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Trump claim Obama begged for Kim Jong Un meeting dismissed by former US intelligence chief: 'I don't know where he's getting that'

Trump claim Obama begged for Kim Jong Un meeting dismissed by former US intelligence chief: 'I don't know where he's getting that'The former director of national intelligence for Barack Obama has dismissed Donald Trump’s claims that the former president was “begging” to meet Kim Jong-un.James Clapper laughed after he was shown a clip of Mr Trump telling reporters that Mr Obama’s requests to meet with the North Korean leader were refused.Speaking on CNN’s State of the Union programme on Sunday morning, Mr Clapper said: "I don't know where he's getting that.“In all the deliberations that I participated in on North Korea during the Obama administration, I can recall no instance whatever where president Obama ever indicated any interest whatsoever in meeting with chairman Kim. That's news to me.”Later in the interview, Mr Clapper acknowledged that Mr Trump’s visit to North Korea was “a great historic moment” as he became the first US president to enter the country.But the former intelligence chief, who also served under president George W Bush, said he did not think the US president’s visit was a breakthrough moment in nuclear talks between the two countries.“I personally don’t believe the North Koreans have long term any intent to denuclearise,” he said. “Why should they? It’s their ticket to survival, and they’re just not going to do that.An hour after meeting with Mr Kim on Sunday, Mr Trump told reporters: "President Obama wanted to meet and Chairman Kim would not meet him."The Obama administration was begging for a meeting — they were begging for meetings, constantly and Chairman Kim would not meet with him, and for some reason we have a certain chemistry or whatever."Mr Trump’s claim was also disputed by Mr Obama’s deputy national security adviser.“Trump is lying. I was there for all 8 years. Obama never sought a meeting with Kim Jong Un,” Ben Rhodes tweeted.“Foreign policy isn’t reality television it’s reality.”



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Trump says 'I don't care about the Europeans' after questions on Iran crisis

Trump says 'I don't care about the Europeans' after questions on Iran crisisDonald Trump has said he “doesn’t care about the Europeans” when it comes to dealing with Iran as the feud between Washington and Tehran escalates.The US president said he had called off an attack against Iran in response to the shooting down of an American drone because he “didn’t think it was proportionate”.Yet Mr Trump also said the US military had identified Iranian targets for air strikes. “I have so many targets you wouldn’t believe … We have targets all over,” he told interviewer Chuck Todd on NBC’s Meet the Press.“I’m not looking for war and if there is, it’ll be obliteration like you’ve never seen before. But I’m not looking to do that."Mr Trump dismissed European leaders’ efforts to uphold the Iranian nuclear deal forged between world powers in 2015.“I don’t care about the Europeans,” he said. “The Europeans are going out and making a lot of money … In France, they’re selling cars to Iran. They’re doing other things.”He added: “And let me tell you, we’re very good to Europe. We take care of them. NATO, we spend a tremendous amount … On trade, the European Union’s taken, really, they have really taken advantage of us for a long time.”Mr Trump said he backed away from the planned strikes about 30 minutes before the planes were ready to leave after learning 150 people would be killed. “I didn’t like it. I didn’t think it was, I didn’t think it was proportionate.”Asked by Mr Todd whether he felt pushed into military action by any of his team, such as national security adviser John Bolton, the US president said: “I have two groups of people. I have doves and I have hawks.“Yeah, John Bolton is absolutely a hawk. If it was up to him he’d take on the whole world at one time, okay? But that doesn't matter because I want both sides.”> WATCH: President Trump tells Meet the Press: “Saudi Arabia is a big buyer of American product. That means something to me. It’s a big producer of jobs.… Take their money. Take their money, Chuck. ” MTP IfItsSunday pic.twitter.com/U3OxAwtZOJ> > — Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) > > June 23, 2019Asked what he thinks Iran wants, Mr Trump said, “I think they want to negotiate. And I think they want to make a deal. And my deal is nuclear. Look, they’re not going to have a nuclear weapon … I don’t think they like the position they’re in. Their economy is absolutely broken.”Questioned about the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Mr Trump said he did not discuss it during a phone call on Friday with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.When asked about arms deals with Saudi Arabia, the president said: “I’m not like a fool that says, “We don’t want to do business with them.” And by the way, if they don’t do business with us, you know what they do? They'll do business with the Russians or with the Chinese … Take their money. Take their money, Chuck.”



