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White House refuses to release Kushner security clearance decision information

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The Trump White House has denied a request from the House Oversight Committee for information about the decision to grant Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner a top-secret security clearance.

CNN’s Manu Raju tweeted Tuesday that Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, said he is deciding next steps after the rejection from the Trump administration.

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On March 1, the Oversight Committee requested information about the context surrounding the White House granting Kushner’s security clearance after the New York Times reported that the president ordered then-chief of staff John Kelly to give it to him — in spite of security issues raised the CIA.

Kelly and then-White House counsel Don McGahn were both reportedly so concerned by the order that they both wrote contemporaneous memos about it.

In a letter to Cummings sent Monday, current White House counsel Pat A. Cipollone pushed back against Cummings’ assertion that the Trump administration is failing to comply with document requests and claimed that the “White House’s history of ongoing cooperation is well documented.”

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Cipollone went on to accuse the panel of showing “no willingness” to accommodate “Executive Branch prerogatives, as required under the Constitution.”

 

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2020 Election

State Department retaliated against NPR by kicking reporter off Mike Pompeo’s plane: report

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The U.S. State Department appears to be retaliating against National Public Radio (NPR) after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo suffered a caught-on-tape meltdown following an interview with NPR "All Things Considered" co-host Mary Louise Kelly.

According to PBS "Newshour" reporter Nick Schifrin, the State Department kicked NPR diplomatic correspondent Michele Kelemen off of Pompeo's jet.

"State Department removes NPR’s Michele Kelemen from Sec. Pompeo plane--where she was scheduled for a pool radio rotation--during upcoming trip to London, Kiev," Schifrin reported.

AFP State Department correspondent Shaun Tandon blasted the move on behalf of the State Department Correspondent's Association.

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Trump lawyers ripped for pushing ‘conspiracy theories written by Russia’ to distract from impeachment trial facts

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President Donald Trump's impeachment defense team was harshly criticized for pushing debunked conspiracy theories to distract from the facts.

Pam Bondi and Eric Herschmann pushed the conspiracy theory, which originated from Russian intelligence, on Monday.

The pair were harshly criticized for the distraction.

Here's some of what people were saying:

https://twitter.com/CharlesPPierce/status/1221919362220724226

https://twitter.com/CharlesPPierce/status/1221916896632745989

https://twitter.com/chrislhayes/status/1221914655376859137

https://twitter.com/WajahatAli/status/1221920598558957569

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CNN’s Jake Tapper demolishes Rudy Giuliani’s denials by confronting him with his own words

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On Monday, while the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump dragged on, Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani took to Twitter to assert that he never, in fact, was looking for "dirt" on former Vice President Joe Biden and his family:

Jane Raskin is doing a masterful job defending me in my role as defense counsel. As she pointed out, I did not dig up dirt on Joe Biden. The information RE his outrageous criminal conduct was handed to me, along with a video tape, 4 witnesses &...

— Rudy Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani) January 27, 2020

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