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White House not ‘disappointed’ after Putin no-show at G8

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The White House insisted Thursday it was not disappointed that Russian President Vladimir Putin will skip the G8 summit and talks with President Barack Obama next week.

The Russian leader, returned as president after a four year break Monday, and was expected to have a first chance to meet on a president-to-president level with Obama at the Camp David summit in Maryland.

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But Putin said in a phone call with Obama Wednesday that he would not be able to attend as he was tied up with picking his cabinet and would send ex-president and current Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev instead.

“No we are not disappointed,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters aboard Obama’s presidential aircraft.

“It is something we understood and understand,” he said, noting that Putin and Obama had already agreed to meet “in not much time at all” at the G20 summit in Mexico in June.

Carney also dismissed the idea that Putin had decided not to come because it is doubtful Obama will travel to the APEC summit in Vladivostock, Russia in September as it takes place less than two months before the US election.

Putin told Obama in a telephone call he “unfortunately cannot take part in the May 18-19 G8 summit as on those days the formation of the Russian government will — evidently — still not be completed,” the Kremlin said.

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“The American side received this information with understanding,” it added.

Putin’s visit to the United States was to come at a prickly time in ties with Washington, which is pressing ahead with a European missile shield despite Russian complaints and has also slammed Russia’s treatment of protestors.

[Russian President Vladimir Putin, pictured in Red Square in Moscow on May 9. AFP Photo/Vladimir Rodionov]

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No one can figure out why John Kennedy compared government documents to ‘dropping acid’

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Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) compared reading government documents to "dropping acid" while in the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday and the internet can't figure out how he would know.

"I haven't read the entire report," Kennedy said of the inspector general report on the start of the Russia investigation. "I'm about 70 percent through but I'm going to get through. It's tedious and I don't mean that in a pejorative way, it's supposed to be tedious. About 15 percent of the way through it made me want to heave. After about 25 percent of the way through, I thought I'd dropped acid. It's so real."

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Ukrainians may flip on Trump and stop repeating his talking points: report

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Officials in Ukraine are growing increasingly frustrated with President Donald Trump continuing to prioritize Russia over the American ally, The Daily Beast reported Wednesday.

"People working closely with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky have been in contact with Trump administration officials over the past several weeks discussing the relationship between the two presidents, according to four people with knowledge of the talks. Based on those conversations, Ukrainian officials came to expect that Trump would make a statement of support before Zelensky met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in France for peace talks," The Beast explained. "But as Saturday and Sunday ticked by, there was only silence from the White House. Even as Ukrainian officials have publicly been loath to criticize Trump’s pressure campaign on their country, frustrations with Washington have quietly percolated. And last weekend, they were especially acute."

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Kamala Harris uses IG hearing to connect the dots between Bill Barr and Giuliani’s corrupt schemes

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Sen. Kamala Harris connected the dots between Rudy Giuliani and attempts to prevent the Department of Justice from prosecuting a Ukrainian billionaire.

Harris, who was San Francisco District Attorney and California Attorney General prior to joining the U.S. Senate, put her experience as a career prosecutor to use while questioning DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

"So it was recently reported that the president's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, asked Ukrainians to help search for dirt [on] the political rivals of the president. In exchange for the help, Giuliani offered to help fix criminal cases against them at DOJ," Harris noted.

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