‘Absolutely false’: U.S. ambassador denies political motive behind Huawei exec’s arrest

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Donald Trump’s top representative in Canada is denying Chinese claims of a political motive behind the arrest in Canada of a key executive with the Chinese telecommunications firm Huawei.

U.S. Ambassador Kelly Craft said the claim circulating in Chinese state media that Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou’s arrest in Canada was part of a political conspiracy engineered by Ottawa and Washington to punish Chinese tech firms or pressure Beijing over its trade practices is « absolutely false. »

Craft told Canadian journalists from her Ottawa residence this morning that Meng’s arrest and possible extradition to the United States are part of an ongoing « independent judiciary process » and that the situation is « very delicate. »

« This is part of our judicial process. It is just a matter that I cannot comment on, » she said.

Asked how she took Chinese threats of unspecified « consequences » for Canada over Meng’s arrest, Craft again cited the need to respect the legal process.

« Once again, this is a judicial process, it is a very delicate process, and I don’t want to be involved in something that is an ongoing independent judiciary process, » she said. « (Canadian and American) law enforcement works very closely together. »

Meng. 46, is Huawei’s chief financial officer, and also the daughter of the firm’s founder. She was arrested in Vancouver on Dec. 1. She is wanted for extradition to the U.S. on allegations of fraud, including using a shell company to skirt international American sanctions on Iran over five years.

Meng’s bail hearing in Vancouver continues today. At issue Monday was the question of whether she poses a flight risk.

Craft was also asked whether the Americans have talked to Canada about how it might cope with the diplomatic and economic fallout from banning Huawei from taking part in building Canada’s 5G telecommunications network.

In a recent letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Senators Mark Warner and Marco Rubio urged him to keep Chinese tech out of the planned new high-speed network, warning that allowing Huawei into Canada’s 5G would put intelligence-sharing between Canada and the U.S. at risk.

Craft kicked the question up the ladder: « We had spoken to all our allies about this issue. It’s something that’s between my administration and your administration. The Canadian government will make that decision based on their findings. »

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Police reopen area near Ryerson University after bomb robot deployed in false alarm

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Toronto police have cleared an area near Ryerson University after an investigation over a suspicious package briefly closed stretches of Bond and Gould Sts. Friday morning.

Police responded to a call shortly before 8:30 a.m., about a suspicious package found in a concrete garbage bin on Bond St. north of Dundas St. E.

Officers with the chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive team responded.

Police deployed a bomb-disposal robot and found a bag containing a “personal alarm” that was emitting a “beeping noise,” Insp. Peter Moreira told reporters at the scene.

The item was an alarm for a bicycle, police said.

Ryerson evacuated several nearby buildings while police investigated.

Both Bond St. and Gould St. reopened shortly before noon.

Marjan Asadullah is a breaking news reporter, working out of the Star’s radio room in Toronto. Follow her on Twitter: @marjanasadullah

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Donald Trump made 21 false claims in his first post-midterms interview, including ridiculous lies about voter fraud

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WASHINGTON—Donald Trump granted his first formal post-midterms interview to the Daily Caller, a right-wing website he knew would not ask him difficult questions.

The president made 21 false claims anyway. Some of them were ridiculous lies about voter fraud.

U.S. President Donald Trump walks off Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House on Monday. Trump is now up to an even 3,800 false claims for the first 668 days of his presidency, an average of 5.7 per day.
U.S. President Donald Trump walks off Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House on Monday. Trump is now up to an even 3,800 false claims for the first 668 days of his presidency, an average of 5.7 per day.  (Pool)

Among other things, Trump said that Americans need “voter ID” to buy “a box of cereal,” that there are fraud cases in which people “go to their car, put on a different hat, put on a different shirt, come in and vote again,” and that he actually won New Hampshire in the 2016 election but was cheated out of victory by busloads of illegal voters from “a very liberal part of Massachusetts.”

None of this is remotely true.

Trump made 30 additional false claims for a total of 51 over seven days. That was above his average for his term, but far fewer than he uttered during a wildly dishonest pre-midterms rally blitz that culminated with a record 240-false-claim week.

  (Toronto Star)

Trump is now up to an even 3,800 false claims for the first 668 days of his presidency, an average of 5.7 per day.

If Trump is a serial liar, why call this a list of “false claims,” not lies? You can read our detailed explanation here. The short answer is that we can’t be sure that each and every one was intentional. In some cases, he may have been confused or ignorant. What we know, objectively, is that he was not telling the truth.

Daniel Dale is the Star’s Washington bureau chief. He covers U.S. politics and current affairs. Follow him on Twitter: @ddale8

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815 false claims: The staggering scale of Donald Trump’s pre-midterm dishonesty

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WASHINGTON—It took Donald Trump until the 286th day of his presidency to make 815 false claims.

He just made another 815 false claims in a month.

U.S. President Donald Trump calls out to crowd at a pre-midterm campaign rally in Fort Wayne, Ind., on Nov. 5.
U.S. President Donald Trump calls out to crowd at a pre-midterm campaign rally in Fort Wayne, Ind., on Nov. 5.  (Carolyn Kaster / AP)

In the 31 days leading up to the midterm elections on Nov. 6, Trump went on a lying spree like we have never seen before even from him — an outrageous barrage of serial dishonesty in which he obliterated all of his old records.

How bad have these recent weeks been?

  • Trump made 664 false claims in October. That was double his previous record for a calendar month, 320 in August.
  • Trump averaged 26.3 false claims per day in the month leading up to the midterm on Nov. 6. In 2017, he averaged 2.9 per day.
  • Trump made more false claims in the two months leading up to the midterms (1,176), than he did in all of 2017 (1,011).
  • The three most dishonest single days of Trump’s presidency were the three days leading up to the midterms: 74 on election eve, Nov. 5; 58 on Nov. 3; 54 on Nov. 4.
  (Toronto Star)

As always, Trump was being more frequently dishonest in part because he was simply speaking more. He had three campaign rallies on Nov. 5, the day before he set the record, and eight more rallies over the previous five days.

But it was not only quantity. Trump packed his rally speeches with big new lies, repeatedly reciting wildly inaccurate claims about migrants, Democrats’ views on immigration and health care, and his own record. Unlike many of his lies, lots of these ones were written into the text of his speeches.

Trump is now up to 3,749 false claims for the first 661 days of his presidency, an average of 4.4 per day.

If Trump is a serial liar, why call this a list of “false claims,” not lies? You can read our detailed explanation here. The short answer is that we can’t be sure that each and every one was intentional. In some cases, he may have been confused or ignorant. What we know, objectively, is that he was not telling the truth.

With files from Ed Tubb

Daniel Dale is the Star’s Washington bureau chief. He covers U.S. politics and current affairs. Follow him on Twitter: @ddale8

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