A small general aviation aircraft flying near President Trump's private golf club in New Jersey was intercepted by a U.S. Air Force fighter jet Saturday afternoon, according to officials.
A small general aviation aircraft flying near President Trump's private golf club in New Jersey was intercepted by a U.S. Air Force fighter jet Saturday afternoon, according to officials.
Gun-control activist David Hogg apparently thinks President Trump will cancel the 2020 election.
In a tweet Sunday afternoon, Mr. Hogg, who had earlier in the day insinuated that all the National Rifle Association's 2016 political spending money came from Russia, encouraged people to vote with a stark warning.
"These Midterms ...
On at least four separate occassions, the FBI told the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA) court that it "did not believe" DNC-funded ex-spy Christopher Steele was the source behind a Yahoo News article implicating former Trump aide Carter Page in Russian collusion.
Millennial voters have long been considered fickle, and that trait could impact this November's midterm elections.
MEXICO CITY (AP) - Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has released a seven-page letter he sent to U.S. President Donald Trump earlier in July detailing how he sees the two countries working together to stem immigration.
The letter lays out how Lopez Obrador plans to improve the economy and ...
Former Secretary of State John Kerry blasted President Trump for his attacks directed at former Vice President Joe Biden – calling Trump’s words “unbecoming of a president” and asking why Trump isn’t more focused on his job at the White House.
WARSAW, Poland (AP) - Israel's ambassador to Poland has joined Warsaw residents in recalling the first mass deportations of Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto and in honoring a Jewish activist who took his own life while despairing the world's indifference to the Holocaust.
The March of Remembrance got underway Sunday ...
President Trump’s former Press Secretary Sean Spicer acknowledged on Sunday that his former boss should have been quicker in clarifying his comments during a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin last week about Moscow’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election, but blamed the media for blowing the issue out of proportion.
VALDOSTA, Ga. — Residents of a Georgia city are pushing to change the name of a residential street to Barack Obama Boulevard.
The Valdosta Daily Times reports a citizens group plans to start circulating a petition Monday to rename Forrest Street for the nation's first black president. The Rev. Floyd ...
Carter Page, a former Trump campaign adviser, said the warrant FBI agents used to snoop on him is "so ridiculous" and "misleading" and that he never acted as a Russian agent.
"I've never been an agent of a foreign power by any stretch of the imagination," Mr. Page told CNN's ...
Robert Driscoll, the lawyer for accused Russian spy Maria Butina, took aim at the Department of Justice on Sunday, telling Fox News exclusively that investigators charged her on technicalities after a lengthy surveillance operation because they didn't want to have to follow her to South Dakota.
The FBI continued to tell judges that dossier writer Christopher Steele wasn't the source of a news article the bureau used to corroborate a wiretap application when in fact Mr. Steele had publicly acknowledged he fed the anti-Trump story.
This chronology is contained in four heavily censored Foreign Intelligence Surveillance ...
SAN DIEGO (AP) - The federal judge who ordered children be reunited with their families after being separated at the border has been unyielding in his insistence that the Trump administration meet his deadline.
U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw (sah-BRAW') has been adamant that the government reunite more than 2,500 ...
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, on track to represent a New York district in Congress after a primary win over Rep. Joe Crowley, declined on Sunday to say whether she will back House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi for the speakership if Democrats retake the House.
"I need to get to Congress first. I ...
Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz slammed the massive number of redactions in the set of documents the Justice Department released on Saturday related to the wiretapping of a onetime campaign advisor to President Trump.
BRIDGEWATER, N.J. (AP) - President Donald Trump claimed Sunday that newly released documents relating to the wiretapping of his onetime campaign adviser Carter Page "confirm with little doubt" that intelligence agencies misled the courts that approved the warrant. But lawmakers from both parties say the documents don't show wrongdoing.
President Trump on Sunday said he had a "great" meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin and said his campaign was "illegally spied upon" in 2016, putting him at odds with a senator in his own party.
Mr. Trump is still dealing with the fallout of his widely panned press conference ...
Sir Vince Cable tells the BBC he "made a mistake" by missing a key Brexit vote in the Commons.
Rep. Trey Gowdy said that former campaign adviser to Donald Trump, Carter Page, was “more like Inspector Gadget than Jason Bourne or James Bond” after the Justice Department on Saturday released a set of documents relating to the wiretapping of Page.
American leaders must discuss matters with leaders of rival nations but they shouldn't coddle them or give them lofty treatment, lawmakers in both parties said Sunday, responding to President Trump's decision to invite Russian President Vladimir Putin to D.C. this fall.
Sen. Robert Menendez, New Jersey Democrat, said he's worried ...
House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy said the evidence of Russian meddling in the 2016 election is clear and that President Trump "needs to say that and act like it."
