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The Art of the Trump-Putin deal: Here are 5 things the president may have agreed to do

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Say you’re Vladimir Putin, and you did a deal with Trump last year. I’m not suggesting there was any such deal, mind you. But if you are Putin and you did do a deal, what did Trump agree to do?

1. Repudiate NATO. NATO is the biggest thorn in your side – the alliance that both humiliates you and stymies your ambitions in the Baltics and elsewhere. Trump almost delivered on this last week by pointedly not reaffirming Article 5, which states that an attack on one NATO ally is an attack on all.

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2. Antagonize Europe, especially Angela Merkel. She’s the strongest leader in the West other than Trump, and you’d love to drive a wedge between the U.S. and Germany. Your larger goal is for Europe to no longer depend on the United States, so you can increase Russia’s influence in Europe. Trump has almost delivered one on this, too. Now Merkel even says Europe can no longer depend on America.

3. Reject the Paris accord on the environment. This will anger America’s other allies around the world and produce a wave of anti-Americanism – all to your advantage. Nothing would satisfy you more than isolating the United States. Seems like Trump is about to deliver on this one, too.

4. Embarks on a new era of protectionism. Or at least anti-trade rhetoric. This will threaten the West’s economic interdependence, and loosen America’s economic grip on the rest of the world. Trump is on the way to delivering on this one.

5. End the economic sanctions on Russia imposed after the annexation of Crimea and Russian backing of separatists in eastern Ukraine. No delivery on this as yet, but you understand why. Trump has got to cope with all the suspicion in the U.S. over the deal he made with you to win him the presidency. Once that dies down, he’ll end the sanctions. (In the meantime, he’ll hand back to you two diplomatic compounds that were taken by the U.S. in late December as punishment for Moscow’s interference in the 2016 presidential election.)

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And what did you agree to do, Vlad? Not only help him win the presidency, but also shut up about it so he wouldn’t be impeached and then convicted of treason.

In other words – if you did do a deal – Trump is still in the process of delivering on his side of it, as are you. That’s the art of the deal.


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Pennsylvania Republican senator arrested and charged with possession of child pornography

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According to a release from Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, Republican state Sen. Michael Folmer has been arrested and charged with possession of child pornography.

The release said that the investigation began as the result of a CyberTip about Tumblr discovering that a user had uploaded child pornography onto their site. It ultimately led to the home of Folmer in Lebanon, PA. A search warrant yielded images on Folmer's phone.

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Netanyahu refuses to concede after he falls short — blames media instead

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Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, refused to concede after being down in the election night polls. Like the last election, Netanyahu is claiming his own personal victory and blaming the media for all of his woes.

Senior Diplomatic correspondent Barak Ravid, at Channel 13 News in Tel-Aviv, was live-tweeting the election results late Tuesday night.

https://twitter.com/barakravid/status/1174116674225758209?s=21

"Netanyahu says Israel needs a Zionist government that is committed for Israel as a Jewish state. No government can be based on support from Arab parties," Ravid said.

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Mitch McConnell crony running for Kentucky AG is ineligible for office: lawsuit

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On Tuesday, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported that a new lawsuit seeks to remove Daniel Cameron from the ballot as the Kentucky GOP's nominee for state attorney general.

According to the lawsuit, filed by retired union worker and "concerned citizen" Joseph Leon Jackson Sr. in Jefferson Circuit Court, Cameron does not meet the office requirement of having practiced law for eight years — because although he was admitted by the Kentucky Bar Association in 2011, he spent two of the following years clerking for U.S. District Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove.

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