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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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BUSTED: National Archives caught doctoring exhibit to remove criticism of President Trump from women

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The National Archives were caught editing an artifact from the Trump administration to remove criticism of the president, according to a bombshell new report in The Washington Post.

The newspaper reported on a "large color photograph" at the National Archives exhibit marking the centennial of women's suffrage.

"The 49-by-69-inch photograph is a powerful display. Viewed from one perspective, it shows the 2017 march. Viewed from another angle, it shifts to show a 1913 black-and-white image of a women’s suffrage march also on Pennsylvania Avenue. The display links momentous demonstrations for women’s rights more than a century apart on the same stretch of pavement. But a closer look reveals a different story," the newspaper noted.

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Dershowitz is running a ‘bizarro defense’ of Trump: Harvard Law colleague says ‘Alan is just completely wacko’

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Two of the most famous names associated with Harvard Law School had competing appearances on MSNBC on Friday.

It began when Alan Dershowitz, a professor emeritus, was interviewed MSNBC chief legal correspondent Ari Melber about his new role officially representing President Donald Trump during the Senate impeachment trial.

Dershowitz claimed that neither abuse of power nor obstruction of Congress count as "high crimes" under the constitution.

Professor Alan Dershowitz, who has also been associated with Harvard Law for five decades, was asked about Dershowitz's argument during an interview with Chris Hayes.

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Why was Lev Parnas wearing a ‘Presidential Service Badge’ awarded to troops who serve in the White House?

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Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist Maggie Haberman posted a fascinating update about a photo of impeachment figure Lev Parnas.

The photo shows Igor Fruman -- who, like Parnas, is under federal indictment -- sitting closely next to Rudy Giuliani and Parnas.

Haber said a source informed her that in the picture, Parnas can be seen wearing a "Presidential Service Badge," linking to the Wikipedia entry on the pin.

"The Presidential Service Badge (PSB) is an identification badge of the United States Armed Forces which is awarded to members of the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps, and U.S. Coast Guard as well as other members of the Uniformed Services, such as the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Corps and the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, who serve as full-time military staff to the President of the United States," Wikipedia explained.

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