"The president has access to every bit of evidence," Mr. Gowdy, South Republican, told Fox News Sunday. "The evidence is ...
Former Obama national security adviser Susan Rice on Sunday called President Trump's lengthy one-on-one meeting this week with Russian President Vladimir Putin a "historic mistake."
A former U.S. House committee staffer says he's "honored" to make the list of U.S. officials that Russian President Vladimir Putin says he'd like his prosecutors to interrogate.
Kyle Parker helped draft sanctions against Russians suspected of human rights violations. Parker tweeted Tuesday he was "honored" to make Putin's list.
BERLIN (AP) - Mesut Ozil is defending his decision to pose for a picture with Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, saying it wasn't an endorsement of his politics.
The Arsenal star broke weeks of silence on the issue Sunday, posting a statement in English on Twitter in which he said ...
BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — A U.S. Air Force fighter jet intercepted a small general aviation aircraft flying near President Donald Trump's private golf club Saturday.
The U.S. military is announcing that an F-16 jet intercepted a plane around 12:30 p.m. Saturday flying "without proper clearances or communications" in the temporary flight ...
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Twitter on Sunday it was looking more and more like his campaign for the 2016 presidential election had been illegally spied upon.
Trump issued the tweet after saying documents about his former presidential campaign adviser Carter Page confirmed with little doubt that the Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation had misled the courts.
The FBI released documents on Saturday related to the surveillance of Page as part of an investigation into whether he conspired with the Russian government to undermine the election.
Page has denied being an agent of the Russian government and has not been charged with any crime.
In his tweets, Trump also took aim at defeated Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee, her party's governing body.
"Looking more & more like the Trump Campaign for President was illegally being spied upon [surveillance] for the political gain of Crooked Hillary Clinton and the DNC," he said, referring to the Democratic National Committee. "Republicans must get tough now. An illegal Scam!"
Referring to the Carter Page documents, he said: "As usual they are ridiculously heavily redacted but confirm with little doubt that the Department of "Justice" and FBI misled the courts. Witch Hunt Rigged, a Scam!"
The 412 pages, mostly heavily redacted, included surveillance applications to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and warrants surrounding the investigation into Page.
"The FBI believes that Page has been collaborating and conspiring with the Russian Government," the surveillance application filed in October 2016 said. The documents released include applications and renewal warrants filed in 2017 after Trump took office.
The documents released said "the FBI believes that the Russian Government's efforts are being coordinated with Page and perhaps other individuals associated with" Trump's campaign. It added Page "has established relationships with Russian Government officials, including Russian intelligence officers."
Republican lawmakers have contended that the FBI made serious missteps when it sought a warrant to monitor Page in October 2016 shortly after he left the Trump campaign.
Last week, a federal grand jury charged 12 Russian intelligence officers with hacking Democratic computer networks in 2016, in the most detailed U.S. accusation yet that Moscow meddled in the presidential election to help Trump.
Earlier this year, 13 other Russians and three Russian companies were indicted on charges of conspiring to interfere with the election.
WASHINGTON — A bill being negotiated in Congress would essentially end the Trump administration's direct supervision of an agency that oversees the nation's nuclear weapons stockpile.
The Senate-approved bill would remove the National Nuclear Security Administration from direct control of the Energy Department, where it's been since its creation in ...
IOWA CITY, Iowa — One app promotes itself as a way to discuss sensitive negotiations and human resources problems without leaving a digital record.
Another boasts that disappearing messages "keep your message history tidy." And a popular email service recently launched a "confidential mode" allowing the content of messages to ...
NEW YORK — Hillary Clinton on Saturday took on this week's burning topic: Republican President Donald Trump's encounter with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, amid special counsel Robert Mueller's warning that Russian intelligence services have active "interference operations" in U.S. politics.
"It's really distressing and alarming," Clinton said. "It ...
WASHINGTON — Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh suggested several years ago that the unanimous high court ruling in 1974 that forced President Richard Nixon to turn over the Watergate tapes, leading to the end of his presidency, may have been wrongly decided.
Kavanaugh was taking part in a roundtable discussion ...
John Pienaar discusses the EU's response to Theresa May's Brexit plan and splits within the Conservative party on the issue. With Chloe Smith and Iain Duncan Smith.
The shadow business secretary says her party has failed to deal quickly with anti-Semitism.
The former prime minister said a leadership election would be "absolutely absurd" whilst speaking on The Andrew Marr Show.
Saturday in the park with Hillary Clinton turned out to be a chance to listen to the former Democratic presidential nominee take aim, once again, at President Donald Trump.
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - One app promotes itself as a way to discuss sensitive negotiations and human resources problems without leaving a digital record.
Another boasts that disappearing messages "keep your message history tidy." And a popular email service recently launched a "confidential mode" allowing the content of messages ...
