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Moscow slams US ‘aggression’ in Syria and suspends air safety deal

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Moscow slammed the US strike on a Syrian airbase Friday as “aggression against a sovereign state”, and suspended a bilateral agreement to help avoid clashes in the skies over the war-torn country.

“President Putin considers American strikes on Syria aggression against a sovereign state in violation of international norms, and under an invented pretext,” said the statement by the Kremlin press service posted on the official website.

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US President Donald Trump ordered a military strike on a Syrian air base at 0040GMT, in retaliation for what he said was a “very barbaric attack” Tuesday that is suspected to have contained a nerve agent.

Moscow has been flying a bombing campaign in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces since September 2015 and on Wednesday said it would continue to back the regime.

The Russian foreign ministry announced the suspension of a memorandum signed with the US in October 2015 which set up a hotline to avoid clashes between their air forces in Syrian airspace as they carried out separate bombing campaigns.

“We call upon the UN Security Council to hold an extraordinary meeting to discuss the situation,” the ministry said in a statement, calling the strike “thoughtless.”

Russia had sought to deflect blame from Assad over the incident, claiming Syrian jets struck a rebel arms depot housing “toxic substances” and denying that the regime has access to any chemical weapons.

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“The Syrian army does not have any chemical weapon stockpiles,” the Kremlin statement said, accusing Washington of trying to “divert attention of the international community from the many civilian casualties in Iraq.”

“The fact of destruction of all chemical weapon stockpiles of the Syrian armed forces was recorded and confirmed by the (Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons).”

“This step by Washington inflicts considerable damage to US-Russia relations, which are already in a lamentable state,” the Kremlin said.

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A White House official said 59 precision-guided Tomahawk missiles hit the Shayrat airfield, from where the US believes the attack was launched.

The Syrian army said that six people were killed and serious damage caused by the strike.

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CNN legal analysts rip apart Jim Jordan’s ‘nonsensical’ defense of Trump witness intimidation

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CNN legal analyst Elie Honig blasted Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) for arguing that President Donald Trump hadn't engaged in witness intimidation by tweeting attacks on a former ambassador as she testified against him in the impeachment inquiry.

Jordan argued the tweet can't be witness intimidation because Marie Yovanovitch wouldn't have known about the attack if Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) hadn't read it to her, but Honig said the GOP lawmaker's claim was ridiculous.

"His point is nonsensical," Honig said. "Of course, she was going to find out about a tweet that went out to 60 million people-plus. The law covers any way you look regarding timing."

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‘Everyone he touches gets tainted’: CNN panel astonished by number of criminally convicted Trump allies

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A CNN panel on Friday stood in awe at the number of President Donald Trump's allies who have been convicted of crimes ever since his election in 2016.

During a panel discussion about Trump ally Roger Stone's conviction on seven criminal counts that included witness intimidation, perjury, and obstruction of justice, CNN host Anderson Cooper said it was astonishing how many of the people who helped the president get elected have wound up in jail.

"In your own life, how many people are you close to in your orbit who have been convicted of crimes?" Cooper asked and then listed off former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, former national security adviser Michael Flynn, former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos, and former personal attorney Michael Cohen.

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Marie Yovanovitch made a ‘mockery’ of Trump’s dismissal of the ‘deep state’ with her testimony: CNN’s David Gregory

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CNN contributor David Gregory used his time during a panel segment on the impeachment testimony of Marie Yovanovitch to hammer President Donald Trump for attacking the diplomat on Twitter as she spoke -- then said she had made a "mockery" of his [Trump's] dismissal of the "deep state."

According to Gregory, viewers might think he was naive to believe the president would not get personal and go after Yovanovitch, but that he was honestly stunned.

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