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Trump ready to meet Iran leader with no conditions: Mnuchin

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President Donald Trump is ready to meet his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani without preconditions while maintaining “maximum pressure” on Tehran, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Tuesday.

“Now the president has made clear, he is happy to take a meeting with no preconditions, but we are maintaining the maximum pressure campaign,” Mnuchin said, just days after Iran said it had fired up centrifuges to boost its enriched uranium stockpiles.

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, standing alongside Mnuchin in the White House briefing room, said “sure” when asked whether Trump could meet Rouhani later this month on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

The remarks came just 90 minutes after Trump announced he had removed John Bolton as his national security advisor.

But Mnuchin swatted away suggestions that the departure of the hawkish Bolton could signify a more moderate Iran policy, as the administration announced new terrorist designations against leaders of several organizations with close ties to Tehran.

The sanctions apply to commanders or senior leaders of groups including the Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force, Hezbollah, the operational arm of Hamas, and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

“You know we’ve done more sanctions on Iran than anybody, and it’s absolutely working,” Mnuchin said.

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“I would say Secretary Pompeo and myself and the president are completely aligned on our maximum pressure campaign.”

Tensions have been escalating between Iran and the United States since May last year, when Trump pulled out of the 2015 nuclear accord with Tehran and began reimposing sanctions that have crippled the Iranian economy.

The announcement of new sanctions comes one day before the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington, which were carried out by Al-Qaeda.

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Pompeo said the designations add “further muscle to US counterterrorism efforts (and) will help to ensure that the deadly attacks of September 11th that occurred 18 years ago this week are never repeated on American soil.”

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Lev Parnas’s lawyer declared ‘open war’ on AG Bill Barr during Maddow interview: attorney

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The attorney for Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas appears to be using a novel legal strategy, attorney Luppe Luppen explained on Friday.

Joseph Bondy, the attorney for Parnas, was interviewed Friday evening by Rachel Maddow, following the day's end of the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.

Luppen, who offers legal analysis on his popular @nycsouthpaw Twitter account, came to a conclusion that seemed to surprise him after watching the interview.

"I’ve never seen a lawyer sit on a cable panel show and make that much news," Luppen wrote.

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Democratic prosecutors wrap up case against Trump

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Democratic prosecutors on Friday wrapped up three days of arguments for seeking Donald Trump's removal from office, as the US president's lawyers prepared to take their turn presenting his defense in the Senate's historic impeachment trial.

For a final eight-hour stretch, the 100 senators listened as Democrats argued that Trump abused the power of the presidency in pressuring Ukraine to launch investigations that would help him politically and then sought to block efforts by Congress to investigate.

Democrats said they had met the burden of proof as they warned Republicans that Trump would remain a grave danger to the nation if left in office.

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‘Give me a break’: Internet unleashes on ‘snowflakes’ Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski for complaint about Schiff

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CNN's Manu Raju revealed after the Senate adjourned that Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) audibly disputed Rep. Adam Schiff's (D-CA) quotation of a CBS News report threatening senators.

"She shook her head and said, 'No they didn't. No, that's not true,'" Raju reported.

Sens. Tom Cotton (R-AR), Jim Risch (R-ID) Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and John Barrasso also said that the report was false.

https://twitter.com/GriffinConnolly/status/1220891285910892544

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