Among the documents that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh submitted to the Senate Judiciary Committee ahead of his confirmation hearing is a 1999 magazine article that includes some of his toughts on presidential authority.
More than 170 politicians from the UK and Ireland sign a letter urging the UK government to change the law.
The Trump administration on Saturday released a set of documents once deemed top secret relating to the wiretapping of a onetime adviser to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
The New York Times reported that the documents involving former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page were released to the Times and several other media organizations that had filed Freedom of Information Act lawsuits to obtain them. The FBI later posted the documents to its FOIA website online.
The materials include an October 2016 application to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to wiretap Page as well as several renewal applications, the Times reported. It is highly unusual for documents related to FISA wiretap applications to be released.
While the documents were heavily redacted in places, the Times reported that visible portions of the documents show the FBI telling the intelligence court that Page “has been collaborating and conspiring with the Russian government.” The agency also told the court “the FBI believes Page has been the subject of targeted recruitment by the Russian government.”
Page has denied being a Russian agent.
After a redaction, the Times reported that the application to wiretap Page included a partial sentence: “... undermine and influence the outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential election in violation of U.S. criminal law.”
The surveillance of Page became a contentious matter between Republican and Democratic lawmakers earlier this year.
Republicans alleged the FBI had abused its surveillance powers and improperly obtained the warrant, a charge that Democrats rebutted as both sides characterized the documents in different ways. The documents, meanwhile, remained out of public view.
House Democrats were quick to say that the documents bolstered their arguments.
“For more than a year, House Republicans have bullied the Department of Justice and FBI to release highly sensitive documents to derail the Special Counsel’s and other legitimate national security investigations and cover for the President,” House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement. “For the sake of our national security and our democracy, these vital investigations must be allowed to continue unhindered by Republican interference. The GOP must cease their attacks on our law enforcement and intelligence communities, and finally decide where their loyalty lies.”
Rep. Adam Schiff, the California Democrat who is the ranking member of the House intelligence committee, said the documents underscore the “legitimate concern” the FBI had about Page’s activities.
Yet Schiff said the materials shouldn’t have been released during an ongoing investigation because of national security. He blamed Trump for making public House Republicans’ initial memo about the FISA applications, a move by Trump that the congressman called “nakedly political and self-interested, and designed to to (sic) interfere with the Special Counsel’s investigation.”
Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh suggested several years ago that the unanimous high court ruling in 1974 that forced President Richard Nixon to turn over the Watergate tapes, leading to the end of his presidency, may have been wrongly decided.
Kavanaugh was taking part in a roundtable discussion with other lawyers when he said at three different points that the decision in U.S. v. Nixon, which marked limits on a president’s ability to withhold information needed for a criminal prosecution, may have come out the wrong way.
A 1999 magazine article about the roundtable was part of thousands of pages of documents that Kavanaugh has provided to the Senate Judiciary Committee as part of the confirmation process. The committee released the documents Saturday.
Robust executive authority
Kavanaugh’s belief in robust executive authority is front and center in his nomination by President Donald Trump to replace the retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy. The issue could assume even greater importance if special counsel Robert Mueller seeks to force Trump to testify in the ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
“But maybe Nixon was wrongly decided — heresy though it is to say so. Nixon took away the power of the president to control information in the executive branch by holding that the courts had power and jurisdiction to order the president to disclose information in response to a subpoena sought by a subordinate executive branch official. That was a huge step with implications to this day that most people do not appreciate sufficiently. ... Maybe the tension of the time led to an erroneous decision,” Kavanaugh said in a transcript of the discussion that was published in the January-February 1999 issue of the Washington Lawyer.
At another point in the discussion, Kavanaugh said the court might have been wise to stay out of the tapes dispute.
“Should U.S. v. Nixon be overruled on the ground that the case was a nonjusticiable intrabranch dispute? Maybe so,” he said.
Kavanaugh was among six lawyers who took part in the discussion in the aftermath of independent counsel Kenneth Starr’s investigation that led to the impeachment of President Bill Clinton. Kavanaugh had been a member of Starr’s team.
The discussion was focused on the privacy of discussions between government lawyers and their clients.
More recent assessment
Philip Lacovara, who argued the Watergate tapes case against Nixon and moderated the discussion, said Kavanaugh has long believed in a strong presidency.
“That was Brett staking out what has been his basic jurisprudential approach since law school,” Lacovara said in a telephone interview Saturday.
Still, Lacovara said, “it was surprising even as of 1999 that the unanimous decision in the Nixon tapes case might have been wrongly decided.”
Kavanaugh allies pointed to a recent, more favorable assessment of the Nixon case.
