PBSNewsHour's YouTube Videos: What to expect when President Trump meets Pope Francis – 10:59 PM 5/23/2017

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CNN’s YouTube Videos: Who is Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats?

PBSNewsHour’s YouTube Videos: What to expect when President Trump meets Pope Francis
5 takeaways from intel leaders Trump testimony 7:52 PM 5/23/2017
CNN’s YouTube Videos: Who is Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats?
PBSNewsHour’s YouTube Videos: PBS NewsHour full episode May 23, 2017
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CBSNewsOnline’s YouTube Videos: What are investigators looking for in the aftermath of the Manchester attack?
Video – Former CIA Director Brennan: “I shared classified information with the Russians while I was Director of the CIA.” Full video here: http://cs.pn/2rMhwLt
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Hourly News Summary: NPR News: 05-23-2017 10PM ET
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CBSNewsOnline’s YouTube Videos: Ex-CIA Director: Russia “brazenly interfered” with 2016 election
Video – Former CIA Director Brennan: “I shared classified information with the Russians while I was Director of the CIA.” Full video here: http://cs.pn/2rMhwLt
5 takeaways from intel leaders’ Trump testimony
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This is now LIVE on C-SPAN3. https://twitter.com/cspan/status/867104325503528961 
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PBSNewsHour’s YouTube Videos: What to expect when President Trump meets Pope Francis
 

From: PBSNewsHour
Duration: 05:08

President Trump will meet Pope Francis at the Vatican on Wednesday. Despite the gulf separating them in terms of personality and policies, the pontiff insists he has an open mind about their meeting. Special correspondent Malcolm Brabant reports on what each man stands to gain, potential stumbling blocks and why it matters.

PBSNewsHour’s YouTube Videos

5 takeaways from intel leaders Trump testimony 7:52 PM 5/23/2017

(6) Coates Wont Say If Trump Asked Him To Deny Collusion Full Hearing YouTube Tuesday May 23rd, 2017 at 9:30 PM 1 Share Published on May 23, 2017 Daniel R. Coats, director of national intelligence, and Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Vincent R. Stewart, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, testify before the Senate 5 takeaways from intel leaders Trump testimony Morrissey Rips British Politicians after Manchester Attack: Petrified to Admit Islamic Extremism Behind Terror This is now LIVE on C-SPAN3. https://twitter.com/cspan/status/867104325503528961  CIA ex-chief cites signs of possible Trump campaign ties to Russia Amid opposition, Trump makes low budget request for Mexico border wall Trump budget proposal would dramatically Continue reading“5 takeaways from intel leaders Trump testimony 7:52 PM 5/23/2017”

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CNN’s YouTube Videos: Who is Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats?
 

From: CNN
Duration: 01:46

The Director of National Intelligence has a long history in Washington.

CNN’s YouTube Videos

PBSNewsHour’s YouTube Videos: PBS NewsHour full episode May 23, 2017
 

From: PBSNewsHour
Duration: 55:01

Tuesday on the NewsHour, an alleged suspect is named after a bombing kills more than 20 in Manchester, England. Also: Former CIA director John Brennan shares concern over Russian election meddling, deep cuts to social programs in President Trump’s proposed budget, previewing a presidential visit with the pope and shifting education dollars to school choice.

PBSNewsHour’s YouTube Videos

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Trump retains outside lawyer Marc Kasowitz to help with Russia investigations
 

Trump retains outside lawyer Marc Kasowitz to help with Russia investigations

President Trump has retained the services of a trusted lawyer, Marc E. Kasowitz, to help him navigate the investigations into his campaign and Russian interference in last years election, according to people familiar with the decision. Kasowitz, who has known Trump for decades, has represented Trump in numerous cases, including on his divorce records, real […]

PBSNewsHour’s YouTube Videos: UK raises terror-threat level as Manchester mourns attack
 

From: PBSNewsHour
Duration: 07:11

The United Kingdom is mourning the victims of a suicide bombing. Twenty-two people were killed, including an 8-year-old girl, Monday night at the end of a pop concert. The attacker has been identified as a Briton of Libyan descent, and police have raided two sites and arrested one man in connection. Hari Sreenivasan learns more from special correspondent Natalie Powell of Feature Story News.

PBSNewsHour’s YouTube Videos

CBSNewsOnline’s YouTube Videos: What are investigators looking for in the aftermath of the Manchester attack?
 

From: CBSNewsOnline
Duration: 03:23

Jeffrey Ringel, a director at the New York-based security firm, Soufan Group, joined CBSN to break down what investigators might be looking for in the aftermath of the attack in Manchester, and what other resources U.S. officials might need to prevent an attack like this in the U.S.

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CBSN is the first digital streaming news network that will allow Internet-connected consumers to watch live, anchored news coverage on their connected TV and other devices. At launch, the network is available 24/7 and makes all of the resources of CBS News available directly on digital platforms with live, anchored coverage 15 hours each weekday. CBSN. Always On.

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Video – Former CIA Director Brennan: “I shared classified information with the Russians while I was Director of the CIA.” Full video here: http://cs.pn/2rMhwLt
 

mikenova shared this story from FB-RSS feed for C-SPAN.

Former CIA Director Brennan: “I shared classified information with the Russians while I was Director of the CIA.” Full video here: http://cs.pn/2rMhwLt

CBSNewsOnline’s YouTube Videos: U.K. raises threat level to critical following Manchester terror attack
 

From: CBSNewsOnline
Duration: 02:43

British Prime Minister Theresa May raised the country’s threat level to critical — the highest possible — following the terrorist attack Monday at the Manchester Arena. CBS News justice and homeland security correspondent Jeff Pegues spoke to CBSN about what this will mean going forward.

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CBSN is the first digital streaming news network that will allow Internet-connected consumers to watch live, anchored news coverage on their connected TV and other devices. At launch, the network is available 24/7 and makes all of the resources of CBS News available directly on digital platforms with live, anchored coverage 15 hours each weekday. CBSN. Always On.

CBSNewsOnline’s YouTube Videos

Hourly News Summary: NPR News: 05-23-2017 10PM ET

NPR News: 05-23-2017 10PM ET

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FoxNewsChannel’s YouTube Videos: President Trump renews efforts for peace in the Middle East
 

From: FoxNewsChannel
Duration: 04:13

What will it take to make a deal for peace between Israel and Palestine? A Fair and balanced debate.

FoxNewsChannel’s YouTube Videos

FoxNewsChannel’s YouTube Videos: Media so Trump-deranged, it ignores Manchester aftermath
 

From: FoxNewsChannel
Duration: 05:20

The mainstream media are so hyperfocused on bringing Pres. Trump down with alleged Russia collusion story that it didn’t treat the aftermath of the Manchester attack as important as they should. Are the media not derelict in their duties? #Tucker

FoxNewsChannel’s YouTube Videos

CBSNewsOnline’s YouTube Videos: Will Steve Bannon win the war between White House factions?
 

From: CBSNewsOnline
Duration: 06:18

Rumors of a White House staff shakeup have been swirling for months. But who will come out on top? Award-winning documentary filmmaker Michael Kirk joins “Red & Blue” to discuss his new film “Bannon’s War” for the PBS series Frontline, where he profiles White House strategist Steve Bannon.

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CBSN is the first digital streaming news network that will allow Internet-connected consumers to watch live, anchored news coverage on their connected TV and other devices. At launch, the network is available 24/7 and makes all of the resources of CBS News available directly on digital platforms with live, anchored coverage 15 hours each weekday. CBSN. Always On.

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CBSNewsOnline’s YouTube Videos: Ex-CIA Director: Russia “brazenly interfered” with 2016 election
 

From: CBSNewsOnline
Duration: 03:09

Former CIA Director John Brennan revealed for the first time Tuesday that he contacted his Russian counterpart about the country’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election. CBS News chief Congressional correspondent correspondent Nancy Cordes spoke to CBSN about what Brennan revealed.

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CBSN is the first digital streaming news network that will allow Internet-connected consumers to watch live, anchored news coverage on their connected TV and other devices. At launch, the network is available 24/7 and makes all of the resources of CBS News available directly on digital platforms with live, anchored coverage 15 hours each weekday. CBSN. Always On.

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Video – Former CIA Director Brennan: “I shared classified information with the Russians while I was Director of the CIA.” Full video here: http://cs.pn/2rMhwLt

Former CIA Director Brennan: “I shared classified information with the Russians while I was Director of the CIA.” Full video here: http://cs.pn/2rMhwLt
5 takeaways from intel leaders’ Trump testimony

Current and former U.S. intelligence leaders made it clear on Tuesday that they have little interest in helping President Donald Trump escape the scandal surrounding his campaigns ties to Russia.During three congressional hearings, the leaders lent new weight to questions about whether Trumps campaign aides colluded with Russian officials to influence the presidential election providing yet another setback as the White House seeks a reset during Trumps foreign trip.

Former CIA Director John Brennan said U.S. intelligence agencies had picked up contacts between Russia and people involved in Trump’s campaign, and left open the possibility that Russian officials may have been successful in recruiting some of the aides.

Across Capitol Hill, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats declined to comment on a Washington Post report that Trump had asked him to deny evidence of Russia collusion, though Coats left the door open to answering such questions in the future. And National Security Agency chief Adm. Mike Rogers did nothing to douse the Post’s allegation that Trump had made a similar request to him as lawmakers failed to ask him a single question about the issue.

Here are POLITICOs takeaways from Tuesdays hearings:

Brennan adds to Trumps troubles

Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee asked Brennan repeatedly whether he had seen evidence of collusion between Trump aides and Moscow seemingly hoping that Brennan, like former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper before him, would say he had not seen direct evidence.

But Brennan took a different tack, saying he had seen contacts between Russia and “U.S. persons” that concerned him, and that these contacts had been passed to the FBI for investigation. This was the most direct acknowledgment yet by a current or former U.S. official that investigators believe Russia sought to recruit Americans to help affect the 2016 election.
The remarks also provided lend some additional heft to the Russia investigations being conducted by the FBI and House and Senate intelligence committees, which Trump has sought to dismiss as a witch hunt.

