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Federal prosecutors investigating Trump pal David Pecker over Saudi connections: report

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According to a report from Mother Jones, the FBI — at the request of federal prosecutors working in the Southern District of New York office — have been investigating one of Donald Trump’s associates for working with the Saudi government illegally.

The investigation concerns a special edition published by the National Enquirer that cast a favorable light on Saudi Arabia and controversial leader Mohammed bin Salman that was created at the behest of American Media head David Pecker.

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Mother Jones is reporting that the FBI began requesting documents and interviewing staff at the company dating back to June, with an eye on whether “AMI had engaged in illegal influence peddling on behalf of a foreign power.”

According to the report the investigation is an off-shoot from stories the company ran on Washington Post and Amazon owner Jeff Bezos where they published private texts that showed he was having an affair.

The reports states, “Gavin de Becker, a veteran private investigator working for Bezos, soon made a related charge: Saudi Arabia had swiped ‘private information’ from the billionaire’s phone and was ‘in league’ with the Enquirer to bring down Bezos.”

“After de Becker went public with this allegation, in late March, FBI agents began interviewing AMI employees over the company’s relationship with Saudi Arabia,”Mother Jones reports. “The Saudis, the Bezos camp contended, had targeted the billionaire out of revenge: Bezos owns the Washington Post, where relentless coverage of the grisly death of its columnist, Jamal Khashoggi, had enraged the Saudi Crown Prince commonly known as MBS, who was implicated in ordering Khashoggi’s murder.”

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According to the report, what the FBI discovers could have “profound implications” on a deal Pecker made with federal prosecutors over his part “in the hush-money case that resulted in campaign finance charges against Donald Trump’s former lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen” who is currently serving time in prison.

As part of that deal, “AMI agreed to cooperate fully with investigators and in return received immunity from prosecution. Yet that deal could be tossed out if AMI was suspected of engaging in other wrongdoing,” the report continues.

Mother Jones reports that the FBI has not confirmed or denied the report on the investigation.

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Beto O’Rourke looks to reactivate suburban strength in Texas to help Democrats win

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The photo line for Beto O’Rourke here Saturday afternoon quickly turned into something of a reunion.

“Hey, I know who you are!" a characteristically sweat-drenched O'Rourke told one supporter. After talking to another, O'Rourke yelled out to an aide: "Hey, someone who worked on the campaign wants to be plugged in again!"

The vibe was similar a day later in Plano, where O'Rourke rallied in front of signs reading, "Welcome to Beto Country," serving up nostalgia from his near-miss loss to U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz last year. He said the Senate race was the "only reason" he got to run for president, touting the support he built in Collin, Denton, Tarrant and Dallas counties before getting drowned out by cheers.

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2020 Election

Corey Lewandowski may use Judiciary Committee hearing to launch New Hampshire Senate run

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Former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski will appear before the House Judiciary Committee Tuesday to answer questions about incidents outlined in special counsel Robert Mueller's report. But he may use the appearance as a way to launch his New Hampshire Senate run.

Axios reported Sunday that the former top aide to President Donald Trump is eager for a fiery exchange between him and Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) and other Democrats.

“Corey will use [the hearing] as part of the campaign. He will be confrontational to the Democrats. He will be totally loyal to Trump. And he will be playing to the right-wing of the party who need to unite behind him in a primary," said former New Hampshire Attorney General Thomas Rath.

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Trump flip-flops on meeting with Iran with ‘no preconditions’– then blames it on the media

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President Donald Trump went off on the "fake news media" yet again, after his own appointees announced he was willing to meet with Iran.

"The Fake News is saying that I am willing to meet with Iran, 'No Conditions.' That is an incorrect statement (as usual!)," Trump tweeted.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1173371482812162048

In an odd twist, Trump announced just three months ago he'd be willing to meet with no preconditions.

“Not as far as I’m concerned – no preconditions,” the president said in a Meet the Press interview. At another point in the interview, he also said: “I think they want to make a deal. And my deal is nuclear.”

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