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Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions will seek U.S. Senate seat: source

Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions will seek U.S. Senate seat: sourceJeff Sessions, a former attorney general forced out by President Donald Trump, will announce on Thursday he is running next year to regain his old U.S. Senate seat from Alabama, a Republican official familiar with his plans said on Wednesday. Sessions, 72, a frequent target of Trump’s anger over his decision to recuse himself from the Russia probe, will be trying to reclaim a seat he resigned to join the Trump administration. Sessions enters a crowded field seeking the Republican nomination to face Democratic Senator Doug Jones in the November 2020 election in a Southern state considered reliably Republican.



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Source for ‘Ukraine Collusion’ Allegations Met Devin Nunes

Source for ‘Ukraine Collusion’ Allegations Met Devin NunesMark Wilson/GettyThe former Ukrainian diplomat at the center of allegations that Kyiv meddled in the 2016 election has met Rep. Devin Nunes, the California firebrand who is one of President Trump’s top defenders. The revelation indicates that Andrii Telizhenko’s connections in Washington are wider than previously known. Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, has enthusiastically promoted Telizhenko’s allegations and met with him extensively. And Trump has touted his claims. “Congressman Nunes had a really interesting and good impact on me as a very positive and influential politician who loves America and is interested in Ukraine and developments on fighting Russia,” Telizhenko told The Daily Beast. “We talked about how to fight Russian aggression in Ukraine and Russian propaganda.” The previously unreported conversation is the only known encounter between two of the more significant figures in the story of Trump’s relationships with Russia and Ukraine. Nunes’ office did not respond to a request for comment on this story.Telizhenko worked at Kyiv’s embassy in Washington from December 2015 through June 2016, according to a copy of his C.V. that he shared with The Daily Beast. And he has played a key role in the promotion of the contentious narrative, popular on the political right, that the Ukrainian government worked with Democrats during the 2016 campaign to damage Trump.Politico first reported in January 2017 on alleged efforts by Ukraine’s Washington embassy to find and dole out dirt about Paul Manafort, who was Trump’s campaign chairman for several months and is now serving a prison sentence for financial crimes unrelated to the 2016 election. ‘Traitor!’: Disheveled Paul Manafort Assailed at Hearing for 16 New ChargesIn Politico’s story, former DNC consultant Alexandra Chalupa and then-deputy chief of mission Oksana Shulyar both denied any inappropriate moves related to Manafort. Telizhenko, however, went on the record to say Shulyar directed him to share any relevant information with Chalupa. “They were coordinating an investigation with the Hillary team on Paul Manafort with Alexandra Chalupa,” he said at the time. The allegation reverberated through conservative media. And while most coverage of election interference in early 2017 focused on the Kremlin’s well-funded operation to hack emails and spread disinformation over Facebook and Twitter, Telizhenko’s allegations about Ukraine found an eager audience among the president’s staunch supporters. A BuzzFeed story published earlier this week tracked Telizhenko’s reach through conservative media—including an appearance on the conspiracy site InfoWars—and called him “a bespoke purveyor of conspiracy theories.”Since going public, Telizhenko has helped Giuliani try to investigate matters related to American politics and Ukraine. Telizhenko told NBC earlier this week that the two met earlier this year and have become friends. His allegations have also drawn the attention of congressional Republicans defending Trump in the impeachment inquiry; a newly released transcript shows a Republican staffer who questioned former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch as part of the inquiry asked her if she was familiar with the story. The staffer also said the issue could damage the relationship between the two countries. “I think most Americans believe that there shouldn’t be meddling in our elections,” she said. “And if Ukraine is the one that had been meddling in our elections, I think that the support that all of you have provided to Ukraine over the last almost 30 years, I don’t know that—I think people would ask themselves questions about that.”Telizhenko met Nunes at a housewarming party in May of this year, he told The Daily Beast. The two chatted for about 15 minutes, he said, and didn’t follow up after the party. “We had an interesting conversation,” he said. “He’s well aware on Ukraine politics and from what I understood, he’s a true patriot in the United States. And that’s how I saw it. It was interesting for me to meet him.” Since their conversation, Nunes has touted claims that originated with Telizhenko. On Sept. 24, he tweeted out an article by John Solomon at The Hill arguing that Democrats have pressured Ukraine to meddle in American politics. The story quoted Telizhenko. A few weeks later, the congressman tweeted out another story highlighting claims that the Ukrainian embassy colluded with the DNC. Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.