“I encountered and am aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and U.S. persons involved in the Trump campaign that I was concerned about because of known Russian efforts to suborn such individuals,” Brennan told lawmakers. “And it raised questions in my mind again whether or not the Russians were able to gain the cooperation of those individuals.”

Republicans get backup on leaks

The Brennan hearing wasnt all bad news for Trump. The former CIA chief took a hardline stance on government officials who have leaked classified information to the news media, saying the leakers need to be tracked down.

“These continue to be very, very damaging leaks, and I find them appalling, Brennan said.

During a House Intelligence Committee hearing in March, Republicans took heat for focusing on leaks rather thanon Russias election meddling and possible collusion with the Trump campaign. Republicans appeared cognizant of this criticism on Tuesday, with Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) saying he wanted to save his leak questions until the end of the hearing.

After the hearing, the White House issued a statement touting Brennans remarks on leaks.

Even Obama’s CIA director believes the leaks of classified information are ‘appalling’ and the culprits must be ‘tracked down,'” said a White House spokesperson.

Coats willing to talk, just to a different panel

The first question Tuesday at the Senate Armed Services Committee’s hearing with Coats was about the Posts report the night before that before, which said Trump had asked him and Rogers to publicly deny evidence of cooperation between his campaign and Russia.

I don’t feel its appropriate to characterize discussions and conversations with the president, Coats responded.

But asked later if hed be willing to divulge such talks with the Senate Intelligence Committee which is spearheading the probe into Russias election-year meddling and possible ties to Trumps team the nations top spy changed his tune.
I do believe that the information and discussions that I’ve had with the president are something that should not be disclosed, said Coats, who had vowed to cooperate with the inquiries during his confirmation hearing. On the other hand, if I’m called before an investigative committee, I certainly will provide them with what I know and what I don’t know.

The former Indiana Republican senator said he had no documents to make relevant to the intelligence panels or to Robert Mueller, the former FBI director whom the Justice Department tapped as the special counsel overseeing its Russia investigation.

Senate Democrats look to keep intelligence controversies alive

Armed Services Democrats repeatedly tried to draw Coats into criticizing Trumps decision to share classified intelligence possibly from Israel with senior Russian officials in the Oval Office earlier this month.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and other lawmakers asked whether if the disclosure would affect intelligence sharing with other U.S. allies.

I’ve not seen anything that would lead to that conclusion, Coats replied.

Defense Intelligence Agency chief Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart backed up the claim at the same hearing. That brought a rebuke from Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.): Theyre very worried, general.

Democrats also latched onto another evasive answer from Coats as evidence that the spy chief was aware of pressure from the president on the intelligence community to disavow the government’s Russia investigation.

While Coats wouldn’t comment broadly on the allegations that Trump tried to stifle the FBIs investigation, the intelligence leader also wouldn’t actively deny that he had discussed the issue with Rogers.
That is something that I, um, would like to withhold, that question, at this particular point in time,” he said in response to the query from Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.).

Panel Democrats took the response as a de facto yes, though McCain skewered that interpretation.

Maine Sen. Angus King, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, also pried out of Coats that the intelligence community has not begun what is often called a bomb damage assessment of the ramifications of Trump sharing the secret information with the Russians.

Rogers gets off easy

Comparatively, lawmakers treated Rogers with kid gloves during his testimony before a House Armed Services subcommittee.

None of the panel members asked about Trumps reported requests during the 75-minute session, which dealt with the military’s U.S. Cyber Command budget proposal for the 2018 fiscal year. Rogers offered no comments about the accuracy of the Posts story during his opening statement or in any of his answers.

Morrissey Rips British Politicians after Manchester Attack: Petrified to Admit Islamic Extremism Behind Terror


Musician and songwriter Morrissey angrily excoriated British politicians following Monday night’s deadly terrorist attack at a pop music concert in Manchester, England, claiming that it is easy for politicians to say they are “unafraid” and to remain resolute while failing to address the root causes of terrorism and hiding behind their own robust security.
This is now LIVE on C-SPAN3. https://twitter.com/cspan/status/867104325503528961 
 

This is now LIVE on C-SPAN3. https://twitter.com/cspan/status/867104325503528961 …

CIA ex-chief cites signs of possible Trump campaign ties to Russia

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former CIA Director John Brennan said on Tuesday that he does not know whether President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign colluded with Russia but that he saw “information and intelligence that was worthy of investigation.”

Amid opposition, Trump makes low budget request for Mexico border wall

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump is asking Congress for $1.6 billion to begin building a wall along the border with Mexico, far short of the amount needed for a project sharply criticized by Democrats and even some conservative Republicans.

Trump budget proposal would dramatically cut foreign aid

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump’s proposed budget would slash nearly a third in funding for diplomacy and foreign aid including global health and food aid, peacekeeping and other forms of non-military foreign involvement.


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PBSNewsHour’s YouTube Videos: PBS NewsHour full episode May 23, 2017
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CBSNewsOnline’s YouTube Videos: Ex-CIA Director: Russia “brazenly interfered” with 2016 election
(6) Coates Wont Say If Trump Asked Him To Deny Collusion – Full Hearing – YouTube
Video – Former CIA Director Brennan: “I shared classified information with the Russians while I was Director of the CIA.” Full video here: http://cs.pn/2rMhwLt
Former CIA Director Brennan testifies on #Russia before @HouseIntelComm LIVE on C-SPAN3 http://cs.pn/2rMhwLt pic.twitter.com/Xjw0iCSkLp
Trump retains Marc Kasowitz as private attorney for Russia probe: Fox Business
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Former CIA Chief Brennan Says Russians ‘Brazenly’ Interfered in U.S. Election
(6) Coats won’t answer Trump – Russia question – YouTube

PBSNewsHour’s YouTube Videos: PBS NewsHour full episode May 23, 2017

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From: PBSNewsHour
Duration: 55:01

Tuesday on the NewsHour, an alleged suspect is named after a bombing kills more than 20 in Manchester, England. Also: Former CIA director John Brennan shares concern over Russian election meddling, deep cuts to social programs in President Trump’s proposed budget, previewing a presidential visit with the pope and shifting education dollars to school choice.

PBSNewsHour’s YouTube Videos

More Corporate Sponsors Abandon Puerto Rican Day Parade

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The decision by parade organizers to honor a nationalist militant, Oscar López Rivera, led AT&T to withdraw sponsorship and Coca-Cola to scale back.

CBSNewsOnline’s YouTube Videos: Ex-CIA Director: Russia “brazenly interfered” with 2016 election

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From: CBSNewsOnline
Duration: 03:09

Former CIA Director John Brennan revealed for the first time Tuesday that he contacted his Russian counterpart about the country’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election. CBS News chief Congressional correspondent correspondent Nancy Cordes spoke to CBSN about what Brennan revealed.

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Get your news on the go! Download CBS News mobile apps HERE: http://cbsn.ws/1Xb1WC8

Get new episodes of shows you love across devices the next day, stream local news live, and watch full seasons of CBS fan favorites anytime, anywhere with CBS All Access. Try it free! http://bit.ly/1OQA29B


CBSN is the first digital streaming news network that will allow Internet-connected consumers to watch live, anchored news coverage on their connected TV and other devices. At launch, the network is available 24/7 and makes all of the resources of CBS News available directly on digital platforms with live, anchored coverage 15 hours each weekday. CBSN. Always On.

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(6) Coates Won’t Say If Trump Asked Him To Deny Collusion – Full Hearing – YouTube

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Published on May 23, 2017

Daniel R. Coats, director of national intelligence, and Marine
Corps Lt. Gen. Vincent R. Stewart, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee, May 23, 2017.

“I don’t feel it’s appropriate to characterize conversations with the president,” Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coates told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday.

Coates was called before the committee to discuss worldwide threats, but the first question – from Committee Chairman Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) — dealt with the latest leak to the Washington Post intended to undermine the Trump presidency.
Video courtesy Department of Defense

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Video – Former CIA Director Brennan: “I shared classified information with the Russians while I was Director of the CIA.” Full video here: http://cs.pn/2rMhwLt

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Former CIA Director Brennan: “I shared classified information with the Russians while I was Director of the CIA.” Full video here: http://cs.pn/2rMhwLt

Former CIA Director Brennan testifies on #Russia before @HouseIntelComm – LIVE on C-SPAN3 http://cs.pn/2rMhwLt pic.twitter.com/Xjw0iCSkLp

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Former CIA Director Brennan testifies on before – LIVE on C-SPAN3http://cs.pn/2rMhwLt 

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Trump retains Marc Kasowitz as private attorney for Russia probe: Fox Business

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Former CIA Chief Brennan Says Russians Were in Contact With Trump Campaign Associates

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WASHINGTON—Former CIA director John Brennan testified Tuesday that contacts by Donald Trump campaign associates with Russian officials last year raised concerns that the Kremlin could try to cultivate people close to Mr. Trump, shedding light on why federal agents began a full investigation.

Mr. Brennan also disclosed that the intelligence community’s alarm about Russia “brazenly” interfering in the 2016 presidential election prompted him to warn his Russian intelligence counterpart last summer to stop meddling in U.S. politics.

In testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, Mr. Brennan explained the basis for the Federal Bureau of Investigation counterintelligence investigation that was opened after the election, which is looking at potential collusion between the campaign and Russia.

“I encountered and I’m aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and U.S. persons involved in the Trump campaign,” said Mr. Brennan, the head of the Central Intelligence Agency under former President Barack Obama.

Mr. Brennan said he didn’t know if these contacts by people tied to the campaign amounted to “collusion” with Russian officials, but said that a common Russian intelligence technique involved cultivating Americans as either witting or unwitting intelligence assets.

Mr. Brennan said he was concerned because of “known Russian efforts to suborn such individuals.”

He said that the contacts picked up by U.S. intelligence justified the opening of an FBI investigation that has overshadowed Mr. Trump’s presidency.

“I know that there was a sufficient basis of information and intelligence that required further investigation by the bureau to determine whether or not U.S. persons were actively conspiring, colluding with Russian officials,” said Mr. Brennan.