“Whether it was Marbury, or Youngstown, or Brown, or Nixon, some of the greatest moments in American judicial history have been when judges stood up to the other branches, were not cowed, and enforced the law. That takes backbone, or what some call judicial engagement,” Kavanaugh wrote in a 2016 law review article in which he referred to several landmark Supreme Court cases.
Stack of paperwork
The 1999 article was among a pile of material released in response to the committee’s questionnaire. Kavanaugh was asked to provide information about his career as an attorney and jurist, his service in the executive branch, education, society memberships and more.
It’s an opening look at a long paper trail that lawmakers will consider as they decide whether to confirm him. The high court appointment could shift the court rightward for years to come.
A longtime figure in the Washington establishment, Kavanaugh acknowledged in the questionnaire that he had joined clubs that he said once had discriminatory membership policies.
“Years before I became a member of the Congressional Country Club and the Chevy Chase Club, it is my understanding that those clubs, like most similar clubs around the country, may have excluded members on discriminatory bases that should not have been acceptable to people then and would not be acceptable now,” he wrote.
Asked to list the 10 most significant cases for which he sat as a judge, Kavanaugh cited nine in which “the position expressed in my opinion (either for the court or in a separate writing) was later adopted by the Supreme Court.”
The 10th regarded a man fired by mortgage giant Fannie Mae after he filed a discrimination complaint that alleged a company executive had created a hostile work environment by calling the worker “the n-word.” Kavanaugh said he included it “because of what it says about anti-discrimination law and American history.”
Kavanaugh said an appeals court panel on which he sat reversed a lower court’s ruling in favor of Fannie Mae. He said he joined the majority opinion in 2013 and wrote a separate concurrence “to explain that calling someone the n-word, even once, creates a hostile work environment.”
In the questionnaire, Kavanaugh cited his opinion in that case: “No other word in the English language so powerfully or instantly calls to mind our country’s long and brutal struggle to overcome racism and discrimination against African-Americans.’” But it was one of the relatively few discrimination cases in which Kavanaugh sided with a complaining employee.
Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the committee chairman, said the questionnaire was “the broadest and most comprehensive” ever sent by the committee and he welcomed “Judge Kavanaugh’s diligent and timely response.”
The Department of Justice has released documents relating to a FISA warrant against Carter Page, a former campaign adviser to then-candidate Donald Trump.
The Department of Justice has released documents relating to a FISA warrant against Carter Page, a former campaign adviser to then-candidate Donald Trump.
Rep. Maxine Waters said that the counterprotesters that burned and stomped on an American flag outside her California office this week were acting to further “their own agenda,” but added that she understands their right to do so.
Carter Page was the subject of a "targeted recruitment" by the Russian government, according to the late Saturday release of previously top-secret documents used by the FBI to obtain a wiretap warrant for the former Trump campaign aide.
That was among the revelations included in the FBI's October 2016 application ...
President Trump on Saturday accused special counsel Robert Mueller of prolonging the Russia probe in order to help Democrats in the midterm elections.
"The Rigged Witch Hunt, headed by the 13 Angry Democrats (and now 4 more have been added, one who worked directly for Obama W.H.), seems intent on ...
The Brexit secretary says selling the government's blueprint for leaving the EU is an ongoing task.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Trump administration has released a set of documents once deemed top secret relating to the wiretapping of a onetime adviser to Donald Trump's presidential campaign.
The New York Times reports that the documents involving former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page were released Saturday to the Times ...
It comes as MPs investigate why real fur has been sold as fake on the UK high street.
It was a week of bewilderment over what President Donald Trump really thinks about Russian interference in the U.S. election and what he and Russia’s Vladimir Putin told each other in their private meeting. The confusion was fed by Trump’s vacillating statements about the summit.
On other fronts, Trump inaccurately claimed Queen Elizabeth II bestowed upon him an honor that she had never before granted during her reign and, when the president was back in the U.S., he gave a faulty account of improvements in health care for veterans.
A week in review:
TRUMP: “The Summit with Russia was a great success, except with the real enemy of the people, the Fake News Media. I look forward to our second meeting so that we can start implementing some of the many things discussed, including stopping terrorism, security for Israel, nuclear ... proliferation, cyber attacks, trade, Ukraine, Middle East peace, North Korea and more. There are many answers, some easy and some hard, to these problems ... but they can ALL be solved!” — tweets Thursday.
THE FACTS: Trump implies that he reached broad agreements with Putin during the Helsinki meeting that the two countries “can start implementing” with a second meeting. If he did, his own White House and State Department seem not to know about it.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders mentioned humanitarian aid for Syria, Iran, Israel, arms control, Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine and its meddling in 2016 U.S. election as having been discussed. When pressed for details on any planned action, she could not provide any.
“This is the beginning of the dialogue with Russia and our administration and theirs and we’re going to continue working through those things,” Sanders told reporters Wednesday.
