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FBI Director James Comey asks Justice Department to publicly reject Trump’s ‘wiretap’ claims

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Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director James Comey has requested that the Department of Justice publicly refute Pres. Donald Trump’s call for an investigation into claims that former Pres. Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Towers.

The New York Times said Sunday that since Trump made the unsubstantiated allegations on Saturday, Comey has been trying to get the Justice Department to confirm for the public that the FBI did not break the law and spy on the president’s business headquarters in the weeks leading up to the 2016 election.

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“Mr. Comey’s request is a remarkable rebuke of a sitting president,” wrote Michael S. Schmidt and Michael D. Shear, “putting the nation’s top law enforcement official in the position of questioning Mr. Trump’s truthfulness. The confrontation underscores the high stakes of what the president and his aides have unleashed by accusing the former president of a conspiracy to undermine Mr. Trump’s young administration.”

In spite of offering no evidence to support the claims, the White House is pressing ahead with the allegation — which some critics suggest is a fake news story that Trump saw on right-wing website Breitbart.com and conspiracy theory hub InfoWars and believed unquestioningly.

Now the president has tasked Congress and its top attorneys with coming up with evidence to support the claims after the fact, in spite of the issues posed by confirming that a federal judge has found reason to surveil Trump, such as probable cause of a crime or that Trump might be a foreign agent.

Former aide to Pres. George W. Bush David Frum said on Twitter that Comey’s rebuke is unprecedented, writing, “If report is accurate, the director of the FBI is rebuking the president of the United States as a fantasist & liar.”

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One of the issues Comey faces is finding a Justice Department official of sufficient rank to make a statement against the president’s order. Attorney Gen. Jeff Sessions recused himself from any cases involving the Trump campaign and possible collusion with the Russian government.


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Australian columnist aghast at America’s ‘rotten’ COVID-19 response: ‘We are witnessing the fall of a great power’

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A columnist for an Australian newspaper has been watching the United States' response to the novel coronavirus with a mix of shock and horror -- and he now believes "we are witnessing the fall of a great power."

Crispin Hull, an editor and columnist for The Canberra Times, argues in his latest column that President Donald Trump's disastrous handling of the pandemic is symbolic of deep rot within the American political system.

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Largest bank in the US holds back $10 billion anticipating Americans won’t be able to pay their mortgage

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Last week it was revealed that nearly one-third of Americans couldn't pay their mortgages or their rent. It's the third month in a row with over 30 percent of American renters and homeowners showing that they're in trouble, despite the stimulus check from Washington.

Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal wrote that the largest bank in the United States, JP Morgan Chase, put aside $10 billion, anticipating that the numbers of home loan defaults are going to get far worse.

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2020 Election

Trump wallowing in self-pity as COVID-19 pandemic derails his re-election plans: report

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According to a report from Bloomberg, a "struggling" Donald Trump is not making any effort to disguise his disappointment that his plans to serve a second term as president have fallen to pieces due to both coronavirus pandemic and the collapse of the economy -- including massive job losses -- that ensued after the country shut down.

With presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden taking leads both nationally and in previously reliable Republican states like Florida, Texas and North Carolina, the Bloomberg report notes that the embattled president can't help but indulge in self-pity in front of the press and public.

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