Mr. Brennan declined to discuss the specific information that his assessments were based on in the open hearing, saying that much of the information was classified. The House Intelligence Committee subsequently continued the hearing with Mr. Brennan in a classified, closed-door setting.

Mr. Trump has denied that he or his campaign coordinated with any foreign entity, and Russia has denied meddling in the election. Mr. Trump has said continuing questions about his campaign’s Russia contacts amount to a “witch hunt.”

The FBI investigation is now being overseen by a special counsel, Robert Mueller, after Mr. Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey raised questions about whether the president was trying to quash the probe into whether his associates had contacts with Russians.

Mr. Trump asked Mr. Comey to end an investigation into his former national security adviser, Mike Flynn, according to people close to Mr. Comey. Mr. Trump has denied he made the request.

In a separate hearing Tuesday morning, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats declined to confirm or deny that Mr. Trump had asked him to publicly state there was no collusion between the Trump presidential campaign and the Russian government in response to a Washington Post report.

The Post reported that the president asked Mr. Coats and the National Security Agency director, Adm. Mike Rogers, to publicly deny the existence of any evidence of collusion between the campaign and Russia.

Mr. Coats said it wasn’t appropriate to comment about the topic in his public testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

“We discuss a number of topics on a very regular basis,” Mr. Coats said. “On this topic, as well as other topics, I don’t feel it’s appropriate to characterize discussions, conversations with the president.”

Mr. Coats was asked if he had discussed with Adm. Rogers any request from Mr. Trump regarding collusion. Mr. Coats responded: “That is something that I would like to withhold, that question, at this particular point in time.”

Mr. Coats was also asked if he knew of any efforts by the White House to interfere in other aspects of the Russia inquiry, including allegations the president asked Mr. Comey to ease off investigating Mr. Flynn. “I am not aware of that,” Mr. Coats said.

Mr. Brennan, the former CIA chief, said in his testimony that the intelligence community determined by last August that there was a “very aggressive” effort by Russia to intervene in the 2016 election.

Mr. Brennan described a previously undisclosed warning he made to his counterpart in Russian intelligence, Alexander Bortnikov, the head of the Russian FSB service, not to interfere in the U.S. election in an August phone call. According to Mr. Brennan’s account, Mr. Bortnikov denied any attempt to intervene and said Moscow is routinely and falsely blamed for such efforts by the U.S. government.

Write to Byron Tau at byron.tau@wsj.com and Joshua Jamerson at joshua.jamerson@wsj.com

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Security sources identify suspected Manchester attacker

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DOJ says special prosecutor’s office ‘up and running’

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Special prosecutor Robert Mueller’s office is now operating from an office in Washington, beginning its work of probing the impact of Russian influence on the 2016 presidential election, Justice Department officials said Tuesday.

“The special counsel’s office is up and running now,” Assistant Attorney General for Administration Lee Lofthus told reporters at an annual briefing on the Justice Department’s budget. “What its total staff size is going to be is something that I’m not aware of. I just don’t know yet and that’s in the hands of the special counsel, not here.”

A Justice Department spokeswoman said earlier Tuesday that Mueller and his team are working out of a privately-owned office building in downtown Washington. The building also houses offices for other Justice Department units.
Mueller has 60 days to propose a budget for this fiscal year and a deadline at the beginning of July to propose a budget for the next fiscal year, according to the regulations used to create his position.

“The office of Special Counsel budget is not something that’s part of the FY18 budget,” Lofthus said in response to questions from POLITICO. “It’s something that obviously needs to be done now because the special counsel is being stood up now.”

Lofthus said the special counsel will be funded via a “permanent and indefinite appropriation” at the Treasury Department that is separate from other Justice Department accounts.

“There’s an appropriation and we’re going to make sure the special counsel is funded and it’s out of that appropriation,” Lofthus said. “We work with them on their expected estimates. … That’s all underway.”

The man who appointed Mueller to the post last week, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, opened the budget briefing with a statement, but declined to take questions from reporters. He said he had to go to another meeting.

At the outset of the session, Rosenstein joked about how he’s suddenly found himself in the spotlight after more than two decades at the Justice Department.

With everyone present seemed well aware of his role, he identified himself as the deputy attorney general, before quipping: “It’s a low-profile middle management job.”

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Former CIA Chief Brennan Says Russians ‘Brazenly’ Interfered in U.S. Election

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Former Central Intelligence Agency Director John Brennan said Tuesday that Russia “brazenly” interfered in the 2016 presidential election despite a direct warning to a top Kremlin official in August 2016 to stay out of U.S. politics.

(6) Coats won’t answer Trump – Russia question – YouTube

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Published on May 23, 2017

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats gave a non-answer when directly asked by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) if the Washington Post reporting that President Trump asked Coats to publicly say there was no collusion with the Russians was true.


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5 takeaways from intel leaders' Trump testimony – 7:52 PM 5/23/2017

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(6) Coates Won’t Say If Trump Asked Him To Deny Collusion – Full Hearing – YouTube

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Published on May 23, 2017

Daniel R. Coats, director of national intelligence, and Marine
Corps Lt. Gen. Vincent R. Stewart, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee, May 23, 2017.

“I don’t feel it’s appropriate to characterize conversations with the president,” Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coates told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday.

Coates was called before the committee to discuss worldwide threats, but the first question – from Committee Chairman Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) — dealt with the latest leak to the Washington Post intended to undermine the Trump presidency.
Video courtesy Department of Defense

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Video – Former CIA Director Brennan: “I shared classified information with the Russians while I was Director of the CIA.” Full video here: http://cs.pn/2rMhwLt

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Former CIA Director Brennan: “I shared classified information with the Russians while I was Director of the CIA.” Full video here: http://cs.pn/2rMhwLt

Former CIA Director Brennan testifies on #Russia before @HouseIntelComm – LIVE on C-SPAN3 http://cs.pn/2rMhwLt pic.twitter.com/Xjw0iCSkLp

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5 takeaways from intel leaders’ Trump testimony

Current and former U.S. intelligence leaders made it clear on Tuesday that they have little interest in helping President Donald Trump escape the scandal surrounding his campaigns ties to Russia.During three congressional hearings, the leaders lent new weight to questions about whether Trumps campaign aides colluded with Russian officials to influence the presidential election providing yet another setback as the White House seeks a reset during Trumps foreign trip.

Former CIA Director John Brennan said U.S. intelligence agencies had picked up contacts between Russia and people involved in Trump’s campaign, and left open the possibility that Russian officials may have been successful in recruiting some of the aides.

Across Capitol Hill, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats declined to comment on a Washington Post report that Trump had asked him to deny evidence of Russia collusion, though Coats left the door open to answering such questions in the future. And National Security Agency chief Adm. Mike Rogers did nothing to douse the Post’s allegation that Trump had made a similar request to him as lawmakers failed to ask him a single question about the issue.

Here are POLITICOs takeaways from Tuesdays hearings:

Brennan adds to Trumps troubles

Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee asked Brennan repeatedly whether he had seen evidence of collusion between Trump aides and Moscow seemingly hoping that Brennan, like former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper before him, would say he had not seen direct evidence.

But Brennan took a different tack, saying he had seen contacts between Russia and “U.S. persons” that concerned him, and that these contacts had been passed to the FBI for investigation. This was the most direct acknowledgment yet by a current or former U.S. official that investigators believe Russia sought to recruit Americans to help affect the 2016 election.
The remarks also provided lend some additional heft to the Russia investigations being conducted by the FBI and House and Senate intelligence committees, which Trump has sought to dismiss as a witch hunt.

“I encountered and am aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and U.S. persons involved in the Trump campaign that I was concerned about because of known Russian efforts to suborn such individuals,” Brennan told lawmakers. “And it raised questions in my mind again whether or not the Russians were able to gain the cooperation of those individuals.”

Republicans get backup on leaks

The Brennan hearing wasnt all bad news for Trump. The former CIA chief took a hardline stance on government officials who have leaked classified information to the news media, saying the leakers need to be tracked down.

“These continue to be very, very damaging leaks, and I find them appalling, Brennan said.

During a House Intelligence Committee hearing in March, Republicans took heat for focusing on leaks rather thanon Russias election meddling and possible collusion with the Trump campaign. Republicans appeared cognizant of this criticism on Tuesday, with Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) saying he wanted to save his leak questions until the end of the hearing.

After the hearing, the White House issued a statement touting Brennans remarks on leaks.

Even Obama’s CIA director believes the leaks of classified information are ‘appalling’ and the culprits must be ‘tracked down,'” said a White House spokesperson.

Coats willing to talk, just to a different panel

The first question Tuesday at the Senate Armed Services Committee’s hearing with Coats was about the Posts report the night before that before, which said Trump had asked him and Rogers to publicly deny evidence of cooperation between his campaign and Russia.

I don’t feel its appropriate to characterize discussions and conversations with the president, Coats responded.

But asked later if hed be willing to divulge such talks with the Senate Intelligence Committee which is spearheading the probe into Russias election-year meddling and possible ties to Trumps team the nations top spy changed his tune.
I do believe that the information and discussions that I’ve had with the president are something that should not be disclosed, said Coats, who had vowed to cooperate with the inquiries during his confirmation hearing. On the other hand, if I’m called before an investigative committee, I certainly will provide them with what I know and what I don’t know.

The former Indiana Republican senator said he had no documents to make relevant to the intelligence panels or to Robert Mueller, the former FBI director whom the Justice Department tapped as the special counsel overseeing its Russia investigation.

Senate Democrats look to keep intelligence controversies alive

Armed Services Democrats repeatedly tried to draw Coats into criticizing Trumps decision to share classified intelligence possibly from Israel with senior Russian officials in the Oval Office earlier this month.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and other lawmakers asked whether if the disclosure would affect intelligence sharing with other U.S. allies.

I’ve not seen anything that would lead to that conclusion, Coats replied.

Defense Intelligence Agency chief Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart backed up the claim at the same hearing. That brought a rebuke from Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.): Theyre very worried, general.

Democrats also latched onto another evasive answer from Coats as evidence that the spy chief was aware of pressure from the president on the intelligence community to disavow the government’s Russia investigation.