The State Department offered its own take on the Helsinki meeting, saying no agreements were reached and that there were just general proposals on matters mainly related to economic and strategic cooperation.
TRUMP, addressing whether Russia was interfering in the 2016 election: “The whole concept of that came up perhaps a little bit before, but it came out as a reason why the Democrats lost an election — which, frankly, they should have been able to win, because the Electoral College is much more advantageous for Democrats, as you know, than it is to Republicans. We won the Electoral College by a lot — 306 to 223, I believe.” — remarks Monday.
THE FACTS: Trump makes the misguided assertion, again, that Democrats have an “advantage” in the Electoral College. Its unique system of electing presidents is actually a big reason why Trump won the presidency. Four candidates in history have won a majority of the popular vote only to be denied the presidency by the Electoral College. All were Democrats.
In the 2016 election, Democrat Hillary Clinton received nearly 2.9 million more votes than Trump after racking up more lopsided victories in big states such as New York and California, according to election data compiled by The Associated Press. But she lost the presidency because of Trump’s winning margin in the Electoral College, which came after he narrowly won less populous Midwestern states, including Michigan and Wisconsin.
Unlike the popular vote, Electoral College votes are set equal to the number of U.S. representatives in each state plus its two senators. That means more weight is given to a single vote in a small state than the vote of someone in a large state.
Trump also misstates the Electoral College vote. The official count was 304 to 227, according to an AP tally of the electoral votes in every state.
TRUMP: “I want to have choice, just like we have now with the veterans, all approved, which nobody thought would be possible. The vets now, instead of standing on line for two weeks or one week or three months, they can go out and see a doctor, and we pay for it, and it turns out to be much less expensive. And they are loving it.” — remarks Wednesday at Cabinet meeting.
THE FACTS: The Department of Veterans Affairs’ Choice program for veterans that Trump refers to is not “all approved.” Nor are veterans necessarily loving the private-sector health care program, as measured by the average amount of time veterans must wait for a medical appointment with a private doctor. Trump’s suggestion that veterans are getting immediate care because of Choice does not reflect the reality.
Trump did sign into law last month a bill that would ease restrictions on private care. But its success in significantly reducing wait times depends in large part on an overhaul of VA’s electronic medical records to allow for a seamless sharing of records with private physicians. That overhaul will take at least 10 years to be complete.
Under the newly expanded Choice program that will take at least a year to implement, veterans will still have to meet certain criteria before they can see a private physician. Those criteria will be set in part by proposed federal regulations that will be subject to public review.
Currently, only veterans who endure waits of at least 30 days for an appointment at a VA facility are eligible to receive care from private doctors at government expense. A recent Government Accountability Report found that despite the Choice program’s guarantee of providing an appointment within 30 days, veterans waited an average of 51 days to 64 days.
TRUMP: “We met with the Queen, who is absolutely a terrific person, where she reviewed her Honor Guard for the first time in 70 years, they tell me. We walked in front of the Honor Guard, and that was very inspiring to see and be with her.” — remarks Tuesday during a meeting with members of Congress.
THE FACTS: No, Queen Elizabeth II did not review her Honor Guard for the first time in 70 years when Trump visited last week. She’s only been on the throne for 66 years.
The queen regularly inspects her Honor Guard as part of royal duties, often during visits from foreign officials. That included when President Barack Obama visited in 2011.
TRUMP, when asked Wednesday during a Cabinet meeting if Russia was still targeting U.S. elections: “No.”
THE FACTS: Trump’s apparent response that Russia does not pose a risk to future U.S. elections contradicted the warning from his director of national intelligence, Dan Coats, days earlier on the threat of Russian interference in the 2018 elections. Coats compared the cyberthreat today to the way U.S. officials described before 9/11 the risk of a terrorist attack as indicated from intelligence channels: “Blinking red,” with warning signs of an imminent attack.
Sanders said later Wednesday that Trump actually was saying “no” to answering additional questions — even though he subsequently went on to address Russia.
TRUMP, on his intelligence officials on Monday: “They said they think it’s Russia. I have President Putin. He just said it’s not Russia. I will say this — I don’t see any reason why it would be.”
TRUMP, reading from a statement, on his intelligence officials on Tuesday: “I accept our intelligence community conclusion that Russia meddling ... took place” and the “sentence should have been 'I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia.' ”
TRUMP, when asked by CBS on Wednesday if he agreed that Russia meddled in the 2016 election: “I have said that numerous times before, and I would say that is true, yeah.”
THE FACTS: Was Trump’s comment Monday a misunderstanding set off by his saying “would” instead of “wouldn’t”? Or was his rare admission of a mistake rooted in the ferocity of the stateside response by those — Republicans among them — who said he'd undermined U.S. intelligence services by seeming to side with Putin?
