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George Papadopoulos lied to FBI agents the same day Trump asked Comey for loyalty pledge

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A former Trump campaign advisor lied to FBI agents about his contacts with Russia less than a week after Inauguration Day.

George Papadopoulos, a volunteer foreign policy advisor, pleaded guilty Oct. 5 to lying to federal authorities in exchange for his testimony, although the agreement wasn’t announced until after indictments were unsealed against Paul Manafort and Rick Gates.

The special counsel’s probe determined Papadopoulos lied when he told FBI agents during a Jan. 27 interview that he learned from Russians about stolen emails involving Hillary Clinton.

But, in fact, his Kremlin contact took interest in Papadopoulos only after he joined the Trump campaign.

That initial meeting, when FBI agents asked about his contacts with Russia, came the same day President Donald Trump asked then-FBI director James Comey for his loyalty.

Trump summoned the FBI director to the White House for a private dinner Jan. 27, some hours after his former foreign policy advisor spoke to agents.

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Comey told associates about the meeting, which troubled him, after the president abruptly fired him May 8.

The FBI director promised Trump his honesty, but the president pressed him to assure his “honest loyalty” — which Comey refused to grant.

Comey later told the Senate Intelligence Committee that he hoped the White House had recorded the conversation.

Papadopoulos served on a foreign policy advisory committee overseen by then-Sen. Jeff Sessions, who was forced to recuse himself from the Justice Department probe of campaign ties to Russia after he was caught making misleading statements about meeting with Russians during the campaign.

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The Sessions recusal and Comey firing set into motion a chain of events that led to deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein appointing special counsel Robert Mueller.

Papadopoulos was arrested July 27, the day after FBI agents conducted a pre-dawn raid of Manafort’s home.

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Trump considering withdrawal from 68-year-old treaty with Japan: report

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President Donald Trump has been privately talking about withdrawing from the postwar defense treaty with Japan, according to three sources familiar with the matter.

Trump is telling confidants the treaty is unfair to the U.S. because it promises to help if Japan was ever attacked, but doesn't require Japan to come to America's defense, the sources told Bloomberg.

So far, the president hasn't taken any step toward pulling out of the treaty, which was signed in 1951, and administration officials insist that move would be highly unlikely.

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2020 Election

Rep. Ted Lieu: Impeachment is coming — and so is a Democratic president

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Donald Trump recently called “impeachment” a “dirty, filthy, disgusting word,” but his continued stonewalling of legitimate congressional oversight requests are moving more and more House Democrats to embrace that “filthy” concept. That was the very point made by Rep. Ted Lieu of California, a progressive Democrat who sits on the House Judiciary Committee during our recent conversation on “Salon Talks.” That committee would be the starting point for an actual impeachment inquiry of the president.

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2020 Election

New report targets 15 House Democrats who ‘deserve’ progressive primary challengers

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As progressive candidates continue to announce their intentions to oust corporate Democrats, a new report names 15 House Democrats to unseat in primary challenges.

Published Monday by the left-leaning group RootsAction, the new report is entitled Bad Blues: Some of the House Democrats Who Deserve to Be 'Primaried.'

The list, the report notes, "is by no means exhaustive—only illustrative."

"There may well be a Democratic member of Congress near you not included here who serves corporate interests more than majority interests, or has simply grown tired or complacent in the never-ending struggles for social, racial, and economic justice as well as environmental sanity and peace," the report notes. "Perhaps you live in a district where voters are ready to be inspired by a progressive primary candidate because the Democrat in Congress is not up to the job."

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