While Coats wouldn’t comment broadly on the allegations that Trump tried to stifle the FBIs investigation, the intelligence leader also wouldn’t actively deny that he had discussed the issue with Rogers.
That is something that I, um, would like to withhold, that question, at this particular point in time,” he said in response to the query from Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.).

Panel Democrats took the response as a de facto yes, though McCain skewered that interpretation.

Maine Sen. Angus King, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, also pried out of Coats that the intelligence community has not begun what is often called a bomb damage assessment of the ramifications of Trump sharing the secret information with the Russians.

Rogers gets off easy

Comparatively, lawmakers treated Rogers with kid gloves during his testimony before a House Armed Services subcommittee.

None of the panel members asked about Trumps reported requests during the 75-minute session, which dealt with the military’s U.S. Cyber Command budget proposal for the 2018 fiscal year. Rogers offered no comments about the accuracy of the Posts story during his opening statement or in any of his answers.

Morrissey Rips British Politicians after Manchester Attack: Petrified to Admit Islamic Extremism Behind Terror


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This is now LIVE on C-SPAN3. https://twitter.com/cspan/status/867104325503528961 
 

This is now LIVE on C-SPAN3. https://twitter.com/cspan/status/867104325503528961 …

CIA ex-chief cites signs of possible Trump campaign ties to Russia

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former CIA Director John Brennan said on Tuesday that he does not know whether President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign colluded with Russia but that he saw “information and intelligence that was worthy of investigation.”

Amid opposition, Trump makes low budget request for Mexico border wall

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump is asking Congress for $1.6 billion to begin building a wall along the border with Mexico, far short of the amount needed for a project sharply criticized by Democrats and even some conservative Republicans.

Trump budget proposal would dramatically cut foreign aid

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump’s proposed budget would slash nearly a third in funding for diplomacy and foreign aid including global health and food aid, peacekeeping and other forms of non-military foreign involvement.

Trump proposes deep U.S. spending cuts in Mexico, Central America

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – President Donald Trump on Tuesday proposed drastically slashing U.S. foreign aid spending in Mexico and Central America, which are struggling with drug violence, graft and poverty that prompts many from the troubled region to migrate north.

Senate panel says it will subpoena Michael Flynn businesses

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The leaders of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee said on Tuesday they would subpoena two of former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s businesses after Flynn declined to comply with a subpoena for documents in the panel’s Russia probe.

Trump retains Marc Kasowitz as private attorney for Russia probe: Fox Business

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump has retained Marc Kasowitz as his private attorney for the special counsel’s probe of alleged Russian meddling in the U.S. election and possible ties between the Trump campaign and Moscow, a Fox Business Network reporter said on Twitter on Tuesday.

U.S. lawmakers gear up to block Trump plan to slash oil stockpile

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A Trump administration plan to sell off half the U.S. emergency crude oil stockpile to help balance the budget faces opposition in Congress, with lawmakers from both parties worried the proposal would undermine the drilling industry and make the country vulnerable to supply shocks.

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After the appointment of a special counsel to investigate possible ties between President Trump’s campaign and Russia, can the White House return to business as usual? The FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast crew looks at whether past presidents have been … 

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Statement on coverage of Seth Rich murder investigation – Fox News
 

Statement on coverage of Seth Rich murder investigation
Fox News
On May 16, a story was posted on the Fox News website on the investigation into the 2016 murder of DNC Staffer Seth Rich. The article was not initially subjected to the high degree of editorial scrutiny we require for all our reporting. Upon and more »

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Fox News retracts unfounded story about DNC staffer’s death

Days after it was debunked, Fox News retracted on Tuesday an unfounded story it ran last week alleging that the 2016 death of a Democratic National Committee staffer may have been a murder in retaliation for communicating with the website WikiLeaks. But Fox News host Sean Hannity is doubling down.According to D.C. police, the staffer, Seth Rich, was killed last summer during a robbery attempt, but a conspiracy theory has circulated online claiming that he had really been murdered because he leaked DNC emails to WikiLeaks. The police have said there is no evidence to support the claim, and Richs family also denied that Rich had communicated with anyone from WikiLeaks before his death.

But Fox News picked up the story and ran an article about it online, and conservative host Sean Hannity promoted the unfounded claims on his primetime program and through social media, spurring widespread condemnation from other media.

The network released a statement Tuesday afternoon saying that the May 16 story was not initially subjected to the high degree of editorial scrutiny we require for all our reporting.

Upon appropriate review, the article was found not to meet those standards and has since been removed, the statement said. We will continue to investigate this story and will provide updates as warranted.
The statement did not mention Hannity, who as recently as Tuesday afternoon had continued to share tweets about it. And after Fox issued the retraction, Hannity refused to follow suit, saying on his radio show, “all you in the liberal media, I am not FoxNews.com. I retracted nothing.”

“For those accusing me of pushing a conspiracy theory, you are the biggest phony hypocrites in the entire world,” he said on the afternoon program.

Hannity described himself as feeling “so badly” for Rich’s family and “what they have been through and what they are going through,” but refused to apologize for promoting the unfounded claims.

“Take Seth out of it, there was a whistleblower, within the DNC a truthteller that actually was the source for WikiLeaks and not Russia working with the Trump campaign,” Hannity said. “These are questions I have a moral obligation to ask. And I will do the mainstream media’s job like I have most of my career.”

American intelligence officials say they are confident in their conclusion that the Russian government was behind the cyberattack on the DNC last year. President Donald Trump has repeatedly denied that his campaign coordinated with the Russians on the hacking, and his campaign is the subject of multiple investigations into whether or not it did.

On Monday evening, he shared a link to a Daily Beast story reporting that other Fox News employees were dismayed by his embrace of the unfounded story and indicated that he had no regrets. Very interesting, he wrote. My heart is not troubled in the least.Richs family thanked Fox for retracting the story in a statement sent through a spokesman on Tuesday.

The family would like to thank Fox News for their retraction on a story that has caused pain and anguish to the family and has done harm to Seth Richs legacy, the family said. We are hopeful that in the future that Fox News will work with the family to ensure the highest degree of professionality and scrutiny is followed so that only accurate facts are reported surrounding this case.

The Daily Caller, a conservative website, has also taken down a story promoting the conspiracy theory.

Local affiliate Fox 5 has not retracted its story on the subject, and a spokesperson referred a reporter to a clarification the publication issued last week reporting that a source had backed down from the account.


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Former CIA Director Brennan testifies on #Russia before @HouseIntelComm – LIVE on C-SPAN3 http://cs.pn/2rMhwLt pic.twitter.com/Xjw0iCSkLp

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Former CIA Director Brennan testifies on before – LIVE on C-SPAN3http://cs.pn/2rMhwLt 

Trump retains Marc Kasowitz as private attorney for Russia probe: Fox Business

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Former CIA Chief Brennan Says Russians Were in Contact With Trump Campaign Associates

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WASHINGTON—Former CIA director John Brennan testified Tuesday that contacts by Donald Trump campaign associates with Russian officials last year raised concerns that the Kremlin could try to cultivate people close to Mr. Trump, shedding light on why federal agents began a full investigation.

Mr. Brennan also disclosed that the intelligence community’s alarm about Russia “brazenly” interfering in the 2016 presidential election prompted him to warn his Russian intelligence counterpart last summer to stop meddling in U.S. politics.

In testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, Mr. Brennan explained the basis for the Federal Bureau of Investigation counterintelligence investigation that was opened after the election, which is looking at potential collusion between the campaign and Russia.

“I encountered and I’m aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and U.S. persons involved in the Trump campaign,” said Mr. Brennan, the head of the Central Intelligence Agency under former President Barack Obama.

Mr. Brennan said he didn’t know if these contacts by people tied to the campaign amounted to “collusion” with Russian officials, but said that a common Russian intelligence technique involved cultivating Americans as either witting or unwitting intelligence assets.

Mr. Brennan said he was concerned because of “known Russian efforts to suborn such individuals.”

He said that the contacts picked up by U.S. intelligence justified the opening of an FBI investigation that has overshadowed Mr. Trump’s presidency.

“I know that there was a sufficient basis of information and intelligence that required further investigation by the bureau to determine whether or not U.S. persons were actively conspiring, colluding with Russian officials,” said Mr. Brennan.

Mr. Brennan declined to discuss the specific information that his assessments were based on in the open hearing, saying that much of the information was classified. The House Intelligence Committee subsequently continued the hearing with Mr. Brennan in a classified, closed-door setting.

Mr. Trump has denied that he or his campaign coordinated with any foreign entity, and Russia has denied meddling in the election. Mr. Trump has said continuing questions about his campaign’s Russia contacts amount to a “witch hunt.”

The FBI investigation is now being overseen by a special counsel, Robert Mueller, after Mr. Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey raised questions about whether the president was trying to quash the probe into whether his associates had contacts with Russians.

Mr. Trump asked Mr. Comey to end an investigation into his former national security adviser, Mike Flynn, according to people close to Mr. Comey. Mr. Trump has denied he made the request.

In a separate hearing Tuesday morning, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats declined to confirm or deny that Mr. Trump had asked him to publicly state there was no collusion between the Trump presidential campaign and the Russian government in response to a Washington Post report.

The Post reported that the president asked Mr. Coats and the National Security Agency director, Adm. Mike Rogers, to publicly deny the existence of any evidence of collusion between the campaign and Russia.

Mr. Coats said it wasn’t appropriate to comment about the topic in his public testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

“We discuss a number of topics on a very regular basis,” Mr. Coats said. “On this topic, as well as other topics, I don’t feel it’s appropriate to characterize discussions, conversations with the president.”

Mr. Coats was asked if he had discussed with Adm. Rogers any request from Mr. Trump regarding collusion. Mr. Coats responded: “That is something that I would like to withhold, that question, at this particular point in time.”

Mr. Coats was also asked if he knew of any efforts by the White House to interfere in other aspects of the Russia inquiry, including allegations the president asked Mr. Comey to ease off investigating Mr. Flynn. “I am not aware of that,” Mr. Coats said.

Mr. Brennan, the former CIA chief, said in his testimony that the intelligence community determined by last August that there was a “very aggressive” effort by Russia to intervene in the 2016 election.

