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Trump Administration trying to ‘weaken’ and ‘dilute’ bipartisan Russian sanctions: report

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The US Senate voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to tighten sanctions on Russia and prevent President Donald Trump from being able to unilaterally ease sanctions absent congressional approval.

Yet a short time after the 97 – 2 vote for the legislation, there was already word that the Trump administration was seeking to weaken the bill.

“I know that some people in the White House are pushing back,” Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) told Business Insider. “People in the White House, we hear, are making calls in the House to try to stop it, slow it, weaken it, dilute it.”

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Today’s vote was the most significant blow the Republican President has received from the Republican Congress.

The bill was opposed by Trump’s State Department.

“I would urge Congress to ensure any legislation allows the President to have the flexibility to adjust sanctions to meet the needs of what is always an evolving diplomatic situation,” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told lawmakers. “Essentially, we would ask for the flexibility to turn the heat up when we need to, but also to ensure that we have the ability to maintain a constructive dialogue.”

Earlier this month, former U.S. officials told the Daily Beast the Trump White House, “attempted to argue the sanctions against the Russian oil industry harm the U.S. economy, but State Department officials were able to successfully argue the opposite is true.”

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President Trump is reportedly under investigation for Obstruction of Justice after firing FBI Director James Comey for investigating potential collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.


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Trump refusing to pay for New Mexico security and barricades — while trying to change the state from blue to red

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President Donald Trump thinks he will win New Mexico. He's repeated the factoid multiple times, including to a group of oil and gas workers and executives Wednesday at a conference in Pittsburgh, PA. But he also made two significant mistakes to put that support in jeopardy.

First, the president indicated he was building his "wall" on the border of Colorado, which is north of New Mexico. It would mean that New Mexico was now part of Mexico.

Second, it was reported by the Albuquerque Journal that their city is yet another one Trump's campaign is refusing to pay for security costs.

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Intel Committee has ‘recent evidence’ Ukraine witnesses are working together to ‘coordinate’ their stories

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House investigators have "recent evidence" of witnesses working to coordinate their testimony before Congress, a Democratic congressman revealed on MSNBC on Wednesday.

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), who sits on the Intelligence and Judicial committees, was interviewed by MSNBC Chris Hayes.

"Final question, what is the timeline here?" Hayes asked. "There is some transparency argument that at some point this can’t be behind closed doors, the American people, all of us, Republicans, Democrats, citizens and journalists have to hear what’s happening."

"You’re absolutely right and there will be a public phase," Swalwell replied.

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Rudy Giuliani is looking for a lawyer — after saying he didn’t need one: report

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On Wednesday, CNN reported that President Donald Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani is looking for a defense attorney to represent him.

This report comes after Giuliani said last week that he would not seek legal representation unless he believed he needed it.

Giuliani is currently under criminal investigation for the scheme he apparently helped facilitate in the Ukraine, where Trump withheld military aid in the fight against Russia while demanding their leaders investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and the Democratic National Committee.

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