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Michael Flynn had ‘potentially illegal’ discussions on US sanctions with Russia: Washington Post

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White House national security adviser Michael Flynn privately discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia with Moscow’s ambassador to the United States during the month before President Donald Trump took office, the Washington Post reported on Thursday.

Citing unnamed current and former U.S. officials, the Post said some senior U.S. officials interpreted the contacts as a “potentially illegal” signal to Russia that it could expect a reprieve from sanctions imposed by the Obama administration in December.

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Reuters could not immediately confirm the Washington Post report.

Reuters reported last month, citing three sources familiar with the matter, that Flynn had held five phone calls with Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak on Dec. 29, the day then-President Barack Obama retaliated for Moscow’s alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

The Post said Flynn on Wednesday denied that he had discussed sanctions with the Russian ambassador, but on Thursday backed away from the denial through a spokesman.

Flynn “indicated that while he had no recollection of discussing sanctions, he couldn’t be certain that the topic never came up,” the Post quoted the spokesman as saying.

Officials said this week that the FBI is continuing to examine Flynn’s contacts with Kislyak, according to the paper.

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“Several officials emphasized that while sanctions were discussed, they did not see evidence that Flynn had an intent to convey an explicit promise to take action after the inauguration,” the Post said.

(Reporting by Washington Newsroom; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)


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New Hampshire Republican officials aren’t interested in attending Trump’s upcoming rally

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President Donald Trump held a campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, that was supposed to be massive, but one of the main problems that came up for the team is that thousands and thousands of people signed up for tickets, who never attended. This time, they think they've figured it out, said the New York Times.

"Campaign officials believe they will be able to prevent the kind of ticket prank that helped turn Mr. Trump's rally last month," the report said, noting that the crowd was a "far smaller event than expected — but they still can't say for sure."

"Registering for a rally means you've RSVPed with a cellphone number, and we constantly weed out bogus numbers," campaign spokesman, Tim Murtaugh said. "These phony ticket requests never factor into our thinking. What makes this lame attempt at hacking our events even more foolish is the fact that every rally is general admission — entry is on a first-come-first-served basis, and prior registration is not required."

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New Lincoln Project ad tells voters to remember the Republicans who enabled Trump’s ‘circus of incompetence’

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In their latest ad, the anti-Trump conservative group The Lincoln Project targeted not the president, but Senate Republicans who have sat by and enabled him.

"Some day soon, the time of Trump will pass," said the narrator. "This circus of incompetence, corruption, and cruelty will end. When it does, the men and women in Trump's Republican Party will come to you, telling you they can repair the damage he has done. They'll beg you to forgive their votes to exonerate Trump from his crimes. Ask you to forgive their silence, their cowardice, and their betrayals as Trump wrecked this nation."

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One-third of Americans couldn’t pay their rent or mortgages this month

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On July 1, 32 percent of Americans weren't able to pay their mortgage, CNBC cited a survey from Apartment List.

The high unemployment rate has turned into people being unable to afford to pay their bills anymore, and the stimulus checks seem to be gone.

"About 19 percent of Americans made no housing payment at all during the first week of the month, and 13 percent paid only a portion of their rent or mortgage," said the report.

To make matters worse, it's the fourth month in a row of record-high numbers of Americans who couldn't pay their housing bills on time or in full. It was 30 percent in June and 31 percent in May.

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