Mr. Brennan described a previously undisclosed warning he made to his counterpart in Russian intelligence, Alexander Bortnikov, the head of the Russian FSB service, not to interfere in the U.S. election in an August phone call. According to Mr. Brennan’s account, Mr. Bortnikov denied any attempt to intervene and said Moscow is routinely and falsely blamed for such efforts by the U.S. government.

Write to Byron Tau at byron.tau@wsj.com and Joshua Jamerson at joshua.jamerson@wsj.com

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Security sources identify suspected Manchester attacker

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DOJ says special prosecutor’s office ‘up and running’

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Special prosecutor Robert Mueller’s office is now operating from an office in Washington, beginning its work of probing the impact of Russian influence on the 2016 presidential election, Justice Department officials said Tuesday.

“The special counsel’s office is up and running now,” Assistant Attorney General for Administration Lee Lofthus told reporters at an annual briefing on the Justice Department’s budget. “What its total staff size is going to be is something that I’m not aware of. I just don’t know yet and that’s in the hands of the special counsel, not here.”

A Justice Department spokeswoman said earlier Tuesday that Mueller and his team are working out of a privately-owned office building in downtown Washington. The building also houses offices for other Justice Department units.
Mueller has 60 days to propose a budget for this fiscal year and a deadline at the beginning of July to propose a budget for the next fiscal year, according to the regulations used to create his position.

“The office of Special Counsel budget is not something that’s part of the FY18 budget,” Lofthus said in response to questions from POLITICO. “It’s something that obviously needs to be done now because the special counsel is being stood up now.”

Lofthus said the special counsel will be funded via a “permanent and indefinite appropriation” at the Treasury Department that is separate from other Justice Department accounts.

“There’s an appropriation and we’re going to make sure the special counsel is funded and it’s out of that appropriation,” Lofthus said. “We work with them on their expected estimates. … That’s all underway.”

The man who appointed Mueller to the post last week, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, opened the budget briefing with a statement, but declined to take questions from reporters. He said he had to go to another meeting.

At the outset of the session, Rosenstein joked about how he’s suddenly found himself in the spotlight after more than two decades at the Justice Department.

With everyone present seemed well aware of his role, he identified himself as the deputy attorney general, before quipping: “It’s a low-profile middle management job.”

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Former CIA Chief Brennan Says Russians ‘Brazenly’ Interfered in U.S. Election

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Former Central Intelligence Agency Director John Brennan said Tuesday that Russia “brazenly” interfered in the 2016 presidential election despite a direct warning to a top Kremlin official in August 2016 to stay out of U.S. politics.

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(6) Coats won’t answer Trump – Russia question – YouTube

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Published on May 23, 2017

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats gave a non-answer when directly asked by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) if the Washington Post reporting that President Trump asked Coats to publicly say there was no collusion with the Russians was true.


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News In Photos – 6:40 PM 5/23/2017

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1. News in Photos from mikenova (4 sites)
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The World Web Times worldwebtimes.com: Politics: Senate Democrats: Trump would cut more in infrastructure spending than he proposes to add: An analysis cites $206 billion in cuts to an array of infrastructure programs.

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Pride marched into Brighton Beach! 

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WSJ.com: World News: Former CIA Chief Brennan Says Russians ‘Brazenly’ Interfered in U.S. Election

Former Central Intelligence Agency Director John Brennan said Tuesday that Russia brazenly interfered in the 2016 presidential election despite a direct warning to a top Kremlin official in August 2016 to stay out of U.S. politics.

WSJ.com: World News

WSJ.com: World News: Pakistan Cracks Down on Social-Media Critics of Military

Pakistans government is cracking down on social media critics of the nations powerful military, a move many activists and opposition lawmakers say is aimed at suppressing free speech and political dissent.

WSJ.com: World News

WSJ.com: World News: Ahead of Trump Visit, Survey Shows Growing U.S. Support for NATO

As President Trump prepares for his first visit to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization headquarters, a new survey shows support for the alliance rising in the U.S.

WSJ.com: World News

E! Brooklyn ebklyn.com: Brooklyn gays

As growing numbers of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender exiles from Russia move to Sheepshead Bay and other southern Brooklyn neighborhoods, many of them say they have been subjected to intense discrimination by members of older generations who adhere to the harshly conservative principles of their homeland.

E! Brooklyn ebklyn.com

WSJ.com: World News: U.S. Forces Attack Al Qaeda in Yemen

Seven militants are killed in air-and-ground operation, the Pentagon says.

WSJ.com: World News

WSJ.com: World News: Trump Says U.S. Committed to Israeli and Palestinian Peace

President Donald Trump said the U.S. is committed to peace between the Israelis and Palestinians, but steered clear of saying how the two sides will overcome longstanding obstacles to a deal.

WSJ.com: World News

WSJ.com: World News: Suicide Bomber Kills 22 at U.K. Concert; Children Among Victims

The suicide bomber who killed 22 people and injured dozens of others outside a pop concert in Manchester on Monday night hit one of the softest of soft targets a mostly young crowd pouring from the exits at the end of the show, police said.

WSJ.com: World News

WSJ.com: World News: Japan Pushes Ahead With Antiterrorism Bill

Japan took a decisive step toward a new law bolstering police powers to prevent terror attacks despite concerns about a possible erosion of civil liberties.

WSJ.com: World News

WSJ.com: World News: Australia Opens New Trade Horizon in Latin America

Australia plans to begin free trade talks on Wednesday with Peru, hoping to use a resulting pact to broaden commerce with three more Latin American countries and help counter a U.S. tide of protectionism.

WSJ.com: World News

WSJ.com: World News: Big Brother Comes for Foreign Firms in China

A new threat to foreign businesses in China is looming in the form of a social-credit system that harnesses big data to monitor and rate companies, what one think tank calls IT-backed authoritarianism.

WSJ.com: World News

WSJ.com: World News: Pope Francis, Donald Trump to Seek Common Ground at Vatican

When President Donald Trump visits Pope Francis on a trip the White House has cast as a pilgrimage of peace, the two leaders could struggle to find significant areas of agreement after a public show of acrimony.

WSJ.com: World News

WSJ.com: World News: Men Punished With Lashings for Same-Sex Relations in Indonesia

Two men were lashed with a cane in Aceh province as punishment for having same-sex relations, part of a growing intolerance of sexual minorities that has marked the rise of more conservative Islam in the worlds largest Muslim-majority country.

WSJ.com: World News

The World Web Times worldwebtimes.com: Trump asked intelligence officials to deny connections with Russia

1. VIDEO NEWS from mikenova (66 sites): Washington Posts YouTube Videos: Trump asked intelligence officials to deny connections with Russia

From: Washington Post
Duration: 01:53

The Washington Posts Adam Entous explains how President Trump asked two top ranking intelligence officials to publicly deny any connection between his campaign and Russia.

Washington Posts YouTube Videos

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The World Web Times worldwebtimes.com

WSJ.com: World News: At Least 19 Killed at U.K. Concert; Police Investigating as Terror

A suspected suicide bomber killed at least 19 people were killed and about 50 injured at a concert hall in Manchester, England, according to U.S. and U.K. authorities. A loud explosion was set off outside the venue just after American singer Ariana Grande closed a show, sending screaming fans streaming toward the exits, according to witnesses and British authorities.

WSJ.com: World News

WSJ.com: World News: Ousted South Korean President’s Corruption Trial Opens

The trial of former South Korean President Park Geun-hye began less than three months after she was removed from office as part of a sweeping corruption scandal. Also on trial are Ms. Parks former friend and Lottes chairman.

WSJ.com: World News

 

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WSJ.com: World News: Australia Opens New Trade Horizon in Latin America
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The World Web Times worldwebtimes.com: Trump asked intelligence officials to deny connections with Russia
WSJ.com: World News: At Least 19 Killed at U.K. Concert; Police Investigating as Terror
WSJ.com: World News: Ousted South Korean President’s Corruption Trial Opens

 

1. News in Photos from mikenova (4 sites)
WSJ.com: World News: One Protester Killed, Hundreds Hurt in Clash With Bahraini Police

Bahraini security forces clashed with Shiite Muslim protesters, killing one person and wounding hundreds in the latest flare-up between the countrys Sunni monarchy and majority Shiite population.


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Politics Review – 4:03 PM 5/23/2017: Security sources identify suspected Manchester attacker | DOJ says special prosecutor’s office ‘up and running’ | Former CIA Chief Brennan Says Russians 'Brazenly' Interfered in U.S. Election

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Former CIA Chief Brennan Says Russians Were in Contact With Trump Campaign Associates – wsj

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WASHINGTON—Former CIA director John Brennan testified Tuesday that contacts by Donald Trump campaign associates with Russian officials last year raised concerns that the Kremlin could try to cultivate people close to Mr. Trump, shedding light on why federal agents began a full investigation.

Mr. Brennan also disclosed that the intelligence community’s alarm about Russia “brazenly” interfering in the 2016 presidential election prompted him to warn his Russian intelligence counterpart last summer to stop meddling in U.S. politics.

In testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, Mr. Brennan explained the basis for the Federal Bureau of Investigation counterintelligence investigation that was opened after the election, which is looking at potential collusion between the campaign and Russia.

“I encountered and I’m aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and U.S. persons involved in the Trump campaign,” said Mr. Brennan, the head of the Central Intelligence Agency under former President Barack Obama.

Mr. Brennan said he didn’t know if these contacts by people tied to the campaign amounted to “collusion” with Russian officials, but said that a common Russian intelligence technique involved cultivating Americans as either witting or unwitting intelligence assets.

Mr. Brennan said he was concerned because of “known Russian efforts to suborn such individuals.”

He said that the contacts picked up by U.S. intelligence justified the opening of an FBI investigation that has overshadowed Mr. Trump’s presidency.

“I know that there was a sufficient basis of information and intelligence that required further investigation by the bureau to determine whether or not U.S. persons were actively conspiring, colluding with Russian officials,” said Mr. Brennan.

Mr. Brennan declined to discuss the specific information that his assessments were based on in the open hearing, saying that much of the information was classified. The House Intelligence Committee subsequently continued the hearing with Mr. Brennan in a classified, closed-door setting.

