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Senators McCain and Graham to support Tillerson nomination despite Russia ties

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Two senior Republican lawmakers said on Sunday they would vote to approve President Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, despite their concerns over the former ExxonMobil chief’s relationship with Russia’s president.

“After careful consideration, and much discussion with Mr. Tillerson, we have decided to support his nomination to be secretary of state,” Senators John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said in a statement.

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“Though we still have concerns about his past dealings with the Russian government and (Russian) President Vladimir Putin, we believe that Mr. Tillerson can be an effective advocate for U.S. interests,” said the two senators, veteran foreign policy experts.

The Republican-controlled Senate has so far confirmed two of Trump’s nominees for cabinet posts but Tillerson, former chief executive officer at Exxon Mobil Corp, has faced criticism from several prominent Republicans because of his close relationships with Russian officials, including Putin.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he was confident that all of Trump’s cabinet nominees will be confirmed. Speaking on “Fox News Sunday,” McConnell also said the Senate would confirm a Supreme Court justice nominee eventually picked by Trump.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is expected to vote on Tillerson’s nomination on Monday, with a full Senate vote coming shortly after.

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(Reporting by Jason Lange; Editing by Paul Simao and Jeffrey Benkoe)


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Former FBI agent explains why Trump just opened himself to more legal problems

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Former FBI agent Asha Rangappa explained that the recent revelations that President Donald Trump made a promise to a foreign leader that made an intelligence official uncomfortable enough to declare themselves a whistleblower.

Rangapp explained that the President has a fairly wide latitude to conduct foreign affairs as he sees fit. But "when it comes to the 'outside world,' the President represents the sovereign: He is basically the voice of the United States and can negotiate with world leaders on its behalf."

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Canada’s Trudeau admits to racist ‘brownface’ makeup in high school Halloween costume

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Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau apologized Wednesday for wearing brownface makeup to a party 18 years ago, as he scrambled to get on top of a fresh blow to a re-election campaign dogged by controversy.

Time magazine published the photograph one week into a federal election campaign with Trudeau's Liberal Party in a tight contest against the Conservatives led by Andrew Scheer.

Trudeau, 47, whose party won a landslide victory in 2015, has already been under attack for an ethics lapse and other controversies.

The black-and-white photograph shows Trudeau, then 29, wearing a turban and robes with his face, neck and hands darkened at a gala party in 2001.

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New York cop who became El Chapo’s security guard arrested for selling cocaine and taking bribes

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A New York cop is being prosecuted after he was outed for selling cocaine and taking bribes after he went to work for drug kingpin El Chapo.

The New York Daily News reported Wednesday that Officer Ishmael Bailey had his bail set at $50,000 after he was arrested and arraigned in Queens Criminal Court. He was charged with possession and sale of narcotics, conspiracy, bribe receiving as a public servant and failing to perform duties as a public servant.

Lawyer Jeff Cohen argued that Bailey had two children and had to pay child support. The lawyer explained that Bailey “does understand the severity of his charges.”

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