Former commander who oversaw Bin Laden raid asks Trump to revoke his security clearance

The former commander of the U.S. Joint Special Operations Command, who also oversaw the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, has a request for President Donald Trump: Revoke his security clearance.

Retired Navy Adm. William McRaven on Thursday wrote in an op-ed that he would “consider it an honor” to have his clearance revoked so that he could add his “name to the list of men and women who have spoken up against your presidency.”

The op-ed, which was published in The Washington Post, comes a day after the White House announced that it was revoking former CIA Director John Brennan’s clearance and reviewing those of a number of other former officials who have disagreed with the administration.

The White House is evaluating clearances for former FBI Director James Comey, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former National Security Agency Director Michael Hayden, former national security adviser Continue reading “Former commander who oversaw Bin Laden raid asks Trump to revoke his security clearance”

Omarosa releases recording of $15K-per-month job offer from Lara Trump

Omarosa Manigault Newman on Thursday released a recording of what appeared to be President Donald Trump’s daughter-in-law and campaign adviser Lara Trump offering the former "Apprentice" star a job on the president’s campaign for $15,000 a month — an offer Manigault Newman said she saw as an "attempt to buy" her silence.

The newly released tape, one of multiple to come out this week, is the first since Trump’s campaign filed an arbitration proceeding against Manigualt Newman alleging that she violated a 2016 nondisclosure agreement, an accusation Manigault Newman has denied. The recording also appears to authenticate the claim Manigault Newman made in her recently released book, that she was offered a $15,000-per-month job with the Trump campaign after being fired by the administration.

"The president has said he’s happy I was fired, I’m a lowlife, I’m a dog, all these things. But then you find out behind the scenes Continue reading “Omarosa releases recording of $15K-per-month job offer from Lara Trump”

Trump labels media ‘the opposition party’ as newspapers push back en masse

President Donald Trump lashed out at the media Thursday morning, identifying the "fake news" as "the opposition party" on the same day that hundreds of newspapers nationwide printed editorials critical of the president’s rhetoric towards the media.

"THE FAKE NEWS MEDIA IS THE OPPOSITION PARTY. It is very bad for our Great Country….BUT WE ARE WINNING!" Trump wrote on Twitter Thursday.

More than 350 news outlets published editorials Thursday denouncing the president’s threats against the press. The call for the widespread rebuke of the president was spurred by The Boston Globe.

"Journalists are not classified as fellow Americans, but rather ‘The enemy of the people,’" the Boston Globe’s editorial board wrote. "This relentless assault on the free press has dangerous consequences."

The list of outlets publishing editorials refuting the president’s claim that the press is "the enemy of the people" ranges from big-city newspapers like the New Continue reading “Trump labels media ‘the opposition party’ as newspapers push back en masse”

Trump pulls security clearance of ex-CIA director Brennan

The White House on Wednesday revoked former CIA Director John Brennan’s security clearance, after he became a harsh critic of President Donald Trump.

“Historically, former heads of intelligence and law enforcement agencies have been allowed to retain access to classified information after their government service so that they can consult with their successors regarding matters about which they may have special insights and as a professional courtesy,” press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said during a Wednesday briefing. “Neither of these justifications supports Mr. Brennan’s continued access to classified information.”

The White House last month announced it was seeking to revoke Brennan’s security clearance.

Trump campaign files for arbitration against Omarosa

Donald Trump’s presidential campaign has filed for arbitration proceedings against former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman after she released a tell-all book from her time on the president’s 2016 campaign and in the White House.

"Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. has filed an arbitration against Omarosa Manigault-Newman, with the American Arbitration Association in New York City, for breach of her 2016 confidentiality agreement with the Trump Campaign," a Trump campaign official said.

Manigualt Newman has been on a media blitz for her book "Unhinged," in which she claims that Trump regularly used racial epithets and is a “racist, misogynist and bigot.” She has in the past several days released audio recordings she secretly took of campaign officials, chief of staff John Kelly in the Situation Room, and of Trump.

Manigault Newman was fired from the White House in December 2017.

Annie Karni contributed to this report.

Omarosa shares recording of Trump surprised by her firing

Former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman on Monday revealed a recording from last year of President Donald Trump expressing his surprise and disappointment that she had been fired.

