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Report: Jared Kushner a focus of Russia probe

Published: Thursday, May 25, 2017 @ 7:26 PM
Updated: Friday, May 26, 2017 @ 8:05 PM

(Photo by Brooks Kraft/ Getty Images)
Brooks Kraft/Getty Images
(Photo by Brooks Kraft/ Getty Images)(Brooks Kraft/Getty Images)

UPDATE May 26, 8:00 p.m. The Washington Post reported Friday that in December Russian ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak told his superiors that Kushner discussed setting a up a secret communications channel with the Kremlin.

Kushner, according to the report, asked Kislyak about using Russia’s diplomatic facilities to prevent monitoring of the discussions. Trump’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, also attended the meeting, which was not under U.S. surveillance, according to officials.

The White House disclosed the meeting in March, but people familiar with the matter told The Post the meeting is of investigative interest.

The White House has not returned requests for comment, nor has the Russian Embassy or a lawyer for Flynn.

ORIGINAL STORY:

Is Jared Kushner, the senior White House official, a person of interest in the investigation into ties between Russia and the Donald Trump campaign?

Thursday, The Post reported that Jared Kushner is under investigation “because of the extent and nature of his interactions with the Russians,” citing unnamed people familiar with the investigation.

>> Read more trending news 

Investigators are looking specifically at meetings held by Kushner, who is also the president’s son-in-law as well as an adviser, as part of their investigation into Russia’s pull in the 2016 election, The Post reported.

Kushner has said that he will cooperate with the federal investigators, The Associated Press reported.

In a statement released by attorney Jamie Gorelick, “Mr. Kushner previously volunteered to share with Congress what he knows about these meetings. He will do the same if he is contacted in connection with any other inquiry.”

>> RELATED: Who are the key players in the Russia/Trump saga?

The FBI and the Congressional oversight committee, in addition to other Congressional panels, are looking into what role, if any, Russia had in the 2016 presidential election.

The Post and the AP said that the investigation does not mean that Kushner himself is a suspect of a crime.

Last week, The Washington Post has reported that Kushner, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson are current Trump administration officials who have acknowledged contact with Russian officials, according to the report.

The source was not named, but was described as someone close to Trump in the story that was originally released minutes after Trump and his advisors departed for his first overseas trip as president.

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Waffle House shooting: Man accused of killing 4 in Tennessee arrested

Published: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 2:09 PM
Updated: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 2:09 PM

Police: 4 Dead After Waffle House Shooting by Nude Gunman

Authorities on Monday afternoon arrested a man suspected of stripping at a Waffle House in Antioch, Tennessee, early Sunday before opening fire on customers and employees, killing four people.

Nashville police confirmed that authorities arrested suspected shooter Travis Reinking, 29, on Monday afternoon. He was earlier identified as the man suspected of killing Taurean C. Sanderlin, 29; Joe R. Perez, 20; Akilah Dasilva and DeEbony Groves, 21. 

>> Read more trending news 

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Unfazed while being shot with Taser, unruly passenger forcibly removed from American Airlines flight

Published: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 1:13 PM

Jacob Garcia. (Photo: Miami-Dade Corrections)
Jacob Garcia. (Photo: Miami-Dade Corrections)

Police used a stun gun and forcibly removed an unruly passenger Sunday who started a fight with a couple aboard a plane at Miami International Airport, police said. 

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Jacob Garcia, 28, touched a female passenger without her permission, screamed and insulted her and her boyfriend before attendants on the American Airlines flight from Miami to Chicago moved him to another seat, according to WPLG

After he was moved to another seat, he began using racial slurs and was asked to leave the plane, according to WPLG. When he refused, the crew started to deplane the entire aircraft. That is when Garcia started a physical altercation with the passenger he was rude to earlier, according to airline officials. 

“What is the reason? Why you are removing from this plane,” Garcia is heard saying in a passenger’s video

“You just assaulted a lady,” a man replies.

When Miami-Dade police officers arrived, Garcia was belligerent with them and was subsequently subdued with a Taser, video shows. The remaining passengers on board can be heard clapping when he was removed. The plane departed about an hour later than scheduled, American Airlines said.

Police said Garcia reached for an officer’s service weapon and kicked out a window of a patrol car when he was taken into custody, according to WPLG.

Garcia was arrested and charged with battery, attempting to deprive an officer of their means of protection, disorderly conduct, resisting an officer and criminal mischief, according to police.

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Florida judge does not return to courtroom after berating frail inmate who died 3 days later

Published: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 3:15 PM

Judge Merrilee Ehrlich. (Photo: Seventeeth Judicial Circuit of Florida)
Cliff Frommer
Judge Merrilee Ehrlich. (Photo: Seventeeth Judicial Circuit of Florida)(Cliff Frommer)

A Florida judge who berated a frail inmate who died three days later will not return to the bench, court officials said. 

