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Russians indicted in special counsel Robert Mueller's probe

(CNBC) The special counsel's office said Friday that a federal grand jury indicted 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities in the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 elections.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.


At least 100 White House officials served with 'interim' security clearances until November

(CNN) Nearly a year into President Donald Trump's administration, senior-level staffers -- including Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner and Rob Porter -- remained on interim clearances even as other senior advisers were granted full security access, according to information obtained by CNN from a US government official.

Having interim clearance can hamper a staffer's ability to perform essential functions of the job, a former administration official said. It requires those with full permanent clearances to remain vigilant about what information is shared with those still operating on an interim basis.

There were more than 100 staffers in the Executive Office of the President who were operating on interim clearances more than a year after Trump was elected, according to the information.


Trump bragged about a General Motors plant relocation that he made up

(Think Progress) During a meeting about trade with lawmakers at the White House on Tuesday, President Trump took personal credit for General Motors’ decision relocate a plant from South Korea back to the United States.

“GM Korea company announced today that it will cease production and close its Gunsan plant in May 2018 and they’re gonna move back to Detroit,” Trump said. “You don’t hear these things except for the fact that Trump became president, believe me, you wouldn’t be hearing that… and you have many others companies, they all want to be where the action is.”

There’s just one problem — Trump’s relocation announcement was fake news. The president appears to have just made it up.


Michael Cohen's Porn Star Payment Just Left Trump Open to Criminal Charges

(Law and Crime) President Donald Trump‘s personal attorney Michael Cohen addressed the payment of $130,000 that went to former pornographic film star Stephanie Clifford (aka Stormy Daniels) in 2016. Cohen said that the payment to Clifford, who had claimed she had an affair with Trump soon after his wife Melania Trump gave birth to their son, came directly from him. In an apparent effort to show that the payment was legal, he made it clear that Trump’s campaign was not involved in the transaction. Ironically, however, Cohen’s very explanation could land Trump in serious trouble, and possibly vulnerable to criminal charges.

“Neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign was a party to the transaction with Ms. Clifford,” Cohen told the New York Times, “and neither reimbursed me for the payment, either directly or indirectly.” Cohen would not say what the payment was for, but other outlets have reported it was to prevent Clifford from speaking publicly about the alleged affair.

While Cohen was probably trying to put Trump in the clear by saying he had nothing to do with it, his very explanation paints a picture very similar to that of former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards.


Schiff: We're not going to revise Democratic memo

(The Hill) Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said Tuesday night that members of his party won’t revise their countermemo, despite requests from the White House to do so.

“We’re not going to make any revisions to it. The only question is what redactions will be made. And obviously we’d like to keep those to a minimum,” Schiff told reporters.

“The White House has a different interest. I think their interest is in redacting anything that doesn’t reflect well on the White House,” Schiff added.

Julian Englis

Dems flip seat in Florida state special election

(The Hill) Democrats won a special state House election in Florida Tuesday night, picking up a seat previously held by an incumbent in a district President Trump won in the 2016 presidential election.

Margaret Good, the Democratic candidate, won the District 72 special election with 52.17 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results from the Florida Department of State. Her Republican opponent, James Vernon Buchanan, won 44.8 percent of the vote.


FBI Director: We Reported To WH Multiple Times On Porter Before Ouster

(TPM) FBI Director Christopher Wray told senators Tuesday that the FBI submitted reports on Rob Porter multiple times before the former White House staffer left the administration last week amid allegations of domestic violence.

“What I can tell you is that the FBI submitted a partial report on the investigation in question in March, and then a completed background investigation in late July,” Wray continued. “Soon thereafter we received requests for follow-up inquiry and we did the follow-up and provided that information in November. And then we administratively closed the file in January.”

“And then earlier this month we received some additional information and we passed that on as well,” he added.


Rob Porter is my ex-husband. Heres what you should know about abuse.

(WaPo) White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said Sunday that she has no reason not to believe statements that Jennifer Willoughby and I have made about our ex-husband, former White House aide Rob Porter. I actually appreciated her saying that she at least did not not believe us...

Recognizing and surviving in an abusive relationship take strength. The abuse can be terrifying, life-threatening and almost constant. Or it can ebb and flow, with no violence for long periods. It’s often the subtler forms of abuse that inflict serious, persistent damage while making it hard for the victim to see the situation clearly.

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