"Omarosa what’s going on? I just saw on the news that you’re thinking about leaving? What happened?” Trump says on the tape, which Manigault Newman said was recorded the day after she was fired and which she provided to NBC’s "Today" show.

“General Kelly came to me and said that you guys wanted me to leave,” Manigault Newman responded.

“No…I, I, Nobody even told me about it,” Trump replied, to which Manigault Newman said "wow."

“You know they run a big operation, but I didn’t know it,” Trump said in the recording. "I didn’t know that. Goddamn it. I don’t love you leaving at all.”

The recording comes a day after the former "Apprentice" star revealed a separate Continue reading “Omarosa shares recording of Trump surprised by her firing”

Giuliani: Mueller could have decision on Trump interview this week

Rudy Giuliani said Monday that he believes special counsel Robert Mueller will respond to President Donald Trump’s legal team on the terms of a possible presidential interview this week, adding that he does not want the Russia investigation to influence the upcoming midterm elections.

"I think he will give us a decision this week on our counter-proposal," Giuliani said during an interview Monday on Fox News. "We are coming down to his looking really bad by interfering in the election. I think he has to get it over with by the beginning — or early September."

Trump’s legal team, which is led by Giuliani, last week replied to special counsel Mueller’s proposal for terms of a possible presidential interview, but would not disclose the details of the counter-offer.

Mueller is charged with investigating whether the Russian government colluded with Trump’s 2016 campaign, as well as related issues including possible Continue reading “Giuliani: Mueller could have decision on Trump interview this week”

North and South Korean leaders will meet in Pyongyang next month

North and South Korean leaders will meet next month for a third time amid growing fears that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has continued to pursue nuclear weapons even as denuclearization talks continue.

Plans for leaders from the two nations to meet next month in Pyongyang, North Korea, were reached Monday after officials met in Panmunjom truce village, which sits inside the Demilitarized Zone, according to Reuters.

Kim and South Korean president Moon Jae-in held a historic meeting last April, smiling shaking hands across their border in a dramatic warming of relations between the two nations, which technically remain at war. The two leaders planned to meet again in the fall.

Kim and Moon met up again in an informal meeting in May, prior to U.S. President Donald Trump’s meeting with Kim in Singapore.

Moon played a crucial role in facilitating the summit between Trump and Kim, the Continue reading “North and South Korean leaders will meet in Pyongyang next month”

Russian Embassy mocks Trump’s Space Force logos

The Russian Embassy in the United States early Friday morning seemingly mocked President Donald Trump’s campaign for a logo for the administration’s newly announced "Space Force."

Using Trump’s favorite mode of communicating, the embassy tweeted "Good Morning, Space Forces!" along with a graphic of a rocket being launched and features the Russian flag. The tweet also links to a Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation’s Space Forces website.

The Space Force, which was announced Thursday, will establish a standalone military Space Force by 2020.

Vice President Mike Pence said during the revealing at the Pentagon that weapons being developed by Russia and China, which include anti-satellite weapons, lasers and hypersonic missiles, could threaten U.S. reliance on space systems.

The force would include creating an elite group of space troops in the same vein as current special operations forces.

Trump in an email asked supporters to vote Continue reading “Russian Embassy mocks Trump’s Space Force logos”

Trump slaps steeper tariffs on Turkey after currency freefall

President Donald Trump announced on Friday that he is doubling tariffs on Turkey after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan asked citizens to convert foreign currencies, including U.S. dollars, into local lira — leading to a dramatic drop in the Turkish currency.

"I have just authorized a doubling of Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum with respect to Turkey as their currency, the Turkish Lira, slides rapidly downward against our very strong Dollar! Aluminum will now be 20% and Steel 50%. Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!" Trump tweeted.

The lira is at an all-time low against the dollar, according to CNBC. The lira has been dropping for the past several days, which Erdoğan has said is a "campaign" against Turkey, according to the Associated Press.

Trump’s announcement of steeper tariffs is his administration’s latest hit against Turkey.

