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House Intelligence Committee votes to release controversial Nunes memo

Published: Monday, January 29, 2018 @ 6:36 PM

House Committee Votes To Release Controversial Memo

The House Intelligence Committee has voted along party lines to release a controversial memo compiled by Republican staffers that is believed to list missteps by the FBI and Justice Department concerning surveillance of a member of the Trump campaign.

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The memo claims Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein approved an application to extend federal surveillance of former Trump campaign associate Carter Page shortly after Rosenstein took office, according to the New York Times. The newspaper cites “three people familiar” with the memo.

The Intelligence Committee also voted against releasing a second memo written by the committee’s top Democrat Adam Schiff to counter the Nunes memo.

Schiff said, on CNN right after the vote Monday evening, that the vote was “an effort to distract from the Russia probe.”

Democrats contend the Nunes memo is an attempt at discrediting special counsel Robert Mueller and his investigation into Russia meddling in the 2016 presidential election and possible Trump campaign collusion. 

>> RELATED: Democrats helped fund Trump-Russia dossier: 6 things to know

It’s still unclear when the memo might be released to the public.

Neither the FBI or the Justice Department have seen the memo, according to NPR.

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Trump calls canceled summit with North Korea's Kim Jong Un 'a setback for the world'

Published: Thursday, May 24, 2018 @ 12:14 PM
Updated: Thursday, May 24, 2018 @ 12:14 PM

President Trump Cancels Meeting With Kim Jong-un

President Donald Trump said Thursday that he remains open to meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, hours after he canceled their planned summit in Singapore in a letter released by White House officials. 

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“I believe that this is a tremendous setback for North Korea and, indeed, a setback for the world,” Trump said Thursday at a news conference. “I hope that Kim Jong Un will ultimately do what is right not only for himself, but perhaps most importantly what is right for his people, who are suffering greatly and needlessly.”

He added that “our military ... is ready,” should North Korean officials respond to Thursday’s cancellation with a show of force. Japanese and South Korean officials have also vowed to respond if “foolish or reckless acts be taken by North Korea,” Trump said.

 

Still, the president didn’t rule out the possibility of meeting with Kim.

“A lot of things can happen, including the fact that, perhaps, it’s possible the existing summit could take place or a summit at some later date,” Trump said. “Nobody should be anxious. We have to get it right.”

The president wrote in his letter to Kim that his decision to cancel the planned June 12 meeting came “based on the tremendous anger and open hostility” displayed in a recent statement from North Korea.

>> From Jamie Dupree: President Trump scraps summit meeting with Kim Jong Un

In the statement, the North Korean government referred to Vice President Mike Pence as a "political dummy" and said it is just as ready to meet in a nuclear confrontation as at the negotiating table.

“I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting,” Trump wrote. “Please let this letter serve to represent that the Singapore summit, for the good of both parties but to the detriment of the world, will not take place.”

Senior North Korean diplomat Choe Son Hui told North Korea’s state-run news agency on Thursday that, “Whether the U.S. will meet us at a meeting room or encounter us at nuclear-to-nuclear showdown is entirely dependent upon the decision and behavior of the United States,” The Associated Press reported.

>> Reports: North Korea demolishes nuclear test site

Trump responded to the comment in his letter Thursday, telling Kim that, “You talk about your nuclear capabilities, but ours are so massive and powerful that I pray to God they will never have to be used.”

The letter was released just hours after reports surfaced that North Korea had demolished a nuclear test site in the country's northeast region. The closing of the testing site had been announced as a step leading up to the summit between President Donald Trump and North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un, the Associated Press reported.

Trump earlier this month announced that a historic meeting between him and Kim would take place in Singapore in June.

 

Read the full letter released Thursday by White House officials:

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Letter to Chairman Kim Jong Un by National Content Desk on Scribd

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Check back for updates to this developing story.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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President Donald Trump grants pardon to late boxer Jack Johnson

Published: Thursday, May 24, 2018 @ 1:25 PM
Updated: Thursday, May 24, 2018 @ 1:25 PM

This undated photo shows boxer Jack Johnson.
AP Photo/File
This undated photo shows boxer Jack Johnson.(AP Photo/File)

President Donald Trump on Thursday granted late boxer Jack Johnson with a pardon more than 100 years after he was convicted by an all-white jury of taking a white woman across state lines.

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Several heavyweight boxing champions, both current and former, gathered at the White House on Thursday morning ahead of the expected announcement, The New York Times reported.

Trump noted Thursday that Johnson was convicted “during a period of tremendous racial tension in the United States,” and served 10 months in prison in what many considered to be a “racially motivated injustice.”

