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Mueller investigating activities of pro-Russian Ukrainians that attended Trump inauguration: NYT

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Special prosecutor Robert Mueller is investigating the activities of pro-Russia Ukranian nationals who attended President Donald Trump’s inauguration, reports the New York Times.

According to the Times, “at least a dozen Ukrainian political and business figures who made their way to Washington for the inauguration,” including a number known for their pro-Russia stances.

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“Evidence of the Ukrainians’ presence eventually prompted interest from the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, as he investigated Russian interference in the 2016 election, and has spawned a number of related inquiries by federal prosecutors. The investigations are playing out against growing indications that some of the Ukrainians who came to Washington for the inaugural, or their allies, were promoting grand bargains, or ‘peace’ plans, that aligned with Russia’s interests, including by lifting sanctions,” the Times reports.

These Ukrainians were seeking to curry favor with the new administration and met with GOP leaders, the report says, all of which is of interest to federal prosecutors.

“Federal prosecutors have asked witnesses about how some of the Ukrainians gained access to inauguration events, whom they met with while they were in the United States, and what they discussed,” the report says.

Among those questioned was pro-Putin Ukranian politician Andrii V. Artemenko, who has since been stripped of his citizenship.

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“I have been interrogated twice by the F.B.I. and Mr. Mueller,” said Artemenko, saying the questions regarded “my purpose of this trip, how I can get there, and what I did, how I got invitations and tickets and stuff.”

Read the full report here.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news outlets, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Trump has spent his vacation golfing, watching cable TV — and panicking about a recession: AP

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While President Donald Trump has been able to golf frequently while on vacation in New Jersey, he may not return to DC well-rested.

"Trump has spent much of the week at his New Jersey golf club, many of his mornings on the links, his afternoons watching cable television and his evenings calling confidants and business executives to get their take on the market’s volatility," the Associated Press reported Friday.

"Though he has expressed private worries about Wall Street, he is also skeptical about some of the weaker economic indicators, wondering if the media and establishment figures are manipulating the data to make him look bad, according to two Republicans close to the White House, not authorized to discuss private conversations," the AP noted.

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WATCH: Rachel Maddow reports on why the NRA is ‘freaked out’ about Oliver North testimony

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MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow reported on the ongoing scandals engulfing the National Rifle Association on Friday evening.

Maddow began the show by introducing Letitia James, the new Attorney General of New York, who is investigating the NRA.

"But today Tish James ended up in the headlines for an unusual reason. Today she was sued. She didn’t sue somebody or bring a case against somebody. She herself was sued by the NRA," Maddow reported. "The NRA, this sort of powerful right-wing, pro-gun advocacy group. If you have been following news about the NRA recently at all, you know they are embroiled in all sorts of legal drama."

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‘He can’t finish a thought’: ex-Trump adviser Omarosa declares the president is in ‘total mental decline’

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President Donald Trump is in "complete and total mental decline" a longtime associate declared on MSNBC on Friday.

Omarosa Manigault Newman was a contestant on "The Apprentice" plus also worked on Trump's presidential campaign, his transition and in the White House.

"He made a lot of money and succeeded big-time in primetime TV with that persona, that serious judger of political horsepower, if you will. Economic horsepower. Was that just a show?" host Chris Matthews asked.

"Back in 2004 when 'The Apprentice' premiered, we watched a very sharp, intelligent, articulate Donald Trump put on the show for the world," she replied.

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