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Trump says ‘phase 1’ China trade pact on track for November

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US President Donald Trump on Monday said progress in developing the text of a partial trade pact with China means he will likely be able to sign it next month.

Trump remains upbeat on the chances Beijing and Washington will seal the mini-deal he announced earlier this month — marking a cooling-off period in the two nations’ damaging trade war.

“We’ll be able to, we think, sign a completed document with China on phase one,” Trump said at the White House.

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US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said efforts to commit the agreement to paper before the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Chile next month are “on track” though some work remains to be done.

“Our target is to have the phase one deal by the time you go to Chile,” Lighthizer told Trump.

Trump has said he expects to sign the partial deal on the sidelines of the summit when he meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

While details are scant, the new mini-deal includes a surge in Chinese purchases of American farm exports and also covers intellectual property, financial services and currency exchange, according to the White House.

Trump said Monday the Chinese “have started the buying.”

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China sounded a positive note at a defense forum being held in Beijing, with the vice minister of foreign affairs saying they wanted “China-US relations based on coordination, cooperation and stability.”

With hundreds of billions of dollars in two-way trade now subject to additional tariffs, there are mounting signs the trade war — now in its second year — has damaged the world economy, adding to pressure on both sides to strike a deal.

“We don’t approve the tactic of brandishing the baton of tariffs at every turn and exerting maximum pressure on China,” said China’s Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Le Yucheng.

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“This practice is old thinking and will not work.”

However, US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said earlier Monday that the US side is not rushing to sign on the dotted line next month.

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“We would like to make a deal,” Ross told Fox Business on Monday.

“But from our point of view, it has to be the right deal and it doesn’t have to be in November.”

While the White House has said the “phase one” deal touches on major issues, Ross said the heaviest lifting remained to be done.

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“The real question is, do we get to an early signing of phase one?” said Ross, who is not a member of the US delegation to the trade talks.

“Second, how far do we get toward phase two or two and three? Two and three are really where the meat is.”


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Impeachment managers release trial memorandum detailing why Trump must be removed from office

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House impeachment managers released an in-depth trial memorandum laying out the case for convicting President Donald Trump during his Senate impeachment trial.

The memorandum was released by representatives Adam Schiff (D-CA), Jerry Nadler (D-NY), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), Val Demings (D-FL), Jason Crow (D-CO) and Sylvia Garcia (D-FL).

The document divides the argument by the House of Representatives into three points.

"The Senate should convict President Trump of abuse of power," is the first section.

"The Senate should convict President Trump of obstruction of Congress," is the second section.

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2020 Election

He ‘can’t understand why he is being impeached’: CNN reports Trump is asking ’why are they doing this to me?’

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President Donald Trump is reportedly "distracted" by impeachment while vacationing at Mar-a-Lago as the United States Senate trial begins.

"A source close to the White House who speaks to Donald Trump regularly said the President has appeared 'distracted' by the impeachment trial that begins on Tuesday, telling people around him Friday night at Mar-a-Lago that he 'can't understand why he is impeached,'" CNN's Jim Acosta reported Saturday. "'Why are they doing this to me,' the source quoted Trump as saying repeatedly."

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Rod Rosenstein’s legal defense in lawsuits from Strzok and Page won’t hold up under oath: legal experts

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Rod Rosenstein

Former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein claimed responsibility for the release of text messages between then-FBI attorney Lisa Page and then-FBI official Peter Strzok.

Emails released in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit by the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) revealed the highly unusual release by Sarah Isgur Flores, who at the time was the spokesperson for Trump's Department of Justice (she is now overseeing CNN's 2020 election coverage).

Flores instructed reporters to not cite the release of the documents to the Depart of Justice.

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