Mr. Trump has denied that he or his campaign coordinated with any foreign entity, and Russia has denied meddling in the election. Mr. Trump has said continuing questions about his campaign’s Russia contacts amount to a “witch hunt.”

The FBI investigation is now being overseen by a special counsel, Robert Mueller, after Mr. Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey raised questions about whether the president was trying to quash the probe into whether his associates had contacts with Russians.

Mr. Trump asked Mr. Comey to end an investigation into his former national security adviser, Mike Flynn, according to people close to Mr. Comey. Mr. Trump has denied he made the request.

In a separate hearing Tuesday morning, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats declined to confirm or deny that Mr. Trump had asked him to publicly state there was no collusion between the Trump presidential campaign and the Russian government in response to a Washington Post report.

The Post reported that the president asked Mr. Coats and the National Security Agency director, Adm. Mike Rogers, to publicly deny the existence of any evidence of collusion between the campaign and Russia.

Mr. Coats said it wasn’t appropriate to comment about the topic in his public testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

“We discuss a number of topics on a very regular basis,” Mr. Coats said. “On this topic, as well as other topics, I don’t feel it’s appropriate to characterize discussions, conversations with the president.”

Mr. Coats was asked if he had discussed with Adm. Rogers any request from Mr. Trump regarding collusion. Mr. Coats responded: “That is something that I would like to withhold, that question, at this particular point in time.”

Mr. Coats was also asked if he knew of any efforts by the White House to interfere in other aspects of the Russia inquiry, including allegations the president asked Mr. Comey to ease off investigating Mr. Flynn. “I am not aware of that,” Mr. Coats said.

Mr. Brennan, the former CIA chief, said in his testimony that the intelligence community determined by last August that there was a “very aggressive” effort by Russia to intervene in the 2016 election.

Mr. Brennan described a previously undisclosed warning he made to his counterpart in Russian intelligence, Alexander Bortnikov, the head of the Russian FSB service, not to interfere in the U.S. election in an August phone call. According to Mr. Brennan’s account, Mr. Bortnikov denied any attempt to intervene and said Moscow is routinely and falsely blamed for such efforts by the U.S. government.

Write to Byron Tau at byron.tau@wsj.com and Joshua Jamerson at joshua.jamerson@wsj.com

Security sources identify suspected Manchester attacker

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DOJ says special prosecutor’s office ‘up and running’

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Special prosecutor Robert Mueller’s office is now operating from an office in Washington, beginning its work of probing the impact of Russian influence on the 2016 presidential election, Justice Department officials said Tuesday.

“The special counsel’s office is up and running now,” Assistant Attorney General for Administration Lee Lofthus told reporters at an annual briefing on the Justice Department’s budget. “What its total staff size is going to be is something that I’m not aware of. I just don’t know yet and that’s in the hands of the special counsel, not here.”

A Justice Department spokeswoman said earlier Tuesday that Mueller and his team are working out of a privately-owned office building in downtown Washington. The building also houses offices for other Justice Department units.
Mueller has 60 days to propose a budget for this fiscal year and a deadline at the beginning of July to propose a budget for the next fiscal year, according to the regulations used to create his position.

“The office of Special Counsel budget is not something that’s part of the FY18 budget,” Lofthus said in response to questions from POLITICO. “It’s something that obviously needs to be done now because the special counsel is being stood up now.”

Lofthus said the special counsel will be funded via a “permanent and indefinite appropriation” at the Treasury Department that is separate from other Justice Department accounts.

“There’s an appropriation and we’re going to make sure the special counsel is funded and it’s out of that appropriation,” Lofthus said. “We work with them on their expected estimates. … That’s all underway.”

The man who appointed Mueller to the post last week, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, opened the budget briefing with a statement, but declined to take questions from reporters. He said he had to go to another meeting.

At the outset of the session, Rosenstein joked about how he’s suddenly found himself in the spotlight after more than two decades at the Justice Department.

With everyone present seemed well aware of his role, he identified himself as the deputy attorney general, before quipping: “It’s a low-profile middle management job.”

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Former CIA Chief Brennan Says Russians ‘Brazenly’ Interfered in U.S. Election

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Former Central Intelligence Agency Director John Brennan said Tuesday that Russia “brazenly” interfered in the 2016 presidential election despite a direct warning to a top Kremlin official in August 2016 to stay out of U.S. politics.

(6) Coats won’t answer Trump – Russia question – YouTube

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Published on May 23, 2017

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats gave a non-answer when directly asked by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) if the Washington Post reporting that President Trump asked Coats to publicly say there was no collusion with the Russians was true.

Former CIA Chief Brennan Says Russians ‘Brazenly’ Interfered in U.S. Election
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Former CIA Chief Brennan Says Russians ‘Brazenly’ Interfered in U.S. Election

Former Central Intelligence Agency Director John Brennan said Tuesday that Russia brazenly interfered in the 2016 presidential election despite a direct warning to a top Kremlin official in August 2016 to stay out of U.S. politics.
TheNewYorkTimess YouTube Videos: President Donald Trump Shifts Stances On Key Israeli Issues | The New York Times 1:52 PM 5/22/2017

TheNewYorkTimes’s YouTube Videos: President Donald Trump Shifts Stances On Key Israeli Issues | The New York Times

From: TheNewYorkTimes
Duration: 05:06
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CBSNewsOnline’s YouTube Videos: Trump makes history with visit to Western Wall

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1. VIDEO NEWS from mikenova (66 sites): golosamerikius’s YouTube Videos: Цирк Братьев Ринглинг, Барнума и Бейли с полуторавековой историей выступил в последний раз
 

From: golosamerikius
Duration: 01:01

 

President Donald Trump has a packed schedule filled with photo ops during his first trip abroad.

See the Highlights of President Trumps First Trip Abroad
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 President Donald Trump has a packed schedule filled with photo ops during his first trip abroad.
Manchester explosion Google Search Monday May 22nd, 2017 at 11:44 PM

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manchester explosion – Google Search

Trump asked intelligence officials to deny connections with Russia

1. VIDEO NEWS from mikenova (66 sites): Washington Posts YouTube Videos: Trump asked intelligence officials to deny connections with Russia
 

From: Washington Post
Duration: 01:53

The Washington Posts Adam Entous explains how President Trump asked two top ranking intelligence officials to publicly deny any connection between his campaign and Russia.

Washington Posts YouTube Videos

1. VIDEO NEWS from mikenova (66 sites)

Politics: Senate Democrats: Trump would cut more in infrastructure spending than he proposes to add: An analysis cites $206 billion in cuts to an array of infrastructure programs.

Politics: Senate Democrats: Trump would cut more in infrastructure spending than he proposes to add

An analysis cites $206 billion in cuts to an array of infrastructure programs.
ABC: Manchester Attack Likely to Inflame Anti-Islamic Sentiment

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On Tuesday’s “Good Morning America,” co-host George Stephanopoulos and ABC Chief Global Affairs Correspondent Martha Raddatz stated that the attack in Manchester could lead to anti-Muslim backlash. Stephanapolous said that while people are determined to go back to their normal lives, “this is also likely to inflame anti-Islamic sentiment across Britain, across Europe.” Raddatz responded, “It sure could, George. You know, Manchester itself is a very multicultural city. There’s a large Muslim population, with many there for generations. So, a headscarf attracts little attention there. And notably, Manchester did not vote in favor of Brexit, but an attack like this, as you said, is much bigger than Manchester itself, and will likely create backlash depending, of course, on the details of this attack, George.” (h/t WFB) Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett
Security sources identify suspected Manchester attacker
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DOJ says special prosecutors office up and running

Special prosecutor Robert Muellers office is now operating from an office in Washington, beginning its work of probing the impact of Russian influence on the 2016 presidential election, Justice Department officials said Tuesday.The special counsels office is up and running now, Assistant Attorney General for Administration Lee Lofthus told reporters at an annual briefing on the Justice Departments budget. What its total staff size is going to be is something that Im not aware of. I just dont know yet and thats in the hands of the special counsel, not here.A Justice Department spokeswoman said earlier Tuesday that Mueller and his team are working out of a privately-owned office building in downtown Washington. The building also houses offices for other Justice Department units.
Mueller has 60 days to propose a budget for this fiscal year and a deadline at the beginning of July to propose a budget for the next fiscal year, according to the regulations used to create his position.The office of Special Counsel budget is not something thats part of the FY18 budget, Lofthus said in response to questions from POLITICO. Its something that obviously needs to be done now because the special counsel is being stood up now.Lofthus said the special counsel will be funded via a permanent and indefinite appropriation at the Treasury Department that is separate from other Justice Department accounts.

Theres an appropriation and were going to make sure the special counsel is funded and its out of that appropriation, Lofthus said. We work with them on their expected estimates. Thats all underway.

The man who appointed Mueller to the post last week, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, opened the budget briefing with a statement, but declined to take questions from reporters. He said he had to go to another meeting.

At the outset of the session, Rosenstein joked about how hes suddenly found himself in the spotlight after more than two decades at the Justice Department.

With everyone present seemed well aware of his role, he identified himself as the deputy attorney general, before quipping: Its a low-profile middle management job.”

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Brooklyn Magazine: Where to Celebrate Memorial Day in BK

While were never eager to see the far side of spring, its hard not to get excited about the prospect of summer being just around the bend. And Memorial Day (make that Memorial Day Weekend), marks the unofficial start of barbecuing, beachcombing, and fruity, frozen drinks. Now’s the time to get primed for the season at the following summer-courting spots!
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1. Politics Review from mikenova (18 sites)
POLITICO – TOP Stories: Trump budget: Long on wishful thinking, short on shared sacrifice

President Donald Trumps new balanced budget plan is a little like his famous hungering for a Purple Heart.As a candidate last summer, Trump allowed that he had always coveted the military decoration for those wounded in combat. But when given his chance to earn one as a young man, Trump avoided the draft in the Vietnam War.The pattern repeats itself now in the presidents budget, where he again takes the path of wishful thinking without showing much commitment to shared sacrifice.For example, fully $2 trillion of Trumps deficit reduction plan rests in large part on what many contend are overly optimistic economic assumptions. At the same time, the president doesnt hesitate to demand very large savings from programs for the poor and disabled all ahead of the policy debate over how to actually reform these benefits.To understand the stakes, one good starting point is to compare the White House documents Tuesday with those prepared by Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) when he first took over the House Budget Committee in 2011.

