Political Notebook

Trump to visit Poland for World War II anniversary Sept 1

WARSAW — President Trump will visit Warsaw from Aug. 31 through Sept. 2 to take part in observances marking the 80th anniversary of World War II, aides to Poland’s president said Tuesday.

It would be Trump’s second visit to Poland since July 2017. Under a right-wing government, Poland is among Washington’s closest partners in Europe, with cooperation focusing on defense and energy security.

Washington recently decided to add 1,000 troops to its contingent of 4,000 troops based in Poland as a security enhancement for the country, which is wary of neighboring Russia’s military activity. Poland is planning the purchase of state-of-the-art US F-35 jets. It is also buying liquefied gas from the United States in a drive to cut its energy dependence on imports from Russia.



Public lands critic to lead Bureau of Land Management

WASHINGTON — A conservative lawyer and writer who argues for selling off the nation’s public lands is now in charge of a nearly quarter-billion acres in federally held range land and other wilderness.

Interior Secretary David Bernhardt on Monday signed an order making Wyoming native William Perry Pendley acting head of the Bureau of Land Management. The bureau manages nearly 250 million acres of largely wild public lands and their minerals and other resources in vast holdings across the West.

Pendley, a former midlevel Interior appointee in the Reagan administration, for decades has championed ranchers and others in standoffs with the federal government over grazing and other uses of public lands. He has written books accusing federal authorities and environmental advocates of ‘‘tyranny’’ and ‘‘waging war on the West.’’ He argued in a 2016 National Review article that the ‘‘Founding Fathers intended all lands owned by the federal government to be sold.’’

Pendley has welcomed Trump administration moves to open more federal land to mining and oil and gas development and other private business use, and he has called the oil and gas extraction technique known as fracking ‘‘an energy, economic, AND environmental miracle!’’


A conservation group called Pendley an ‘‘ideological zealot’’ and pointed to the federal agency’s announcement that it planned to move the BLM’s headquarters from Washington and disperse the headquarters staff among Western states.

Pendley’s ‘‘ascending to the top of BLM just as it is being reorganized strongly suggests the administration is positioning itself to liquidate our shared public lands,’’ said Phil Hanceford, conservation director for The Wilderness Society conservation advocacy group.

Interior spokeswoman Molly Block denied the accusation.


Trump defends McConnell, attacks Washington Post

President Trump accused The Washington Post on Tuesday of being a ‘‘Russian asset,’’ a baseless claim he made to defend Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky.

Trump was asked by reporters outside the White House to respond to a Post opinion piece published Friday under the headline, ‘‘Mitch McConnell is a Russian asset.’’

‘‘The Washington Post called Mitch McConnell what?’’ Trump asked. ‘‘I think The Washington Post is a Russian asset by comparison.’’

The article, written by Post columnist Dana Milbank, criticized McConnell for blocking legislation to secure US election systems against attacks by Russia or other foreign agents. Milbank wrote that by refusing to defend America against future attacks, McConnell was ‘‘doing Russian President Vladimir Putin’s bidding.’’

McConnell ‘‘is a man who knows less about Russia than even Donald Trump, and I know nothing,’’ Trump said.. ‘‘If they actually said that, they ought to be ashamed of themselves, and they ought to apologize.’’


McConnell went on the Senate floor Monday to fire back at his critics, defending his decision to block the election-security bill and calling the assertion that he was helping Putin ‘‘modern-day McCarthyism.’’

Washington Post