Politics

Politics

Trump returns to ‘Witch Hunt’ tweets against Mueller probe

Capping a week of drama, back-tracking and blistering statements from allies about his attitude toward Russian election interference, President Donald Trump on Monday returned to familiar rhetoric, referring to the special counsel’s Russia probe as a “hoax” and “Witch Hunt.” Trump spent last week trying to reassure the country that he accepts that the longtime foe interfered in the 2016 election, despite his public undermining of U.S. intelligence agencies in Helsinki while standing alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin. But Trump cast doubt once again in a Sunday tweet, diminishing at least the significance, if not the existence, of the interference and the U.S. investigation into Russia’s actions. “So President Obama knew about Russia before...

Iran dismisses Trump’s explosive threat to country’s leader

Iranians on Monday shrugged off the possibility that a bellicose exchange of words between President Donald Trump and his Iranian counterpart could escalate into military conflict, but expressed growing concern America’s stepped-up sanctions could damage their fragile economy. In his latest salvo, Trump tweeted late on Sunday that hostile threats from Iran could bring dire consequences. This was after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani remarked earlier in the day that “America must understand well that peace with Iran is the mother of all peace and war with Iran is the mother of all wars.” Trump tweeted: “NEVER EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKE OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE.” Within hours, ...

Where the Mueller investigation stands right now

The first trial in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is set to begin this week when former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort heads to court in Alexandria, Virginia. Although Manafort is the first to face trial, the recent indictment of 12 Russian military intelligence officers could be a sign that Mueller’s investigation is heating up. More than 30 individuals and/or companies have now been charged in Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election. It’s also spurred other investigations, including an ongoing probe by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump continues to call for an end to what he repeatedly refers to as a “witch hunt.” Here’s a quick look at where things stand. The 12 Russia...

DNI Coats says he did not mean to criticize Trump’s actions

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Rep. Debbie Dingell on next steps for tax reforms

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Lawyer says there are other Trump-Cohen ‘tapes’ and he knows ‘substance of some’

Michael Avenatti, the outspoken lawyer who’s representing adult-film actress Stormy Daniels in her case against the president, claimed former longtime Trump personal attorney Michael Cohen recorded more than one conversation with Donald Trump — and that he knows “the substance” of what they discussed. “I know the substance of some of the tapes,” Avenatti told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on “This Week” Sunday. The New York Times was first to report the existence of a recorded conversation between then-candidate Trump and Cohen, his attorney at the time. In the recording, which was discovered during a court-ordered seizure of Cohen’s business records and documents, Trump talks about making a payment linked to former Playbo...

Judge, calm in court, takes hard line on splitting families

U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw appeared conflicted in early May on whether to stop families from being separated at the border. He challenged the Trump administration to explain how families were getting a fair hearing guaranteed by the Constitution, but also expressed reluctance to get too deeply involved with immigration enforcement. “There are so many (enforcement) decisions that have to be made, and each one is individual,” he said in his calm, almost monotone voice. “How can the court issue such a blanket, overarching order telling the attorney general, either release or detain (families) together?” Sabraw showed how more than seven weeks later in a blistering opinion faulting the administration and its “zero tolerance” policy for a “crisis&#...

‘Historic mistake’ to allow US president to meet with Putin: Former Obama adviser

A former national security adviser to President Barack Obama said Donald Trump’s “national security team needs to know everything” about the lengthy one-on-one meeting he had with Vladimir Putin, calling the meeting a “historic mistake” and saying it would have been for any U.S. president. “We need to know everything, and the president’s national security team needs to know everything,” Susan Rice, who also served as ambassador to the United Nations during Obama’s first term, said Sunday on “This Week.” “It was a historic mistake to allow the president of the United States, not just Donald Trump, but any president, frankly, to sit for two hours without any note takers, without any aides present with one of the most adv...

US silent on whether envoys discussed suspected Russia agent

The U.S. version of what the top American and Russian diplomats discussed in their most recent telephone call makes no mention of the Russian woman arrested by American authorities and suspected of being a covert Kremlin agent — even though Moscow says her case came up in the conversation. The State Department’s description Sunday of the officials’ call mentions “a broad range of issues,” including Syria, counterterrorism, dialogue between U.S. and Russian businesses and “diplomatic access.” But Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement Saturday that Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (sir-GAY’ lahv-RAWF’) had complained in the call to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (pahm-PAY’-oh) about the arrest of Maria Butina on “fabrica...

‘The president acts like he’s compromised’ by Russian government: Top House Intel Dem

Responding to the way President Donald Trump conducted himself during a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee said Trump “acts like he’s compromised” by the Kremlin. “I think there’s no ignoring the fact that, for whatever reason, this president acts like he’s compromised,” Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos Sunday on “This Week.” “There is simply no other way to explain why he would side with this Kremlin, a former KGB officer, rather than his own intelligence agencies.” Trump met with Putin privately for more than two hours in Helsinki Monday, with only their interpreters present. The two leaders held a joint press confer...

Little public support for Trump in doubting Russian interference

A majority of Americans disapprove of Donald Trump casting doubt about U.S. intelligence on Russian interference in the 2016 election, with relatively modest support for the president even in his own party and among conservatives in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll. The public by a 17-point margin also says America’s leadership in the world has gotten weaker, not stronger, under Trump. And just 33 percent approve of his handling of his summit with Vladimir Putin last week, with four in 10 saying he went too far in supporting the Russian leader. See PDF for full results, charts and tables. Just 51 percent of Republicans and 44 percent of conservatives approve of Trump questioning U.S. intelligence on the matter, tepid levels of support in his base. In the political center, 59 percent of ...

Intelligence chief says on-stage laugh not meant as disrespect to Trump

Like the White House this week, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats was backpedaling on Saturday after his off-the-cuff reaction, live on stage, drew collective gasps for its apparent shots at President Donald Trump. Coats was on stage conducting an interview at the Aspen Security Forum on Thursday when NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell asked him about a tweet stating Trump was inviting Russian President Vladimir Putin to the White House in the fall. He responded, “Say that again?” He heartily laughed and then followed with a sarcastic, “OK. … That’s gonna be special.” But on Saturday, Coats said he never meant the comments as a slight to the president and blamed the media for mischaracterizing the response. “Some press coverage has mischarac...