Chelsea Manning posts first picture of herself since release

May 19, 2017

Washington (CNN)Chelsea Manning posted the first image of herself on Thursday since her release from military prison. “Okay, so here I am everyone!!” Manning wrote on Instagram. Okay, so here I am everyone!! . . #HelloWorld A post shared by Chelsea E. Manning (@xychelsea87) on May 18, 2017 at 9:55am PDT Manning was convicted in 2013 on 20 charges, including violating the Espionage Act, for leaking a massive trove of…

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Chinese fighter flies inverted over US Air Force jet

May 19, 2017

(CNN)Two Chinese Su-30 fighter jets intercepted a US Air Force radiation detection plane over the East China Sea Wednesday, according to the US Pacific Air Forces. “While we are still investigating the incident, initial reports from the U.S. aircrew characterized the intercept as unprofessional. The issue is being addressed with China through appropriate diplomatic and military channels,” Hodge said. Earlier, a US official told CNN the Chinese jets came within…

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GOP congressman: Comey may break his silence as early as next week

May 19, 2017

(CNN)A Republican congressman said Thursday night that Congress and the nation may be just days away from James Comey breaking his silence after being fired as FBI director by President Donald Trump. A senior GOP source previously told CNN it was unlikely Comey would testify publicly now that former FBI Director Robert Mueller has been named special counsel for the investigation into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russian…

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First on CNN: House Russia investigators get access to Treasury data

May 19, 2017

(CNN)Investigators on the House intelligence committees have obtained access to valuable data from the Treasury Department, a development that will open their doors to investigate possible connections between President Donald Trump’s business empire and Russians, CNN has learned. Investigators received access to the financial data this week, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the development. Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee told reporters Thursday…

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Israelis on edge before Trump visit

May 19, 2017

Jerusalem (CNN)Only days before President Donald Trump visits Jerusalem, Israeli politicians describe an atmosphere of “nervousness” and “confusion.” One politician put it more bluntly. “No one has any idea what the plan is.” Confusion over status of Western Wall

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Mueller and Comey have a history

May 19, 2017

Washington (CNN)Just over a week after President Donald Trump fired James Comey as FBI director, the Department of Justice appointed Comey’s predecessor, former FBI Director Robert Mueller, as special counsel for the investigation into Russian attempts to influence the 2016 election. The two former FBI chiefs have a unique relationship, stemming in large part from working side by side during a major confrontation with the Bush administration. By sheer coincidence,…

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Surprise, relief dominate Capitol Hill after special counsel named for Russia investigation

May 18, 2017

(CNN)Some Republicans joined Democrats in breathing a sigh of relief Wednesday at news that deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had appointed a special counsel to lead the investigation into whether Trump’s campaign had any ties to Russia. While many members said they were caught off-guard, a bipartisan array of lawmakers applauded the selection of former FBI Director Robert Mueller to lead the investigation. “Wow, that’s news to me. He is…

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Kevin McCarthy: Comment that Putin is paying Trump was bad joke

May 18, 2017

(CNN)House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy says his assertion last year that Russian President Vladimir Putin was paying President Donald Trump was merely a bad attempt at humor. “That’s all there is to it,” McCarthy added. “No one believes it to be true.” The Post reported McCarthy said in a conversation with fellow Republican leaders: “There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump,” according to a recording of the…

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10 relevant quotes from Robert Mueller’s FBI farewell

May 18, 2017

Washington (CNN)Many Republican and Democratic lawmakers on Wednesday reacted positively to news that former FBI Director Robert Mueller was appointed special counsel to oversee the federal investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. And there’s a reason for their confidence: Mueller has long been widely respected by many in Washington. Back in 2013, the Department of Justice held a farewell ceremony for Mueller, who was retiring after 12 years…

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Trump donors closely watch the daily fracas, whether it’s Comey or Israel

May 18, 2017

Washington (CNN)The scandals that are metastasizing around the Trump administration are rankling some of the President’s largest contributors, who were already in short supply after his insurgent campaign. The political fallout of President Donald Trump’s decision to fire James Comey grew messier this week when news emerged that he had allegedly urged the FBI director to drop an investigation into Trump’s former aide. It’s another distraction for Trump’s legislative agenda,…

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What is a special counsel and how much power do they have?

May 18, 2017

Washington (CNN)In announcing the appointment of a special counsel to oversee the investigation of Russian government efforts to influence the presidential election, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said he made the move in part because of the “unique circumstances of this matter.” By choosing former FBI Director Robert Mueller to serve, Rosenstein picked an FBI veteran with broad support on both sides of the aisle and sterling reputation. The move…

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This is what Obama told his friend about Donald Trump

May 18, 2017

(CNN)While President Donald Trump is embroiled in controversy — with regularity — Barack and Michelle Obama are enjoying a less-harried lifestyle these days, at least according to the cover story in the new issue of People magazine. Also of note in the feature? Barack Obama apparently thinks Trump is full of it. “He’s nothing but a bullshitter,” is what a friend who spoke with People said of how the former…

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What is obstruction of justice?

