Tag Archives: PRESS

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders questioned by investigators probing Russian election meddling

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders questioned by investigators probing Russian election meddlingRobert Mueller‘s team has questioned Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary has confirmed. In a statement to CNN, Ms Sanders, 36, said she had been questioned last year by the special counsel probing Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 election, and possible collusion with the Trump campaign. “The president urged me, like he has everyone in the administration, to fully cooperate with the special counsel,” she said.



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Turkey, others to press for UN probe into Khashoggi killing

Turkey, others to press for UN probe into Khashoggi killingANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey and other countries will soon submit a formal request to establish a U.N. committee to investigate the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the Turkish foreign minister said Friday.



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US hits Venezuela with oil sanctions to press Maduro exit

US hits Venezuela with oil sanctions to press Maduro exitWASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration imposed sanctions Monday on the state-owned oil company of Venezuela, a potentially critical economic move aimed at increasing pressure on President Nicolas Maduro to cede power to the opposition in the South American nation.



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Trump cancels U.S. delegation to Davos forum: press secretary

Trump cancels U.S. delegation to Davos forum: press secretaryPresident Donald Trump has canceled his delegation’s trip to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, next week due to the partial U.S. government shutdown, according to a statement released by Press Secretary Sarah Sanders on Thursday. Trump, who attended last year’s Davos event, had planned to go again this year but pulled out last week as he grapples with Democrats in Congress over funding for a wall on the border with Mexico that has led to a partial shutdown of the government. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo were expected to lead the U.S. delegation in Trump’s place, two senior administration officials said this week.



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Secretary of State Pompeo to press Saudi Arabia to provide a 'credible narrative' on Jamal Khashoggi's murder

Secretary of State Pompeo to press Saudi Arabia to provide a 'credible narrative' on Jamal Khashoggi's murderCritics don't expect a forceful reprimand of the Saudis from Pompeo. Some experts said the real audience for his message on Khashoggi may be Congress.



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Nancy Pelosi Holds Press Conference After Day 1 As Speaker, Say "There Will Be No Wall"

Nancy Pelosi Holds Press Conference After Day 1 As Speaker, Say "There Will Be No Wall"House Democrats voted to approve part of its new rules package Thursday evening, sending a message about ethics, sexual harassment and good government on their first day back in the majority, a signal of how they intend to target President Trump.



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Times Square New Year's Eve ball drop to celebrate journalists and press freedom

Times Square New Year's Eve ball drop to celebrate journalists and press freedomA test run of the Times Square New Year’s Eve ball drop is performed on 30 December. Organisers of the Times Square ball drop, New York City’s traditional New Year’s ceremony, have invited a group of journalists to press the ceremonial button. Tim Tompkins, president of the Times Square Alliance, said in a statement it was “fitting to celebrate free press and free speech as we reflect on where we’ve been during the past year and what it is we value most as a society”.



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New Year's Eve party in Times Square to cheer for press freedom

New Year's Eve party in Times Square to cheer for press freedomReporters will be the guests of honor at the New Year’s Eve party in New York’s Times Square on Monday, in what organizers said was a celebration of press freedom after an unusually deadly year for journalists at U.S. news outlets. Two attacks in particular weighed on organizers as they discussed in autumn whom to give the honor of initiating the ceremonial ball drop just before midnight, according to Tim Tompkins, president of the Times Square Alliance. One was the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi columnist for the Washington Post and U.S. resident, inside a Saudi Arabian consulate in Turkey.



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Canada to press allies on bid to free detainees in China: Ottawa

Canada to press allies on bid to free detainees in China: OttawaFreeland spoke a day after the United States joined Canada in calling on Beijing to release the pair, who were held after Canadian authorities arrested a senior Chinese executive on a U.S. extradition warrant. “I will continue in the coming days, along with Canada’s ambassadors around the world, to be speaking with foreign counterparts about this issue,” Freeland told reporters on a conference call. “Our ambassadors … will be speaking directly in an organized effort with their counterparts.” As well as the United States, Britain and the European Union have also expressed support for Canada.



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Putin calls for better UK-Russia relations at massive annual press conference

