This is the first instalment in my new weekly feature, “This Week in Quotes.” I hope to be able to give the reader a snapshot of the week, using the words of the politicians, personalities, and pin-heads at large.
“If you’re not guilty of a crime, what do you need immunity for?” – Donald Trump
“When you are given immunity, that means you probably committed a crime.” – Michael Flynn
“General Michael Flynn has a story to tell, and he very much wants to tell it, Should the circumstances permit.” – Michael Flynn’s Lawyer
This week Donald Trump’s former National Security Adviser told the U.S. Congress that he would be willing to testify about Russian interference in the U.S. 2016 election, under the condition that he be granted immunity. The Trump administration continues to deny that there was any collusion between any member of the Trump transition team, or election staff, and Russia. Therefore, Michael Flynn’s condition that he be given immunity in return for his testimony is puzzling to many, especially in light of his, and President Trump’s statements about Hillary Clinton’s aides seeking immunity during hearings about her e-mails.
“We are leaving the European Union, but we are not leaving Europe, and we want to remain committed partners and allies to our friends across the continent.” – Theresa May’s Article 50 Letter
“Brexit in itself is punitive enough.” – Donald Tusk
On Wednesday of this week, Theresa May sent a letter to the European Parliament, triggering Article 50 and beginning the Brexit process. Over the next two years the UK will negotiate the terms of the divorce, and then new trade deals and other concerns with the European Union. While many are torn over what the future will bring to the UK, the EU has clearly signalled that the negotiations will be on their terms. EU President Donald Tusk made it clear that while the EU will not deal with the UK unfairly, it will not play favourites either.
“We understand that a threat against one of us is a threat against all of us, and we will respond accordingly […] We will uphold the agreements we have made to defend our allies.” – Rex Tillerson
“Allies that do not have a concrete plan to spend 2 percent of [gross domestic product]on defence by 2024 need to establish one now. Allies that have a plan to reach the 2 percent guideline need to accelerate efforts and show results” – Rex Tillerson
U.S. Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, indicated to NATO ministers in Brussels that the new administration is still committed to the NATO alliance, while also repeating the campaign calls for member nations to increase their funding to the agreed upon 2% level. President Trump also brought up this point when he met with Angela Merkel two weeks ago in Washington.
“We are the guardians of peace, we are the guardians of freedoms” – Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan
In the run up to the Turkish referendum that would grant him far more power as president, Erdogan is trying to do everything he can to get a yes vote in two weeks. The Kurdish HDP party is opposed to the referendum, but has been handicapped in its ability to campaign by arrests of many key leaders, including MPs.
“To my knowledge today, neither Mr. Alefantis nor his restaurant Comet Ping Pong, were involved in any human trafficking as was part of the theories about Pizzagate.” – Alex Jones
Conspiracy theorist and infoWars founder Alex Jones apologised for his role in the “Pizzagate” conspiracy that inspired an armed intruder to “investigate” Comet Ping Pong Pizza in Washington D.C. and hold the staff and patrons hostage while he searched. The conspiracy began after Hillary Clinton’s hacked emails were released by Wikileaks and a number of conspiracy sites pushed the idea that “Pizza” was actually a code for paedophilia. Jones reportedly issued his retraction out of fear of a lawsuit under Texas law.