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Grand jury examining whether Ryan Zinke lied to investigators: Washington Post

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U.S. prosecutors have started presenting evidence to a grand jury in Washington to examine whether former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke lied to federal investigators, the Washington Post reported on Friday, citing two people familiar with the matter.

The Post said the deliberations were focused on Zinke’s refusal to grant a petition by two Native American tribes, the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan, to operate a commercial casino in East Windsor, Connecticut.

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In response to the tribes’ efforts, competing casino operator MGM Resorts International, which opposed the planned casino, launched a lobbying campaign, The Post said.

The tribes alleged that Zinke refused the petition under political pressure. The Interior Department’s inspector general’s office conducted an investigation during which it came to believe that Zinke lied in the course of the inquiry.

The Department Of Justice did not immediately respond to a request for comment and Reuters could not reach Zinke.

Zinke stepped down as interior secretary at the end of 2018. There was no reason given for his departure when it was announced in mid-December, but he had faced scrutiny into his use of security details, chartered flights and a real estate deal in his home state of Montana.

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Reporting by Rishika Chatterjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Leslie Adler


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Internet laughs off press secretary’s claims of presidential calm: ‘How often has Trump struck you as ‘measured’

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President Donald Trump isn't exactly known for being calm or measured, but that's what his White House is claiming he was during a meeting with Democratic and Republican leaders.

"[email protected] was measured & decisive today. @SpeakerPelosi walking out was baffling but not surprising w NO intention of participating in a mtg on nat’l security. Dem “leadership” chose to storm out & whine to cameras, everyone else stayed to work on behalf of our country," tweeted Stephanie Grisham.

It prompted CNN's Chris Cillizza to inquire when Trump ever struck someone as "measured."

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Republicans lack the ‘moxie’ to defend America’s Kurdish allies in Syria: Ex-RNC Chair

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Republicans will criticize President Donald Trump on foreign policy, but lack the nerve to do anything meaningful to protect America's Kurdish allies in northern Syria, the former chair of the Republican Party explained on MSNBC on Wednesday.

MSNBC's Chuck Todd interviewed Steele about what it would take for Republicans to serve as a check on the president.

"I think the only way to make him change his mind is -- he’s got to think they might walk," Todd said.

"Well, that would require a level of moxie that we haven’t seen from the leadership," Steele replied.

"On the foreign policy space, I think that’s the one area where we’ve seen people actually start to push back rhetorically," he noted. "But I don’t know if internally they’ve really sat down with the president and go, 'This is how damaging this is, this is how troublesome it is, and this is the problem you’re having inside the caucus.' I just don’t — at least from the folks I’ve talked to, I haven’t gotten the sense they’ve gone there yet."

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‘Ignorance at the highest level’: Intel Democrat slams Trump for bizarre letter to Turkish president

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On Wednesday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL), a member of the House Intelligence Committee, ripped President Donald Trump for his juvenile letter to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an.

"The White House just released the text of the less letter that the president sent to Erdo?an of Turkey, among other things, saying in the aftermath of the earlier decision by the U.S. to pull out troops, saying 'Don't be a tough guy, don't be a fool,'" said anchor Wolf Blitzer. "What is your reaction to that?"

"You know, I'll be honest, I saw this online first. I got a copy of the letter," said Quigley. "I actually thought it was a prank, a joke. It couldn't possibly come from the Oval Office. It sounded all of the world like the president of the United States, in some sort of momentary lapse, just dictated angrily whatever was on the top of his head. These are extraordinarily serious issues. And an extraordinarily dangerous part of the world."

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