>> Read more trending news

Circuit Court Judge Merrilee Ehrlich will not return to the bench after her treatment of Sandra Twiggs, 59, who appeared before her last week on a misdemeanor domestic violence charge, Broward Chief Administrative Judge Jack Tuter said Saturday, according to WFOR.

“In light of recent events we have decided Judge Ehrlich will be told not to return to the courthouse as her retirement is effective June 30,” Tuter said, according to The Associated Press. “I will be working this weekend to find a substitute to cover Judge Ehrlich’s (family court) division.”

During the first appearance, Twiggs, who was in a wheelchair, explained to Ehrlich that she suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and needed breathing treatments, according to WFOR

First appearance hearings are streamed online and recorded.

“Ma’am, don’t even say yes. Just listen,” Ehrlich said. “I’m not here to talk about your breathing treatments.”

Ehrlich released Twiggs without bond. Twiggs died Wednesday in her sleep.

“When she came home from being in there she was never the same,” Carolyn Porter, Twiggs’ goddaughter, told WFOR.

Ehrlich who was first elected in 2008 planned to retire June 30. She filed her retirement paperwork two weeks prior to this incident. 

Tuter said he would be calling Twiggs’ family to apologize. 

“I am saddened and disappointed in the way Judge Ehrlich behaved on the video. Her behavior cannot be condoned,” he said.

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Video shows Alabama police wrestle woman, expose her breasts at Waffle House

Published: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 2:12 PM

A graphic video shows Saraland, Alabama, police officers wrestling a black  woman before arresting her inside a Waffle House restaurant (not pictured). (Photo by Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images)
Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images
A graphic video shows Saraland, Alabama, police officers wrestling a black woman before arresting her inside a Waffle House restaurant (not pictured). (Photo by Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images)(Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images)

graphic video showing police officers wrestling a black 25-year-old woman before arresting her inside a Saraland, Alabama, Waffle House restaurant Sunday is making the rounds on social media, sparking outrage across the country. The incident allegedly escalated over 50 cents’ worth of plastic cutlery.

Chikesia Clemons was arrested around 2:45 a.m. on charges of “disorderly conduct and resisting arrest,” her mother, Chiquitta Clemons-Howard, told AL.com. She paid her daughter’s $1,000 bond Sunday morning.

>> Read more trending news 

In the cell phone video, captured by Clemons’ friend, Canita Adams, Saraland police officers are seen speaking with Clemons and then pulling her off a chair and onto the floor of the restaurant.

“What are you doing?” Clemons asks the officers in the video.

“I’ll break your arm, that’s what I’m about to do,” an officer responds.

Two officers are then seen wrestling with Clemons, grabbing her neck and wrist and trying to flip her over to arrest her. The altercation turns graphic as Clemons’ clothes are pulled down “to reveal her breasts as white patrons continue to eat in the background,” AL.com reported.

Related: Philadelphia Starbucks arrest: Men say manager called 911 minutes after they arrived

In the video, when the officer placed his hand around her neck, Clemons cries, “You’re choking me!”

Clemons-Howard told AL.com the incident arose after Clemons refused to pay an extra 50 cents for plastic utensils and the employee canceled the order. According to AL.com, Clemons and Adams said they were not charged for utensils when they ordered from the same Waffle House the night before.

“They didn’t even ask her to leave, she was waiting for them to give her the district manager’s card so she could file a complaint on one of the waitresses,” Clemons-Howard told AL.com. “When they went to go get the card, that’s when the police showed up. The officer should’ve come in and said we need you to leave.”

Chance the Rapper weighed in on Twitter.

“Protect our women. This is wrong, this is unjust and this happens to alot (sic) of women when there are NO cameras around,” he wrote. “Stand with our women. Defend their voice, and their right to ask why they’re being handled, being removed, being CHOKED. Be infuriated. Be willing to fight.”

The altercation and arrest come 10 days after two black men were arrested at a Starbucks in Philadelphia on trespassing charges.

Mobile, Alabama, NAACP President David Smith said in a statement Sunday that the organization is looking into the episode. 

“In light of the current situation in our country -- such as the arrest of two young black men at a Philadelphia Starbucks coffee shop -- we felt it was important for our members to get a firsthand account of the incident, which has now gone viral on social media locally and across the country,” Smith said.

A spokesman with the Saraland Police Department also said the department is investigating. The department also said that Saraland’s public safety director, Chief J.C. West, and Mayor Howard Rubenstein are aware of the situation.

“The Saraland Police Department is aware of the arrest at Waffle House and the accompanying video on social media,” the department said in a Facebook post. “The situation is being thoroughly reviewed and is under active investigation right now. Our department strives for transparency and we encourage our community to be aware of current events.”

Read more at AL.com.

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