Putin calls for better UK-Russia relations at massive annual press conferenceVladimir Putin called for an end to the deadlock in UK-Russia relations during his massive annual press conference.  "“In my mind, UK-Russian relations are at a dead end and it's in the interests of both sides to get out of this dead end," the Russian President said at a gathering known for pageantry and colourful quotes. He added that the UK was Russia's top direct investor last year, putting £22bn into the country. Although he had not discussed partnerships with Theresa May, Mr Putin said that business communities in both countries were holding productive talks. The President also advised the UK should go through with Brexit, saying that "otherwise it wasn't really a referendum." However, Mr Putin, whose approval ratings have fallen after a turbulent year, skirted the single question asked about Russia's role in the poisoning of Sergei Skripal. He termed the story propaganda, and was not pressed to explain why he had called the suspects in the Salisbury poisoning civilians, after documents and interviews with neighbours showed the pair to belong to military intelligence.  Asked about America's withdrawal from Syria, Mr Putin welcomed the announcement. "Let's not forget, the presence of your troops there is illegitimate," he said.  More than 1,700 journalists were accredited to attend what state television called the “main media event of the year”. This number was a new record, as it is most years.    12:57PM Press conference ends with no mention of Skripal suspects In nearly four hours of questions, Putin failed to address the Skripal suspects' identities, who he previously claimed were civilians but have since been shown to be military intelligence. He only took one question about Salisbury and that was a softball from RT 11:50AM Russian leader denies links to 'Putin's chef' and mercenaries When asked about the Wagner mercenaries and their patron Yevgeny Prigozhin, who is known as “Putin's chef” for serving the president during state dinners, the Russian leader insisted he had nothing to do with them. Mr Prigozhin has been sanctioned for interfering in the US election with his troll factory and was recently filmed taking part in a meeting between Russian military chiefs and Libyan military leader Khalifa Haftar.  “All my chefs are in the federal guard service, they are from the military. I don't have any other chefs,” he said.  As for Wagner, if “they're not violating Russian law, they have the right to sell their services anywhere on the planet,” he said.  Three journalists were killed while investigating the Russian mercenaries' presence in the Central African Republic in July. Mr Putin distanced himself from their killing, saying they had entered the country under the guise of tourists and were assassinated by local groups. 11:29AM UK-Russia relations at 'dead end,' but trade increasing despite Brexit Mr Putin said he spoke with Theresa May on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Argentina, and argued that Russia's trade with Britain was increasing in spite of Brexit.  “We greeted each other and spoke a few words to each other,” Mr Putin said. “In my mind, UK-Russian relations are at a dead end and it's in the interests of both sides to get out of this dead end. As for the effects of Brexit, I think it's minimal, but it will influence the world economy and us indirectly.” Mr Putin, whose troll factory was found to have put out pro-Brexit tweets on the day of the vote, said the UK should go through with Brexit, “otherwise it wasn't really a referendum”.  The UK invested $ 22 billion in Russia this year, making it the top direct investor, he added.  “It's their affair, but in any case they're interested in markets, in partnerships,” he said. “I didn't talk about this with the prime minister, but we are talking about this with our friends and colleagues from Great Britain, especially in the business sphere.” 11:04AM When will the Russian president remarry? And finally the question that's been on everyone's mind: When will Putin get remarried and to whom? The Russian leader, who is so protective of his private life that his daughters' identities were unknown until recently,  divorced his wife in 2013. "He's married and he wants me to be too," Putin joked about the journalist who asked the question. Alas, he gave no straight answer: "As an orderly person I should do this at some point." 10:50AM Putin praises Trump's decision to withdraw 'illegitimate' from Syria “In this Donald is right, I agree with him,” Mr Putin said when asked about Mr Trump's statement that Isil had been defeated.  “As for US troops in Syria, I don't think they're needed, let's not forget that presence of your troops there is illegitimate,” he added. “They're there without a United Nations decision or an invitation from the Syrian government. We are there at the invitation of the Syrian government, so if the United States has decided to withdraw its contingent, that's good.” 10:39AM 'No reason' for the US to imprison Butina Mr Putin said there was “no reason” for the United States to imprison Maria Butina, who admitted this week to acting as a Russian agent when she helped make connections with conservative activists and politicians, including Donald Trump Jr.  “I can say for sure that she didn't execute any state tasks, whatever she may have said under the threat of 12 to 15 years in prison,” he said. “I don't understand why they imprisoned her, there was no reason. We'll see how it ends. We are not indifferent to this.” 10:28AM Putin fails to address real identities of Salisbury suspects  How to dodge a question. Russia Today asked Putin about the Skripal case, but didn't mention the suspects accused of the Salisbury poisoning. The president previously claimed they were civilians, but documents and former neighbours have indicated they were in military intelligence.   “This is a politicised Russophobic approach, it's just an excuse to organise another attack on Russia, if weren't the Skripals I'm sure they would have thought up something else to contain Russia's' development,” Mr Putin responded and moved on without addressing his dubious previous claim.  10:08AM No plans for exchanging captured Ukrainian sailors Mr Putin said there were currently no plans for a prisoner exchange for the Ukrainian sailors captured in the Kerch strait last month. Kiev's intermediary Viktor Medvedchuk came to Moscow recently and asked about the possibility of freeing them. "I said this question can't be decided until the criminal case against them is brought to an end,” he said. Mr Putin blasted Washington for its intention to withdraw from the intermediate nuclear forces treaty and warned that another key arms agreement with the United States would come to an end in 2021. Russia has been forced to develop new nuclear weapons “that don't exist elsewhere in the world” to preserve strategic parity, he said.  “We will survive, we will guarantee our security, but for humanity this is very bad. It brings us closer to the edge,” he said.  He also slammed the development of tactical warheads in the West as a “tendency for nuclear threshold to be lowered.” 9:42AM Putin calls on Russia to boost growth Focusing on Russia's economy, which until recently was in recession due to low oil prices and sanctions, Mr Putin has said GDP growth this year will be 1.72 per cent. He called on Russia to “enter a new league” and become the fifth-largest economy in the world, an “achievable goal”. It is currently outside the top 10. 9:18AM Press conference begins Journalists are competing to get Mr Putin's attention by holding up eye-catching home-made signs. It's the Putin press conference, where Russia's top journalists test their mettle to see who can make the most eye-catching placard pic.twitter.com/swyeH4xbSl— Alec Luhn (@ASLuhn) December 20, 2018 The editor of The Insider, a publication that participated in the initial investigations to uncover Chepiga and Mishkin's real names, was not allowed into the press conference despite having been accredited.



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