Here are the main events that occurred in Politics this week:
1. Israel & United Arab Emirates Sign Landmark Peace Agreement
Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) reached a landmark accord sealed by President Donald Trump on August 13 that could presage a broader realignment in the region as the two agreed to “full normalization of relations” in exchange for Israel suspending annexation of occupied West Bank territory. The deal was announced by President Trump, who told reporters in the Oval Office that he had a “very special call” with leaders from both countries, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, and that they had agreed to a peace agreement. Trump also tweeted a lengthy joint statement between the US, UAE and Israel, calling the agreement to “full normalization of relations” between Israel and the UAE a “historic diplomatic breakthrough.” The UAE and Israel plan to exchange embassies and ambassadors, according to the statement. It will be the third Arab country to overtly open relations with Israel, after Egypt and Jordan. “This deal is a significant step towards building a more peaceful, secure, and prosperous Middle East,” Trump said of the agreement. “It will be known as the Abraham Accord,” Trump said of the agreement, which, US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said, is named for “the father of all three great faiths,” Christian, Muslim, and Jewish. “I wanted it to be called the Donald J. Trump Accord but I didn’t think the press would understand that,” Trump said to laughter.
2. 2020 Election: Trump Campaign Sues New Jersey Over Vote By Mail Plan
Accusing New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy of a “brazen power grab,” President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign has asked a federal judge to overturn New Jersey’s plan to send ballots to all 6.2 million registered voters this fall. The suit was filed in US District Court by the Trump campaign, joined by the Republican National Committee and the New Jersey Republican State Committee. Among their lawyers is state Senator Michael Testa (R-Cumberland County), a frequent critic of Governor Phil Murphy. “In the state of New Jersey, where their universal vote-by-mail system has already resulted in fraud and disenfranchisement, Governor Murphy continues to remove safeguards against abuse,” Trump campaign counsel Matt Morgan said. “With a stroke of his pen, the governor told his people their votes may not count – they may even be stolen – and that’s fine by him.”
3. Senate Releases Final Report On Trump-Russia Connections
The Trump campaign’s interactions with Russian intelligence services during the 2016 presidential election posed a “grave” counterintelligence threat, a Senate panel concluded on August 18 as it detailed how associates of President Donald Trump had regular contact with Russians and expected to benefit from the Kremlin’s help. The nearly 1,000-page report, the fifth and final one from the Republican-led Senate intelligence committee on the Russia investigation, details how Russia launched an aggressive effort to interfere in the election on Trump’s behalf. It says the Trump campaign chairman had regular contact with a Russian intelligence officer and that other Trump associates were eager to exploit the Kremlin’s aid, particularly by maximizing the impact of the disclosure of Democratic emails hacked by Russian intelligence officers.
4. On The First Night Of Democratic National Convention, Michelle Obama Steals Show With Scathing Indictment of President Donald Trump
Michelle Obama delivered a scathing indictment of President Donald Trump’s policies and character August 17 on the first night of the all-virtual Democratic National Convention accusing the White House of sowing “chaos” and “division” and showing a “total and utter lack of empathy.” Coming at the end of a jam-packed two-hour program that tackled the coronavirus crisis, racial justice and the nation’s economic woes, Obama began by acknowledging Americans’ weariness with the current state of affairs. “I know a lot of folks are reluctant to tune into a political convention right now or to politics in general. Believe me, I get that,” she said. “You know I hate politics.” But the former first lady, who has never entertained calls to run for office despite being one of the most popular women in the world, said now is no time to check out. “If you think things cannot possibly get worse, trust me, they can, and they will if we don’t make a change in this election,” she said.
5. In Powerful Democratic National Convention Speech, Former Republican Candidate John Kasich Denounces President Trump, Endorses Joe Biden For President
Former Governor John Kasich of Ohio, the last candidate standing against then-candidate Donald Trump for the Republican nomination four years ago, crossed the partisan divide on August 17 to speak at the Democratic National Convention and call on fellow Republicans to abandon the president in November. In a move that would have once been unthinkable for a committed Republican who toiled for decades in the Ohio statehouse and Congress for conservative causes, Kasich declared that the country could not afford four more years of President Trump in the White House because he was pitting Americans against each other. “I’m a lifelong Republican, but that attachment holds second place to my responsibility to my country,” Kasich said in his speech, which was recorded at a literal country crossroads in Westerville, Ohio, to signify the choice he sees facing the nation. “That’s why I’ve chosen to appear at this convention. In normal times, something like this would probably never happen. But these are not normal times.”