The president on Aug. 1 issued sanctions against Continue reading “Trump slaps steeper tariffs on Turkey after currency freefall”

Trump praises Texas AG’s lawsuit to repeal DACA

President Donald Trump on Thursday praised a lawsuit led by Texas to repeal an Obama-era program that grants work permits to undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children, saying he hopes the legal action is “successful.”

The lawsuit, which was filed against the Trump administration over the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in May, was argued in federal court in Texas on Wednesday by the state’s attorney general, Ken Paxton.

“Ken just filed a very interesting lawsuit which I think is going to be very successful,” Trump said on Thursday in New Jersey during a roundtable discussion on prison reform that included several governors and state attorneys general. “I hope it’s going to be successful.”

Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina and West Virginia have also signed on to the lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Brownsville, Texas.

In the Continue reading “Trump praises Texas AG’s lawsuit to repeal DACA”

U.S. sanctions Russia over nerve agent poisoning

The Trump administration will hit Russia with new sanctions over the attempted assassination in Britain of a former Kremlin spy.

The State Department made the announcement Wednesday after concluding on Aug. 6 that Russia used a banned nerve agent, Novichok, to try and kill the ex-spy, Sergei Skripal, according to spokeswoman Heather Nauert.

Nauert said a U.S. investigation found Moscow had "used chemical or biological weapons in violation of international law or has used lethal chemical or biological weapons against its own nationals."

Skripal, a retired Russian military intelligence officer, and his daughter, Yulia Skripal, were found unconscious in the English city of Salisbury on March 4. United Kingdom authorities said the two had been poisoned with a nerve agent that they believed was produced in Russia.

Yulia Skripal was released from the hospital in April after being treated for the nerve agent attack. Her father was discharged Continue reading “U.S. sanctions Russia over nerve agent poisoning”

Rand Paul delivers letter from Trump to Putin

Sen. Rand Paul on Wednesday delivered a letter from President Donald Trump to Russia President Vladimir Putin that "emphasized the importance of further engagement" between the two leaders.

“I was honored to deliver a letter from President Donald J. Trump to President Vladimir Putin’s administration,” Paul said in a statement.

The letter also highlighted how Putin wants to continue to work together with the U.S. on "countering terrorism, enhancing legislative dialogue and resuming cultural exchanges," Paul said.

Paul has been visiting Moscow this week where he met with Russian officials, in addition to visiting the U.S. embassy in the city. Paul gave the letter to representatives of Putin, as the Russian president has been out of Moscow all week.

On Monday, Paul announced that Russian lawmakers have agreed to visit the U.S. Capitol, which would be the first time in almost three years that an official Russian Continue reading “Rand Paul delivers letter from Trump to Putin”

ACLU sues Trump administration for denying asylum to those fleeing domestic and gang violence

The American Civil Liberties Union on Tuesday filed a federal lawsuit against the Trump administration over its decision to remove asylum protections for victims of domestic and gang violence.

The ACLU is arguing against “expedited removal” policies, put forth by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, that it says “generally” deny claims of violence of that nature.

“This is a naked attempt by the Trump administration to eviscerate our country’s asylum protections,” Jennifer Chang Newell, managing attorney with the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, said in a statement. “It’s clear the administration’s goal is to deny and deport as many people as possible, as quickly as possible.”

The lawsuit, Grace v. Sessions, was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in conjunction with the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.

In June, the attorney general overturned Continue reading “ACLU sues Trump administration for denying asylum to those fleeing domestic and gang violence”

Court rules Mexican mother can sue over cross-border Border Patrol shooting

A woman whose son was killed on Mexican soil by a U.S. Border Patrol agent in Arizona can sue for damages, a federal court ruled Tuesday.

The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Border Patrol agent Lonnie Swartz is not entitled to qualified immunity, saying that the Fourth Amendment — which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures — applies in this case.

"Based on the facts alleged in the complaint, Swartz violated the Fourth Amendment. It is inconceivable that any reasonable officer could have thought that he or she could kill J.A. for no reason," Judge Andrew J. Kleinfeld wrote in the majority opinion. "Thus, Swartz lacks qualified immunity."