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White House offers budget freeze if Dems don't agree to deal

White House offers budget freeze if Dems don't agree to dealTrump administration bargainers offered a one-year budget freeze and said Democratic spending demands remained too high as talks with congressional leaders aimed at averting deep cuts in defense and domestic programs seemed no closer to resolution Wednesday. After White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney took shots at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democrats said White House involvement in the negotiations was hindering progress and rejected the proposed freeze.



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Don't open 'Pandora's Box' in Middle East, China warns

Don't open 'Pandora's Box' in Middle East, China warnsThe Chinese government’s top diplomat warned on Tuesday that the world should not open a “Pandora’s Box” in the Middle East, as he denounced U.S. pressure on Iran and called on it not to drop out of a landmark nuclear deal. Fears of a confrontation between Iran and the United States have mounted since last Thursday when two oil tankers were attacked in the Gulf of Oman. The United States blamed Iran for the attacks, more than a year after President Donald Trump withdrew from a 2015 Iran nuclear deal.



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McConnell on Jon Stewart: 'I don't know why he's all bent out of shape' over 9/11 victims' fund

McConnell on Jon Stewart: 'I don't know why he's all bent out of shape' over 9/11 victims' fundThe Senate majority leader says he can’t understand why the former “Daily Show” host is angry over the handling of health care funding for 9/11 victims.



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Rep. Norman on Mueller report: Democrats don't like the message so they're trying to kill the messenger

Rep. Norman on Mueller report: Democrats don't like the message so they're trying to kill the messengerHouse Democrats issue subpoena for the full Mueller report; reaction and analysis from South Carolina Congressman Ralph Norman, Republican member of the House Oversight Committee.



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Don't say Trump is exonerated. It's too soon for that