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Giuliani Associate Ordered to Testify About Source of Funds

Giuliani Associate Ordered to Testify About Source of Funds(Bloomberg) — A judge in Florida ordered an associate of Rudy Giuliani to testify within 30 days about the source of funds that were used to make campaign donations to the America First political action committee and former U.S. Congressman Pete Sessions, after a creditor claimed they were misappropriated from a family trust.The Giuliani associate, Lev Parnas, was charged in Manhattan with laundering campaign donations and using foreign funds to support U.S. political campaigns. Parnas could be forced to answer questions in Florida about matters that are the subject of the federal prosecution in New York.The creditor, the Pues Family Trust IRA, won a $ 510,000 judgment against Parnas in 2016 seeking repayment of what were supposed to be short-term loans to Parnas and a related company. This year, the Pues trust registered the judgment with the court in Florida to pursue repayment there, where Parnas lives.Parnas was freed on a $ 1 million bond in the New York case and is under house arrest in Florida.The trust claims the money was used to make the donations to America First and Sessions that are now subject of the New York indictment, according to an order filed Tuesday in Miami federal court. U.S. District Judge Donald Middlebrooks said Parnas did not file a response contesting the request for additional information. CNN reported on the order to testify earlier.Edward McMahon, a lawyer for Parnas, didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking comment late Tuesday.The case is Pues Family Trust IRA v. Parnas Holdings Inc., 19-mc-80024, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida (West Palm Beach).To contact the reporter on this story: Christian Berthelsen in New York at cberthelsen1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: David Glovin at dglovin@bloomberg.net, Joe SchneiderFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



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Reuters source: Top aide to al-Baghdadi helped his capture

Reuters source: Top aide to al-Baghdadi helped his captureIn their long hunt for Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Iraqi intelligence teams secured a break in February 2018 after one of the Islamic State leader's top aides gave them information on how he escaped capture for so many years, said two Iraqi security officials.



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AP source: DOJ review of Russia probe now a criminal inquiry

AP source: DOJ review of Russia probe now a criminal inquiryThe Justice Department has shifted its review of the Russia probe to a criminal investigation, a person familiar with the matter said Thursday, a move that is likely to raise concerns that President Donald Trump and his allies may be using the powers of the government to go after their opponents. The revelation comes as Trump is already facing scrutiny about a potential abuse of power, including a House impeachment inquiry examining whether he withheld military aid in order to pressure the president of Ukraine to launch an investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. The person who confirmed the criminal investigation was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.



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U.S. diplomat told Congress he raised red flag about Biden and Ukraine: source

U.S. diplomat told Congress he raised red flag about Biden and Ukraine: sourceA U.S. diplomat told congressional investigators this week that he raised concerns about Hunter Biden’s position with a Ukrainian energy company in 2015, only to be turned away by an aide to then-Vice President Joe Biden, a person familiar with the testimony said on Friday. Hunter Biden’s role www.reuters.com/article/us-hunter-biden-ukraine/what-hunter-biden-did-on-the-board-of-ukrainian-energy-company-burisma-idUSKBN1WX1P7 on the board of Burisma Holdings Ltd while his father was in the White House plays into a Democratic-led impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump in the U.S. House of Representatives. Late on Friday, the U.S. Department of Energy notified Congress that it would not comply with a subpoena and provide documents Democrats want to review, according to media reports.



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UK remains a long way from Brexit deal: Downing Street source

UK remains a long way from Brexit deal: Downing Street sourceBritain remains a long way from agreeing a final Brexit deal and the next few days will be critical if it is to agree departure terms with the European Union, a Downing Street source said on Saturday. Negotiators for Britain and the EU have entered intense talks over the weekend to see if they can break the Brexit impasse before a crucial summit next week and a deadline for Britain to leave the bloc on Oct. 31. News of progress in the talks sent financial markets surging on Friday after Johnson and his Irish counterpart Leo Varadkar identified a pathway to a deal following months of acrimony.



