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WATCH: Trump gets defensive when asked if he directed White House chief of staff to go after weather forecasters

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On Wednesday, the New York Times reported that White House chief of staff Mike Mulvaney instructed Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to pressure climate scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to say President Trump was right when he falsely claimed Hurricane Dorian was heading towards Alabama.

Asked about whether he asked Mulvaney to pressure Ross, the president denied it and blamed the media. “No, I never did that. …That’s fake news,” Trump insisted.

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West Virginia mail carrier busted for helping GOP by tampering with absentee ballot requests

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A mail carrier in West Virginia is facing jail time after he was caught tampering with absentee ballot requests in a way that suppressed turnout in local Democratic primary elections.

BuzzFeed News reports that 47-year-old Thomas Cooper pleaded guilty this week to attempting to defraud the residents of West Virginia of a fair election when he switched West Virginia residents' ballot requests from Democratic to Republican ballots.

Cooper altered a total of eight different ballot requests, although he told investigators that he did it "as a joke" and didn't mean to cause any harm. Cooper's attorney, Scott Curnutte, similarly told BuzzFeed News that Cooper's actions had just been a "silly lark."

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China vows to hit US with ‘reciprocal measures’ after Xinjiang sanctions

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China said Friday it will impose tit-for-tat measures on US institutions and individuals who "behave badly" on Xinjiang-related issues after Washington slapped sanctions on Chinese officials over a crackdown on Uighurs and other Turkic Muslims in the region.

The Chinese response came after the US announced visa bans and an assets freeze on three officials, including Chen Quanquo, the Chinese Communist Party chief in Xinjiang and architect of Beijing's hardline policies against restive minorities.

"The US actions seriously interfere in China's internal affairs, seriously violate the basic norms of international relations, and seriously damage China-US relations," foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said in a briefing.

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80+ lawmakers demand Trump rescind ‘cruel, senseless’ plan to force international students out of US

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"ICE's arbitrary new policy is irrational and xenophobic, and risks the health of students, faculty, and staff."

More than 80 members of Congress late Thursday demanded that the Trump administration immediately withdraw a "cruel, senseless, and xenophobic" directive that would strip international college students of their visas to study in the U.S. if their fall coursework is moved entirely online due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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