Don't say Trump is exonerated. It's too soon for thatThe fact Mueller failed to bring charges does not mean he failed to find evidence of highly disturbing conduct‘Even if the Mueller report contained only the facts that are publicly known so far, it would have been grounds for impeachment in saner political times’ Photograph: Eric Baradat/AFP/Getty ImagesTo listen to the Trump administration right now, you would think that Robert Mueller has exonerated the president, found Hillary Clinton and the liberal media guilty of treason, and definitively proven once and for all that Donald Trump’s inauguration crowd really was the largest in world history.Indeed, the initial rollout of Mueller’s conclusions has been a public relations triumph for the president, mainly because it was in the hands of Trump’s hand-picked attorney general, William Barr. In the four-page letter which Barr delivered to Congress, less than 100 words are quoted directly from Mueller’s report. But while these words certainly tell us something, they hide much more than they reveal. And Barr’s decision to exonerate Trump on the charge of obstruction of justice – something Mueller himself declined to do – likewise raises a suite of questions about his reasoning and motives.As might be expected, the president’s defenders are ready to declare the case closed on that basis. Trump himself is reported to be out for revenge and plans to call for the resignation of journalists who he says led a witch hunt against him. More disturbingly, some commentators outside the Trump bubble appear to share the president’s fury at the media. In a much-shared piece, the writer Matt Taibbi has even described the Russia story as “this generation’s WMD”, alleging a pattern of errors and exaggerations which could destroy the reputation of the media forever.Such reasoning is absurd. To start with the obvious, the conclusion that Trump has been exonerated is premature. Mueller “did not establish” that Trump campaign officials colluded or coordinated with Russia, which is a legal term meaning he failed to find admissible evidence proving it beyond a reasonable doubt. This is a very high bar, and was always going to be. It is certainly far lower than the bar for impeachment or damning an administration in the eyes of reasonable public opinion. The fact Mueller failed to bring charges does not mean he failed to find evidence of highly disturbing conduct, and until we have the full report we won’t know what that evidence is.In the other main strand of his investigation, Mueller explicitly did not exonerate the president of the charge of obstruction of justice. The evidence he considers in reaching this conclusion includes, according to Barr’s letter, matters which have not yet been the subject of public reporting. Especially given Barr’s own quaint legal views on obstruction of justice, his decision to clear Trump of this charge is grossly insufficient. Again, we need to see the evidence.As well as being premature, the conclusion that the Mueller probe really was a witch hunt after all represents a disturbing surrender to the Trumpian worldview.In the last three years, Trump and his hand-picked senior aides have engaged in a pattern of behavior which was at once sinister and baffling. They said “I love it” when offered Russian government assistance in the election. They shared polling data with a man connected to Russian intelligence. They pursued a business deal in Moscow at the same time they were running for election. They openly called for a hostile power to intervene in the election. They echoed that hostile power’s propaganda and cozied up to the Kremlin in a manner which was completely contrary to their domestic political interests and the national interests of the United States. Throughout it all, they lied about what they were doing as easily as they breathed.At the same time, they and their surrogates – even as their lies were uncovered – attacked the very idea that they ought to be subject to the rule of law. They lied to the investigators about their lies. They called federal agents executing lawful warrants “stormtroopers”. The president himself fired or tried to fire those who would not be loyal to him over what he called “this Russia thing”, and then admitted doing so. At the same time, a Republican-controlled Congress made a mockery of its constitutional duty of oversight, refusing to carry out meaningful investigations of the administration.To suggest that the critics of Trump ought to have ignored or downplayed this behavior – without precedent in the modern presidency – is absurd. And to suggest they now ought to issue a mea culpa based on a short letter by Trump’s attorney general is so absurd that it beggars explanation.Worst of all, any sudden rush to condemn those who pointed out the foregoing facts, in the media and outside of it, plays squarely into Trump’s hands. He has attempted all along to move the goalposts so that anything short of outright criminality was meaningless. And he has weathered the many revelations of actual criminality – or corrupt and immoral behavior which fell short of being criminal – because the revelations came in dribs and drabs and were quickly pushed from the news cycle by his mendacious attacks on his enemies.The bottom line is this: even if the Mueller report contained only the facts that are publicly known so far, it would have been grounds for impeachment in saner political times. And it likely contains much more. Given this, the administration’s continued attacks on the media for reporting what we all saw with our own eyes is designed to obfuscate what is already known and inoculate the public against what is to come. It would behoove true defenders of the rule of law and a free press not to make their job any easier.



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'We don't see the enemy' concealed jihadists slow IS defeat

'We don't see the enemy' concealed jihadists slow IS defeatDEIR AL-ZOR PROVINCE, Syria (Reuters) – The young Syrian man crossing out of Islamic State’s last enclave in eastern Syria brought confirmation that the fight was still not over despite days of ferocious bombardment by U.S.-backed forces. “There are people coming out and others not coming out,” said the bearded man wearing a robe and head scarf, one of hundreds of people who left the enclave at Baghouz on Thursday to surrender to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). On Friday suicide attackers struck a group of people leaving Baghouz and surrendering, the SDF said, the first such blasts to target any of the thousands of people abandoning the enclave.



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Omar throws shade at Obama: 'We don't want anybody to get away with murder because they are polished'

Omar throws shade at Obama: 'We don't want anybody to get away with murder because they are polished'Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., is an outspoken critic of President Trump. But she’s also critical of his predecessor.



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7 Energy Stocks That Don't Need Higher Oil Prices

7 Energy Stocks That Don't Need Higher Oil PricesThe best oil stock ideas from Bank of America.



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