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Democrat Adam Schiff cites ‘pattern’ of US administration refusals to testify in Russia probe

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The top Democrat on the U.S. House Intelligence Committee described on Wednesday “a developing pattern” in which witnesses have declined to discuss events occurring after President Donald Trump’s election in the panel’s probe of Russia and the 2016 vote.

“Some witnesses have been postponed, others canceled, and two specifically have refused to answer questions about the events in the period,” Representative Adam Schiff said in a statement.

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He called it “a developing pattern” over the past several weeks.

On Tuesday, Schiff said the committee should begin contempt proceedings if Steve Bannon, a former senior Trump adviser, continued to refuse to testify, after Bannon did not comply with a subpoena. Schiff said the White House limited his testimony to a pre-approved set of 14 questions.

Bannon is now expected to appear before the House of Representatives committee next week.

Schiff said the committee was informed on Tuesday that Corey Lewandowski, a former Trump campaign manager, would refuse to reappear before the committee to testify any further, despite agreeing earlier to do so.

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White House officials and attorneys for Bannon or Lewandowski did not respond to requests for comment.

Schiff said that neither Bannon nor Lewandowski had given “legitimate” reasons for refusing to appear, and that they were expected to return.

“It will therefore be necessary for our Committee to enforce the subpoena on Bannon, and now move to compel Lewandowski’s testimony, among other outstanding steps needed to advance the investigation,” Schiff said.

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House Intelligence is one of three congressional committees investigating Russia and the 2016 U.S. election, after U.S. intelligence agencies found that Russia attempted to influence the campaign on Trump’s behalf.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is also investigating.

Moscow has denied meddling in the U.S. presidential election, and Trump denied any collusion between his associates and Moscow.

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(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Trump has been ‘insulated’ by his wealth to never have to learn from his mistakes: biographer

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President Donald Trump's inherited wealth has meant he's never had to learn from his mistakes, Trump biographer Tim O'Brien told MSNBC's Brian Williams on Thursday.

"Bloomberg Opinion writer and our next guest Tim O’Brien writes today, 'Yes, of course, you need a certain kind of appalling narcissism to be comfy promoting yourself as heaven-sent in a televised press briefing and as a deity on Twitter. It’s doubly unhinged when you’re doing this as president,'" Williams said. "He goes on 'The Trump of the past few weeks is the same disordered figure of the past several decades with, I suspect, a big dollop of something new blended in: unbridled and unmanageable panic.'"

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‘Both Putin and Xi will be voting Trump in 2020’: NYT columnist says Russia and China want ‘turmoil and chaos’

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The Russian Federation and the People's Republic of China are both rooting for President Donald Trump to win re-election in 2020, a New York Times columnist argued on MSNBC on Thursday.

Thomas Friedman was interviewed by Lawrence O'Donnell on "The Last Word."

"What do we know about how the leaders of other countries see Donald Trump at this stage in their dealings with him?" O'Donnell asked. "Especially this weekend, when it comes at the end of a week in which they’ve heard him call himself the King of Israel, they have heard him say he is The Chosen One. They have heard all the crazy things that everyone here has heard the president say."

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Trump is ‘not a stable genius’: GOP strategist says the president ‘doesn’t remember who and where he is’

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President Donald Trump's mental fitness is lacking, a top Republican strategist explained on "The Last Word" with Lawrence O'Donnell.

Rick Wilson, the author of the 2018 bestselling book Everything Trump Touches Dies: A Republican Strategist Gets Real About the Worst President Ever, blasted the commander-in-chief.

"Rick Wilson, your assessment of where the president stands as he heads off to the G7 summit?" O'Donnell asked.

"I think Donald Trump has had a week in which he is proving that this isn’t 87-dimensional chess game, this isn't some masterful strategy of communications or persuasion," Wilson replied. "This is an old man who is sick and who has problems and who has mental disconnects and who has aphasias and who has moments where he doesn’t remember who and where he is."

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