Whichever the case, Trump at various points in his Monday news conference made clear that he found Putin’s position on the matter compelling.
“I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today,” Trump said at the joint news conference. He made the untenable assertion Monday that “I have confidence in both parties” — his intelligence officials, who say Moscow interfered, and Putin, who says it didn’t.
Trump has been a nearly solitary figure in his administration in holding on to doubts about whether Russians tried to sway the election. Trump’s top national security officials, Democrats and most Republicans in Congress say U.S. intelligence agencies got it right in finding that Russians secretly tried to sway the election. The special counsel’s continuing Russia investigation has laid out a detailed trail of attempts and successes by Russians to steal Democratic Party and Clinton campaign communications and to leak embarrassing emails and documents.
Putin denied anew that the Russian government interfered, but he acknowledged Monday that he favored Trump in 2016. “Yes, I wanted him to win because he spoke of normalization of Russian-U.S. ties.”
PUTIN, referring Monday to Bill Browder, a prominent Putin critic and investor charged with financial crimes in Russia: “Business associates of Mr. Browder have earned over $1.5 billion in Russia. They never paid any taxes, neither in Russia nor in the United States, and yet the money escaped the country. They were transferred to the United States. They sent a huge amount of money, $400 million, as a contribution to the campaign of Hillary Clinton.”
THE FACTS: The notion of a $400 million donation to the Democrat’s campaign is a stratospheric exaggeration. On Tuesday, the Russian general prosecutor’s office said, to little fanfare, that Putin misspoke and meant $400,000.
The Clinton campaign committee raised less than $564 million. With supportive political action committees added to the equation, Clinton’s effort drew $795 million in donations. Putin’s initial figure suggested a huge chunk of her money came from a small cabal of financiers.
The reality is much less dramatic.
Browder’s New York financial partners, Ziff Brothers Investments, donated only $1.75 million in the 2016 campaign, spreading it among candidates for many offices in both parties and favoring Republicans in congressional races. The watchdog site opensecrets.org shows it giving only $17,700 for Clinton’s election and less than $300,000 to the Democratic National Committee, as well as smaller amounts to other entities.
Donations to Clinton came from diverse sources: the financial industry, education interests, Hollywood, unions, the health and pharmaceutical sectors, and many more.
TRUMP, on increased military spending by NATO countries: “I had a great meeting with NATO. They have paid $33 Billion more and will pay hundreds of Billions of Dollars more in the future, only because of me. NATO was weak, but now it is strong again (bad for Russia)." — tweet Tuesday.
THE FACTS: No, increased military spending by NATO members is not “only because” of him. The broader move toward rising spending by NATO countries began under Obama.
NATO members agreed in 2014 to stop cutting their military budgets and set a goal of moving “toward” spending 2 percent of their gross domestic product on their own defense by 2024. Most NATO members are spending less than 2 percent, though more are moving in that direction. The issue is not one of payments to NATO, as Trump repeatedly puts it, but how much members spend on their own armed forces.
After being prodded by Trump to give him credit, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg indicated that Trump’s big demands had some effect on the military spending. He estimated European allies and Canada would add $266 billion to their military spending by 2024 and said of Trump, “This is really adding some extra momentum.” By one NATO estimate, alliance members apart from the U.S. collectively increased their military budgets by $33 billion last year.
LA LIBERTAD, Honduras (AP) - Baby Johan spent his first day home chasing his family's kitten, bouncing to music and playing like any 15-month-old boy.
But his mom said Saturday he also seemed lost in his own home - not recognizing his favorite aunt and only able to sleep with ...
SAO PAULO (AP) - Japan's Princess Mako has arrived in Sao Paulo as part of her two-week visit to Brazil to celebrate 110 years of the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants to Latin America's biggest country.
Brazil is home to the largest Japanese community outside Japan. An estimated 1.9 ...
The campaign is underway.
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Students from a Maryland school where a girl was killed in a shooting and a reporter from the Capital-Gazette newspaper where five people were shot to death last month held a rally on Saturday to urge lawmakers to approve stronger measures to protect people from gun ...
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's choice for the Supreme Court has given members of Congress a pile of material to help them start judging the judge.
Judge Brett Kavanaugh responded to a Senate Judiciary Committee questionnaire that probes his career as an attorney and jurist, his service in the ...
NEW YORK (AP) - Members of the Congressional Black Caucus have joined New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in calling on the U.S. Senate to reject Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh because of his expansive interpretation of gun rights and the Second Amendment.
Cuomo, a Democrat, said Saturday that Kavanaugh's past ...
Only 28 percent of young adults ages 18-29 say they are "absolutely certain" of voting in the 2018 midterm elections, according to a new survey.
