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Another wave of top State Department officials quit this week in ‘Black Friday’ mass resignation

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More top-tier officials left the U.S. Department of State on Friday in a quiet group resignation, according to a Foreign Policy magazine report published on Sunday.

“Dissatisfaction is a big factor,” said one official who has opted for early retirement rather than to fight on in an agency that is being undermined by crippling budget cuts and serially undercut by a president who has no knowledge or curiosity about the workings of international diplomacy.

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Acting director of the Bureau for International Organization Affairs Tracey Anne Jacobson, U.S. Assistance Secretary of State of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs William Rivington and top European affairs official John Heffern have all joined a “growing wave of resignations” driven by the chaos within the agency and President Donald Trump’s gross mishandling of the agency’s staffing and hiring process.

“Foreign policy professionals,” wrote Colum Lynch, are “being pushed out or resigning over frustration with an administration that has downgraded the importance of Washington’s diplomatic corps.”

Jacobson is ending a 30-year career serving under multiple presidents as an ambassador to U.S. ambassador to Kosovo, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. She declined to state why she tended her resignation on Friday.

“The White House has been seeking to impose cuts of as much as 37 percent to the State Department budget,” said Lynch. “The administration is targeting even higher cuts for the U.N. Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., has boasted that she has secured more than $600 million in cuts to peacekeeping missions.”
Read the full report here.

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‘Trump literally just confessed to the crime’: Pennsylvania Democrat

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Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-PA) believes President Donald Trump confessed to bribing or extorting Ukraine in an effort to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden.

The president told reporters Monday morning at the United Nations that he had withheld foreign aid from Ukraine as he discussed alleged corruption involving Biden, the Democratic presidential frontrunner.

"It's very important to talk about corruption," Trump. "If you don't talk about corruption, why would you give money to a country that you think is corrupt?...It's very important that on occasion you speak to somebody about corruption."

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Trump’s jumbled response to Ukraine scandal is a strong signal of what’s to come: columnist

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On Monday, President Donald Trump denied allegations that he extorted the president of Ukraine for information about Joe Biden. “It’s a ridiculous story,” Trump said during an appearance at the United Nations.

The controversy emerged after an anonymous whistleblower in the intelligence community logged a complaint with their agency about improper behavior by the president on a phone call with a foreign leader. “It’s a partisan whistleblower,” the president added.

Previously, the president's lawyer Rudy Giuliani had traveled to Ukraine to dig up dirt on Joe Biden. Critics worry that during a conversation with the president of Ukraine about rooting out corruption in his country, Trump suggested he offer information about Biden in exchange for funding.

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FBI arrests far-right extremist who talked about ‘bombing a major U.S. news network’: report

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The FBI has arrested a member of the United States Army who allegedly talked about plans to carry out acts of violence in the U.S.

According to ABC News' Mike Levine, the arrested man "allegedly discussed plans to bomb a major U.S. news network, discussed traveling to Ukraine to fight with violent far-right group, and allegedly distributed info online on how to build bombs."

Levine also reports that the arrested man also made mention of Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke, who made headlines during a recent primary debate by saying he wanted to confiscate AR-15s and AK-47s. It is not known at this time if the man made a direct threat to O'Rourke, however.

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