Another Europe trip for Melania Trump means forging new relationships

July 6, 2017

(CNN)First lady Melania Trump is back in Europe. “This trip, for me, has been very special, and I will never forget the women and children I met,” the first lady said at the end of the visit, speaking to American troops and their families in Sicily. “As one of the kids at the hospital that I visit said in a picture he drew for me: We are all the same.”…

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What the federal government can get from your voter file

July 6, 2017

Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump’s election integrity commission won’t have access to all of the information it would like because of state laws that map out what is and what is not publicly available — triggering a national conversation on the privacy of voters’ information. The letter said the commission is seeking to collect feedback from the states that can be used in its work studying the US election system’s integrity….

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Qatar responds to demands from four Arab nations

July 5, 2017

Doha, Qatar (CNN)The four Arab states in a diplomatic standoff with Qatar say they have received a response from Doha to their list of demands, according to Saudi Arabian state media. The country had until Wednesday to reply to a list of 13 stipulations after the four-country bloc had agreed to extend the initial deadline by 48 hours. Al Jazeera: What you need to know

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Trump faces stiff challenge in Merkel, Putin showdowns

July 5, 2017

Washington (CNN)When President Donald Trump visited Europe six weeks ago, he and his counterparts parted ways atop a Sicilian cliff feeling agitated and bruised following a long set of disagreements. Returning to the continent Wednesday, Trump and those same European leaders will give it another go, with expectations of fostering a newly warm relationship far lower. Instead, both sides expect further clashes between the US President and leaders like German…

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White House chief usher: equal parts ringmaster, palace guard, and consigliere

July 2, 2017

(CNN)Traditionally, the chief usher of the White House hasn’t been someone who comes and goes with each administration; it’s a position that endures. The White House chief usher as a fixture of the institution is as American as apple pie. First lady Melania Trump recently announced that Timothy Harleth, who worked at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, will be the next White House chief usher. He joins a select…

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DHS shifts focus of funding to counter violent extremism

July 2, 2017

(CNN)The Department of Homeland Security is cutting some organizations out of grant money to counter violent extremism — including nearly a dozen that the Obama administration considered worthy of receiving the funds. One such organization is Life After Hate, which the Obama administration told just before leaving office in January would receive $400,000 to expand its outreach and intervention services for former white supremacists and others in the “criminal underground.”

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Trump to get China, Japan leaders on the phone

July 2, 2017

(CNN)US President Donald Trump will make back-to-back phone calls to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sunday, the White House announced Saturday night. No information was provided as to what subjects the calls would cover, but they come after an eventful week in East Asia politics. Trump warns North Korea: US patience is over China’s President issues ‘red line’ warning

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Cuts threaten rural hospitals ‘hanging on by their fingernails’

July 2, 2017

(CNN)One Monday in 2013, Dr. Alluri Raju learned that the only hospital in rural Richland, Georgia, would close on Wednesday. But there were still patients in hospital beds and surgeries scheduled for Wednesday. Ultimately, the hospital closed that Friday, leaving the rural town without a hospital for miles. Raju, who had been the hospital’s chief of staff, is now the only doctor left in the town a two-hour drive south…

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First on CNN: Kamala Harris maneuvers to help 2018 Democrats — and build a national profile

July 1, 2017

Washington (CNN)Sen. Kamala Harris is using her newfound progressive stardom to raise money for her Democratic colleagues — and amplifying buzz about the California freshman as a prospect for the party’s 2020 presidential nomination in the process. The email list Harris has used to raise the bulk of that money is 10 times the size it was at this time last year, during her Senate campaign. She’s used that list…

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Trump administration’s talk on human trafficking must be matched by deeds

July 1, 2017

(CNN)The United States has been the world leader in fighting human trafficking and modern slavery. But that leadership is now at risk. There is no middle ground in the struggle against slavery. American history commands commitment to slavery eradication. The US must be either freedom’s champion or slavery’s accomplice. Read: US lists China as among worst human trafficking offenders Trafficking survivor wants to end ‘The Game’ Fighting modern slavery on…

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Callan: The problem with Mika and Joe’s Trump allegation

July 1, 2017

(CNN)As most Americans begin a particularly lengthy Fourth of July holiday weekend, television screens, and virtually all the media are focused on the burning questions: “Did Mika really have a face-lift?” and “Did Trump really tweet that?” In Mika Brzezinski’s case, however,the answer is being seriously discussed as possibly having a bearing on whether the President of the United States has committed an act of possible criminal blackmail and/or extortion…

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States try to force Trump’s hand on DACA

July 1, 2017

Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump has let one Obama-era immigration policy continue — and conservative states are running out of patience. At the heart of the threat is ongoing litigation in another related program — giving the attorneys general an opening to squeeze the administration on DACA.

