• Breaking with tradition, Trump White House forgoes Ramadan dinner
  • We now live in a world in which White House press briefings must be drawn to be seen
  • Editor’s Note
  • Is Mexico the world’s second most dangerous country, as Trump says? That depends
  • Hillary Clinton: GOP is ‘death party’ if health care bill passes

Breaking with tradition, Trump White House forgoes Ramadan dinner

(CNN)For the first time in nearly two decades, the White House did not host an iftar dinner to commemorate Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting. “Muslims in the United States joined those around the world during the holy month of Ramadan to focus on acts of faith and charity,” they said. “Now, as they commemorate Eid with family and friends, they carry on the tradition of helping neighbors and…

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We now live in a world in which White House press briefings must be drawn to be seen

CNN sent a sketch artist to cover Spicer's Friday meeting.Image: Bill Hennessy When life gives you off-camera White House press briefings, make your Supreme Court sketch artist draw them. That seems to have been CNN’s thought, anyway. SEE ALSO: Twitter comedian Mike Huckabee burns CNN with 100% flawless joke The network sent its Supreme Court sketch artist Bill Hennessy to visit White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s domain on Friday….

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Is Mexico the world’s second most dangerous country, as Trump says? That depends

(CNN)President Donald Trump rankled Mexico again, this time calling it the second deadliest country in the world. If you go with raw numbers, Trump is right Trump is believed to be citing a report from the International Institute for Strategic Studies; he previously retweeted a link to a CNN story on the report published in May. The British think tank, which produces an annual armed conflict survey, said that in…

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White House responds to Comey tape inquiry with Trump tweet

Washington (CNN)The White House is letting President Donald Trump’s tweet Thursday — asserting that he had not taped former FBI Director James Comey — stand as the President’s official statement. “In response to the Committee’s inquiry, we refer you to President Trump’s June 22, 2017, statement regarding this matter: “With all of the recently reported electronic surveillance, intercepts, unmasking and illegal leaking of information, I have no idea whether there…

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State Department plans to eliminate special envoy on Afghanistan, Pakistan

Washington (CNN)The State Department is planning to eliminate the position of Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, senior US officials confirmed to CNN Friday. But the decision to eliminate this particular post comes at a time when President Donald Trump’s administration is re-evaluating US military strategy in Afghanistan, potentially paving the way towards sending several thousand more troops to the country. That timing raises questions about where civilian leadership fits…

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Trump: ‘Bothersome’ that Mueller is ‘very good friends’ with Comey

(CNN)President Donald Trump said “we’re going to have to see” when asked about the future of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is reportedly investigating whether Trump attempted to obstruct justice. Trump fired Comey over dissatisfaction with how the FBI head was handling the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein later appointed Mueller, a former FBI director, as special counsel to oversee the investigation,…

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Gowdy decries leaks out of Coats meeting with House intelligence

Washington (CNN)Rep. Trey Gowdy on Thursday warned his fellow lawmakers about leaking information from closed briefings. His comments came after CNN’s report that Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and National Security Agency Director Adm. Mike Rogers met individually last week with the Senate intelligence committee in two closed briefings that were described to CNN by Democratic and Republican congressional sources.

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Amid partisanship, lawmakers unite for White House picnic

Washington (CNN)Lawmakers took a rare break from bitter partisan politics and went to the White House Thursday evening for a good old-fashioned picnic. “We’ve gotten to know many of you over the last weeks and months, and developed many friendships with politicians,” Trump said in brief remarks to lawmakers. “Can you believe it? Some really great people, I have to say, mostly. Mostly. A couple of bad ones, but that’s…

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No tapes? Trump has us through the looking glass

(CNN)As the Mad Hatter of the White House tweeted his response to Congress’s questions on Thursday about the existence of audiotapes related to James B. Comey’s firing as FBI director, he stayed true to character. “I did not make, and do not have, any such recordings,” President Trump announced. But he also added that “with all of the recently reported electronic surveillance, intercepts, unmasking and illegal leaking of information, I…

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Georgia 6th loss isn’t the death knell for Democrats

(CNN)The facile headlines the morning after the Georgia 6th donnybrook wrote themselves: Politics ain’t horseshoes. A loss is a loss and Democrats lost a race they had hoped to win Tuesday night. Republicans escaped a disaster that would have sent tremors through Capitol Hill. The shaky effort to scrap Obamacare escaped a potentially deadly setback, as a loss would have further shaken timorous Senate Republicans at a critical juncture.

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Father pays tribute to son who died aboard the USS Fitzgerald

(CNN)The words that leaked from Darrold Martin’s lips pulled at the heartstrings of CNN’s Brooke Baldwin — and her audience. One missed call Thirty-six minutes after the collision, 24-year-old Martin tried to reach his father. “The way we communicated was with WhatsApp,” Martin said, referring to the instant-messaging service. Martin could tell from his phone that his son had tried to reach him — likely as water was rushing into…

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What an autopsy may (or may not) have revealed about Otto Warmbier’s death

(CNN)What happened to Otto Warmbier while he was in North Korean custody is a mystery. And it’s likely to remain that way. Following his death on Monday, Warmbier’s parents Cindy and Fred asked the coroner not to perform an autopsy on their son. “No conclusions about the cause and manner of Mr. Warmbier’s death have been drawn at this time, as there are additional medical records and imaging to review…

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New US sanctions on Russia inflame old tensions

Washington (CNN)Russia’s frustration with the Trump administration boiled over Wednesday, with Moscow abruptly canceling talks designed to improve ties with the US and threatening retaliation for sanctions the White House renewed Tuesday. Analysts say that Russia’s leaders also want to convey in no uncertain terms that, after waiting for Trump to establish warmer ties, they’re now ready to get more adversarial if need be.

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Rep. Quigley: Kushner’s clearance ‘absolutely’ should be suspended

(CNN)President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and top aide Jared Kushner should “absolutely” have his security clearance suspended, Rep. Mike Quigley told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer in an interview Wednesday afternoon. Cummings’ letter criticized the White House for allowing fired national security adviser Michael Flynn to keep a security clearance despite concerns raised by then-acting Attorney General Sally Yates that he could be vulnerable to blackmail based on intelligence assessments that she reviewed;…

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The secrets behind Kim Jong Un’s personal piggy bank

(CNN)When the world’s most mysterious leader arrives for a parade, he steps out of a black Mercedes Benz and onto a red carpet. “North Korea has blatantly violated international law with their nuclear testing, illicit sales, and the ramping up of their nuclear program,” said Republican Representative Doug Lamborn, a member of the House Armed Services Committee and a leading advocate for missile defense in Washington. It’s nearly impossible to…

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Anger over Warmbier death grows amid calls for travel ban

Washington (CNN)Anger over Otto Warmbier’s fate continued to build Tuesday, with lawmakers declaring his death a “murder” and calling for travel restrictions to North Korea while the Trump administration considered how to respond. The calls for a response come as spy satellites detected new activity at North Korea’s underground nuclear test site for the first time in several weeks, according to two US officials who spoke to CNN. They also…

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Marco Rubio opens Twitter ‘investigation’ into failed Ivanka Trump hug

Washington (CNN)Sen. Marco Rubio went on a tweetstorm Tuesday afternoon after his greeting with Ivanka Trump on Capitol Hill earlier that day went viral. He also added that he and his team were attempting to obtain video footage of the encounter to expose what really happened between himself and the White House adviser and first daughter. A call for help came next, when Rubio asked those who happened to be…

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