US President Donald Trump on Monday denied Iran’s claim that it dismantled a CIA spy ring and arrested 17 suspects with alleged links to the US intelligence agency.
“The report of Iran capturing CIA spies is totally false. Zero truth,” Trump tweeted.
“Just more lies and propaganda (like their shot down drone) put out by a Religious Regime that is Badly Failing and has no idea what to do.”
“Their Economy is dead, and will get much worse. Iran is a total mess!” Trump added.
Earlier Monday a top Iranian counter-intelligence official told local reporters that the 17 suspects were all Iranians working in “sensitive centers” and the private sector who had acted independently of each other.
Some have been tried and sentenced to death.
The CIA had no immediate comment, and usually refuses to comment on reports of its covert agents and informants falling under arrest or being killed in the field.
Trump’s denial was extraordinary in that sense, and drew criticism from the intelligence community.
“There’s a reason the government NEVER comments on such claims. The next time an allegation goes unanswered, it will be assumed to be true,” tweeted former National Security Council spokesman Ned Price.
White House grants press access to Christian site whose founder called impeachment a ‘Jew coup’
The White House granted press credentials to a Christian news site whose founder claimed that President Donald Trump's impeachment was a "Jew coup" organized by a "Jewish cabal" in anti-Semitic remarks.
Five employees of the Florida-based conservative Christian news outlet TruNews received press credentials from the White House to cover Trump's trip to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, last week, founder Rick Wiles told The New York Times from a ski lodge reserved for press members by the Trump administration. The outlet was not granted special access to Trump, though TruNews' Edward Szall asked Ivanka Trump a question during a news conference, according to the report.
Laura Ingraham wants to remove Adam Schiff from Congress: ‘It’s not clear that congressmen can’t be impeached’
Fox News host Laura Ingraham floated a novel legal theory on Monday in an attempt to remove Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) from Congress: that members of Congress can be impeached.
"It’s not clear that congressmen can’t be impeached, by the way," Laura Ingraham told Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA).
"It's not clear that they cannot be impeached," she repeated.
Ingraham was simply wrong on the facts, the constitution does not allow the impeachment of members of Congress.
The constitutional mechanism to remove a member of Congress before the end of their two-year term is for two-thirds of the body to vote to expel the member.
50 million trapped after China sealed off cities as virus death toll surges
The United States and other nations raced to get their citizens out of the locked-down Chinese city at ground-zero of a virus epidemic on Tuesday, as the death toll surged to 106 and the number of confirmed infections doubled to over 4,500.
The deadly virus, which experts believe emanated from a wild animal market in the city of Wuhan last month, has triggered a desperate Chinese containment effort after spreading nationwide and to more than a dozen other countries.
The government has sealed off Wuhan and other cities in central Hubei province, effectively trapping more than 50 million people, including thousands of foreigners, in a bid to contain the virus as the high-travel Lunar New Year holiday unfolds.