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Trump announces toughest sanctions ‘ever’ on Iran

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President Donald Trump on Friday announced new sanctions on Iran’s central bank, calling the measures the toughest ever imposed on another country by the United States.

“We have just sanctioned the Iranian national bank,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office.

“These are the highest sanctions ever imposed on a country,” he said.

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The Trump administration has vowed a response after US officials blamed Iran for weekend blasts on Saudi Arabia’s oil infrastructure, which caused a sharp hike in global crude prices.

The United States already maintains sweeping sanctions on Iran including on its central bank, with anyone who deals with it subject to prosecution.

Elaborating on Trump’s remarks, the Treasury Department said it was authorizing sanctions on the central bank not only over Iran’s alleged nuclear work but for “terrorism.”

Such a designation may be more difficult to lift, even if Trump loses next year’s election to a Democrat who wants to ease sanctions as part of a future deal.

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“Iran’s brazen attack against Saudi Arabia is unacceptable,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.

“Treasury’s action targets a crucial funding mechanism that the Iranian regime uses to support its terrorist network, including the Qods Force, Hezbollah and other militants that spread terror and destabilize the region,” he said.

The Qods Force conducts international operations for Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards, who are in charge of protecting the clerical regime.

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Hezbollah, the Shiite militant group and political party in Lebanon, is among Iran’s closest regional partners.

The Treasury Department said that the Iranian central bank has provided “billions of dollars” to the two units, which were both previously designated as terrorists by Washington.

The United States also imposed sanctions on Iran’s sovereign wealth fund, whose board of trustees include President Hassan Rouhani, as well as Etemad Tejarate Pars, a company that the Treasury Department said had sent money internationally on behalf of Iran’s defense ministry.

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Trump in June authorized a military strike after Iran shot down a US drone, only to call it off at the last moment.

He recently said that he hopes for talks with Rouhani, which responded that Trump must first ease sanctions.

Trump last year pulled out of a nuclear accord with Iran negotiated under former president Barack Obama, sending tensions soaring as he tried to stop all countries from buying Iran’s oil.

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WATCH: CNN’s Don Lemon bursts out laughing over Trump’s new wall in Colorado

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CNN's Don Lemon typically deals with difficult and intense topics at the top of his weekly show. Wednesday night, however, after a serious opener about Syria and ISIS, Lemon broke into hysterics over President Donald Trump's flub saying he would build a border wall on Colorado's border.

"You know why we're going to win New Mexico? Because they want safety on our border. And they didn't have it," said Trump. "And we're building a wall on the border of New Mexico. And we're building a wall in Colorado. We're building a beautiful wall, a big one that really works — you can't get over, you can't get under. And we're building a wall in Texas. And we're not building a wall in Kansas, but they get the benefit of the walls that we just mentioned. And Louisiana's incredible."

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Rachel Maddow explains how Mike Pence got thrown into the impeachment scandal by Trump’s lawyers

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MSNBC host Rachel Maddow noted that Vice President Mike Pence got thrown into the impeachment scandal by President Donald Trump's own lawyers.

In a bizarre comment in court a few weeks ago, has been revealed with the release of documents. Unfortunately for Pence, it happened again. Trump's lawyers debated with judges and opposing counsel whether Trump could, in fact, shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and be prosecuted. The president's lawyers argued that not only could they not prosecute him, but they also couldn't stop him either.

But it was a key part of their argument that indicated Pence wasn't all that important.

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Trump refusing to pay for New Mexico security and barricades — while trying to change the state from blue to red

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President Donald Trump thinks he will win New Mexico. He's repeated the factoid multiple times, including to a group of oil and gas workers and executives Wednesday at a conference in Pittsburgh, PA. But he also made two significant mistakes to put that support in jeopardy.

First, the president indicated he was building his "wall" on the border of Colorado, which is north of New Mexico. It would mean that New Mexico was now part of Mexico.

Second, it was reported by the Albuquerque Journal that their city is yet another one Trump's campaign is refusing to pay for security costs.

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