"I am taking this very righteous step, I believe, to correct a wrong that occurred in our history," Trump said.

Johnson was convicted in 1913 of violating the Mann Act, a law passed in 1910 that barred people from transporting women across state lines for “immoral” purposes. The woman, Belle Schreiber, worked as a prostitute and had been in a relationship with Johnson, according to the Times.

He was sentenced to serve a year in prison, the Times reported, but he fled the country. He served his sentence after he returned to the U.S. in 1920.

Original report: Prodded by actor Sylvester Stallone, President Donald Trump said he’s considering a posthumous pardon for boxing's first black heavyweight champion, more than 100 years after he was convicted by an all-white jury of accompanying a white woman across state lines.

Jack Johnson, who died in 1946, was convicted in 1913 for violating the Mann Act, which made it illegal to transport women across state lines for "immoral" purposes.

"His trials and tribulations were great, his life complex and controversial," Trump tweeted Saturday afternoon from Mar-a-Lago. "Others have looked at this over the years, most thought it would be done, but yes, I am considering a Full Pardon!"

Johnson's family has tried to get a posthumous pardon for years. The tweet comes a week after Trump pardoned I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, a top aide to former Vice President Dick Cheney.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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Morgan Freeman accused of inappropriate behavior: report

Published: Thursday, May 24, 2018 @ 12:36 PM
Updated: Thursday, May 24, 2018 @ 12:36 PM

Morgan Freeman: What You Need to Know

Actor Morgan Freeman has been accused of inappropriate behavior and harassment by at least eight women, CNN reported Thursday.

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The news network spoke with 16 people about Freeman’s alleged misconduct, which took place in public while Freeman was on production sets or promotional tours. Eight women said they were harassed by the 80-year-old actor. At least one incident happened in front of Lori McCreary, the woman who in 1996 co-founded production company Revelations Entertainment with Freeman, CNN reported.

A majority of Freeman's accusers said he "repeatedly (behaved) in ways that made women feel uncomfortable at work." Two women told CNN that Freeman “subjected them to unwanted touching.”

A woman who worked in 2015 as a production assistant for the film "Going in Style," starring Freeman, Michael Caine and Alan Arkin, told CNN that she was harassed for several months by Freeman. She said he tried multiple times to lift her skirt and asked whether she was wearing underwear. He stopped after Arkin made a comment about his behavior, the woman told CNN.

Another woman, who worked as a senior member of the production staff for "Now You See Me" in 2012, told CNN that Freeman sexually harassed her and her assistant, also a woman, with frequent comments about their bodies.

“We knew that if he was coming by ... not to wear any top that would show our breasts, not to wear anything that would show our bottoms, meaning not wearing clothes that (were) fitted," she said.

CNN entertainment reporter Chloe Melas said she was also subject to Freeman’s inappropriate comments. She said she was six months pregnant when the actor told her that she looked “ripe” during an interview at a press junket for “Going in Style.” She said he took her hand to shake it and held it as he looked her up and down while telling her, “I wish I was there.”

Freeman’s representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment on CNN’s report.

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Trump: NFL players who kneel ‘maybe shouldn’t be in the country’

Published: Thursday, May 24, 2018 @ 12:29 PM

NFL Announces Policy Change Regarding National Anthem

President Donald Trump said in an interview with “Fox and Friends” that football players in the National Football League (NFL) who take a knee during the national anthem “maybe” should not be in the United States.

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“I don’t think people should be staying in locker rooms. But still, I think it’s good,” Trump said in the interview with “Fox and Friends.” “You have to stand proudly for the national anthem, or you shouldn’t be playing, you shouldn’t be there. Maybe you shouldn’t be in the country.” 

Before the interview, the hosts of “Fox and Friends” said their conversation with Trump took place Wednesday, just minutes after the new NFL policy regarding players who kneel was publicly announced.

>>Read: NFL owners approve new national anthem policy, will fine teams that allow players to kneel

Trump told “Fox and Friends” that NFL owners “did the right thing.”

In the interview with Fox, Trump took credit for creating the issue, but said “the people” were the ones who “pushed it forward.”

The new NFL policy states that all players and officials on the field must stand during the national anthem, or choose to stay in the locker room while the song is played.

Any team that allows players to kneel on the field could face fines.

Controversy over NFL players who kneel during “The Star Spangled Banner” started in 2016, when former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand in order to protest police brutality against minorities. 

The protests grew, prompting Trump to call the kneeling “disgraceful” in statements during a joint press conference with the Spanish prime minister in 2017.

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