President Donald J. Trump expressed regret and sadness today when he announced his nominee to serve as the ambassador to Singapore withdrew her name from the confirmation process.
“I am disappointed that K.T. McFarland has withdrawn from consideration to be Ambassador to Singapore. K.T. served my administration with distinction,” said the president of McFarland, who was a foreign policy advisor during the campaign and who served as an assistant to the president and the deputy national security advisor.
“Unfortunately, some Democrats chose to play politics rather than move forward with a qualified nominee for a critically important post,” the president said.
“I wish K.T. the best as she uses her considerable wisdom and skill as a commentator to explain to the American people how to make American foreign policy great again,” he said.
The Wisconsin-born McFarland has had a long career in Republican foreign policy, beginning with her work and an office assistant to Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger during the administrations of presidents Richard M. Nixon and Gerald R. Ford.
McFarland returned to the White House as a speechwriter and national security staffer for President Ronald W. Reagan, in addition to a stint at the Pentagon overseeing the Defense Department’s public affairs operation.
Before she returned to the White House under Trump, McFarland started a family, ran for the Senate against Sen. Hillary R. Clinton (D.-N.Y.) in 2006 and worked as commentator and correspondent for Fox News.
The appointment to Singapore was prompted by the Feb. 13, 2017 resignation of her boss, the National Security Advisor retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn and the reality that Flynn’s replacement Army Lt. Gen. Herbert R. “HR” McMaster wanted to build his own team–a team free from connections to the president and his campaign that could impede his desire to run his own shop.
When McFarland left his staff in May, McMaster said, “She initiated and laid the foundation of the first strategic policy reviews that the NSC will continue to build upon. K.T. is leaving a great team in place to support the President, and our friends in Singapore know they are getting one of his top aides as their American ambassador.”
At the time, Trump said that McFarland will always be a part of his team.
“While I am sorry to lose her, K.T.’s work in developing policies that put American interests first will have a lasting impact,” the president said. “She will remain an essential team member as she fulfills this new and important role.”
Sen. Cory A. Booker (R.-N.J.) took a victory lap on Twitter when McFarland’s withdrawal was announced.
It's not "playing politics" to expect a nominee to be truthful when testifying before Congress. It's the bare minimum – and K.T. McFarland failed to meet this standard.https://t.co/bSTIVhRKzX pic.twitter.com/4jq2wnF3l9
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) February 2, 2018
In an all-too-familiar scenario, before her July 20 confirmation hearing, Booker submitted a series of written questions, including one about McFarland’s knowledge of the Flynn’s Dec. 29, 2016 phone call with Russian Ambassador Sergey I. Kislyak.
In her written answer, McFarland responded: “I am not aware of any of the issues or events described above.”
It was an answer forced upon her because, as New Yorker reported, the General Services Administration told the White House team working with McFarland that all of the Trump transition team’s records were being sealed pending a request from the office of Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III.
What made the scenario familiar is that once again, a Democratic senator asked a Trump administration nominee a question, where the nominee was relying on memory and the Democrat seemed to have access to the precise record.
While McFarland could not get access to her transition team emails, emails from her referring to the very Flynn-Kislyak conversation Booker was asking about were printed in the Dec. 2 The New York Times and came into the possession of Booker.
Flush with evidence of McFarland’s “false testimony” Booker, using a senatorial privilege, Booker put a hold on the nomination.
Despite the stiffened opposition to her nomination, Trump resubmitted her name for the Singapore posting Jan. 8, but in the end, the former Kissinger office girl called it off.
Sinaloa Cartel Suspects Arrested at Border for Carrying $3.5 Million in Cash and Massive Amounts of Cocaine and Fentanyl
Drug Cartels Will Have a Field Day During a Biden Administration
On November 24, 2020, the Justice Department published a press release on how three Mexican citizens suspected of trafficking enormous quantities of illegal drugs for the Sinaloa Cartel received charges in federal court. This case is likely the biggest seizure of ammunition, cash, and narcotics in the district.
Jesus Burgos Arias, Juan Alatorre Venegas, and Jose Yee Perez were arrested on November 20, 2020. This arrest was the product of a joint investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security Investigations, the San Diego Sheriff’s Department, San Diego Police Department, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California, that set its sights on individuals connected to the Sinaloa Cartel.
During these arrests, agents confiscated roughly $3.5 million in cash, 685 kilograms of cocaine, 24 kilograms of fentanyl, and about 20,000 rounds of .50 caliber ammunition and hundreds of body armor vests at a truck yard in Otay Mesa.
In a complaint filed in federal court, the defendants received a drug trafficking conspiracy charge. The defendants were transferred from the San Diego Central Jail to federal custody and made their first appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Barbara L. Major.
“This historic seizure and prosecution is a clear indication of the success of our joint investigative efforts,” declared U.S. Attorney Robert Brewer. “To eradicate this threat to San Diego and our partners in the Republic of Mexico, we will continue to aggressively attack the Sinaloa Cartel’s drug smuggling, money laundering, and arms smuggling operations – depriving them of their illegal merchandise, their profits, and a safe haven.” Brewer gave praise to prosecutor Matthew J. Sutton and the federal and local agents and officers for their diligence in this case.
“Thanks to the collaborative work with our state and federal law enforcement partners, we are able to announce this blow to the Mexican Cartels operating in San Diego,” remarked DEA Special Agent in Charge John W. Callery. “We are further encouraged that we were able to separate them from their dangerous .50 caliber ammunition and over $3 million in drug proceeds that they have gained through selling death here in our community and throughout the US.”
“This seizure is significant not just because of its size, but because it demonstrates the direct correlation between narcotics, illicit money, and guns that drives violence in our communities and destroys lives,” stated Homeland Security Investigation (HSI) Special Agent in Charge Cardell T. Morant. “HSI will continue to work with our law enforcement partners and prosecutors to aggressively pursue the Sinaloa Cartel and other transnational criminal organizations.”
“The Sheriff’s Department is committed in working with our justice partners throughout the region to combat the dangerous drugs and violence associated with narcotic trafficking,” commented San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore. “Sheriff’s deputies see the destruction and damage that illegal drugs cause every day. We are proud of what this case has accomplished, and the continued work being done to hold these criminals accountable.”
The Southern District of California led an investigation over the past five years that resulted in the aforementioned case being brought forward. The overall investigation has brought charges against over 125 people and has greatly affected the global operations of the Sinaloa Cartel.
The investigation started in late 2011 when authorities busted a small-scale drug distribution cell in National City and Chula Vista. After substantial investigation, law enforcement discovered that the Sinaloa Cartel was involved and the case morphed into a massive investigation that crossed state and national lines. The broader case led to dozens of arrests and seizures of 1,397 kilograms of methamphetamine, 2,214 kilograms of cocaine, 17.2 tons of marijuana, 95.84 kilograms of heroin, and $27,892,706 in drug-related funds.
With the Biden administration coming into power, similar cases will abound as it becomes clear that border security will become an afterthought during a Biden presidency.
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