Tag Archives: government

Trump to Hannity: Russia Investigation ‘Was a Coup’ and ‘Attempted Overthrow’ of Government

Trump to Hannity: Russia Investigation ‘Was a Coup’ and ‘Attempted Overthrow’ of GovernmentIn his first television interview since the release of the redacted version of the Mueller report, President Trump told Fox News host Sean Hannity on Thursday night that the investigation into Russian interference during the 2016 presidential election was a “coup” and an “attempted overthrow of the United States government.”Trump, who has largely avoided reporters since last week's release of the special counsel's report revealed at least 10 instances of possible obstruction of justice, called his good friend Hannity to discuss the findings. Or, more accurately, to rant to a pro-Trump audience about how there was “no collusion” and it's time for some payback.Having begun his broadcast by hyping a new Fox News story about texts previously released last year between former FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, the conservative primetime star said he disagreed with the president when he said at the beginning of his presidency that he wanted to move past investigating 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.“Do you regret saying that?” Hannity asked, expressing an urgent need to get to the bottom of Clinton's private email server, something Hannity described last week as a current threat to national security.“No, I don't regret saying it,” Trump replied. “When I won, they were all saying lock her up. Lock her up. I said no, no. Let's get on with life. That was different.”Trump went on to claim that he felt differently now because shortly after the election, “they started coming at us with the insurance policy,” referring to the Russia probe. After railing against the investigation into Clinton's email server and claiming Clinton “destroyed” lives, the president called former FBI officials James Comey and Andrew McCabe “dirty cops.”“This was a coup,” Trump exclaimed. “This was an attempted overthrow of the United States government… This was an overthrow and it's a disgraceful thing.”The president also revisited his unsubstantiated March 2017 claim that President Obama had wiretapped him at Trump Tower during the election, boasting to Hannity that his assertion had received attention “like you've never seen” while admitting that it was based only on a “little bit of a hunch.”Trump said the claim “blew up because they thought maybe I was wise to them.”During his congressional testimony earlier this month, Attorney General William Barr prompted Democratic backlash when he said he believed “spying did occur” on the Trump campaign during 2016, remarks he would somewhat walk back later.Read more at The Daily Beast.



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Islamic State claims Sri Lanka blasts, as government says probe making progress

Islamic State claims Sri Lanka blasts, as government says probe making progressThe claim, issued through the group’s AMAQ news agency, was made after Sri Lanka said two domestic Islamist groups with suspected links to foreign militants were suspected to have been behind the attacks at three churches and four hotels. Three sources told Reuters that Sri Lankan intelligence officials had been warned hours earlier by India that attacks by Islamists were imminent. President Maithripala Sirisena said he would change the heads of the defense forces following their failure to act on the intelligence.



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Sri Lanka bombings: Who is responsible? And did the government know an attack was coming?

Sri Lanka bombings: Who is responsible? And did the government know an attack was coming?At least 290 people were killed in a string of suicide bombings carried out by a domestic militant group in Sri Lanka. Here's what we know now.



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Sri Lanka bombings: Who is responsible? And did the government know an attack was coming?

Sri Lanka bombings: Who is responsible? And did the government know an attack was coming?At least 290 people were killed in a string of suicide bombings carried out by a domestic militant group in Sri Lanka. Here's what we know now.



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US urges Sudan army to bring civilians into government

US urges Sudan army to bring civilians into governmentThe United States on Thursday urged Sudan’s army to bring civilians into government after ousting veteran leader Omar al-Bashir, saying an announced two-year timeline was too long. Washington calls “on transitional authorities to exercise restraint and to allow space for civilian participation within the government,” State Department spokesman Robert Palladino told reporters. “The Sudanese people should determine who leads them and their future and the Sudanese people have been clear and are demanding a civilian-led transition,” Palladino said.



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Attorney general says he will review government 'spying' on Trump campaign; 'I am concerned'

Attorney general says he will review government 'spying' on Trump campaign; 'I am concerned'Attorney General Barr told lawmakers he is examining the Justice Department's inquiry into Russian election meddling and the Trump campaign.



