Pence Says Trump Indictment Sends ‘Terrible Message’ About US Justice

Former US Vice President Mike Pence speaks at the National Review Institute's 2023 Ideas Summit in Washington, DC, US, 31 March 2023. (EPA)
Former US Vice President Mike Pence speaks at the National Review Institute's 2023 Ideas Summit in Washington, DC, US, 31 March 2023. (EPA)
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Pence Says Trump Indictment Sends ‘Terrible Message’ About US Justice

Former US Vice President Mike Pence speaks at the National Review Institute's 2023 Ideas Summit in Washington, DC, US, 31 March 2023. (EPA)
Former US Vice President Mike Pence speaks at the National Review Institute's 2023 Ideas Summit in Washington, DC, US, 31 March 2023. (EPA)

The indictment of former US President Donald Trump sends a "terrible message" to the world about American justice and will encourage dictators to abuse power, former Vice President Mike Pence said on Friday.

"There are dictators and authoritarians around the world that will point to that to justify their own abuse of their own so-called justice system," Pence, Trump's former vice president and a potential rival for the Republican Party's 2024 White House nomination, said during an interview at the National Review's Ideas Summit.

Trump is due to be fingerprinted and photographed in a New York courthouse next week as he becomes the first former president to face criminal charges, in a case involving a 2016 hush-money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels.

Trump, who is mounting a comeback bid for the presidency he lost in the 2020 election, was indicted on Thursday in New York.

Pence has joined fellow Republicans and Trump's other potential 2024 rivals in condemning the indictment, calling it an "outrage."



NATO Chief Says the Alliance Is Adapting Its Nuclear Arsenal to Security Threats

 NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg gives a press conference on the eve of a NATO Defense ministers meeting at the organization's headquarters in Brussels on June 12, 2024. (AFP)
NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg gives a press conference on the eve of a NATO Defense ministers meeting at the organization's headquarters in Brussels on June 12, 2024. (AFP)
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NATO Chief Says the Alliance Is Adapting Its Nuclear Arsenal to Security Threats

 NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg gives a press conference on the eve of a NATO Defense ministers meeting at the organization's headquarters in Brussels on June 12, 2024. (AFP)
NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg gives a press conference on the eve of a NATO Defense ministers meeting at the organization's headquarters in Brussels on June 12, 2024. (AFP)

In a rare reference to the Western nuclear arsenal, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg on Wednesday highlighted the alliance's efforts to adapt its capabilities to current security threats, taking note of Russia latest nuclear rhetoric and drills.

Talking to reporters before a two-day NATO defense ministers' meeting in Brussels that will include a gathering of the alliance's nuclear planning group, he called nuclear weapons NATO's "ultimate security guarantee" and a means to preserve peace.

While it is well known that the US has deployed nuclear bombs to several locations in Europe, NATO rarely talks about these weapons publicly.

Discussing what he called "the ongoing adaptation" of NATO's nuclear arsenal, Stoltenberg said the Netherlands in June declared the first F-35 fighter jets ready to carry nuclear arms and said the US was modernizing its nuclear weapons in Europe.

He described increasing Russian activity around its nuclear capabilities. "What we have seen over the last years and months is a dangerous nuclear rhetoric from the Russian side.... We also see some more exercises, nuclear exercises on the Russian side," he said.

On Tuesday, Russia said its troops had started the second stage of drills to practice the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons alongside Belarusian troops after what Moscow said were threats from Western powers.

Since sending thousands of troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly said Moscow could use nuclear weapons to defend itself in extreme situations.

Russia accuses the US and its European allies of pushing the world to the brink of nuclear confrontation by giving Ukraine billions of dollars worth of weapons, some of which are being used against Russian territory.

Stoltenberg also referred also to the modernization of China's nuclear weapons, saying Beijing was expected to boost the number of nuclear missiles within a few years and many of them would be able to reach NATO territory.