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Pentagon official refutes Trump over list of ‘52 targets’ in Iran: ‘No list adds up to that number’

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A senior U.S. military official doesn’t appear to be aware of what President Donald Trump is talking about when he says there is a list of 52 Iranian targets he could strike.

On Twitter Saturday, Trump told Iran that he has a list that represents the 52 hostages taken during the crisis between 1979 and 1981. The locations are said to be cultural sites important to the Iranian people.

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A TIME report on Iraq deciding to vote American soldiers out of the country, interviewed a U.S. military official who said he was unfamiliar with the list.

“There are different lists, depending on the nature of the possible targets — missile bases, nuclear facilities, naval bases, airfields, et cetera — but I don’t know of a list that adds up to that number or one that includes cultural or historic sites like Persepolis,” he said.

According to a CNN report, two senior officials said that there is “widespread opposition within the administration to targeting cultural sites in Iran,” if Trump decides to retaliate.

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“Nothing rallies people like the deliberate destruction of beloved cultural sites. Whether ISIS’s destruction of religious monuments or the burning of the Leuven Library in WWI, history shows targeting locations giving civilization meaning is not only immoral but self-defeating,” one official told CNN.

“The Persian people hold a deeply influential and beautiful history of poetry, logic, art and science. Iran’s leaders do not live up to that history. But America would be better served by leaders who embrace Persian culture, not threaten to destroy it,” the source said.

“Consistent with laws and norms of armed conflict, we would respect Iranian culture,” a second senior U.S. official told CNN.

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An additional official who worked with the Trump and Obama administrations explained that “as a nation,” the United States military “do not attack the cultural sites of any adversary.”

Read the full report at CNN and TIME.

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‘If I’m Trump — I’m scared right now’: MSNBC’s Neal Katyal says Trump’s taxes will likely come out before election

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MSNBC legal analyst Neal Katyal on Thursday argued that President Donald Trump has reason to worry about the Supreme Court's ruling that he could not simply ignore subpoenas for information about his personal finances.

During an appearance on the network, Katyal said he disagreed with analysis saying that Trump should view the 7-2 SCOTUS ruling as a mixed bag, since it gave him the opportunity to continue fighting subpoenas even as it denied his ability to dismiss them outright.

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2020 Election

Biden beats Trump to the punch with massive ‘Buy American’ spending package — and GOP allies are fuming

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Some of President Donald Trump's "economic nationalist" allies are furious that Joe Biden beat the White House to the punch with a "Buy American" policy push.

The president's former chief strategist Steve Bannon told the Washington Post's Jeff Stein that Biden's $300 billion domestic spending proposal was "very smart," and said the likely Democratic nominee had scored a win.

"The campaign and White House have been caught flat-footed," Bannon said. "Biden has very smart people around him, particularly on the economic side."

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2020 Election

Fox News pundit: Tax returns ruling against Trump is ‘a win for him’ and ‘will help the president’

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Fox News pundit Katie Pavlich argued on Thursday that a Supreme Court ruling which opened the door for prosecutors to obtain Donald Trump's tax returns is actually "a win" for the president.

Pavlich made the remarks after the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance can request the president's tax records in a public corruption case.

"I think it's a win and a little bit of a loss for President Trump," Pavlich explained. "In the sense that he will now have to deal with a number of these issues and other presidents in the future will as well, whether they are valid requests for information or not and whether they are being made for political for reasons or for valid criminal investigations."

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