May 18, 2017

Washington (CNN)In the wake of reports that President Donald Trump told former FBI Director James Comey to end a probe into former national security adviser Michael Flynn, questions are being raised about whether the President’s actions amounted to obstruction of justice. “‘Close it down’ is an instruction to stop investigating President Trump’s campaign,” CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Tuesday. “Richard Nixon was impeached in 1974…

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Gergen: ‘We’re in impeachment territory now’

May 17, 2017

(CNN)If President Trump truly did ask James Comey to end the investigation into national security adviser Michael Flynn — as the former FBI director is said to have claimed in a memo — then the United States has reached a rare tipping point, David Gergen said Tuesday night. “After watching the Clinton impeachment I thought I’d never see another one, but I think we’re in impeachment territory now for the…

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Amid chaos, couple gets engaged at White House

May 17, 2017

(CNN)It took Tommy Schultz months to plan, but amid the chaos at the White House on Tuesday afternoon, he’s finally engaged to Ashley Harvey. The two have dated for two years, after meeting in Nashville. When Schultz moved to Washington for work, Harvey soon followed. “I knew I needed to do something special like that,” said Schultz. When he finally got the White House tour, he quickly called Harvey’s parents…

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The James Comey memo is an existential threat to Donald Trump’s presidency

May 17, 2017

(CNN)The reporting coming out of The New York Times and CNN is explosive: Deposed FBI Director James Comey wrote a memo following a February 14 meeting with Donald Trump in which he says the President told him “I hope you can let this go” in regard to fired aide Michael Flynn’s role in the ongoing investigation into Russia’s efforts to influence the 2016 campaign. “Reluctantly I have to say yes,”…

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Friend of Trump: Comey was not obligated to tell Congress

May 17, 2017

(CNN)A friend of President Donald Trump told CNN that former FBI Director James Comey should not have gone to Congress with the information he detailed in a memo — as some have suggested — explosive details from which were made public Tuesday. This source, who has knowledge of the legal issues surrounding Comey, said he “was in the middle of an ongoing investigation” and “everybody would lawyer up and head…

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DHS issues homegrown terror bulletin

May 17, 2017

Washington (CNN)The Department of Homeland Security renewed a bulletin late Monday that warned of the dangers posed by homegrown terrorists and called the threat environment in the country one of the “most serious” since the 9/11 attacks. “We face one of the most serious terror threat environments since the 9/11 attacks as foreign terrorist organizations continue to exploit the Internet to inspire, enable, or direct individuals already here in the…

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Behind the scenes of the hunt for a new FBI director

May 17, 2017

(CNN)Attorney General Jeff Sessions and deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein have interviewed multiple candidates for FBI director, according to sources familiar with the process who described the hour-long interview sessions as professional and business-like. The firing of FBI Director James Comey and Russia were not raised in the interviews, sources say. The meetings focused on the FBI, issues of concern such as terror threats and cybersecurity, and especially combating violent…

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Nancy Pelosi: Trump sharing classified info would be ‘very, very damaging’

May 17, 2017

Washington (CNN)House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said if President Donald Trump revealed intelligence from a US ally to Russian officials, it would be “very, very damaging.” Pelosi made her comments at a CNN town hall Monday evening moderated by anchor Chris Cuomo in the wake of a Washington Post report citing current and former US officials saying Trump revealed highly classified information in a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey…

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Freida Pinto sees ‘Guerrilla’ as a timely story about racial strife

May 16, 2017

(CNN)“Guerrilla” may have wrapped up Sunday night on Showtime, but Freida Pinto sees endless life in the tale it tells. Pinto plays one half of that couple — a woman named Jas who is overcome with anger and frustration by the racial and social injustices of the time. She stars alongside Babou Ceesay, who plays Jas’s boyfriend Marcus, and Idris Elba, who as Jas’s ex Kent. “In playing [Jas], you…

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Dershowitz: Most serious charge ever against a sitting US president

May 16, 2017

(CNN)Defense attorney and constitutional law scholar Alan Dershowitz said Monday that President Donald Trump is now facing “the most serious charge ever made against a sitting president” after reports that he shared highly classified information with Russia’s foreign minister and ambassador during a White House visit last week. “I get great intel. I have people brief me on great intel every day,” one official with knowledge told the Post Trump…

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Trump again reveals his dangerous incompetence

May 16, 2017

(CNN)The Washington Post published yet another bombshell report about our President Monday. The story, citing unnamed US officials, alleges that Donald Trump gave visiting Russian officials details of intelligence on ISIS and a plot to blow up planes using laptops — information that had been given to the United States by an ally. Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and its ambassador to the United States, Sergei Kislyak, were made privy…

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If the president says it, is it no longer classified?

May 16, 2017

Washington (CNN)If President Donald Trump did indeed reveal highly classified information to the Russian foreign minister and Russian ambassador, many lawmakers said his actions are irresponsible and potentially dangerous. But were they illegal? “This (what Trump did) is worse than criminal,” Alan Dershowitz, Harvard Law Professor Emeritus, said on “Erin Burnett OutFront” on Monday. But, he added: “It’s not criminal.”

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Intel officials: Trump disclosure ‘carelessly’ threatened relationship with ally

May 16, 2017

Washington (CNN)A Washington Post report that President Donald Trump shared highly classified information with Russian diplomats in a meeting last week drew immediate reactions from intelligence officials, who warn any revelations jeopardizing “a critical source of intelligence on the Islamic State” would severely impact international cooperation on matters of national security. The report claims that Trump relayed sensitive details gathered through an intelligence-sharing arrangement with an allied nation. This could…

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State Dept. left in the dark about Tillerson statement on Post’s Trump report

May 16, 2017

Washington (CNN)Confusion at the upper levels of US government was on display Monday as the White House scrambled to respond to a report that President Donald Trump disclosed highly classified information to Russian officials last week. The only issue: State Department officials had no idea the statement had come out, learning about it only from CNN. It was more than 20 minutes later before Tillerson’s agency released the same terse…

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