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Latest sanctions on Iran will block ‘billions’ in assets: US

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The US sanctions slapped Monday on Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and other officials will block “literally billions” in Iranian assets, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.

The sanctions, which US President Donald Trump signed in an Oval Office appearance with Mnuchin, target eight top military commanders as well as Khamenei.

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Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif also will be blacklisted “later this week,” Mnuchin said.

Some of the sanctions had been planned in advance, while others were added in retaliation for the downing last week of a US Global Hawk surveillance drone, according to Mnuchin.

Trump had considered a military strike after the drone was downed Thursday, then reversed himself minutes before it was to be carried out. He has said he changed his mind after learning that as many as 150 people could be killed.

Among those sanctioned Monday was Iranian Revolutionary Guard naval commander Ali Reza Tangsiri, who the US said had threatened in February to close the Strait of Hormuz, crucial to global oil trade.

Also blacklisted was Aerospace Force commander Amirali Hajizadeh, whom Washington blames for the downing of the drone. Iran says it was shot down after entering its air space, but the US insists it was in international airspace over the Strait of Hormuz.

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The sanctions largely freeze their targets out of much of the global financial system, blocking them from US-dollar-denominated transactions and barring international banks from moving money on their behalf while also freezing any assets under US jurisdiction.


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Trump doctor denies the president underwent any ‘neurologic evaluations’ at Walter Reed Hospital

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The physician to the president claimed that President Donald Trump did not undergo "neurologic" evaluations during a surprise visit to Walter Reed Hospital.

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham released a picture of a memorandum from Dr. Sean Conley, which was printed on "Office of the Press Secretary" letterhead.

The memo was sent to Grisham.

On Saturday, Grisham had claimed the purpose of the visit was to conduct a "partial" physical. Dr. Conley referred to the visit as an "interim check up."

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‘I don’t know how Secretary Pompeo is not dragged in’: Ex-FBI counsel says Secretary of State must testify

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On Monday's edition of CNN's "Cuomo Prime Time," former FBI general counsel James Baker told Chris Cuomo that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has to answer for the allegations laid out in the impeachment testimony.

"They wanted to give [Ukraine Ambassador Marie] Yovanovitch support, she asked them for support, they decided no, maybe because they thought the president would jump all over them. So what?" said Cuomo.

"The issue with her is that they wanted to and were inclined to get her out of the way, unless she was willing to play ball, unless she was willing to acquiesce in this sort of irregular channel and the goals of the irregular channel that Ambassador Taylor described," said Baker. "They were going to either get her out of the way, or have her join the team. This is what it seems to me was going on. They were trying to achieve these other objectives and they were going to either do it by forcing the career people to go along and compromise their values, quite frankly, or they were going to do it through the Giuliani channel."

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Rudy Giuliani was not just working for Trump — he also said he worked for Pence: State Department testimony

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One of the strangest moments of the testimony of State Department official David Holmes, as laid out in the transcript released by the House Intelligence Committee on Monday, was when Holmes told Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) that President Donald Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani claimed to be working as an adviser to Vice President Mike Pence.

"Was Rudy Giuliani representing his client as a private attorney?" asked Zeldin.

"I have never spoken with him, sir. So, I mean, you could ask him," said Holmes, but he added, "At one point he, Mr. Bakanov, told me that, you know, someone named Giuliani said he was an adviser to the Vice President."

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