Barack Obama has canceled a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin after Russia’s decision to grant asylum to Edward Snowden, the White House said.
But President Barack Obama will still attend the G20 economic talks in St Petersburg.
A White House aide said Edward Snowden’s asylum had deepened the pre-existing tension between the two countries.
The Kremlin said it was disappointed by the move and that the invitation to bilateral talks remained in force.
Edward Snowden, a former intelligence contractor, has admitted leaking information about US surveillance programmes to the media.
The decision to cancel the talks, announced during a trip by the president to Los Angeles, comes the morning after Barack Obama said he was “disappointed” with Russia’s decision to offer Edward Snowden asylum for a year.
“We have reached the conclusion that there is not enough recent progress in our bilateral agenda with Russia to hold a US-Russia Summit,” the White House said in a statement.
Barack Obama has canceled a meeting with Vladimir Putin after Russia’s decision to grant asylum to Edward Snow
In addition to Russia’s “disappointing decision” to grant Edward Snowden temporary asylum, the White House cited a lack of progress on issues ranging from missile defense to human rights.
“We believe it would be more constructive to postpone the summit until we have more results from our shared agenda,” the White House said.
The decision to cancel the US-Russia summit comes the day after Barack Obama appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, in which he condemned a newly enacted anti-gay law in Russia.
But the White House reaffirmed Barack Obama’s commitment to attending an upcoming round of G20 economic talks, which take place on 5-6 September in the Russian city of St Petersburg.
In the wake of the announcement, Vladimir Putin’s foreign affairs adviser Yuri Ushakov said it was clear the US had canceled the meeting over the Snowden affair.
In a conference call on Wednesday, Yuri Ushakov added the Kremlin was disappointed by the move and that the invitation for talks remained open.
“Russian representatives are ready to continue working together with American partners on all key issues on the bilateral and multilateral agenda,” he said.
Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin last met in June, on the sidelines of the G8 summit in Northern Ireland.
Edward Snowden, an American former National Security Agency (NSA) technical contractor and CIA worker, in June leaked to the Guardian and Washington Post newspapers documents and details relating to NSA programmes that gather data on telephone calls and emails.
Edward Snowden, 30, fled his home in Hawaii, where he worked at a small NSA installation, to Hong Kong, and subsequently to Russia. He faces espionage charges in the US.
He spent about a month in a transit area of the Moscow airport as the US pressured other countries to deny him asylum.
On August 1st, Edward Snowden left the airport after the Russian government said it would give him asylum there for a year.
Barack Obama made his first comments about Edward Snowden since Russia granted him a temporary asylum last week during an interview with NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
President Barack Obama said on Tuesday that he was “disappointed” that Russia granted temporary asylum to National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, defying his administration’s demands that the former government contractor be sent back to the U.S. to face espionage charges.
“There have been times where they slip back into Cold War thinking and a Cold War mentality,” Barack Obama said.
Edward Snowden, a 30-year-old ex-NSA systems analyst, is accused of leaking details about highly-secretive government surveillance programs.
He spent several weeks in the transit zone of a Moscow airport before being granted asylum for a year.
Russia’s decision has pushed the White House to reconsider Barack Obama’s plans to travel to Russia in September. He said he would attend an international summit in St. Petersburg, saying it was important for the U.S. to be represented at talks among global economic powers.
But the president did not say whether he planned to attend separate meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.
The White House has said it was evaluating the “utility” of the Putin meetings.
Barack Obama also criticized a new Russian law cracking down on gay rights activism.
Russia has said it will enforce the law when it hosts the 2014 Winter Olympics. Asked whether the law would impact the games, Barack Obama said he believes Vladimir Putin and Russia have “a big stake in making sure the Olympics work”.
President Barack Obama giving Jay Leno a replica of his limo The Beast on The Tonight Show
“I think they understand that for most of the countries that participate in the Olympics, we wouldn’t tolerate gays and lesbians being treated differently,” the president said.
In a wide-ranging interview, Barack Obama touched on the closure of 19 embassies in the wake of the al-Qaeda terror alert.
He said that the U.S. was not overreacting with its decision and that Americans can still take their vacation in a “prudent way” by checking on State Department websites for up-to-day information before making plans.
