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Published: Monday, July 31, 2017 @ 3:27 AM
MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin reportedly will require the U.S. embassy in Moscow to cut its staff by 755 in response to Congress’ vote Thursday to increase sanctions on Russia, North Korea and Iran.
Russia’s deputy foreign minister said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” that the U.S. had it coming.
“I think retaliation is long, long overdue,” he said. “We have a very rich toolbox at our disposal.”
He added: “If the U.S. side decides to move further towards further deterioration, we will answer, we will respond in kind. We will mirror this. We will retaliate. ... But my whole point is, don’t do this, it is to the detriment of the interests of the US.”
Putin gave a TV interview with Rossiya 1 and said he doesn’t see things changing soon.
“We waited for quite some time that maybe something will change for the better, had such hope that the situation will somehow change, but, judging by everything, if it changes, it will not be soon,” he said.
Russian’s Foreign Ministry on Friday ordered a reduction by Sept. 1 in the number of U.S. diplomats in Russia. It said it is ordering the U.S. Embassy to limit the number of embassy and consular employees in the country to 455 in response to the U.S. Senate’s approval of a new package of sanctions.
Putin said the response would be “painful” for the U.S., but he opposes further measures at this time.
“We certainly have something to respond with and restrict those areas of joint cooperation that will be painful for the American side but I don’t think we need to do it,” he said.
In December, in former President Barack Obama’s final days in office, 35 Russian diplomats were expelled from buildings in New York and Maryland.
“These actions follow repeated private and public warnings that we have issued to the Russian government, and are a necessary and appropriate response to efforts to harm U.S. interests in violation of established international norms of behavior,” then-President Obama said in a letter, explaining sanctions.
Obama said the sanctions were a response to “a global campaign of malicious cyber activities” conducted by Russia.
It is now up to President Donald Trump to sign the sanctions into law or veto, and the White House says he will sign it.
Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 11:23 AM
— A yet-to-be released House Republican intelligence committee report does not dispute claims that Russian President Vladimir Putin may have tried to help President Donald Trump defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton, Rep. Mike Turner said Wednesday.
In a strongly worded letter to the Republican chairman of the intelligence committee, Turner, R-Dayton, wrote, “There is no dispute that Putin intended to harm our democracy and hurt Clinton’s campaign and expected presidency through an active measures’ campaign that included the hacking and dumping of e-mails along with the dissemination of propaganda via Russian state-run media and social media.”
Turner, a member of the intelligence committee, was reacting to claims made earlier this month by GOP committee members that the report did not accuse Putin of trying to help Trump win the election. In addition, the same Republicans said they found no evidence of collusion between Trump campaign officials and Russian officials linked to Putin.
The committee will vote Thursday on whether both Democrats and Republicans on the panel agree with its findings. The 150-page report has not yet been released, but Democrats strongly objected to the GOP claims that Putin was not trying to help Trump.
Turner indicated that he agrees with the findings of the intelligence committee but disputes claims some lawmakers made last week that the report did not find Putin tried to help Trump.
Representative K. Michael Conaway, R-Texas, who headed up the probe, said last week “the Russians did commit active measures against our election in ’16, and we think they will do that in the future.” But Conaway said GOP members “disagree with the narrative that they were trying to help Trump.”
In his letter, Turner said the committee report did not find any evidence of collusion between Putin and Trump campaign aides. But he also wrote the intelligence committee’s report “should not be interpreted as ending or contradicting the work of” Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
With rumors swirling that Trump may try to fire Mueller, Republicans have begun to criticize the moment. On Tuesday, Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, said firing Mueller would be a big mistake.
Published: Wednesday, March 14, 2018 @ 2:33 PM
Updated: Wednesday, March 14, 2018 @ 2:33 PM
— Update March 14, 2018 7:35 p.m EDT: Democrat Conor Lamb has won Pennsylvania’s special election in the 18th Congressional district, beating Republican Rick Saccone in a GOP stronghold by a thin margin of just over 600 votes, according to The New York Times, which called the election late Wednesday.
Republicans have not conceded the election and are likely to demand a recount, the Times reported.
told WPXI’s Rick Earle that the Republican party has hired an independent firm to look for voting irregularities in Tuesday’s special election.
Breaking: Sources say Republican Party has hired independent firm to look for voting irregularities after shocking Gop upset in 18th congressional district #wpxi— Rick Earle (@WPXIRickEarle) March 14, 2018
Although unofficial results for the race put Democratic candidate Conor Lamb just a few hundred votes ahead of his Republican rival for the 18th Congressional District seat, Rick Saccone, a recount of the vote is unlikely. If the race was one that was statewide, it would trigger an autmoatic recount, as less than .5 percent separates Lamb and Saccone’s tallies. The same rules don’t apply to congressional races.
A recount can only happen if three or more voters from each precinct petition for a recount due to fraud or errors in the vote counting.
Update March 14, 2018 12:50 a.m. EDT: Democratic candidate Conor Lamb has declared victory over opponent Rick Saccone in the closely watched special election in Pennsylvania for the 18th Congressional District seat.
Saccone has not conceded.
The Pennsylvania Secretary of State's election results website currently has Lamb with a 113,111-112,532 edge in votes. However, there are still an unclear number of absentee, provisional and military ballots to count.
ORIGINAL STORY: Polls have closed in the special election for the 18th Congressional District, a race that has drawn national attention and is seen by some as a referendum on President Donald Trump.
Political newcomer Conor Lamb showed strength in fundraising and the polls for Democrats, who are seeking to control a seat that has been primarily Republican for decades.
The GOP pinned its hopes to Rick Saccone, a four-term state representative who has tied himself very closely to Trump throughout the campaign.
The seat opened in October when longtime representative Tim Murphy resigned amid a scandal.
The district, which stretches through parts of Greene, Allegheny, Washington and Westmoreland counties, could change by May after the state Supreme Court threw out the electoral map in January, saying it was unconstitutional.
The court issued a new map intended to take effect by the May primaries, although Republicans have challenged that map in court.
Published: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 @ 7:16 AM
BOISE, Idaho — President Donald Trump took last place in a new survey that aims to measure "presidential greatness."
According to the results posted Monday by Boise State University, 170 political scientists participated in the 2018 Presidents and Executive Politics Presidential Greatness Survey. More than 57 percent of the respondents – current and recent members of the Presidents and Executive Politics Section of the American Political Science Association – were Democrats, while 13 percent were Republicans and 27 percent were Independents. Respondents gave each president a score of 0-100 for "overall greatness," then each president's scores were averaged.
So who took the No. 1 spot? Abraham Lincoln led the pack with a score of 95.03, followed by George Washington, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson, Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower. Those presidents' ranks remained unchanged from 2014.
2018 Presidential Greatness Survey— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) February 19, 2018
4. T. Roosevelt
41. A. Johnson
43. Wm Harrison
Among recent presidents, Barack Obama fared the best, placing eighth with a score of 71.13. Ronald Reagan took the No. 9 spot, while Bill Clinton came in at No. 13, George H.W. Bush at No. 17, Jimmy Carter at No. 26 and George W. Bush at No. 30.
Trump ranked No. 44 – last place – with a score of 12.34. Among Republican respondents, he fared slightly better, coming in at No. 40.
Published: Wednesday, December 13, 2017 @ 7:07 AM
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump took to Twitter early Wednesday to weigh in on Republican Roy Moore's stunning loss in the Alabama Senate race.