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Turkey may have targeted US forces with artillery in Syria, coalition source claims

Turkey may have targeted US forces with artillery in Syria, coalition source claimsTurkey may have deliberately targeted US forces with artillery in northern Syria in order to push them out, coalition sources have told the Daily Telegraph. US officials confirmed an explosion occurred near where a small contingent of its special forces were based on a hill near the town of Kobane. They said the cause of the explosion had not been confirmed but local reports suggested it was either an artillery or air strike. No US personnel were injured. It was the first time a coalition base had come under fire since Turkey's offensive began. US warplanes flew over the base immediately after the incident. Turkey's defence ministry denied targeting the US position, saying its forces were responding to Kurdish fire that originated nearby. Civilians flee amid Turkish bombardment on Syria's northeastern town of Ras al-Ain in the Hasakeh province along the Turkish border  Credit: AFP A spokesman said: "There was no firing on the US observation post. The firing was ceased as a result of the issue being relayed to us by the US." But a coalition source said there was nothing else around in the area that the Turks could have been targeting, apart form the US forces. "It's likely they are trying to push us out. Kobane is the heart and soul of the Kurds," a source said. "If Turkey can get us to leave it's all over." A US official in Washington said an explosion had occurrednear the US military outpost, but no personnel were hurt. The official said the source of the explosion was unclear, but it coincided with Turkey's offensive against the Kurds. US troops were in the outpost at the time of the explosion but there had been no further activity since. Before the explosion Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley said Turkey had been informed of US positions in Syria. Speaking at the Pentagon he said: "The Turkish military is fully aware, down to explicit grid coordinate detail, of the locations of US forces. "Everyone is fully aware that we are the United States military. We retain the right of self-defence." A picture taken from Turkish territory shows smoke rising from targets inside Syria during bombardment by Turkish forces at Ras al-Ayn town Credit: REX It came after the US defence secretary pleaded with Turkey to stop its offensive on Kurdish-held northern Syria before it was “irreparable”, as the civilian death toll rose and 100,000 were forced to flee their homes. In the strongest condemnation of the assault since Donald Trump gave Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan his blessing on Sunday, Mark Esper said Ankara faced “serious consequences” if it did not rein in its forces in Syria. "As part of the call, Secretary Esper strongly encouraged Turkey to discontinue actions in northeastern Syria in order to increase the possibility that the United States, Turkey and our partners could find a common way to de-escalate the situation before it becomes irreparable," read a statement released in his name. Mr Trump’s green light for so-called Operation Peace Spring has turned amber in the face of international pressure.  The president called the invasion a “bad idea” on Thursday and even offered to mediate between Turkey and Syrian Kurdish forces. "We have one of three choices,” he tweeted on Thursday night. “Send in thousands of troops and win Militarily, hit Turkey very hard Financially and with Sanctions, or mediate a deal between Turkey and the Kurds!"  “I hope we can mediate,” he told reporters later when asked about the options. Facing increasing pressure to stop Turkish and allied Syrian rebel forces going deeper in Syria, the US set out red lines for their offensive. “That would include ethnic cleansing. It would include in particular indiscriminate artillery, air and other fire directed at civilian population,” a senior US official said, spelling out what Turkish actions would trigger US sanctions. “That is what we’re looking at right now. We have not seen significant examples of that so far.” People run to take cover after mortars fired from Syria, in Akcakale, Turkey Credit: AP Mr Trump warned Turkey to act with moderation and safeguard civilians. But the barrages of the invasion so far showed little sign of holding back. Residents along the border fled with their belongings loaded into cars, pickup trucks and motorcycle rickshaws, while others escaped on foot.  The UN refugee agency said tens of thousands were on the move, and aid agencies warned that nearly a half-million people near the border were at risk. France, which has come out strongly against the assault, said the European Union would discuss imposing sanctions on Turkey at a summit on Monday. The Netherlands suspended arms exports to Turkey yesterday, following Norway and Finland and Sweden, which plans to push for an EU-wide suspension. US senators, meanwhile, have been drawing up plans for their own possible sanctions. Without elaborating, Mr Trump also said the US was "going to possibly do something very, very tough with respect to sanctions and other financial things" against Turkey.



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AP source: Otto Warmbier's parents to have dinner with Trump

AP source: Otto Warmbier's parents to have dinner with TrumpPresident Donald Trump planned to have dinner Saturday with the parents of an American college student who died in 2017 shortly after being freed from captivity in North Korea. An administration official said Trump was to host the parents of Otto Warmbier, who was convicted of trying to steal a propaganda poster while in the North Korea capital and spent 17 months in prison. Trump’s ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, was expected to join the dinner.



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The Latest: Source: Mental health reason for 2014 gun denial

The Latest: Source: Mental health reason for 2014 gun denialThe official tells The Associated Press on Tuesday that Seth Ator had attempted to purchase a firearm in 2014 but was denied after a federal background check. The official said Ator was able to obtain the rifle used in Saturday’s rampage in West Texas through a private gun sale, skirting the background check process.



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