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Canada says it takes Trump’s talk of NAFTA withdrawal seriously

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Canada takes U.S. President Donald Trump’s comments about pulling out of NAFTA seriously and has no indication when the White House might act, Finance Minister Bill Morneau said on Monday.

Morneau, speaking to a New York event arranged by Politico, also said it was clear that a negotiating process was starting in the United States which he hoped would lead to Congressional ratification of a new pact designed to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement.

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Trump said on Saturday he would give formal notice of his intention to terminate NAFTA, giving six months for lawmakers to approve the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

Asked whether Canada took Trump’s comments seriously, Morneau replied: “We take everything seriously.”

The Democrats, who say the USMCA has some shortcomings, take control of the U.S. House of Representatives next month. If Trump pulls out of NAFTA and the House rejects the new pact, it could deal a major blow to North American free trade.

“We are starting to see the beginnings of the negotiation process in the United States that will – we hope – get to a ratification of the deal,” said Morneau, saying Canadian officials would be talking to all those involved.

Asked about Trump’s comments, a spokesman for Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said “this is part of the U.S. ratification process” but declined to comment further.

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Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Susan Thomas


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Ukraine begged Trump to raise issue of their captive sailors with Putin — he didn’t and Russia state TV gloated

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The ongoing impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump is being painted by Congress and the press against the backdrop of the ongoing war between Russia and the Ukraine.

As more and more sworn deposition transcripts are released, researchers are able to link up the testimony of events with real-time reactions, giving us a remarkable insight into the implications of foreign policy decisions.

Investigative journalist Julia Davis flagged one key part of testimony in the transcript released of the deposition by Ukraine embassy political officer David Holmes.

The transcript reveals Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the former federal prosecutor who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, interviewing Holmes about Ukraine's desperation to set up a meeting with Trump.

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‘Something nefarious going on’: Obama deputy chief of staff doesn’t buy White House claims on Trump’s health

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The deputy chief of staff for operations in the Obama administration broke down on Monday why the White House claims on President Donald Trump's surprise Saturday visit to Walter Reed Hospital.

Jim Messina, who also was the campaign manager for Barack Obama's 2012 re-election campaign, was interviewed Monday on MSNBC's "The Last Word" by anchor Lawrence O'Donnell.

O'Donnell noted the note the White House physician sent to White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham:

[caption id="attachment_1563602" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Memorandum from Dr. Sean Conley to Stephanie Grisham.[/caption]

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Trump doctor denies the president underwent any ‘neurologic evaluations’ at Walter Reed Hospital

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The physician to the president claimed that President Donald Trump did not undergo "neurologic" evaluations during a surprise visit to Walter Reed Hospital.

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham released a picture of a memorandum from Dr. Sean Conley, which was printed on "Office of the Press Secretary" letterhead.

The memo was sent to Grisham.

On Saturday, Grisham had claimed the purpose of the visit was to conduct a "partial" physical. Dr. Conley referred to the visit as an "interim check up."

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