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US sanctions on Russia coming soon: Treasury secretary

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Despite President Donald Trump’s public statements appearing to oppose sanctions against Russia, the steps ordered by Congress will be imposed in coming weeks, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Tuesday.

In testimony before a House subcommittee, Mnuchin pushed back against the idea that Trump is trying to block the sanctions in response to Russia’s meddling in the 2016 US presidential election, saying Trump is “fully supportive.”

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“We will implement them,” Mnuchin said. “I expect in next several weeks we’ll be going forward with sanctions on Russia.”

Trump’s vocal opposition to the package — which entered into law earlier this year — and his regular praise of Vladimir Putin has raised questions about whether the administration is dragging its feet, which has angered some lawmakers.

Several members of Trump’s campaign have been charged or admitted to lying to the FBI about their contacts with Kremlin-linked officials accused of trying to sway the 2016 vote in Trump’s favor.

Mnuchin assured the legislators that “in recent conversations with the president he is fully supportive of the work we are doing,” and that the sanctions will be enforced.

At a separate hearing, Dan Coats, director of National Intelligence, said he expects Treasury to announce the Russia sanctions “within a week.”

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Democratic representative Mike Quigley said the only step taken so far has been a “laughable report on Russian oligarchs,” but Mnuchin said the classified report given to Congress detailed the efforts to design the package of penalties.

In its report, Treasury publicly identified more than 100 Russian officials and business leaders eligible for sanctions, a list derived from Forbes magazine, among other sources.

A senior administration official last month said the White House has warned governments around the world that they could face sanctions for “significant transactions” with the Russian military.

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That includes NATO ally Turkey, which has publicly announced the purchase of a Russian S-400 air defense missile system, which is regarded as a challenge to US air superiority.


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New York’s coronavirus crisis tracked back to European travel — not China: scientists

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The New York Times reported Wednesday that scientists have tracked the cases of coronavirus in New York back to travel from Europe.

The Times explained that genomes show the link to those who came down with the virus back in February.

President Donald Trump has been celebrating his decision to shut down some travel from China, though not all travel. A whopping 430,000 people have traveled from China to the United States since the coronavirus crisis.

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Warrant for journalists from Jerry Falwell Jr. came from Liberty University’s own police

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A right-wing commentator interviewed Jerry Falwell Jr. during his show Wednesday, where Falwell said that there were two arrest warrants open for reporters who came onto Liberty University's campus.

Upon further examination of the warrant, the police officer who signed the warrant was Detective/Sgt. A.B. Wilkins 206 LUPD. The LUPD is not the Lynchburg Police Department nor is there a Sgt. or Detective A.B. Wilkins. It's the police department under the authority of Liberty University.

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Trump defenders Diamond and Silk locked out of Twitter for spreading COVID-19 misinformation

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Fox Nation hosts Lynnette Hardaway and Rochelle Richardson, better known as Diamond & Silk, were temporarily locked out of Twitter on Wednesday for urging people to go outside and develop immunity against the coronavirus.

“The only way we can become immune to the environment; we must be out in the environment. Quarantining people inside of their houses for extended periods will make people sick!” the pair tweeted from their joint account.

A spokesperson for Twitter told Mediaite their account was locked over the tweet.

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