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‘Vulnerable to blackmail?’: Former federal prosecutor fearful Trump’s taxes could put America in jeopardy

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On Tuesday, The New York Times dropped a bombshell report detailing a decade worth of President Donald Trump’s tax information.

The report details that Trump lost billions of dollars over the year in taxes. Several pundits wondered about the impact of this new report. Former Obama communications director Jen Psaki told CNN’s Erin Burnett that that report reveals why Trump could have been so easily influenced by Russia.

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“I think it’s significant and problematic,” Psaki said. “Not only does this kind of fly in face of how he ran for office, it shows him to be a fraud but it shows why he would be vulnerable to interests like Russia and other countries who are trying to convince him that they can help him out with his financial problems. We don’t know that happened. We haven’t seen all the proof. But this is an important piece that people will dig further into.”

Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti tweeted that it could mean Trump is open to blackmail.

“What is Trump’s financial condition now? Is he in the red? Could he be vulnerable to blackmail?” Mariotti tweeted. “We don’t know because he has hidden his tax returns from Congress and the public.”

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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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