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‘Your unwillingness speaks volumes’: Senator rattles intel officials for stonewalling on Trump

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A Democratic senator grilled intelligence and law enforcement officials on their conversations with President Donald Trump and the firing of FBI director James Comey.

Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, refused to confirm or deny reports that Trump had asked him to push back on the FBI investigation into his campaign ties to Russia, and NSA director Mike Rogers and deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein also refused to discuss such efforts by the president.

Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) then questioned acting FBI director Andrew McCabe whether he’d discussed with Comey the president’s reported request for loyalty from the law enforcement official, but he refused to answer.

“You’re not invoking executive privilege and, obviously, it’s not classified,” Heinrich said. “This is the Oversight Committee — why would it not be appropriate for you to share that conversation with us?”

McCabe said he’d let Comey speak for himself Thursday, when he testified before Congress.

“We certainly look forward to that,” Heinrich said. “I think your unwillingness to share that conversation is an issue.”

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Heinrich then turned to Coats, who had previously said he felt it would be inappropriate to discuss his conversations with the president before an open hearing.

“I don’t care how you feel — I’m not asking whether you felt pressured (to interfere with the investigation),” Heinrich said. “I’m simply asking, did that conversation occur?”

Coats again declined to answer, and Heinrich asked why he was so reluctant to do so.

“This is not releasing any classified information, but you realize how simple it would be to say, ‘No, that never happened?'” Heinrich said. “Why is it inappropriate, Director Coats?”

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Coats said he believed conversations between himself and the president were, for the most part, confidential — and Heinrich continued.

“You can clear an awful lot up by saying it never happened,” Heinrich said. “I think your unwillingness to answer a very basic question speaks volumes.”

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Sailing among the stars: Here’s how photons could revolutionize space flight

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A few days from now, a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket will lift off from Florida, carrying a satellite the size of a loaf of bread with nothing to power it but a huge polyester "solar sail."

It's been the stuff of scientists' dreams for decades but has only very recently become a reality.

The idea might sounds crazy: propelling a craft through the vacuum of space with no engine, no fuel, and no solar panels, but instead harnessing the momentum of packets of light energy known as photons -- in this case from our Sun.

The spacecraft to be launched on Monday, called LightSail 2, was developed by the Planetary Society, a US organization that promotes space exploration which was co-founded by the legendary astronomer Carl Sagan in 1980.

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Russians to prod Putin on poverty and his personal life as his ratings tank

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Russians are set to ask President Vladimir Putin about growing poverty at home and tensions abroad during an annual televised phone-in Thursday, which comes following a fall in his approval ratings.

The leader is also likely to face a degree of grilling on his personal life, according to questions submitted by the public online ahead of the live show.

Set to be held for the 17th time since Putin came to power in 1999, the show starts at 0900 GMT and usually lasts several hours.

Ahead of the carefully choreographed show, more than one million questions had been submitted, organisers told Russian news agencies.

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Trump could turn on Hope Hicks just like Michael Cohen: Trump family biographer warns

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Trump family biographer Emily Jane Fox explained that she didn't think that the president would turn on long-time aide Hope Hicks, but then again, it was the same thought about Michael Cohen as well.

In a panel discussion about Hicks' testimony during MSNBC's Brian Williams' Wednesday show, Fox recalled that Micahel Cohen once said that he would take a bullet for the president. Once it appeared that Trump would throw him under the bus, Cohen began looking for a way out.

The same scenario seems to be happening with Hicks now.

"She works at new Fox, which is a company run by a Murdoch son," Fox said. "It's a company that's brand new. She's the head of communications there. And there are shareholders who would take issue with the fact that a senior member of this company is being put in this situation and being thrust on the world stage."

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