The Public Religion Research Institute (PPRI) and The Atlantic found that 74 percent of seniors said they are "absolutely certain" about voting ...
The Pentagon’s chief policy maker addressed the Aspen Security Forum about the need for the United States and Russia to seek common collaboration on issues of national security concern as such opportunities might arise.
A week ago, Maine Democrat Zak Ringelstein wasn’t quite ready to consider himself a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, even if he appreciated the organization’s values and endorsement in his bid to become a U.S. senator.
Three days later, he told The Associated Press it was time to join up. He’s now the only major-party Senate candidate in the nation to be a dues-paying democratic socialist.
Ringelstein’s leap is the latest evidence of a nationwide surge in the strength and popularity of an organization that, until recently, operated on the fringes of the liberal movement’s farthest left flank. As Donald Trump’s presidency stretches into its second year, democratic socialism has become a significant force in Democratic politics. Its rise comes as Democrats debate whether moving too far left will turn off voters.
“I stand with the democratic socialists, and I have decided to become a dues-paying member,” Ringelstein told AP. “It’s time to do what’s right, even if it’s not easy.”
There are 42 people running for offices at the federal, state and local levels this year with the formal endorsement of the Democratic Socialists of America, the organization says. They span 20 states, including Florida, Hawaii, Kansas and Michigan.
The most ambitious Democrats in Washington have been reluctant to embrace the label, even as they embrace the policies defining modern-day democratic socialism: Medicare for all, a $15 minimum wage, free college tuition and the abolition of the federal department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, also known as ICE.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Congress’ only self-identified democratic socialist, campaigned Friday with the movement’s newest star, New York City congressional candidate Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, a 28-year-old former bartender who defeated one of the most powerful House Democrats last month.
Her victory fed a flame that was already beginning to burn brighter. The DSA’s paid membership has hovered around 6,000 in the years before Trump’s election, said Allie Cohn, a member of the group’s national political team.
Last week, its paid membership hit 45,000 nationwide.
There is little distinction made between the terms “democratic socialism” and “socialism” in the group’s literature. While Ringelstein and other DSA-backed candidates promote a “big-tent” philosophy, the group’s constitution describes its members as socialists who “reject an economic order based on private profit” and “share a vision of a humane social order based on popular control of resources and production, economic planning, equitable distribution, feminism, racial equality and non-oppressive relationships.”
Members during public meetings often refer to each other “comrades,” wear clothing featuring socialist symbols like the rose and promote authors such as Karl Marx.
The common association with the failed Soviet Union has made it difficult for sympathetic liberals to explain their connection.
“I don’t like the term socialist, because people do associate that with bad things in history,” said Kansas congressional candidate James Thompson, who is endorsed by the DSA and campaigned alongside Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez, but is not a dues-paying democratic socialist. “There’s definitely a lot of their policies that closely align with mine.”
Thompson, an Army veteran turned civil rights attorney, is running again after narrowly losing a special election last year to fill the seat vacated by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Even in deep-red Kansas, he embraces policies like “Medicare for all” and is openly critical of capitalism.
In Hawaii, 29-year-old state Rep. Kaniela Ing isn’t shy about promoting his status as a democratic socialist in his bid for Congress. He said he was encouraged to run for higher office by the same activist who recruited Ocasio-Cortez.
“We figured just lean in hard,” Ing told the AP of the democratic socialist label. He acknowledged some baby boomers may be scared away, but said the policies democratic socialists promote — like free health care and economic equality — aren’t extreme.
Republicans, meanwhile, are encouraged by the rise of democratic socialism — for a far different reason. They have seized on what they view as a leftward lurch by Democrats they predict will alienate voters this fall and in the 2020 presidential race.
The Republican National Committee eagerly notes that Sanders’ plan to provide free government-sponsored health care for all Americans had no co-sponsors in 2013. Today, more than one-third of Senate Democrats and two-thirds of House Democrats have signed onto the proposal, which by one estimate could cost taxpayers as much as $32 trillion.
The co-sponsors include some 2020 presidential prospects, such as Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and California Sen. Kamala Harris.
Those senators aren’t calling themselves democratic socialists but also not disassociating themselves from the movement’s priorities.
Most support the push to abolish ICE, which enforces immigration laws and led the Trump administration’s recent push to separate immigrant families at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Of the group, only Booker hasn’t called for ICE to be abolished, replaced or rebuilt. Yet Booker’s office notes that he’s among the few senators backing a plan to guarantee government-backed jobs to unemployed adults in high-unemployment communities across America.
“Embracing socialist policies like government-run health care, a guaranteed jobs program and open borders will only make Democrats more out of touch,” RNC Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel said.
Despite Ocasio-Cortez’s recent success, most DSA-endorsed candidates have struggled.
