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Esme Cribb

Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Esme

Secretary of Defense James Mattis on Sunday said “any threat” to the United States, its territories or its allies will be “met with a massive military response.”

“Any threat to the United States or its territories, including Guam, or our allies will be met with a massive military response, a response both effective and overwhelming,” Mattis said.

He called on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to “take heed of the United Nations Security Council’s unified voice.”

“All members unanimously agreed on the threat North Korea poses and they remain unanimous in their commitment to the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula,” he said. “We are not looking to the total annihilation of a country, namely North Korea, but as I said we have many options to do so.”

President Donald Trump said Sunday morning that he would meet with Mattis, White House chief of staff John Kelly and “other military leaders” after North Korea’s state-run media claimed its leader inspected the loading of a hydrogen bomb into a new intercontinental ballistic missile.

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) on Sunday said that “nobody ought to support” President Donald Trump’s proposed wall on the U.S.-Mexico border if the President is referring to a literal physical barrier.

“Why should he go back on this promise, which was very popular among Republicans in places like your state?” CNN’s Dana Bash asked Flake on “State of the Union,” referring to Trump’s pledge to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

“Because it would be the right thing to do,” Flake replied. “Obviously you hope that presidents keep some of their campaign promises and you hope that they ignore others. This is one that he ought to ignore.”

He said young immigrants who were brought to the United States as children and are granted legal status under the DACA program “should not be punished for the sins of their parents.”

“That’s just the basic principle that we ought to follow here,” Flake said.

“If the President says that he will extend the protections for DREAMers but do it in exchange for funding from Congress, from you, for his border wall, would you go along with that compromise?” Bash asked.

“We still really haven’t seen what he means by the wall,” Flake said. “If that’s a metaphor for border security, we can certainly support that, but if he’s talking about a solitary brick-and-mortar 2,000-mile edifice on the border, then no. Nobody ought to support that.”

Asked how he feels about running for reelection in 2018 amid Trump’s incessant criticism, Flake said, “The people in Arizona tend to elect independent-minded, principled senators.”

“I think the voters here expect me to have my own franchise, to represent them, not to be a rubber stamp for the President,” he added. “So I’m quite comfortable being where I am.”

Former President Barack Obama left President Donald Trump several items of advice in a letter to his successor, CNN reported on Sunday.

“Congratulations on a remarkable run,” Obama wrote, according to CNN. “Millions have placed their hopes in you, and all of us, regardless of party, should hope for expanded prosperity and security during your tenure.”

He advised Trump to “build more ladders of success for every child and family that’s willing to work hard” and said “American leadership” is “indispensable.”

“It’s up to us, through action and example, to sustain the international order that’s expanded steadily since the end of the Cold War, and upon which our own wealth and safety depend,” Obama wrote.

He wrote that presidents are “guardians” of “democratic institutions and traditions” which they should strive to leave “at least as strong as we found them.”

Last, he advised Trump to “take time, in the rush of events and responsibilities, for friends and family.”

Read the letter obtained by CNN.

President Donald Trump on Sunday said he would meet with his chief of staff Gen. John Kelly, Secretary of Defense Gen. James Mattis and “other military leaders” after North Korea’s state-run media claimed its leader inspected the loading of a hydrogen bomb into a new intercontinental ballistic missile.

“I will be meeting General Kelly, General Mattis and other military leaders at the White House to discuss North Korea,” Trump tweeted.

He said the United States “is considering, in addition to other options, stopping all trade with any country doing business with North Korea.”

Trump’s remarks were in contrast to his comments on the subject Sunday morning, when he called North Korea “a rogue nation” and “very hostile and dangerous to the United States.”

Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin on Sunday said he would “draft a sanctions package” on North Korea to send to Trump.

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) on Sunday said economic sanctions are of limited use as a deterrent to North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests.

“I think, given where they are, we see the limits of economic sanctions, obviously, on North Korea,” Flake said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

He said North Korea seems “intent on moving forward.”

“What we’ve been doing over the years has certainly not slowed the advance of their nuclear program. But I don’t think that harsh rhetoric does either,” Flake said.

President Donald Trump on Sunday condemned North Korea for conducting what the nation’s state-run media claimed was the loading of a hydrogen bomb into a new intercontinental ballistic missile.

Trump called it “a major Nuclear Test,” and called North Korea “a rogue nation” and “very hostile and dangerous to the United States.”

Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin on Sunday said he would “draft a sanctions package” on North Korea to send to Trump “for his strong consideration.”

“Certainly sanctions are not arresting that development either, so just about nothing we’ve done so far has helped slow it down,” Flake said. “I think that they are moving.”

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin on Sunday said aid for Hurricane Harvey relief should be attached to an increase in the federal debt limit.

“The President and I believe that it should be tied to the Harvey funding,” Mnuchin said on “Fox News Sunday.”

He said the White House’s “first priority is to make sure” that Texas receives aid.

“It is critical, and to do that we need to make sure that we raise the debt limit,” Mnuchin said. “If Congress appropriates the money, but I don’t have the ability to borrow more money and pay for it, we’re not going to be able to get that money to the state.”

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), the leader of the hardline conservative House Freedom Caucus, on Thursday said that attaching aid for Hurricane Harvey relief to an increase in the debt ceiling would be a “terrible idea.”

“The Harvey relief would pass on its own, and to use that as a vehicle to get people to vote for a debt ceiling is not appropriate,” Meadows told the Washington Post.

“At this point we need to put politics aside,” Mnuchin said on Sunday. “We need to make sure that we can get to Texas the appropriate amount of money to rebuild the state.”

Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin on Sunday said he will “draft a sanctions package” to send President Donald Trump in response to reports that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un inspected the loading of a hydrogen bomb into a new intercontinental ballistic missile.

“We’ve already started with sanctions against North Korea, but I am going to draft a sanctions package to send to the President for his strong consideration,” Mnuchin said on “Fox News Sunday.”

He said “anybody that wants to do trade or business” with North Korea would be prevented from also doing so with the United States.

“We are going to work with our allies, we’ll work with China, but people need to cut off North Korea economically,” Mnuchin said. “This is unacceptable behavior.”

Pressed for specifics, he said, “We’re going to strongly consider everything at this point.”

Trump on Sunday responded to reports that North Korea had carried out what he called “a major Nuclear Test” by calling the nation “very hostile and dangerous to the United States.”

“They only understand one thing!” he tweeted.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) on Sunday said he “wouldn’t speak” the way President Donald Trump has about North Korea’s missile and nuclear tests.

“Do you think it hurt or helped when President Trump talked about fire and fury?” Martha Raddatz asked Cruz on ABC News’ “This Week”

“The President speaks in ways that I wouldn’t speak. But that is his prerogative,” Cruz said. “I do think it helps for North Korea and for China to understand that we have a President who is strong. That is beneficial.”

Trump on Sunday responded to reports that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un inspected the loading of a hydrogen bomb into a new intercontinental ballistic missile in a series of tweets calling North Korea “a rogue nation” and “very hostile and dangerous to the United States.”

Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) on Sunday said President Donald Trump’s tweets about North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests have not “been helpful” and have “escalated the tension.”

“I don’t think that it’s been helpful,” Castro said on ABC’s “This Week” of Trump’s harsher rhetoric on the subject. “I don’t think that it’s helpful to get into a Twitter shouting match with a 32-year-old dictator, Kim Jong Un, in North Korea.”

He said Trump has “escalated the tension in the situation.”

“He needs to let his diplomats and his military generals and others handle the situation,” Castro said.

North Korean state-run media on Saturday claimed that leader Kim Jong-un inspected the loading of a hydrogen bomb into a new intercontinental ballistic missile.

Trump responded to those reports of what he called “a major Nuclear Test” on Sunday in a series of tweets where he called North Korea “a rogue nation” and “very hostile and dangerous to the United States” and chastised South Korea for its “talk of appeasement.”

President Donald Trump on Sunday condemned North Korea for conducting what the nation’s state-run media claimed was the loading of a hydrogen bomb into a new intercontinental ballistic missile.

“North Korea has conducted a major Nuclear Test,” Trump tweeted.

He called North Korea “a rogue nation” and “very hostile and dangerous to the United States.”

“They only understand one thing!” the President tweeted.

Trump’s remarks were a return to the harsh rhetoric he employed in August following reports that North Korea had produced a nuclear warhead small enough to fit on an intercontinental ballistic missile, when the President pledged any further threats would be “met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.”

After North Korea fired a missile over Japan last week, Trump issued a statement declaring that “all options are on the table.”

He later complained on Twitter about negotiations with North Korea and declared, “Talking is not the answer!”

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