Sessions has no regrets for Hawaii remark

April 22, 2017

(CNN)Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Friday he was not disrespecting Hawaii or a judge in the state when he said he was “amazed” that the official was able to block President Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban halting immigration from several majority Muslim countries. “I wasn’t criticizing the judge or the island,” he told CNN’s Kate Bolduan on “At This Hour.” “I think it’s a fabulous place and had a granddaughter born …

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White House downplays Australia tensions ahead of VP visit

April 22, 2017

(CNN)As Vice President Mike Pence heads to Australia on Friday on the next leg of his Asia-Pacific tour, a White House foreign policy adviser on the trip downplayed President Donald Trump’s early feud with the Australian Prime Minister. The adviser also said the two countries will reaffirm their partnership on security, trade and immigration issues during the visit. But concerns about the US-Australia relationship go beyond a sour first impression, as Pence will have to address thorny …

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Hillary Clinton blasts Trump on LGBT rights

April 21, 2017

Washington (CNN)Hillary Clinton on Thursday warned that President Donald Trump could roll back progress on LGBT rights. “We may not ever be able to count on this administration to lead on LGBT issues,” Clinton said in a speech in New York. Clinton was addressing a fundraising dinner for The Center, an LGBT community organization, where she received an award and thanked members of the audience for supporting her unsuccessful 2016 presidential bid. But she told those gathered there to …

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Trump’s Erdogan call reflects terrorism focus, White House says

April 19, 2017

Washington (CNN)The Trump administration issued one mightily mixed message Monday. President Donald Trump congratulated Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on a contested referendum that granted him broad new powers and deepened concern about the NATO ally’s growing authoritarianways. Trump’s outreach to Erdogan put him on a very short list of those who praised the results, including Hamas, the Palestinian militant group labeled a terrorist organization by the United States. …

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Gen. Allen: Trump should call Turkey’s President back — and say this

April 19, 2017

(CNN)As the White House defends President Donald Trump’s phone call to congratulate Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on his referendum victory that grants him largely unchecked powers, retired Marine Gen. John Allen is urging Trump to place a follow-up call to the controversial leader — and Allen is giving Trump advice on what he should say. “But,” he cautioned, “my hope would be that there is a second phone call, one that doesn’t require a lot of …

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Donald Trump: ‘You always have to be concerned’ about thermonuclear war with North Korea

April 19, 2017

(CNN)President Donald Trump said Tuesday ‘you always have to be concerned’ when he was asked how worried Americans should be about the possibility of nuclear war with North Korea. “Look, you always have to be concerned,” Trump told CNN affiliate WTMJ in Wisconsin. “You don’t know exactly who you’re dealing with. I had a great great meeting with the president of China and that meeting tells me a lot and you’ve seen a lot of things happen. They …

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Trump draws on populist campaign roots as 100th day nears

April 19, 2017

Kenosha, Wisconsin (CNN)“America First, you better believe it. It’s time. It’s time, right?” Nearing the 100-day mark of his presidency, President Donald Trump posed this question to a roomful of manufacturing employees and technical students here Tuesday as he promoted a “Buy American, Hire American” executive order and flashed the populist persona that helped make him the first Republican to win this state in three decades. He pilloried the World Trade …

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Oversight Dem blasts Trump family disclosures, wants Prince to testify

April 19, 2017

(CNN)A top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee blasted the family of President Donald Trump on Tuesday, saying that the approval in China of patents for Ivanka Trump set a new bar for ethical conflicts. “Just when you think you’ve seen it all, Trump offers something else that’s even more outrageous and even more troubling,” said Rep. John Sarbanes in an interview with CNN. “They set a new standard of ethical blindness.” The comment follows reports …

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Trump to push ‘Buy American, Hire American’ policy at Wisconsin visit

April 19, 2017

Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump on Tuesday will sign an executive order directing federal agencies to implement the “Buy American, Hire American” rhetoric of his campaign. The order looks to bolster protections for certain American-made goods and calls for a review of the H-1B visa program for skilled workers, with the goal of reforming the program, senior administration officials said. Trump will sign the executive order during a trip Tuesday to Kenosha, Wisconsin, where he …

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Sen. Ben Cardin: We don’t know if Trump knows what his North Korea policy is

April 18, 2017

Washington (CNN)The top Democrat on the Senate foreign relations committee on Monday implored President Donald Trump to prove he has an effective policy in mind on North Korea. “The Trump administration has not presented to the Congress a coherent policy in regards to North Korea,” Cardin said on CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront.” Over the weekend, North Korea trotted out a slew of missiles in a parade before firing one off, which US Pacific Command said blew up almost …

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Immigration arrests rise in first months of Trump administration

April 18, 2017

Washington (CNN)The number of undocumented immigrant arrests rose by roughly one-third in the first weeks of the Trump administration, largely driven by an increase in the number of non-criminals arrested. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement removal authorities made 21,362 arrests from January 20 to March 13 of this year, including 5,441 non-criminals, according to statistics provided to CNN and first requested by The Washington Post. While the arrests by ICE under President Donald Trump in …

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How Trump could make US a climate pariah over Paris pact

April 18, 2017

(CNN)Reports have it that President Donald Trump will assemble his advisers on Tuesday to decide on whether to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement. Naturally, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, a career-long, oil-industry shill from Oklahoma, is arguing to pull out. Yet even Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, former CEO of ExxonMobil, is arguing to stay. If Trump goes with Pruitt instead of Tillerson, he will immediately create a worldwide consensus on climate action: to fight the …

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President Trump is spending some hefty coin on travel these days