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US government 'spied' on Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign, attorney general says

US government 'spied' on Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign, attorney general saysDonald Trump’s 2016 election campaign was spied on by the US government, the country’s attorney general said on Wednesday, as he vowed to investigate whether rules were broken in the process.  William Barr, who took up the job in February, said he would look at how the FBI and US intelligence agencies set up the Trump-Russia probe before the 2016 presidential election.  “Spying did occur”, Mr Barr said during a hearing on Capitol Hill, noting at another point that “spying on a political campaign is a big deal”.  He appeared to draw parallels with government spying on the anti-Vietnam War movement in the 1960s, while insisting he did not know if any wronging had occurred.  The comments follow intense pressure from Mr Trump to investigate the Russia probe’s origins after special counsel Robert Mueller’s report found no conspiracy between his campaign and the Kremlin.  Donald Trump, the US president, has claimed 'complete exoneration' from special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation Credit: Al Drago/Bloomberg It was unclear what “spying” Mr Barr was referring to, but Mr Trump’s allies have pointed to a string of actions taken by intelligence and justice officials before the 2016 election as they claim the “deep state” was unfairly targeting the Trump campaign.  One was the wiretap on Carter Page, the former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser, that was applied for and approved before the 2016 election. Republicans have questioned how open US officials were with the court when seeking the wiretap.  Another is the handling of a string of allegations made in a series of memos by Christopher Steele, the former British MI6 agent, about the Trump campaign’s links to Russia. The FBI got hold of his so-called ‘dossier’ before the election.  A third involved Stefan Halper, the Cambridge University academic and former Republican adviser. US media has reported that he approached Trump campaign officials on behalf of the FBI to sound them out over Russia before the election – though that has not been confirmed by the US government.  Carter Page, the former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser who was wiretapped before the 2016 US election Credit: AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin During a hearing of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Mr Barr was asked if he thought spying occurred on the Trump campaign from the US government.  “I think spying did occur. Yes, I think spying did occur,” Mr Barr said.  He went on: “The question is whether it was adequately predicated. And I'm not suggesting it wasn't adequately predicated but I would need to explore that.” Mr Barr referenced rules that curb the government’s ability to spy on political campaigns, saying: “I’m not suggesting that those rules were violated but I think it’s important to look at that.” He said that he would look into whether the FBI and US intelligence agencies acted appropriately. “I feel I have an obligation to make sure that government power is not abused," Mr Barr said.  The comments reflect how quickly attention in Washington has flipped from Trump-Russia links to whether the Russia election meddling probe itself acted inappropriately.  For months Trump acolytes have been framing Mr Mueller’s investigation as a witch hunt and the Russia probe as a “deep state” stitch-up from officials who opposed his presidency.  Supporters of the probe insist that US officials were acting appropriately and in the public interest by investigating claims over the Trump campaign’s engagements with Russian-linked figures.  Adam Schiff, the top Democrat congressman on the House Intelligence Committee, criticised Mr Barr for his use of the term “spying” to characterise how the FBI and justice officials had acted.  “The casual suggestion by the nation’s top law enforcement officer of 'spying' may please Donald Trump, who rails against a 'deep state coup,' but it strikes another destructive blow to our democratic institutions,” Mr Schiff tweeted.  “The hardworking men and women at the DOJ and FBI deserve better.”



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Libya clashes death toll rises to 32: UN-backed government

Libya clashes death toll rises to 32: UN-backed governmentAt least 32 people have been killed and around 50 wounded in fighting with strongman Khalifa Haftar’s troops near Tripoli, the UN-backed government said. Health minister A’hmid Omar gave the updated death toll in an interview with Libya’s Al-Ahrar television station late Sunday. Haftar’s forces have so far said 14 of their fighters have died.