Barack Obama added: “The odds of dying in a terrorist attack are a lot lower than they are of dying in a car accident, unfortunately.”
The administration was earlier today accused of behaving “like a bunch of cowards” following the embassy closures.
Louis Gohmert, a Republican congressman from Texas, recalled the September 11, 2012, terror attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
Barack Obama also lauded two of his former political rivals: former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Senator John McCain, R-Ariz.
Once bitter adversaries, Barack Obama and John McCain have deepened their ties in recent months. The Republican senator helped usher a White House-backed overhaul of U.S. immigration law through the Senate and most recently negotiated a plan to clear the way for votes on several stalled Obama nominees.
The president said that while he and John McCain still have significant policy differences, the Republican senator is “a person of integrity”.
But Barack Obama said jokingly that it’s probably not good for John McCain if the Democratic president compliments him on television.
The president also discussed his recent lunch with Hillary Clinton, his rival in the 2008 Democratic primaries.
Hillary Clinton, who left the State Department earlier this year, had a post-administration “glow”, Barack Obama said.
But he sidestepped questions about whether she was measuring the curtains in the White House for a possible 2016 presidential bid.
“Keep in mind, she’s been there before,” Barack Obama said.
A new report says the upcoming 2013-2014 season will be Jay Leno’s last behind the desk of The Tonight Show before he’s replaced by Jimmy Fallon.
Jimmy Fallon, who now hosts NBC’s Late Show, will be officially announced as the new host sometime in the summer of next year.
The Hollywood Reporter cited two anonymous “high-level industry sources” who say the network wants to bring in Jimmy Fallon in response to Jimmy Kimmel’s show moving to the 11:35 time slot in January.
“The more time Jimmy Kimmel is in that slot, the more the young audience goes that way, the harder it is for [Fallon] to keep that audience,” one source said.
Jay Leno has kept his spot on top of the late-night ratings, but Jimmy Kimmel is competitive in the coveted 18-49 demographic.
“Kimmel has done extremely well,” said one unnamed network veteran.
“Jay wins overall, but on any given night, it’s neck-and-neck in 18-49. I understand where they might have fear and also feel that they own the solution [in Jimmy Fallon.]”
NBC denied the story, while Jay Leno’s reps said “we do not speculate on rumor”.
The Hollywood Reporter noted that Jay Leno would likely be reluctant to leave, especially if he were forced to retire while longtime rival David Letterman remains on the air.
The two famously battled to follow Johnny Carson’s legendary tenure as host of the Tonight Show, with Jay Leno eventually winning the spot while David Letterman left NBC for CBS to start his own 11:35 show.
Their fight over the show was the basis for the non-fiction book, The Late Shift, which was adapted into a film of the same name by HBO in 1996.
Both hosts are signed through 2014.
A new report says the upcoming 2013-2014 season will be Jay Leno’s last behind the desk of The Tonight Show before he’s replaced by Jimmy Fallon
It’s also possible NBC is worried that if David Letterman does leave next year, CBS would be looking for a replacement host, potentially leading to a battle over Jimmy Fallon.
Late night comedy brawled over talent in 2010 when Jay Leno left the Tonight Show to host another show at 10. Six years prior, then NBC-head Jeff Zucker had promised then-Late Night host Conan O’Brien that he would get the Tonight Show as part of a deal to re-sign with the network.
But the strategy was a disaster. Jay Leno’s 10 p.m. show tanked in the ratings and Conan O’Brien’s Tonight Show struggled out of the gate against David Letterman. A year later Jay Leno was back, and NBC had gone through a costly and embarrassing debacle.
Conan O’Brien left the network and now hosts a show on TBS.
The network would also save money paying a far lower salary to Jimmy Fallon compared to the roughly $20 million per year Jay Leno makes.
If NBC does go through with ousting Jay Leno, one observer notes they will “get the benefit of selling Jay’s last year – again”.
Donald Trump is suing Bill Maher after the comedian offered to pay out if the billionaire could prove his father was a homo sapiens and not an ape.
In January, Bill Maher appeared on Jay Leno’s show and announced that he would donate $5 million to charity if Donald Trump provided evidence that he was not the “spawn of his mother having sex with orangutan”.