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GOP congressman: Trump’s tweets ‘ugly’ and ‘indefensible’

July 1, 2017

(CNN)A Republican congressman who supported Donald Trump for president refused to defend him Thursday night after a pair of tweets led to strong criticism from both Democrats and Republicans that it was beneath the dignity of the office he holds. Rep. Lee Zeldin called the tweets “ugly” and “indefensible.” Zeldin also warned the tweets could pose problems for Trump with the people who voted for him. “When he talks about…

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Jennifer Granholm: Trump a ‘snowflake’ for tweet attacking Brzezinski

July 1, 2017

Washington (CNN)Jennifer Granholm, the former governor of Michigan, called Donald Trump a “snowflake” Thursday evening, after the President tweeted an attack on “Morning Joe” host Mika Brzezinski earlier in the day. “His ego is so fragile. He’s such a snowflake that anything like this sets him off,” she told CNN’s Jim Sciutto on “Erin Burnett OutFront.”

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Why Obamacare is here to stay, even as GOP strives for repeal

June 30, 2017

Washington (CNN)Senate Republicans continue to work to repeal and repeal Obamacare, but even if they succeed, it has become clear this week that the law has fundamentally shifted expectations surrounding health care in the country. “You can’t just erase Obamacare and go back,” said Georgia Republican Sen. David Perdue. Psaki: Dems should negotiate healthcare with GOP McConnell threatens bipartisanship

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US, China relations begin to cool as Trump’s honeymoon with Xi ends

June 30, 2017

(CNN)In a flurry of announcements likely to antagonize Beijing, US President Donald Trump’s administration has seemingly thrown its China policy into reverse, cooling relations between the two super powers. Trump and Xi had previously enjoyed an unusually cordial relationship since their first February meeting in Florida, with the US president describing Xi as a “terrific person” with whom he had a “very good relationship.” The arms sale came the same…

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Delegitimizing his presidency, one tweet at a time

June 30, 2017

Washington (CNN)It marked a rare presidential moment on a most un-presidential day — Donald Trump stood at a podium flanked by flags as “Stars and Stripes Forever” rang out, after delivering a speech on energy. The controversy was yet another reminder, a few days ahead of America’s birthday, that Trump is a leader like no other in the nation’s 241-year history, who plans to stay true to himself and is…

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Burr ‘confident’ he will view Comey memos soon

June 30, 2017

Washington (CNN)Senate intelligence committee Chairman Richard Burr said Wednesday he’s requested former FBI Director James Comey’s memos from the FBI and is confident he will get access to the documents soon. Burr, who is leading the Senate’s investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 US election, said the FBI has not yet provided the committee with access to Comey’s memos, which detail the former FBI director’s interactions with President Donald…

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Kelly: Election hacking attempts ‘way of the future’

June 29, 2017

Washington (CNN)Attempts to hack elections will continue in the future, the secretary of Homeland Security said Wednesday — so election officials better prepare. Kelly said at an event at the Center for a New American Security that his agency will offer to help states and localities on an entirely “voluntary basis” — but strongly encouraged officials to get help from somewhere.

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North Korea casts shadow as Trump and Moon meet for first time

June 29, 2017

(CNN)The leaders of the US and South Korea share a common goal: Get North Korea to abandon the nuclear and missile programs that have rapidly expanded under the country’s supreme leader, Kim Jong Un. Moon, a liberal who took office last month after his conservative predecessor was impeached on corruption charges, is a strong proponent of engagement with Pyongyang. How much damage can North Korea’s weapons do? Foreign policy of…

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Rep. Pete King on health care bill: ‘It’s wrong to pass something for the sake of passing it’

June 29, 2017

(CNN)Hours after President Donald Trump told reporters to expect a “big surprise” on the stalled Senate health care bill, one Republican lawmaker slammed the bill, invoking the “do no harm” principle. The New York lawmaker voted for the House health care bill, but has come out against the Senate bill. “The Senate did, as far as I can tell, take care of the pre-existing conditions questions, but if anything, they’ve…

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