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Trump’s inner circle has ‘palpable concern’ that Mueller’s report could be ‘damaging’: report

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The Washington Post on Wednesday evening confirmed CNN’s reporting earlier in the day that the Justice Department is preparing for Special Counsel Robert Mueller to “end” his investigation and deliver a final report. And according to an adviser close to President Donald Trump, his close allies have “palpable concern” that the report could damage him politically, according to the Post.

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However, this adviser reportedly said that Trump’s inner circle doesn’t believe a report will implicate the president in criminal conduct.

The Post also points out, though:

The end of the special counsel’s probe would not mean the end of criminal investigations connected to the president. Federal prosecutors in New York, for instance, are exploring whether corrupt payments were made in connection with Trump’s inaugural committee funding.

All of these findings should be treated with some skepticism. There seems to be a clear belief among officials in the Justice Department, as expressed through anonymous reports to news outlets, that Mueller’s investigation will be, in some sense or another, “wrapping up” soon. But it’s not clear exactly what this means, or if these officials actually have an accurate sense of what’s going on in Mueller’s investigation. The Post, though, does provide a new piece of information that does suggest the team is planning to disband: Some of the investigators on Mueller’s team have reportedly spoken to old bosses about returning to their previous jobs.

The idea that Mueller’s conclusions won’t have any criminal implications for the president has been a common refrain among people close to Trump, so it shouldn’t be too surprising that an adviser would say that. But it’s not clear that Trump or those he talks to would have reliable information about what’s coming.

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The Post report does provide another new detail that may be enlightening about why Mueller is shutting down his investigation now, if indeed he is, even while there remain open cases and trials:

According to people familiar with the special counsel’s work, Mueller has envisioned it as an investigative assignment, not necessarily a prosecutorial one, and for that reason does not plan to keep the office running to see to the end all of the indictments it has filed.

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Trump is now feuding with Iran’s Supreme Leader on Twitter: ‘Make Iran Great Again!’

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President Donald Trump is now replying directly to Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Twitter.

I Friday, Khamenei tweeted a screenshot of a Trump tweet, with a message of his own.

"The villainous US govt repeatedly says that they are standing by the Iranian ppl. They lie. If you are standing by the Iranian ppl, it is only to stab them in the heart with your venomous daggers," Khamenei posted.

"Of course, you have so far failed to do so, & you will certainly continue to fail," he added.

https://twitter.com/khamenei_ir/status/1218141834842660864

Trump retweeted the message, adding his own argument.

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Trump raises tensions in Virginia as local authorities fear Richmond gun rally could be the next Charlottesville

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President Donald Trump appeared to pour gasoline on a political fire in Virginia only days before a far-right protest that many are worried could result in violence.

Gun activists have been threatening civil war if the commonwealth's legislature enacts new gun safety legislation.

Right-wing militias sought to organize an armed action at the capitol, but Gov. Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency to prevent firearms on the grounds.

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Trump tells Iran that political leaders must use precise language: ‘He should be very careful with his words’

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President Donald Trump went after Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Friday.

For the first time in eight years, Khamenei led Friday prayers in Tehran, when he mocked "American clowns" in the Trump administration.

Trump took offense.

"The so-called 'Supreme Leader' of Iran, who has not been so Supreme lately, had some nasty things to say about the United States and Europe," Trump said, using scare quotes around Khamenei's title.

"Their economy is crashing, and their people are suffering," Trump said, apparently referring to the crippling sanctions he imposed.

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