Gayle McLaughlin finished eighth in last month’s Democratic primary to become California’s lieutenant governor, earning just 4 percent of the vote. All three endorsed candidates for Maryland’s Montgomery County Council lost last month as well. And Ryan Fenwick was blown out by 58 points in his run to become mayor of Louisville, Kentucky.
Ringelstein, a 32-year-old political neophyte, is expected to struggle in his campaign to unseat Maine Sen. Angus King, an independent who caucuses with Democrats. He is refusing to accept donations from lobbyists or corporate political action committees, which has made fundraising a grind. At the end of June, King’s campaign reported $2.4 million cash on hand while Ringelstein had just $23,000.
He has tapped into the party’s national progressive movement and the southern Maine chapter of the DSA for the kind of grassroots support that fueled Ocasio-Cortez’s victory. As he has done almost every month this year, Ringelstein attended the group’s monthly meeting at Portland’s city hall last Monday.
More than 60 people packed into the room. The group’s chairman, 25-year-old union organizer Meg Reilly, wore a T-shirt featuring three roses.
She cheered the “comrades” softball team’s recent season before moving to an agenda that touched on climate change legislation, a book share program “to further your socialist education,” and an exchange program that lets community members swap favors such as jewelry repair, pet sitting or cooking.
Near the end of the two-hour gathering, Ringelstein thanked the group for “standing shoulder to shoulder with us throughout this entire campaign.”
“We could win a U.S. Senate seat!” he said. “I want to say that over and over. We could win a U.S. Senate seat! So, let’s do this.”
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President Donald Trump said Saturday that his personal lawyer’s taping of their private phone conversations is “totally unheard of & perhaps illegal.”
Trump was responding to the revelation that former attorney Michael Cohen, weeks before the 2016 election, secretly recorded their discussion of a potential payment for a former Playboy model’s account of having an affair with Trump. He tweeted: “The good news is that your favorite President did nothing wrong!”
The recording was part of a large collection of documents and electronic records seized by federal authorities from the longtime Trump fixer earlier this year.
Cohen had made a practice of recording telephone conversations, unbeknownst to those he was speaking with. New York state law allows for recordings of conversations with only the consent of one party; other jurisdictions require all parties to agree to a recording. It was not immediately clear where Trump and Cohen were located at the time of the call.
Cohen’s recording adds to questions about whether Trump tried to quash damaging stories before the election. Trump’s campaign had said it knew nothing about any payment to ex-centerfold Karen McDougal. It could also further entangle the president in a criminal investigation that for months has targeted Cohen.
The erstwhile Trump loyalist has hired a new attorney, Clinton White House veteran Lanny Davis, and disassociated himself from the president as both remain under investigation. Cohen has not been charged with a crime.
Current Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani said the payment was never made and the brief recording shows Trump did nothing wrong.
“The transaction that Michael is talking about on the tape never took place, but what’s important is: If it did take place, the president said it has to be done correctly and it has to be done by check” to keep a proper record of it, Giuliani said.
Davis said “any attempt at spin cannot change what is on the tape.”
“When the recording is heard, it will not hurt Mr. Cohen,” Davis said in a statement.
The recording was first reported Friday by The New York Times.
The FBI raided Cohen’s office, home and hotel room in April, searching in part for information about payments to McDougal and porn actress Stormy Daniels, who received a $130,000 payment from Cohen before the election to keep quiet about a sexual relationship she says she had with Trump. The FBI investigation is separate from special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of election interference in 2016 and potential obstruction of justice by those in the president’s orbit.
Referring to that raid, Trump called it “inconceivable that the government would break into a lawyer’s office (early in the morning).” In past comments Trump has also referred to the court-ordered seizure as a “break-in,” though Cohen has been more sanguine, saying the FBI agents were courteous and respectful.
A self-described fixer for Trump for more than a decade, Cohen said last year he would “take a bullet” for Trump. But he told ABC News in an interview broadcast this month that he now puts “family and country first” and won’t let anyone paint him as “a villain of this story.” On Twitter, he scrubbed mentions and photos of Trump from a profile that previously identified him as “Personal attorney to President Donald J. Trump.”
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President Trump said Saturday that his former lawyer Michael Cohen's reported taping of their phone conversations was "perhaps illegal."
"Inconceivable that the government would break into a lawyer's office (early in the morning) — almost unheard of," Mr. Trump tweeted. "Even more inconceivable that a lawyer would tape a client ...
President Trump on Saturday described former lawyer Michael Cohen’s taping of a private conversation between them as “totally unheard of & perhaps illegal,” but reassured supporters that he has done nothing wrong.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Florida's 2018 midterm election is one of the most important in years. The governor's office and all three Cabinet seats are on the ballot; Republican Gov. Rick Scott is challenging three-term Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson; several congressional seats will be competitive; and Floridians will vote ...