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Trump campaign aide repeatedly tried to set up meetings with Russian leaders including Putin: report

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Three months before Donald Trump Jr. agreed to meet with an emissary for the Russia government to discuss potentially damaging information on Hillary Clinton, a foreign policy aide for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign repeatedly tried to set up meeting between the campaign and Russian leaders “including [Vladimir] Putin.”

George Papadopoulos repeatedly offered to set up “a meeting between us and the Russian leadership to discuss US-Russia ties under President Trump,” the Washington Post reports. Papadopoulos reportedly told Trump campaign officials he was acting as an intermediary for the Russian government.

“Putin wants to host the Trump team when the time is right,” Papadopoulos wrote in an email to former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski on April 27, 2016. He also told Lewamdowski he had fielded “a lot of calls over the past month” related to a meeting between the Trump campaign and Russia.

“Russia has been eager to meet with Mr. Trump for some time and have been reaching out to me to discuss,” Papadopoulos said in a separate email to former campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

As the Post reports, Papadopoulos’ multiple attempts to arrange a meeting between Trump officials and Russia show the Kremlin was “looking for entry points and playing upon connections with lower-level aides to penetrate the 2016 campaign.”

“The bottom line is that there’s no doubt in my mind that the Russian government was casting a wide net when they were looking at the American election,” retired CIA agent Steven L. Hall told the Post. “I think they were doing very basic intelligence work: Who’s out there? Who’s willing to play ball? And how can we use them?”

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The report flies in the face of blanket denials by members of the Trump campaign, including Lewandowski, who said earlier this year he doesn’t “know of any person working on the campaign” that had contact with Russia.

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Soccer star slams Trump for attacking her teammate: He hates women he ‘cannot control or grope’

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On Wednesday, U.S. Women's Soccer champion Ali Krieger rebuked President Donald Trump for his attacks on her teammate Megan Rapinoe, saying that the president feels threatened by women that he "cannot control or grope":

In regards to the “President’s” tweet today, I know women who you cannot control or grope anger you, but I stand by @mPinoe & will sit this one out as well. I don’t support this administration nor their fight against LGBTQ+ citizens, immigrants & our most vulnerable.

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Justice Department sues Omarosa Manigault Newman over financial disclosures

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The Justice Department on Tuesday sued Omarosa Manigault Newman, a former contestant on "The Apprentice" who campaigned for President Donald Trump and later worked for him in the White House, alleging she failed to file a required public disclosure report after she left 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Washington, claims Manigault Newman "knowingly and willingly" failed to file the financial disclosure report after corresponding multiple times with attorneys for the White House. It accuses her of violating the Ethics in Government Act (EIGA) by not filing the report, which was required because her salary exceeded $124,406, despite several oral and written reminders from White House ethics lawyers.

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Retired admiral could pose serious threat if he decides to run against Iowa Republican: report

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On Wednesday, Iowa Starting Line reported that Ret. Adm. Michael Franken is in talks with state and national Democrats about challenging GOP Sen. Joni Ernst.

Franken, who has served as Deputy for Military Operations for AFRICOM, Director of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, and Chief of Legislative Affairs for the Department of the Navy, hails from Sioux Center, a town in the deeply conservative northwest part of the state.

Ernst, who first gained national attention for her 2014 campaign ad about castrating hogs, is a reliable vote for President Donald Trump in the Senate, and the president's poor approval ratings in Iowa have left Democrats hopeful that they can defeat her.

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