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REVEALED: FBI sent an undercover agent to ask George Papadopoulos if Trump was colluding with Russia

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President Donald Trump’s White House has claimed that their 2016 campaign was “spied on” by former President Barack Obama. In fact, it was former Trump advisors that fell under the eye of the FBI.

According to the New York Times, former foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos was approached by an undercover investigator to ask about ties to the Russian government.

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The investigator identified herself as Azra Turk. In the meeting with Papadopoulos, he was questioned about campaign links with the Kremlin but Papadopoulos said he was suspicious and investigators didn’t garner any information.

Weeks prior to the meeting with Papadopoulos, the FBI opened the investigation into the Russia effort based largely on the information he gave to an Australian diplomat about a Russian who offered to help the Trump campaign by releasing thousands of hacked Democratic emails.

Attorney General Bill Barr used the loaded term “spying” when testifying before Congress last month.

“I think spying on a political campaign is a big deal,” Barr said. He later walked back the comments, saying simply, “I think spying did occur. The question is whether it was adequately predicated. And I’m not suggesting that it wasn’t adequately predicated. But I need to explore that.”

The Times claimed that the decision to launch an undercover operation reveals the FBI’s concerns about Russia working with Trump dating back to the 2016 campaign.

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Trump has also claimed that he was personally wiretapped at Trump Tower during the 2016 election. In fact, it was Paul Manafort who was wiretapped as part of their investigation into financial crimes and work as a foreign agent. That investigation dates back to 2014 and the wiretap was dropped during the time Manafort worked for the Trump campaign. Trump and Republicans have alleged that the investigation was based on the Christopher Steele dossier.

Read the full story at the New York Times.

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North Korea conducts ‘crucial test’ at Sohae launch site: report

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North Korea has conducted another "crucial test" at its Sohae satellite launch site, state media reported Saturday, as nuclear negotiations between Pyongyang and Washington remain stalled with a deadline approaching.

The announcement comes a day before US Special Envoy on North Korea Stephen Biegun is set to arrive in Seoul for a three-day visit, and after the United States tested a medium-range ballistic missile over the Pacific Ocean on Thursday.

"Another crucial test was successfully conducted at the Sohae Satellite Launching Ground from 22:41 to 22:48 on December 13," a spokesman for the North's National Academy of Defence Science said in a statement carried by the official KCNA news agency.

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US-China trade deal gets tepid reception

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US officials announced a truce in the trade war with China with much fanfare, but economists and trade experts call it largely a victory for Beijing.

After a dispute that raged for close to two years, with several fumbled efforts at a resolution, the US agreed to cancel planned tariffs and rollback others immediately, without a similar commitment from China to lift tariffs it imposed on the US.

"Pardon me if I don't pop champagne, but aside from a cessation of continued escalation, there is not much worth cheering," leading China expert Scott Kennedy said in an analysis of the agreement.

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Is Donald Trump a supporter of Israel? Sure — he’s also an anti-Semite

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On Wednesday, Jared Kushner, who is both a White House senior adviser and President Trump's son-in-law, published an op-ed article in The New York Times defending the president's recent executive order supposedly meant to combat anti-Semitism. The controversial measure will establish that "Title VI of the Civil Rights Act’s prohibition against discrimination based on race, color or national origin covers discrimination against Jews" and defines anti-Semitism using the language of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.

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