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Russian officials and state media mock ‘weak’ GOP senators after Moscow visit

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Russian broadcasters mocked the Republican lawmakers who visited Moscow over the Fourth of July holiday and gloated about the Kremlin’s role in electing President Donald Trump.

Seven U.S. senators and one congresswoman — Sens. Steve Daines (R-MT), John Hoeven (R-ND), Ron Johnson (R-WI), John Kennedy (R-LA), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Richard Shelby (R-AL), John Thune (R-SD) and Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX) — traveled to Russia for closed-door meetings with high-ranking Kremlin officials.

Shelby led the delegation on tours of St. Petersburg and Moscow, where they met with Russia’s foreign minister and parliamentarians, but did not meet with Russian president Vladimir Putin, as they’d hoped.

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The trip was planned months ago, before Trump’s White House invitation to Putin was shifted instead to a private one-on-one meeting between the two presidents.

“We know that we need a new beginning, that we can go over recriminations on both sides for days in,” Shelby said at the Federation Council, Russia’s upper house of parliament. “But I believe Russia and the United States and the world will be a lot better off if we improve our relationship.”

The Alabama Republican dismissed the widespread agreement among U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies that the Kremlin interfered in the 2016 election, but Russian TV hosts disagreed.

“What trouble did we cause?” one Russian TV analyst said last week, before the senators arrived. “We just elected Trump, that’s all.”

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The GOP lawmakers started their trip last weekend in St. Petersburg, where they were welcomed by Gov. Georgy Poltavchenko, a former KGB officer and Putin ally, and then met Lavrov and former Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, whose contacts with Trump campaign officials ahead of the election have been eyed by special counsel Robert Mueller.

The all-Republican delegation also met with Vyacheslav Volodin, speaker of the Duma house of parliament, and Konstantin Kosachyov, head of the foreign relations committee — who each have been sanctioned by the U.S. for their ties to Putin.

Daines insisted the GOP lawmakers had been tough on Russia.

“We sent a very strong message and a direct message to the Russian government,” Daines told Fox News.

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The Montana Republican, who returned from the trip early to join Trump at a campaign rally in his home state, said the lawmakers asked Russia not to interfere in U.S. elections, respect Ukraine’s sovereignty, work alongside the U.S. for peace in Syria, and follow obligations under nuclear arms treaties.

Kislyak, who is now a member of Russia’s upper house of parliament, wasn’t impressed.

“We heard things we’d heard before, and I think our guests heard rather clearly and distinctly an answer that they already knew — we don’t interfere in American elections,” he said.

Trump last week sided with Putin on whether Russia interfered in the election he won, and he praised the Russian president to supporters in Montana.

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“Putin is fine, he’s fine,” Trump said. “We are all fine, we’re all people.”

Russian broadcasters mocked the Republican lawmakers as “weak,” saying their tough talk changed after arriving in Moscow.

“We need to look down at them and say: You came because you needed to, not because we did,” said Russian military expert Igor Korotchenko on state-run television.

Duma member Vyacheslav Nikonov said the meeting with the Republican lawmakers was “one of the easiest ones in my life.”

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Hat tip to Russian media analyst Julia Davis for her information.

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
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Trump thinks he can create his own healthcare law that will take the issue off the table for Democrats

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One of the significant issues Republicans lost on in 2018 was their nearly decade-long crusade to unmake the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare.

This week Trump will announce that he's running for president again, and he promises a surprise announcement while there. While it's unclear what he intends for the surprise, one thing he is talking about is a better healthcare law than the Democratic one.

According to The New York Times, Trump is "vowing to issue the plan within a month or two, reviving a campaign promise with broad consequences for next year’s contest."

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Donald Trump whines: ‘My life has always been a fight’

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The full interview with President Donald Trump finally aired on ABC Sunday, revealing the shocking way that he views his life.

Trump lamented that he's had such a hard life, as the son of multi-millionaires who paid to get him out of trouble multiple times.

"You're a fighter. You, you, it feels like you're in a constant kind of churn--" host George Stephanopoulos began.

"Yeah, uh, my life has always been a fight," Trump said. "And I enjoy that I guess, I don't know if I enjoy it or not, I guess -- sometimes I have false fights like the Russian witch hunt. That's a false fight. That's a made-up, uh, hoax. And I had to fight that."

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The right-wing scored more in years of Trump than eight years of George W. Bush: report

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President George W. Bush oversaw eight years that restricted rights, banned LGBTQ equality, appointed anti-choice judges and so much more. But under Donald Trump's presidency, social conservatives have managed to roll back any progress made by President Barack Obama's leadership.

A new Axios report listed out any anti-LGBTQ, anti-women and anti-poor policies.

“He campaigned saying that he would be a good friend to LGBT people,” James Esseks, director of the ACLU’s LGBT and HIV Project, told VOX. "Actions speak far louder than words. And what he's done has been a wreck."

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