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White House violated restrictions when it asked FBI to kill Trump-Russia stories: CNN

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President Donald Trump’s White House staff urged the FBI to walk back reports about alleged communications between the Trump team and Russia, according to CNN.

The report reveals multiple U.S. officials briefed on the request verified the request. The FBI was the intelligence agency responsible for monitoring conversations by Russian officials while they were in the United States. It was through those communications that Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn was caught allegedly talking about the sanctions then-President Barack Obama placed on Russia after the Russian hacks.

CNN reports that communication like this was unusual because there have been restrictions in place for decades prohibiting such contacts. The request is a violation of procedures that limit such communication between the two. FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus sat in on a meeting together the day after the story broke that Trump staff allegedly had regular communication with the Russians. A U.S. law enforcement official told CNN that it was during this meeting that Priebus requested the FBI walk back the reports.

One White House official disputes the claim, saying McCabe called Priebus that morning to explain that the New York Times report on the issue overstated what the FBI knows. A law enforcement official said that McCabe didn’t discuss the details of what the FBI had but wouldn’t clarify what was said. FBI Director James Comey rejected the White House request because the alleged communications between Trump staffers and Russians are part of an ongoing FBI investigation.

Justice Department procedure memos from 2007 and 2009 put limits on direct communication on pending investigations between the White House and the FBI.

“Initial communications between the [Justice] Department and the White House concerning pending or contemplated criminal investigations or cases will involve only the Attorney General or the Deputy Attorney General, from the side of the Department, and the Counsel to the President, the Principal Deputy Counsel to the President, the President, or the Vice President from the side of the White House,” the 2009 memo explains.

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Such communications should only occur when it involves the President’s duties and where appropriate, CNN explained.

A spokesman for the Department of Justice said Attorney General Jeff Sessions is examining the memos and “the Department is following the guidelines in its communications with the White House.”

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
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Trump drowned in ‘heavy metal jokes’ after trying to tag Dem challengers as ‘motley crew’

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President Donald Trump trotted out a new catchphrase to mock the field of Democratic presidential candidates, but it didn't get quite the reaction he may have hoped.

The president insisted polls looked good for his re-election chances, despite leaked internal polling that says otherwise, and tried to tag his potential 2020 challengers as a "motley crew."

Only Fake Polls show us behind the Motley Crew. We are looking really good, but it is far too early to be focused on that. Much work to do! MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!

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Trump betting he can win re-election by spinning new conspiracy theories to explain investigations: report

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Special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into President Donald Trump's association with Russian efforts to undermine the 2016 presidential election may be over. But that does not mean the president is free from oversight.

According to Politico, Trump is still facing 15 civil and criminal probes by at least nine federal, state, and municipal agencies on everything from obstruction of justice to campaign finance violations to using his office to enrich his family and businesses. But president is not bothered by these investigations — or at least, he believes that he can use them to his political advantage.

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Meet the mysterious conservative lawyer who keeps turning up in the Russia probes

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A prominent conservative lawyer keeps showing up in dramas central to the Trump administration and its battles with Congress—and it turns out he has intimate knowledge of Felix Sater’s intelligence work for the U.S. government while he was working with Trump.

The Moscow-born Sater is the financial criminal and violent felon who worked closely with Trump for years while simultaneously serving as a long-term informant for the FBI and other national security agencies.

In 2015 and into mid-2016, Sater pushed for the development of a Trump Tower in Moscow with his old friend Michael Cohen, Trump’s longtime fixer, while trying to enlist support from the Russian government for Trump’s campaign.

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