Donald Trump produced his birth certificate to show both his parents were indeed human and now he is taking Bill Maher to court to force him to pay up.
“I don’t know whether I will win or lose the Bill Maher lawsuit but had an obligation to sue for charity,” Donald Trump said in a statement on Monday.
“He promised me $5 million for charity if I provided certain information. Well, I provided the information. He didn’t pay. So today I sue Bill Maher for $5 million for charity,” he said, calling into Fox and Friends.
“I don’t think he was joking. He said it with venom. That was venom. That wasn’t a joke. In fact, he was nervous when he said it; it was a pathetic delivery. But he said, <<I will give>>, and said, <<I will accept>>,” he added.
Bill Maher made his bet on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on January 8, to mock Donald Trump’s maligned YouTube announcement last October in which Trump said he would donate $5 million of his own money to charity if President Barack Obama would release his college records.
Donald Trump is suing Bill Maher after the comedian offered to pay out if the billionaire could prove his father was a homo sapiens and not an ape
Appearing on the NBC late night show, Bill Maher joked about Donald Trump, the host of NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice.
He suggested the multimillion dollar prize could be directed to the charity of Donald Trump’s choice, naming the “Hair Club for Men” or “The Institute for Incorrigible Douchebaggery” as potential recipients.
Comparing Donald Trump to an orangutan, Bill Maher was drawing a comparison between the famously sandy hair of the New York billionaire and the great ape that roams the jungles of South East Asia.
In addition to calling Donald Trump the son of an orangutan, Bill Maher labeled Trump a “liar” and a “racist” and a “douche bag” as he reacted to some derogatory tweets that Trump had posted online about him.
Bill Maher accused Donald Trump of not even writing the tweets himself, but palming them off as a job to a “syphilitic monkey”.
But Donald Trump accepted the challenge.
Shortly thereafter, Scott S. Balber, a lawyer for Donald Trump, 66, sent the host of HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher a letter with the property magnate’s birth certificate attached and asked the comedian, who is estimated to be worth $40 million, to come up with the cash and honor his ultimatum.
The letter came with a birth certificate attached “demonstrating that he is the son of Fred Trump, not an orangutan. Please remit the $5 million to Mr. Trump immediately”.
Donald Trump indicated he wants to give $1 million each to charities for the Hurricane Sandy Victims, The Police Athletic League, The American Cancer Society, The March of Dimes and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Jessica Simpson and Eric Johnson have been engaged for two years, and the star has revealed she and her fiance have set two separate wedding dates.
However, Jessica Simpson admitted that she hasn’t had the opportunity to walk down the aisle – because both times she then fell pregnant.
“We’ve had two different wedding dates, but he keeps knocking me up,” Jessica Simpson said when she appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on Tuesday night.
“We’re doing it very backwards, I know… I’ll just keep my legs crossed, I guess, this time.”
Jessica Simpson, 32, who is pregnant with her second child and confessed it was not planned, displayed her blossoming figure in a low-cut leopard print clingy dress, which displayed plenty of her ample cleavage and clung to her tiny baby bump.
“Apparently it was a part of God’s plan for my life,” she laughed as she chatted about her new pregnancy.
“I was extremely shocked because I was going through a lot of hormonal changes, trying to get back to the old, vibrant Jessica. You know, it was kind of like a one-night stand. And it happened, all over again!”
Jessica Simpson and Eric Johnson have been engaged for two years, and the star has revealed she and her fiance have set two separate wedding dates
The glowing star is watching what she eats this time around, after gaining what she said was “a lot more than doctors would recommend”.
Jessica Simpson admitted: “I was really happy to be pregnant and I didn’t ever step on the scale. I didn’t realize you could gain that much weight that quickly.”
She added: “I didn’t really make any healthy good decisions.”
It was recently revealed that Jessica is already plotting her return to the small screen in a new sitcom pilot for NBC, which will be inspired by her life, and the blonde was happy to divulged about it.
When asked if it was about “a girl who keeps getting pregnant”, Jessica Simpson replied: “Yes, and how that girl deals with that and everything else. I will be playing myself, which is pretty easy.”
She went on: “We don’t have a name yet, we’re just now in the process of casting everyone, doing the pilot. I will be playing myself but we’ll have actors playing Eric and my dad. That’ll be funny.”