Like Trump, Ryans Path to Prosperity back then defined success as bringing government spending and revenues into rough balance at about 19 percent of the nations gross domestic product or GDP.
Ryan, like Trump, endorsed tax cuts and defense spending increases while demanding domestic savings. But as scored by the Congressional Budget Office, it took Ryan almost 20 years to get to his goal. And that was only after he put himself at risk by ratcheting down the growth in Medicare, the healthcare program for the elderly.

Trump avoids such politically tough decisions yet still promises to achieve a balanced budget in 10 years. He does this by projecting robust economic growth to make his task easier. And to a remarkable degree, Trump takes Republicans down a path that shifts the economic burden ever more onto low income families.

Social Security retirement benefits and Medicare important to elderly of all incomes are largely spared. By 2027 these two entitlements alone would represent more than half of government spending under the presidents plan, according to White House tables.

Instead, the lions share of Trumps proposed entitlement savings would come from programs for the disadvantaged: Medicaid, food stamps, welfare and disability benefits. At the same time, the relative balance that exists today between defense and non-defense appropriations would be radically altered, making it harder for Congress to fill holes in the safety net.

Indeed, non-defense discretionary outlays would drop to $429 billion in fiscal 2027, according to White House tables. That is 42 percent less than whats projected now for 2027 under the spending caps in current law. As a share of the nations economy, it translates to just 1.4 percent of GDP for 2027 less than half the 3.3 percent level just last year in fiscal 2016.

Put another way, Trumps vision of a government in balance would mean two-thirds of all outlays in 2027 would be consumed by just four areas: defense, interest payments, Medicare and Social Security.

For sure, the White House rounds up the usual suspects like farmers and threatens some $38 billion in cuts to agriculture subsidies and related programs. But with a new farm bill on the horizon, Trump also goes well beyond Ryans fiscal 2012 budget and demands more than $190 billion in 10-year savings from food stamps.
That includes a new plan to ask states to pick up as much as 25 percent of the annual costs in the future. On a long-term basis, that could translate into an estimated $11 billion burden for governors each year. And for food stamp advocates, it represents a retreat from what has been an historic commitment by Washington to address hunger issues from the federal level.

In the case of Medicaid, Trumps $610 billion in new savings come on the heels of a bitter healthcare debate in which future funding for the same program would be severely cut by the House. All this after Republicans with Trumps blessing plan to roll back capital gains and payroll taxes on the wealthy, surrendering billions of dollars in 10-year revenues that could have been used to narrow the deficit or protect elements of the safety net.

Former Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), who once chaired the Senate Budget Committee and remains a voice on deficit politics, said he had no problem with giving up those revenues. Those were tax increases that shouldnt have occurred, Gregg said. But going forward, he said the White House erred by not addressing Medicare and relying too much on the magic wand of dynamic scoring when they all know thats a dead end street.

Its clear youre not going to get deficits under control until you address the entitlements but the biggest one is Medicare, Gregg said. If they think this is a realistic budget they are more out of touch than they appear to be, which is pretty far out of touch.

This is a statement budget, Gregg added. I give them credit for opening the debate on Medicaid. It needs to be discussed. And disability needs to be discussed and the earned income tax credit needs to be discussed. But unfortunately they have postured it more on a numbers basis than a policy basis which is always a mistake.

Its legitimate to address those programs but if you dont do the policy first to make it clear you want to make the programs better, not just arbitrarily to cut them, you lose the debate coming out of the starting gate, Gregg said.

POLITICO – TOP Stories

POLITICO – TOP Stories: Trump’s magical budget math

On the campaign trail, candidate Donald Trump said he would eliminate the national debt over a period of eight years. But his first budget as president would increase the debt by more than $3 trillionand thats only through rosy assumptions about economic growth and double-counting of tax revenue.Despite these budget gimmicks, the White House is touting the 62-page plan as a model of fiscal responsibility, criticizing the Obama administrations spending and promising that the Trump administration will restore fiscal discipline and make the hard decisions to put our country on a path to repay the debt in full, according to a fact sheet accompanying the budget. Mick Mulvaney, the White House budget director, told reporters Tuesday that the blueprint was a Taxpayer First budget.On paper, Mulvaney is right: under Trumps plan, the government would have a $16 billion surplus by 2027; during the 10-year budget window, the annual deficit would average 1.4 percent of GDP, less than half its 2016 level. And the U.S. debt-to-GDP ratioa measure of the countrys ability to pay its debtwould fall from 77 percent in 2018 to under 60 percent in 2027, according to White House figures.But those figures are, at best, misleading and, at worst, a willful attempt to deceive Americans about the true fiscal implications of Trumps agenda. The budget uses an optimistic assumption about economic growth, which few economists believe is realistic, and assumes the presidents tax plan is deficit-neutral, despite independent scores that the plan would reduce revenues by around $5 trillion. Worse, it double counts up to $2.1 trillion in revenue, a blatant accounting error. Corrected, the $5.6 trillion in savings could disappear entirely; in fact, Trumps budget may even increase the debt.On close reading, the budget is less a credible attempt to eliminate, or even pay down, the U.S. debt and more an ideological policy agenda disguised as a program of fiscal responsibility. It makes sharp cuts to domestic spending programs, including nearly $200 billion from food stamps and $72 billion from disability programs. But when it comes to the hard decisions that the White House professed to make in this budget, Trump chooses the easy route, refusing to consider any cuts for the two biggest drivers of the U.S.s long-term debt: health care and retirement benefits for seniors.

The decisions that they are calling hard would cut benefits for the Americans who deserve our support the most, said Doug Elmendorf, the former head of the Congressional Budget Office. Thats not making a difficult decision. Thats making a bad decision.

To some extent, all politicians use rosy assumptions and budget gimmicks to promote their policy agendas, but the Trump White House goes beyond normal practices in its 2018 budget. The administration assumes that its policies, including tax reform, Obamacare repeal, and the rollback of Obama-era regulations, will jumpstart the economy, eventually pushing growth from its current 2 percent level to 3 percent by 2021. Almost no economists believe such an increase is possible because structural forces, including reduced productivity growth and the aging of baby boomers, are a drag on growth.

Trumps most egregious budget gimmick occurs in the accounting of his tax reform plan. The White House includes the plan, which right now is just a one-page outline, in the budget but assumes the plan is revenue neutral. In the past, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has said that the tax plan will pay for itself through increased economic growth, a promise that economists have deemed unlikely. The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a fiscal watchdog, estimates that the plan would actually cut revenues by $5.5 trillion, a figure that Mnuchin rejected at a congressional hearing last week. We would never propose a plan that we thought would cost $5 trillion, he said.

Mulvaney, in his briefing on Monday, said the administration assumed revenue neutrality in its budget because it was, in all honesty, the most efficient way to look at it. Otherwise, he said, the White House would have had to provide more details about the plan. In doing so, though, the White House is effectively admitting that its revenue baseline may be inaccurate, potentially by trillions of dollars.

The administration also makes an even more basic accounting error in its tax plan: it assumes that revenue generated through increased economic growth can both offset the cost of the tax plan and also reduce the deficit. In other words, the tax plan already uses any revenue generated through increased growth to offset cuts in the plan. But then the White House uses the same money, which totals up to $2.1 trillion, to reduce the deficit. This is as if a consumer decides to use a $100 salary bonus to pay a $100 cable bill and make a $100 car payment using the same money. In fact, of the $5.6 trillion in total savings, as much as 38 percent may come from this double-counting of revenue.

Mnuchin, at the Peterson Foundations Fiscal Summit Tuesday, did not reject the double-counting criticism but instead said, This will be a preliminary document that will be refined. An OMB spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

For all these mathematical errors, the biggest flaw in the budget is conceptual: It doesnt do much to address the true drivers of the U.S.s long-term debt, which is caused by the growing costs of Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security. Trump does propose $600 billion in Medicaid cuts, in addition to the more than $800 billion in cuts in the Republican health care bill. But he doesnt touch Medicare or Social Security retirement benefits. According to CBO, Social Security costs will grow from 4.9 percent of GDP today to 6.3 percent in 2047 while Medicares costs will rise 3.1 percent of GDP to 6.1 percent GDP. By 2047, CBO projects, those two programs alone will equal more than 40 percent of total spending.

Social Security and Medicare are called entitlements because Americans are entitled to those payments by law. So instead, Trump takes a sledgehammer to non-defense discretionary spendingbasically the government funding for items like education, housing and veterans programs. In this category, the budget cuts everything from crop subsidies to student loans. Overall, non-defense discretionary spending would fall to 1.4 percent of GDP by 2027, lower than any point going back to at least 1967, the first year the Congressional Budget Office publishes data.

These drastic cuts to domestic spending programs would reduce overall government spending to 18.4 percent of GDP by 2027, down from 21 percent today. But they dont do anything to make Medicare and Social Security sustainable. Leaving the two old-age entitlement programs untouched simply postpones the day of reckoning, using short-term cuts to push off long-term reforms. (Trump does propose reforms to Social Security Disability Insurance but SSDI makes up only a small percentage of Social Security.)

A budget proposal that cordons off large parts of the budget for consideration and incorporates unduly optimistic assumptions about economic growth is not a responsible budget proposal, said Elmendorf.

Politicians like to talk tough about reducing the debt and making hard decisions about the budget. But reducing the long-term debt is impossible without real reforms to Social Security and Medicare or large increases in federal revenue. This is the fundamental problem that few politicians of either party will level with voters, and for all his apparent truth-telling bluster, neither does Trump.

To the White House, the fact that the budget incorporates such steep spending cuts while leaving Social Security and Medicare untouched is a success in itself. This plan will put our nations budget back into balance and begin to reduce the national debt through fiscally conservative principles that respect American taxpayers all while preserving Social Security and Medicare, the accompanying fact sheet reads. But from a different perspective, Trump is sacrificing basic government programs and support for the poor in an attempt to fulfill his twin campaign promises of reducing the debt and protecting Medicare and Social Security.