Swartz, who was found not guilty in April of second-degree murder for the 2012 shooting, has said he shot at people throwing rocks through the border fence in Nogales, Arizona. A retrial in the case will Continue reading “Court rules Mexican mother can sue over cross-border Border Patrol shooting”

Bolton says U.S. not seeking Iranian regime change

White House national security adviser John Bolton said Monday that the Trump administration is not seeking regime change in Iran even as it moves to reimpose sanctions on the Islamic Republic that had been lifted by the Obama administration as part of a 2015 nuclear agreement.

"Our policy is not regime change," he said during an interview on Fox News. "We want to put unprecedented pressure on the government of Iran to change its behavior. And so far they’ve shown no indication they’re prepared to do that."

The interview came hours ahead of the reimposition of U.S. sanctions on Iran, scheduled to come into effect at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday morning, as a result of President Donald Trump’s decision earlier this year to pull the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear deal.

The sanctions come as protests against the government of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s have become Continue reading “Bolton says U.S. not seeking Iranian regime change”

After Rand Paul meeting, Russian lawmakers agree to Washington visit

Sen. Rand Paul, who has supported President Donald Trump’s effort to improve relations with Russia, announced Monday that Russian lawmakers have agreed to visit the U.S. Capitol.

"Engagement is vital to our national security and peace around the world," Paul (R-Ky.) said in a statement. He is currently in Moscow meeting with Russian officials, in addition to visiting the U.S. embassy in the city.

Paul said he met with Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the Russia Federation Council Committee on Foreign Affairs. The council is Russia’s equivalent of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which Paul is a member of.

During his discussion with Kosachev, Paul said the two "agreed on the importance of continued dialogue." He said he invited the Russian Federation to send a delegation to the capitol, and that Kosachev "agreed to take this important next step."

A date for the possible visit was Continue reading “After Rand Paul meeting, Russian lawmakers agree to Washington visit”

Files contradict Trump claims of voter fraud, Maine official says

A review of nearly 2,000 documents from President Donald Trump’s now-defunct Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity contradicts claims of widespread voter fraud, Maine’s secretary of state said Friday.

Matt Dunlap, who was a part of the commission’s board, said the files showed no evidence to support such assertions.

“Contrary to what we were promised, these documents show that there was, in fact, a pre-ordained outcome to this commission to demonstrate widespread voter fraud, without any evidence to back it up,” he said in a statement.

The Maine secretary of state, a Democrat, also shared his findings with the former commission’s co-chairmen, Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.

The commission was disbanded in January in part because states refused to provide “basic information relevant to” the group.

In November 2017, Dunlap filed a lawsuit claiming that he had been denied access to the commission’s records Continue reading “Files contradict Trump claims of voter fraud, Maine official says”

Trump administration splits over journalists as ‘enemy of the people’

President Donald Trump and his top spokeswoman on Thursday defended an increasingly combative relationship with the press as the White House took heat over the president’s claims that journalists are “the enemy of the people.”

“They asked my daughter Ivanka whether or not the media is the enemy of the people,” Trump tweeted on Thursday afternoon. “She correctly said no. It is the FAKE NEWS, which is a large percentage of the media, that is the enemy of the people!” The president did not clarify which outlets he considered “fake news.”

Trump tweeted not long after taking office that the “FAKE NEWS media” — which he said referred to a host of mainstream outlets, including The New York Times, NBC, ABC and CNN — were “the enemy of the American People!” But his older daughter, Ivanka Trump, said Thursday she didn’t agree.

“I’ve certainly received my Continue reading “Trump administration splits over journalists as ‘enemy of the people’”

New York man arrested for threatening Scalise

A New York state man was arrested Thursday after he allegedly threatened two House members through a voicemail last month — with one being House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.)

Carlos Bayon of Grand Island, New York, was charged with interstate communication of a threat, according to a report by WKBW in Buffalo. The 63-year-old reportedly left a threatening message to Scalise on June 30, saying “you are taking ours, we are taking yours. Anytime, anywhere. We know where they are,” according to a transcript from WKBW.

“We are not going to feed them sandwiches, we are going to feed them lead,” he said. Another House member from Washington state also received a similar message.

Scalise was shot in the hip last June during a congressional baseball practice and nearly died.

Lauren Fine, a spokeswoman for Scalise, said in a statement that the congressman is “grateful to law enforcement Continue reading “New York man arrested for threatening Scalise”