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Report: Iran agrees to first-ever nuclear talks with U.S.

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For the first time, Iran has agreed to direct negotiations with the U.S. regarding the country’s nuclear capability, The New York Times reported Saturday.

The report says that, according to officials in President Barack Obama’s administration, their Iranian counterparts have asked for the meetings to be delayed until after the results of the Nov. 6 U.S. presidential election between Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney.

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Obama and Romney will have their final debate, centering on foreign policy, on Oct. 22. Earlier this month, Romney said in a campaign speech he “would not hesitate” to impose new sanctions on Iran. He also promised in July to “respect” a strike by Israel against the country’s nuclear facilities if it felt it was necessary.

The Obama administration has had financial and energy sanctions in place against Iran on top of existing United Nations sanctions.

But the agreement itself comes after years of secret discussions between both parties. It is unknown whether the Iranian supreme authority, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, had “signed off” on these talks, but the report said the Iranian officials involved report directly to him.

American officials told the Times that one potential sticking point could be the scope of the discussion; while the U.S. is reportedly interested in keeping the talks centered on Iran’s nuclear program, the report said, Iranian officials also want to discuss other points of conflict like Syria and Bahrain.

“We’ve always seen the nuclear issue as independent,” said one anonymous American official. “We’re not going to allow them to draw a linkage.”

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New York Times editorial board asks Trump if he didn’t do anything wrong — why he won’t let witnesses testify

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The New York Times editorial board issued a scathing op-ed Sunday detailing the ways in which President Donald Trump is destroying one of the key branches of the United States government.

While many presidents battle with Congress, Trump has taken his "obvious contempt" to a whole new level. But if he was truly innocent of the accusations he's facing, then why is he hiding so much.

"If Mr. Trump is so clear in his own mind that he didn’t try to pressure the Ukrainian government to interfere in the 2020 election, why won’t he send the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, to testify under oath that there was no quid pro quo?" asked The Times. "Instead, he has issued a blanket refusal to allow officials of his administration to testify or submit documents demanded by Congress. His approach is pitting Republican House members’ fealty to him against their respect for their own institution. They are making a fateful choice to diminish the House."

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Trump busted for acting like the Saudi’s ‘press secretary’ after Florida naval yard shooting

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Conservative Washington Post columnist Max Boot blasted President Donald Trump for essentially becoming a "press secretary" for the Saudi Arabian government in wake of the Pensacola, Florida mass shooting.

In his column Sunday, Boot noted that the typical mass shooting sentiments like "thoughts and prayers" were absent Friday when Trump discovered that the shooting was done by a Muslim.

"It turns out that Trump actually has a triple standard, because he treats attacks by Saudis differently than those from other Muslim nations," Boot observed. "On Friday, a Saudi air force officer studying at the Naval Air Station Pensacola shot dead three Americans and wounded eight others. Instead of expressing outrage or vowing vengeance, or even waiting for all the facts to come in, Trump sounded as if he were auditioning for the job of press secretary at the Saudi Embassy."

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McConnell blocked by his own party from calling impeachment witnesses Trump wants for Senate trial: report

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According to a report from the New York Times, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is finding his hands tied by members of his own party who are skeptical over the appropriateness of calling some of the witnesses Donald Trump  -- and a few of his House Republican enablers  -- want to appear.

As the Times notes, "While Democrats who control the House are focused on a swift impeachment vote by year’s end, the White House is almost entirely consumed by the trial that would follow in the Republican-controlled Senate, where Mr. Trump’s team believes he would have the chance to defend himself and where Democrats would almost certainly fall short of the two-thirds vote they would need to remove him from office."

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