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Mitch McConnell is destroying the Senate – and American government

Mitch McConnell is destroying the Senate – and American governmentThe majority leader cares only for winning, not rules or democracy itself. He is doing more damage than Trump * The Hill to Die On: Trump and a Republican dumpster fireDonald Trump speaks to the press alongside Mitch McConnell. Photograph: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty ImagesNo person has done more in living memory to undermine the functioning of the US government than the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell.Yes, Donald Trump has debased and defiled the presidency. He has launched blistering attacks on Democrats, on judges he disagrees with, journalists who criticize him and the intelligence community.But McConnell is actively and willfully destroying the Senate.Last Wednesday he used his Republican majority to cut the time for debating Trump’s court appointees from 30 hours to two – thereby enabling Republicans to ram through even more Trump judges.McConnell doesn’t give a fig about the Senate, or about democracy. He cares only about winning. On the eve of the 2010 midterm elections he famously declared that his top priority was for Barack Obama “to be a one-term president”.Between 2009 and 2013, McConnell’s Senate Republicans blocked 79 Obama nominees. In the entire history of the United States until that point, only 68 presidential nominees had been blocked.> McConnell’s long game is destroying what was once known as the world’s greatest deliberative bodyThis unprecedented use of the filibuster finally led Senate Democrats in 2013 to change the rules on some presidential nominees (but not the supreme court), to require simple majorities.In response, McConnell fumed that “breaking the rules to change the rules is un-American”. If so, McConnell is about as un-American as they come. Once back in control of the Senate he buried Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland for the supreme court by refusing even to hold hearings.Then, in 2017, McConnell and his Republicans changed the rules again, ending the use of the filibuster even for supreme court nominees and clearing the way for Senate confirmation of Trump’s Neil Gorsuch.Step by step, McConnell has sacrificed the Senate as an institution to partisan political victories.There is a vast difference between winning at politics by playing according to the norms of our democracy, and winning by subverting those norms.To Abraham Lincoln, democracy was a covenant linking past and future. Political institutions, in his view, were “the legacy bequeathed to us”.On the eve of the Senate’s final vote on repealing the Affordable Care Act in July 2017, the late John McCain returned to Washington from his home in Arizona, where he was being treated for brain cancer, to cast the deciding vote against repeal.> In a small town where people don’t lock their doors or windows, the first thief can effortlessly get into anyone’s houseKnowing he would be criticized by other Republicans, McCain noted that over his career he had known senators who seriously disagreed with each other but nonetheless knew “they had an obligation to work collaboratively to ensure the Senate discharged its constitutional responsibilities effectively”.In words that have even greater relevance today, McCain added that “it is our responsibility to preserve that, even when it requires us to do something less satisfying than ‘winning’.”Political success should never be measured solely by partisan victories. It must also be judged by the institutional legacy passed onward. The purpose of political leadership is not merely to win. It is to serve.In any social or political system it’s always possible to extract benefits by being among the first to break widely accepted norms. In a small town where people don’t lock their doors or windows, the first thief can effortlessly get into anyone’s house. But once broken, the system is never the same. Everyone has to buy locks. Trust deteriorates.Those, like Mitch McConnell, who break institutional norms for selfish or partisan gains are bequeathing future generations a weakened democracy.The difference between winning at politics by playing according to the norms and rules of our democracy, and winning by subverting them, could not be greater. Political victories that undermine the integrity of our system are net losses for society.Great athletes play by the rules because the rules make the game. Unprincipled athletes cheat or change the rules in order to win. Their victories ultimately destroy the game.In terms of shaping the federal courts, McConnell has played “the long game”, which, incidentally, is the title of his 2016 memoir. Decades from now, McConnell will still be shaping the nation through judges he rammed through the Senate.But McConnell’s long game is destroying what was once known as the world’s greatest deliberative body.He is longest-serving leader of Senate Republicans in history but Mitch McConnell is no leader. He is the epitome of unprincipled power. History will not treat him kindly. * Robert Reich, a former US secretary of labor, is professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley and the author of Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few and The Common Good. He is also a columnist for Guardian US



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Maduro Vows ‘Deep’ Change in Venezuela Government Amid Pressure

Maduro Vows ‘Deep’ Change in Venezuela Government Amid Pressure“I will in the coming hours announce new government methods and a profound change in the entire government of Venezuela,” Maduro said in a speech at a political rally broadcast on state television. Maduro himself faces pressure to step down amid one of the worst economic crises in the country’s history.



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