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After bitter Iran row, Netanyahu gets White House invite

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is to visit the White House in early November, a US spokesman said Friday, the first time he’s been invited since a fierce row over the Iranian nuclear deal.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said there was an “ongoing effort” to find an exact date for the meeting, but that it would be a chance to deepen cooperation.

“Despite our well known differences on even some key issues, the bond between the United States and Israel when it comes to our security relationship is unshakable,” he said.

US-Israeli relations are at one of their lowest points in decades, fueled by animosity between Obama and Netanyahu.

After years of frosty relations, Netanyahu stridently opposed a deal championed by Obama as the best way of preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.

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The Israeli prime minister described the accord, an important piece of Obama’s foreign policy legacy, as a “stunning, historic mistake.”

The White House regarded Netanyahu’s appearance before a joint session of Congress in April to call directly on US lawmakers to scupper the deal, as an affront.

Obama pointedly refused to meet Netanyahu when he was in Washington to make the address.

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The two men clashed again during Netanyahu’s re-election campaign, when he rejected a two-state solution.

In the midst of a bitter and sometimes personal dispute, Netanyahu insisted his opposition is “not about me and it is not about President Obama, it’s about the deal.”

But with the deal now safely through Congress, Obama appears ready to smooth over relations.

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Netanyahu is also under pressure to mend ties with Israel’s chief security guarantor and closest ally.

President Reuven Rivlin accused Netanyahu this week of missing several chances to repair ties with Washington.

Rivlin said he and the prime minister “exhausted the subject of differences of opinion” on relations with the outside world and were now meeting less frequently.

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The White House has floated the idea of a deeper security compact with Israel, but has said the offer has not yet been taken up.

“The president has indicated on a number of occasions his desire to begin consultations with our Israeli allies about how to further deepen that cooperation,” Earnest said.

“We’re looking forward to doing that.”


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Mueller is signaling he’ll be tough witness — and it could play right into the GOP’s hands

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Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller is sending a very clear message: He doesn’t want to testify.

That’s the not-so-subtle subtext of the announcement that Mueller plans to submit the 448-page report detailing the findings of the Russia investigation as a statement for the record during his hearing before the House scheduled for Wednesday. Of course, Congress already has the report, so the move isn’t necessary. It’s Mueller’s way of saying, as he has previously, “The report is my testimony.”

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Maddow details how Stephen Miller’s backstory makes his anti-immigrant fantasy even more horrifying

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MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow interviewed the uncle of White House advisor Stephen Miller on Monday to detail the family's fascinating backstory.

"It begins at the turn of the 20th century, in a dirt-floor shack in the village of Antopol, a shtetl of subsistence farmers in what is now Belarus. Beset by violent anti-Jewish pogroms and forced childhood conscription in the Czar’s army, the patriarch of the shack, Wolf-Leib Glosser, fled a village where his forebears had lived for centuries and took his chances in America," Dr. David Glosser explained in Politico.

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‘The people of Montana are no fools’: Liberian refugee taking on Trump-loving Senator Steve Daines

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First-term Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) was one of the few members of Congress to praise President Donald Trump's racist "go back" taunts that his supporters turned into a "send her back" chant against a black former refugee.

https://twitter.com/SteveDaines/status/1150859069084905472

In response, the Billings Gazette chastised Daines in an editorial, saying, "Montanans are more sickened by the never-ending torrent of childish, bigoted views that are shoveled from the White House that make the country look like bigots and idiots. And we're nauseous when folks like Daines invoke our state in defending a spoiled New York developer who would get tongue-lashed by most Montanans for the way he takes to Twitter."

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