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Trump’s attacks on media may lead to real violence: UN expert

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U.S. President Donald Trump’s verbal attacks on the media run the risk of triggering real violence against journalists, the U.N. rapporteur for freedom of expression said on Thursday.

In a joint statement with Edison Lanza, who holds the same post at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, David Kaye said Trump’s tirades against the media violated the basic norms of press freedom.

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“These attacks run counter to the country’s obligations to respect press freedom and international human rights law,” they said.

“We are especially concerned that these attacks increase the risk of journalists being targeted with violence.”

Trump frequently brands stories and outlets he dislikes as “fake news”. Last week CNN said one of its White House correspondents was excluded from a Trump event, prompting a complaint from the White House Correspondents Association.

The freedom of expression experts said Trump’s attacks on the press were designed to raise doubts about verifiable facts, and that he and his administration had sought to undermine reporting on potential illegal conduct.

“But he has failed to show even once that specific reporting has been driven by any untoward motivations,” Kaye and Lanza said.

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They also urged the administration to stop suing journalists to discover their sources and to stop using the Espionage Act to pursue whistle-blowers. There have been at least two prosecutions of people leaking to journalists under that law.

Reporting by Tom Miles; Editing by Robin Pomeroy

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Louisiana Democrat re-elected governor — despite Trump’s rallies for the Republican candidate

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The Associated Press has called the Lousiana's governor's race for incumbent Democrat John Bel Edwards.

Edwards triumphed over Republican businessman Eddie Rispone, who called to concede.

The outcome is another major political loss for President Donald Trump, who had held multiple campaign rallies for Rispone.

During his most recent rally, Trump begged the crowd to give him a "big win" in the election.

Eddie Rispone has conceded the #lagov race to Gov. John Bel Edwards, giving the Democrat four more years in ruby red Louisiana despite Trump’s best efforts to flip the seat. Edwards camp says Rispone called minutes ago to concede. #lagov #lalege

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Press secretary says it is ‘dangerous for the country’ to question whether she is putting out honest info

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Press secretary Stephanie Grisham on Saturday argued it was "dangerous for the country" for anyone to challenge the veracity of her claims.

Grisham made her argument after President Donald Trump went to Walter Reed Hospital for an unannounced doctor's visit, resulting in a great deal of speculation.

Following the visit, Grisham claimed Trump was "healthy" and "without complaints" -- a claim many found unlikely as the president has spent a good deal of time as president airing his many grievances.

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Sondland used WhatsApp to communicate with Ukraine — and won’t turn over the messages: report

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Ambassador Gordon Sondland used WhatsApp to send encrypted messages to a top Ukranian official, The Washington Post reported Saturday.

The communication occurred with Andriy Yermak, a top aide to President Volodymr Zelensky, when Sondland was in Kyiv, the newspaper reported.

"Sondland was also texting back and forth on WhatsApp with Yermak throughout the trip, and had been communicating with other Ukrainian officials over the messaging app in the preceding and subsequent months, according to people familiar with his interactions," The Post reported.

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