his “great business in total,” there were already doubts about how he could separate himself from all possible conflicts of interest. On Tuesday evening, he postponed the announcement until January, leaving the American public and the...

A Moderate, a Loyalist or a Hardliner— Who is on Donald Trump’s Secretary of State Shortlist?

November 21, 2016 After a weekend of showbiz-esque audiences at his golf club in New Jersey, rumors continue to swirl about president-elect Donald Trump’s choices for the top national security and diplomacy roles in his cabinet. Will he continue in the vein of his appointments so far and pick staunch hard-right operators who...

'Cities Will Be a Powerful Antidote to Donald Trump'

November 15, 2016 The election of Donald Trump has left the Democratic party defanged. Despite winning the popular vote, the Democrats now face four years of a radically right wing executive and at least two years in the minority in both houses of Congress. But as they cast around for succor, there is...

Russia Has Started Bringing the World’s Tech Giants to Heel, and LinkedIn is First

November 11, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A 2014 law was the warning shot: The Kremlin threatened to block any company that stored Russian citizens’ personal data on non-Russian servers. Today, LinkedIn has become the first big name to fall, as a Russian court upheld a ruling to ban it from operating in the country. Russia’s communications...

Whoever the Next President Is, They Won’t Know Their Way Around a Computer

November 8, 2016 President Barack Obama is famously geeky about technology. He has played with VR with Angela Merkel, took a selfie at Nelson Mandela’s funeral, and once told Bloomberg he’d be up for going into venture capital after his presidency. “I’m a nerd, and I don’t make any apologies for it…it’s cool...