Its a playbook that isnt that different from House Speaker Paul Ryan, who became famous for the budgets he released as chair of the House Budget Committee. Like Trump, Ryan used rosy revenue assumptions and deep cuts to non-defense discretionary spending to balance the budget within 10 years. But Ryan differed in one big way: He actually proposed a major reform to Medicare. That reform, known as premium support, wouldnt take effect for 10 years under the Ryan budget, grandfathering all Americans over the age of 55 into the current Medicare program. But premium support nevertheless represented a radical reform, one that was eventually accepted by his House GOP colleagues but has yet to garner enough support in the Senate.

While Trump has ruled out any such changes to entitlement programs, he has already flip-flopped on his past promise to reject cuts to Medicaid. Its possible he will come to support premium support, or a different Medicare or Social Security reform, in the future. But so far, there are no signs that he is changing his mind. In the meantime, with promises to cut taxes, protect Medicare and Social Security and reduce the debt, he has nowhere else to cut but domestic programs.

POLITICO – TOP Stories

Reuters: Politics: Congress hearings show no Trump campaign-Russia collusion: White House official

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Hearings in the Senate and House of Representatives on Tuesday showed there is no evidence of collusion between the Trump presidential campaign and Russia and that President Donald Trump never jeopardized intelligence sources, a White House spokesman said.

Reuters: Politics

Politics: Schumer criticizes Trump’s budget proposal

Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) calls President Trump’s budget “a comic book villain-bad budget.”Politics
Politics: Senate Democrats: Trump would cut more in infrastructure spending than he proposes to add

An analysis cites $206 billion in cuts to an array of infrastructure programs.Politics
Politics: Trey Gowdy poised to seize House Oversight gavel after Jason Chaffetz departs

A potential rival, Rep. Jim Jordan, said he will not challenge Gowdy for the chairmanship.Politics
POLITICO – TOP Stories: DOJ says special prosecutors office up and running

Special prosecutor Robert Muellers office is now operating from an office in Washington, beginning its work of probing the impact of Russian influence on the 2016 presidential election, Justice Department officials said Tuesday.The special counsels office is up and running now, Assistant Attorney General for Administration Lee Lofthus told reporters at an annual briefing on the Justice Departments budget. What its total staff size is going to be is something that Im not aware of. I just dont know yet and thats in the hands of the special counsel, not here.A Justice Department spokeswoman said earlier Tuesday that Mueller and his team are working out of a privately-owned office building in downtown Washington. The building also houses offices for other Justice Department units.
Mueller has 60 days to propose a budget for this fiscal year and a deadline at the beginning of July to propose a budget for the next fiscal year, according to the regulations used to create his position.The office of Special Counsel budget is not something thats part of the FY18 budget, Lofthus said in response to questions from POLITICO. Its something that obviously needs to be done now because the special counsel is being stood up now.Lofthus said the special counsel will be funded via a permanent and indefinite appropriation at the Treasury Department that is separate from other Justice Department accounts.

Theres an appropriation and were going to make sure the special counsel is funded and its out of that appropriation, Lofthus said. We work with them on their expected estimates. Thats all underway.

The man who appointed Mueller to the post last week, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, opened the budget briefing with a statement, but declined to take questions from reporters. He said he had to go to another meeting.

At the outset of the session, Rosenstein joked about how hes suddenly found himself in the spotlight after more than two decades at the Justice Department.

With everyone present seemed well aware of his role, he identified himself as the deputy attorney general, before quipping: Its a low-profile middle management job.”

POLITICO – TOP Stories

debate – Google News: West Chester to debate medical pot regulations – Hamilton Journal News
 


Hamilton Journal News
West Chester to debate medical pot regulations
Hamilton Journal News
The trustees plan to debate the issue tonight at their regular meeting. Trustee George Lang remains steadfast in his belief any action at this time is premature since the state has not yet released all the rules governing the cultivation, testing and

debate – Google News

Politics: Court revives Wikimedia lawsuit against NSA

Organization is suing over data collection.Politics
CSPAN’s YouTube Videos: 1915 Civil War Veterans Parade on Pennsylvania Ave.
 

From: CSPAN
Duration: 02:26

Courtesy National Archives. Watch more Reel America programs online: https://www.c-span.org/series/?reelAmerica

CSPAN’s YouTube Videos

POLITICO – TOP Stories: Security sources identify suspected Manchester attacker
 

POLITICO – TOP Stories

Breitbart News: ABC: Manchester Attack Likely to Inflame Anti-Islamic Sentiment

Screenshot
On Tuesday’s “Good Morning America,” co-host George Stephanopoulos and ABC Chief Global Affairs Correspondent Martha Raddatz stated that the attack in Manchester could lead to anti-Muslim backlash. Stephanapolous said that while people are determined to go back to their normal lives, “this is also likely to inflame anti-Islamic sentiment across Britain, across Europe.” Raddatz responded, “It sure could, George. You know, Manchester itself is a very multicultural city. There’s a large Muslim population, with many there for generations. So, a headscarf attracts little attention there. And notably, Manchester did not vote in favor of Brexit, but an attack like this, as you said, is much bigger than Manchester itself, and will likely create backlash depending, of course, on the details of this attack, George.” (h/t WFB) Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchettBreitbart News
POLITICO – TOP Stories: Mnuchin pans central pillar of House tax reform plan

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin took the unusual step Tuesday of openly criticizing a House Republican plan that would tax imports but not exports, a major pillar of the tax overhaul being pushed by Speaker Paul Ryan and other GOP leaders.One of the problems with the border adjustment tax is that it doesnt create a level playing field, Mnuchin said at the Peter G. Peterson Fiscal Policy Summit, using the plans technical name. It has very different impacts on different companies. It has the potential to pass on significant costs to the consumer. It has the potential of moving the currencies. We want to make sure were creating a level playing field.Mnuchin also backed off his pledge that the administration will not propose a tax plan that would ultimately cut taxes for the wealthy.”I can’t pledge what the results will be since the results are going to be a combined effort of the administration, the House and the Senate,” he said.The border adjustment tax is becoming a major flashpoint between House Republicans and the Trump administration. Mnuchin and other officials have expressed their concerns to GOP leaders behind closed doors, but his comments Tuesday were a more pointed public critique.

Ryan and other House GOP leaders have pushed a blueprint for major changes to the tax code built around border adjustment for close to a year. Supporters say the plan would help preserve American jobs and discourage U.S. corporations from moving operations abroad.

But import-reliant industries, notably retailers, are waging a fierce battle against border adjustability, saying it would pummel their bottom lines, despite assurances from supporters that the plan would boost the value of the dollar and take much of the sting out of the tax hit.
The House Ways and Means Committee held its first hearing Tuesday on the provision. A committee spokesperson responded by email with an excerpt from opening remarks given by Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas), a staunch advocate of border adjustment.

We recognize this is a significant change from our current tax code, Brady said. We know there are legitimate concerns including from some of our witnesses here today and our colleagues on the other side of the aisle about how it will affect American workers, businesses, and consumers.

Brady pledged to pledged to work with critics to address their concerns.

In wide-ranging comments on tax reform, Mnuchin also backed off his pledge that tax reform will not lead to a net tax cut for the wealthy. He said he couldn’t predict how the plan will affect individual income brackets since it is in flux.

But, he said, “The president’s priority is about creating a middle income-tax cut.”

POLITICO – TOP Stories

NYT > Politics: Democrats Warn Trump Against Pre-emptive Attack on North Korea

Sixty-four members of Congress sent a letter to President Trump exhorting him to resolve the standoff with North Korea peacefully.NYT > Politics
Breitbart News: Trump Budget Projects $142 Billion In Revenue From Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

Fannie Mae
Bad news for hedge funds and other investors in the mortgage giants.Breitbart News
NYT > Politics: Former C.I.A. Chief Reveals Mounting Concern Over Trump Campaign and Russia

John O. Brennan, the former director of the C.I.A., offered the fullest public account yet of how the federal investigation into Russian election meddling began.NYT > Politics
Reuters: Politics: Trump budget proposal would dramatically cut foreign aid

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump’s proposed budget would slash nearly a third in funding for diplomacy and foreign aid including global health and food aid, peacekeeping and other forms of non-military foreign involvement.

Reuters: Politics

NYT > Politics: Since Ouster, Sheriff Arpaio Has Lots of Time, but Not for Regrets

The Arizona sheriff, tough on inmates and accused of targeting Latinos in Maricopa County, reflects on his reputation and his decades in law enforcement.NYT > Politics
Breitbart News: McCain: Trumps Budget Dead on Arrival

UNITED STATES - JANUARY 10: Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., attends a news conference in the Capitol introducing a bipartisan bill to increase sanctions on Russia for it's role in U.S. computer hacking, January 10, 2017.(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Tuesday Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said President Donald Trump’s budget was dead on arrival. In a statement, McCain said, President Trumps $603 billion defense budget request is inadequate to the challenges we face, illegal under current law, and part of an overall budget proposal that is dead on arrival in Congress.” McCain was asked by MSNBC’s Kasie Hunt, “Can I ask you about president’s budget? Is it dead on arrival?” He replied, “Yes. and the commitment to rebuilding the military cannot be fulfilled with this level of spending. It is $30 billion too short.” Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNENBreitbart News
elections – Google News: Costs for some election recounts double under bill passed by state Senate – Detroit Free Press
 


Detroit Free Press
Costs for some election recounts double under bill passed by state Senate
Detroit Free Press
“We don’t want to discourage future recounts, be we also need to acknowledge that … the cost of the recount should be paid for by the candidate and not by the local governments that have legitimate concerns of the costsassociated with thoseelections.”.and more »

elections – Google News

Reuters: Politics: Amid opposition, Trump makes low budget request for Mexico border wall

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump is asking Congress for $1.6 billion to begin building a wall along the border with Mexico, far short of the amount needed for a project sharply criticized by Democrats and even some conservative Republicans.

Reuters: Politics


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