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Trump slaps travel restrictions on North Korea and Venezuela in expanded ban

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump on Sunday slapped new travel restrictions on citizens from North Korea, Venezuela and Chad, expanding the list of countries covered by his original travel bans that have been derided by critics and challenged in court.

Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Somalia were left on the list of affected countries in a new proclamation issued by the president. Restrictions on citizens from Sudan were lifted.

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“Making America Safe is my number one priority. We will not admit those into our country we cannot safely vet,” Trump said in a tweet shortly after the proclamation was released.

Iraqi citizens will not be subject to travel prohibitions but will face enhanced scrutiny or vetting.

The current ban, enacted in March, was set to expire on Sunday evening.

The new restrictions, slated to take effect on Oct. 18, resulted from a review after Trump’s original travel bans sparked international outrage and legal challenges.

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The addition of North Korea and Venezuela broadens the restrictions from the original, mostly Muslim-majority list.

“North Korea does not cooperate with the United States government in any respect and fails to satisfy all

information-sharing requirements,” the proclamation said.

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An administration official, briefing reporters on a conference call, acknowledged that the number of North Koreans now traveling to the United States was very low.

Trump received a set of policy recommendations on Friday from acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke and was briefed on the matter by other administration officials, including Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, a White House aide said.

Earlier on Sunday, Trump told reporters about the ban: “The tougher, the better.”

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Rather than a total ban on entry to the United States, the proposed restrictions would differ by nation, based on cooperation with American security mandates, the threat the United States believes each country presents and other variables, officials said.

After the Sept. 15 bombing attack on a London train, Trump wrote on Twitter that the new ban “should be far larger, tougher and more specific – but stupidly, that would not be politically correct.”

The expiring ban blocked entry into the United States by people from the six countries for 90 days and locked out most aspiring refugees for 120 days to give Trump’s administration time to conduct a worldwide review of U.S. vetting procedures for foreign visitors.

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Critics have accused the Republican president of discriminating against Muslims in violation of constitutional guarantees of religious liberty and equal protection under the law, breaking existing U.S. immigration law and stoking religious hatred.

Some federal courts blocked the ban, but the U.S. Supreme Court allowed it to take effect in June with some restrictions.

The Supreme Court will hear arguments on Oct. 10 on whether the current ban discriminates against Muslims in violation of the U.S. Constitution, as lower courts previously ruled.

Jeff Mason
Phil Stewart

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(Additional reporting by James Oliphant, Yeganeh Torbati, and Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Peter Cooney)


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
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Trump wishes ‘Happy Birthday to the US Navy’ — with a picture of a Russian battlecruiser

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Adding to President Donald Trump's Russia obsession was an awkward misfire in a simple happy birthday message.

Sunday morning, before Trump set out on another day of golf, he tweeted a celebratory message to the U.S. Navy, which was officially established in 1775. Instead of showing photos of historic Navy ships or courageous sailors or decorated admiral, Trump posted a battleship, that isn't even an American ship.

According to Politico defense editor Dave Brown, the photo used in the graphic was Russian battlecruiser, the Pyotr Velikiy.

Democrats have alleged that Trump has an unnaturally close relationship to Russia, giving President Vladimir Putin whatever foreign policy demands he has.

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Former George W. Bush aide reveals why Republican talking points on Syria are complete crap

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During the weekend news shows, President Donald Trump's aides and allies took to televisions to justify the United States allowing Turkey to kill U.S. Kurdish allies.

"New Trumpist talking point," former George W. Bush speechwriter David Frum began. "The only way to stop Turkey['s] massacre of Kurds is to go to war against Turkey."

That's an inaccurate framing, Frum explained.

"Turkey never believed that: that's why they asked Trump's permission to invade," he said. "All he had to do was say No. He said, Yes. Why? All the plausible answers are corrupt."

https://twitter.com/davidfrum/status/1183446682492637184

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John Dean laments Trump probably should be registered as a foreign agent

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While many of President Donald Trump's campaign staffers, advisers or friends have been outed for doing foreign work while being an unregistered foreign agent, one former White House counsel thinks Trump should also probably register.

"In addition to other impeachable offenses, Trump should be charged with failing to register as a foreign agent under FARA," said Twitter user Connie Gruen.

Dean noticed the tweet and retweeted with his own note that it's "sadly" probably true.

"Sadly, this is probably true," agreed Dean. "Mueller did not investigate if Trump is, in fact, a Russian agent. Barr does not believe a POTUS can be investigated for anything, so the FBI is not. Because he acts like a RU agent Congress should be investigating his consistently pro-RU behavior!"

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