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Al Franken: Sessions needs to return before Senate committee and explain his Russian connections

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Appearing on ABC’s This Week, Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) said Attorney General Jeff Sessions needs to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee again and fully explain his background with Russian contacts while under oath.

Speaking with host Martha Raddatz, Franken made the point that he has not yet called for Sessions to resign, saying he wants to give him “the benefit of the doubt.”

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During his confirmation hearing, Sessions told the committee, while being questioned by Franken, that he had not had any contact with the Russians while serving as an advocate for President Donald Trump’s campaign.

After it was revealed that Sessions had met privately with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak twice during the 2016 presidential campaign, lawmakers called for Sessions to recuse himself from all investigations into connections between Trump administration officials and Russian operatives.

According to Franken, while he called for Sessions to recuse himself, he is not at the point where we wants the Attorney General to resign.,

“I would like to give him some benefit of the doubt. He needs to come back before the committee and explain this,” Franken told the ABC host. “I don’t want to go there and definitively say we should be prosecuting the attorney general. But I think the attorney general owes it to the Judiciary Committee to come back and explain himself.”

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After initial resistance, Sessions agreed to step aside — a decision that reportedly angered President Trump who was not informed prior to the announcement.

On Friday, Sessions said he would respond to Senator’s questions submitted to him in writing.

Watch the Franken’s interview via ABC below:

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Betsy DeVos’ DOE threatens to cut university funding for positive portrayal of Islam

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The U.S Department of Education threatened to pull federal funding from a Middle East studies course jointly run by Duke University and the University of North Carolina because it portrays Islam too positively.

The DOE ordered the universities to change their program or lose its federal grant money. In a letter to UNC, the department criticized the program, arguing that topics like Iranian art and film have “little or no relevance” to the Middle East studies program. The letter also argues that the program “appears to lack balance” because its programs are not focused on the discrimination faced by “religious minorities in the Middle East," including Christians and Jews.

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Wall Street is ignoring the omens of recession — here’s why

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The Federal Reserve seems a lot more concerned about the state of the economy than it’s been letting on.

The Fed lowered its target interest rate by a quarter point on Sept. 18, the second such cut since July – and the first reductions since the Great Recession more than 10 years ago.

Judging by the words of Fed Chair Jerome Powell, this isn’t that big a deal. In his statement following the decision, he said: “We took this step to help keep the U.S. economy strong in the face of some notable developments and to provide insurance against ongoing risks.”

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2020 Election

Elizabeth Warren accuses Congress of complicity in Trump’s continued abuses

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Sen. Elizabeth Warren accused the U.S. Congress of complicity in President Donald Trump's continued abuse of power late Friday, after reports surfaced of his alleged attempts to solicit foreign meddling in the 2020 presidential election, and reiterated her demand that Democrats use their majority in the House to pursue impeachment.

Warren's tweeted statement came hours after the Wall Street Journal reported that Trump urged Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden's opposition to a Ukrainian prosecutor in 2016.

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