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Despite White House lobbying, Senator Jeff Flake opposes Iran nuclear deal

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U.S. Senator Jeff Flake announced his opposition on Saturday to the nuclear deal with Iran despite White House lobbying to try to convince the Arizona Republican to back the deal when U.S. lawmakers vote on it.

The agreement that Iran reached with the United States and other world powers “does contain benefits in terms of limiting Iran’s ability to produce sufficient fissile material for a nuclear weapon for a period of time, particularly at its known nuclear facilities,” Flake said in a statement.

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“But these benefits are outweighed by severe limitations the (agreement) places on Congress and future administrations in responding to Iran’s non-nuclear behavior in the region,” Flake added.

Flake was the only Republican lawmaker who accompanied President Barack Obama on a trip to Africa in July, and White House officials lobbied him during that trip to support the deal. Flake had supported Obama’s moves on another important foreign policy issue, establishing warmer relations with Cuba.

When Congress returns on Sept. 8 from its August recess, debate will begin on a Republican-sponsored “resolution of disapproval” against the deal. That resolution is expected to pass. Obama is poised to veto such a measure, and he would need 34 votes in the 100-seat Senate to block the override of that veto and preserve the Iran agreement.

“Hoping that Iran’s nuclear ambitions might change after a 15-year sabbatical might be a bet worth making. Believing that Iran’s regional behavior will change tomorrow – while giving up tools to deter or modify such behavior – is not,” Flake said in explaining his opposition.

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White House personnel chief delivers a new blow to Trump: Top DHS candidates are not legally qualified

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President Donald Trump's quest to find an acting replacement for departed Department of Homeland Security chief Kirstjen Nielsen was dealt a significant blow on Monday.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the White House personnel office chief Sean Doocey has informed the president that he doesn't believe either of his top two picks are legally qualified to hold the position.

As the Journal notes, "federal statute that governs vacancies states that acting officials in cabinet-level positions must either be next in line for a position or hold a Senate-confirmed position." Neither Ken Cuccinelli, who heads the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, nor Mark Morgan, who leads Customs and Border Protection, meet those standards, Doocey determined.

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Maryland man paralyzed from the waist down after traffic stop ends with him being slammed to the ground

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A Prince George's County man is now paralyzed from the waist down after an altercation with police, Fox5DC reported this weekend.

According to the police, when they pulled over 24-year-old Demonte Ward-Blake for an "expired tag" Ward-Blake was argumentative and police said they smelled marijuana in the car. Medical marijuana is legal in Maryland and possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana was decriminalized in Maryland in 2014. Ward-Blake was found to have 3 grams of pot on him. Police still use the "smell of marijuana" as a justification for an illegal search, despite 33 states legalizing pot in some way in the U.S., and it's become known as "sniff and search."

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Ex-GOP rep. says Republican buddies will flip on Trump: ‘They do believe he’s a moron’

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Former Republican Congressman Joe Walsh predicted this week that lawmakers from his own party will eventually support the impeachment of President Donald Trump.

"I think he knows it’s coming," Walsh told CNN's Brianna Keilar following the president's remarks to reporters. "He sounded like a frightened baby right there."

According to Walsh, "even Republicans" are embarrassed by Trump's failed effort to hold the G7 summit at his Miami Doral resort.

"It’s really important to note, I need to say this, Republicans don’t like him," Walsh explained. "Republicans in Congress. They don’t like him, they don’t fear him, they don’t respect him. They do believe he’s incompetent, they do believe he’s a moron."

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