foreign relations

Blackburn and Bredesen concerned about trade war but not yet criticizing

Questioned about the possibility of a trade war between the United States and China at a Tennessee Farm Bureau breakfast, U.S. Senate candidates Marsha Blackburn and Phil Bredesen had somewhat similar responses, reports the Times Free Press.

President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping in recent weeks have threatened to slap tariffs on products exported from each other’s countries.

…Both candidates voiced concerns but were hesitant to criticize Trump.

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Lawyer mentioned in Russian probe also had ties to Blackburn

A Nashville lawyer with ties to a Russian banker mentioned in national media reports on probes into that country’s interference in the 2016 U.S. election also has ties to U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, a candidate for the U.S. Senate, reports The Tennessean.

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Alexander, Corker — and Bredesen — don’t like Trump tariffs (Update: Blackburn, too)

Tennessee’s two U.S. senators, Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker, are both criticizing President Donald Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminum imports that were announced Thursday.

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TNECD hires representatives in France and Spain for total of 11 foreign recruiters

Press release from Department of Economic and Community Development

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community (TNECD) has announced the addition of two international representatives for Spain and France that will focus on attracting new foreign direct investment (FDI) to Tennessee.

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Haslam quip to Hagerty: Make Japanese crane TN official state bird

Bill Hagerty, former commissioner of the state Department of Economic and Community Development and now U.S. Ambassador to Japan, says Gov. Bill Haslam once joked about replacing the mockingbird with the crane as Tennessee’s official state bird, reports WKRN. The red-crowned crane is the official national bird of Japan.

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Burchett offered check (declined) and apology (accepted) after Saudi teen’s attack

Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett, a candidate for the 2nd Congressional seat being vacated by Rep. John J. “Jimmy” Duncan, was one of several motorists who came under attack from a Saudi Arabian citizen who recently enrolled at the University of Tennessee to study nursing, reports the News Sentinel. The youth’s lawyer says he suffered “an unexpected mental breakdown” in the episode, which warrants say involved pounding on cars and grabbing at the drivers as they passed him on a street near the UT Knoxville campus.

“Did they screen this guy at all for mental health issues?” Burchett said Friday of 19-year-old Nofl Hassan Alatyah. “I’m not getting any answers, and I’m very frustrated.”

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Corker reported critical of Secretary of State Tillerson

From a Politico article:

Sen. Bob Corker, having already turned on the president, has a new target for his frustration: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

The Tennessee Republican and Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman has voiced concerns about Tillerson’s management of the State Department and his still-fuzzy plans to restructure it. At a Senate hearing earlier this week, Corker agreed with several criticisms of Tillerson and his team expressed by Democrats, adding that lawmakers need to be “much more focused on holding them accountable.”

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Corker holds hearing on use of nuclear weapons

Just a month after he warned that President Trump may be setting the nation on the path to World War III, Sen. Bob Corker will preside Tuesday over a hearing that will examine the president’s authority to launch a nuclear strike, reports Michael Collins.

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Russians tied to three Twitter accounts that falsely implied links to TNGOP

Federal lawmakers and Twitter acknowledged for the first time Wednesday that three social media accounts masquerading as the Tennessee Republican Party’s were tied to Russia’s effort to undermine last year’s election, reports The Tennessean.

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Russians behind Twitter account targeting TN?

A Twitter account that the Tennessee Republican Party tried to get suspended was created by a Russian “troll” farm that was trying to influence American political views, according to the Russian magazine RBC.

The Tennessee-targeted account was labeled @TEN_GOP; the real Tennessee Republican Party account is @TN_GOP. Twitter suspended it in August, 2017, about a year after the first request by TNGOP.

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