April 17, 2017

He's leaving on a jet plane, don't know when he'll be back again…Image: AP/REX/Shutterstock Where is President Donald Trump this weekend? SEE ALSO: EPA mistakenly tells the truth about Trump’s climate plans If you said his Mar-a-Lago estate, there’s a 54 percent chance you’re right and the Center For American Progress (CAP) is keeping track of all kinds of numbers related to Trump’s frequent Florida fly-away weekends. @BarackObama, the habitual …

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House Russia investigator travels to Cyprus, island at center of Manafort allegations

April 15, 2017

(CNN)A Democrat on the House intelligence committee flew to Cyprus this week as part of the panel’s broad investigation into allegations that Russian operatives and top aides on President Donald Trump’s campaign colluded to influence the US election. “You go to Cyprus because that’s where Russians launder money,” said Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Illinois, in explaining the reason for his trip. The Mediterranean island nation has become a part of the sprawling probe …

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Trump names Garrett, Bachus to Export-Import Bank

April 15, 2017

Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump will nominate former members of Congress Scott Garrett and Spencer Bachus to two vacant positions at the US Export-Import Bank — an entity Trump has in the past called “excess baggage” and agreed with conservatives on shutting down. Garrett would fill the role of Ex-Im president for a four-year term. In the past, Garrett was openly critical of the Ex-Im Bank, tweeting in 2015: “I opposed the House’s vote to reauthorize the …

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US sending ‘dozens’ more troops to Somalia

April 14, 2017

(CNN)The US is sending “dozens” of additional troops to Somalia to train and equip the Somali National Army and the forces participating in the African Union Mission in Somalia there, a US military official confirmed Thursday. President Donald Trump last month granted additional authority to US Africa Command to conduct counterterrorism airstrikes against the terror group. The deployment was first reported by Voice of America. …

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GOP Rep. Mike Coffman stands by his call for Trump to fire Sean Spicer

April 14, 2017

Washington (CNN)A moderate Denver-area Republican repeated his call for President Donald Trump to fire White House press secretary Sean Spicer. “I don’t think he’s serving this President very well,” said Rep. Mike Coffman on CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront” Thursday. Speaking with constituents at a rowdy town hall event Wednesday evening, Coffman faced vocal criticism from constituents who said they wanted him to push back against Trump. When one asked …

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Trump says China has turned back N. Korean coal ships, lauds it as ‘big step’

April 14, 2017

Washington (CNN)US President Donald Trump says China has turned a fleet of coal-carrying cargo ships back to North Korea this week, describing it as a “big step” towards cracking down on the rogue state. China banned all imports of coal from North Korea in mid-February, soon after Pyongyang tested a new intermediate-range missile. Almost all coal shipments to the Chinese city of Dandong, on the North Korean border, since February have been turned back, a source with knowledge of …

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Longtime Trump ally: ‘Heresy’ to accuse Manafort of colluding with Russians

April 13, 2017

(CNN)A longtime friend of President Donald Trump is defending former campaign chairman Paul Manafort in the wake of a report that his consulting firm received at least $1.2 million in payments from a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine. According to the Associated Press, financial records prove the payments, which were listed in a handwritten ledger, were made in 2007 and 2009 — years before Manafort was part of the Trump campaign. Ukrainian investigators claimed the ledger proved the …

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Trump, shocked by Assad, discussed chemical weapons history at Mar-a-Lago

April 13, 2017

(CNN)President Donald Trump, consumed by the idea that a world leader would use chemical weapons on his own people, discussed with staffers and close confidantes at his Mar-a-Lago club Friday about the historical and philosophical context for the use of chemical weapons, aides and people who spoke to Trump told CNN. Full interview: Sean Spicer’s apology An administration document on the use of chemical weapons since World War I was also part of a briefing provided to the …

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Trump should be fighting ISIS, not Syria

April 13, 2017

(CNN)What’s the White House’s next move when it comes to Syria? Let’s hope nothing. President Donald Trump’s salvo of cruise missiles against a military airfield in Syria last week brought bipartisan acclaim, and that’s a major cause for concern. In a partisan age, the American media likes to report on any seemingly bipartisan agreement, and has an interest in subtly cheering any US military campaign, despite its size or scope, because it almost always leads to …

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White House: Federal hiring freeze over, ‘surgical’ cuts begin

April 12, 2017

Washington (CNN)The Trump administration, in an attempt to remake the size and scope of the federal government, will inform federal agencies Wednesday that President Donald Trump’s federal ban on hiring is over. But the Office of Management and Budget expects agencies to begin implementing more “targeted” and “surgical” cuts to agency staffing. Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said Tuesday the guidance, which will go out to agencies Wednesday …

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Trump nominates John Sullivan for No. 2 spot at State

April 12, 2017

Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump has nominated attorney John Sullivan to serve as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s deputy, the White House announced Tuesday. Sullivan is a partner at Mayer Brown in Washington and co-chairs the law firm’s national security practice. His nomination to the No. 2 spot at the State Department would fill one of the key national security positions still vacant as Democrats slow-walk the President’s nominees. Sullivan previously served as …

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CNN Exclusive: Classified docs contradict Nunes surveillance claims, GOP and Dem sources say

April 12, 2017

Washington (CNN)After a review of the same intelligence reports brought to light by House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes, both Republican and Democratic lawmakers and aides have so far found no evidence that Obama administration officials did anything unusual or illegal, multiple sources in both parties tell CNN. Their private assessment contradicts President Donald Trump’s allegations that former Obama national security adviser Susan Rice broke the law by requesting the …

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Trump denies climate change, but could one day be its victim

April 11, 2017

(CNN)Not far from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort, one expert after another warned Monday about the dangers that rising sea levels pose to Florida’s coast. Not that surprising, except this was a Senate committee field hearing challenging the position shared by President Donald Trump and many Republicans in Congress that climate change isn’t real. The site of the hearing — just four miles from Trump’s weekend getaway in Palm Beach — was clearly intended to send a …

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