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Ex-CIA director: Trump shows 'qualities usually found in narcissistic, vengeful autocrats'

Source: The Hill

Former CIA Director John Brennan slammed President Trump in a tweet Thursday, saying the president shows "qualities usually found in narcissistic, vengeful autocrats."

Brennan, a vocal critic of Trump, posted the comment shortly after joining Twitter on Thursday. He condemned Trump's tough stance against critics of his declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

"Trump Admin threat to retaliate against nations that exercise sovereign right in UN to oppose US position on Jerusalem is beyond outrageous," tweeted Brennan, who led the CIA under former President Obama.

"Shows @realDonaldTrump expects blind loyalty and subservience from everyone—qualities usually found in narcissistic, vengeful autocrats," he added.

Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/366078-former-cia-director-trump-shows-qualities-usually-found-in


State Department tells refugee agencies to downsize U.S. operations

Source: reuters

(Reuters) - The U.S. State Department has told refugee agencies it will sharply pare back the number of offices across the country authorized to resettle people in 2018 as President Donald Trump cuts the number of refugees allowed into the United States.

The announcement was made at a Dec. 1 meeting in Washington with State Department officials and representatives from nine major refugee agencies, several executives of the agencies said.

Advocates said the decision is likely to lead to the closure of dozens of resettlement offices around the country, potentially leaving some refugees without access to services that help them integrate into American life. Several state refugee coordinators said they had also been made aware of the closures.

Refugee resettlement in the United States is handled by nine non-profit agencies that receive funding from the federal government for some of their refugee work. They partner with, or oversee, hundreds of local offices in nearly every state that help new arrivals with basic tasks like enrolling children in school, arranging doctors’ visits and applying for Social Security cards and other documents.

Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-immigration-refugees-exclusive/exclusive-state-department-tells-refugee-agencies-to-downsize-u-s-operations-idUSKBN1EF2S5


HIAS Chicago to close Refugee Resettlement Program

After nearly four decades of service, Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) Chicago has been directed by the U.S. State Department to shut down one of its signature programs, refugee resettlement.

The move, one of dozens of similar closings and consolidations across the country, is a result of decreased numbers of refugees coming to the United States. Earlier this year, the administration set a cap of 45,000, down from 85,000 actual resettlements two years ago.

Since the late 1970s, HIAS Chicago's program has resettled thousands of refugees from the former Soviet Union, Bosnia, Kosovo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Vietnam, Cambodia, Iraq, and Syria. The agency connected them with safe furnished housing, employment opportunities and education for their children, and set them on a path to successful integration into their new community.


"As saddened as we are to see our program end, we are deeply concerned about those individuals and families awaiting their turns to come to the United States. Those who have been waiting years or even decades will now need to wait even longer to find freedom."

House Republicans prepare to wrap up contentious Russia investigation

Source: NBC News

WASHINGTON — As House Republicans make the case for special counsel Robert Mueller to end his investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election, they appear ready to bring their own intelligence probe to an end.

Senior Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee tell NBC News that they hope and expect to draw their year-long investigation to an end in the coming weeks, saying they have largely completed all interviews relevant to the narrow scope of inquiry Democrats had agreed to last spring.

The committee has conducted interviews with key witnesses almost daily this month, sometimes seeing multiple witnesses on a single day, as they eyed the finish line. Though Democrats say they have requested as many as 30 additional interviews with new witnesses, none have been scheduled beyond the end of this month.

Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, one of the GOP leaders of the committee’s Russia probe, told NBC News that it is in the public’s interest to finish as quickly as possible so that they can issue a final report. He accused Democrats of wanting to prolong their work for political reasons and even downplayed the significance of the committee’s work, saying that it was the Justice Department investigation led by Mueller that would produce the most definitive final product.

Read more: https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/house-republicans-prepare-wrap-contentious-russia-investigation-n830561

April Ryan: Omarosa fired by Kelly, escorted out of White House

Source: The Hill

White House aide Omarosa Manigault may have been escorted out of the White House shouting profanities after being told of her firing by chief of staff John Kelly, according to a report by American Urban Radio Networks reporter April Ryan on Wednesday.

"Omarosa did not resign. She was even escorted out of he building and off campus," Ryan reported, citing multiple sources.

"She was very upset and said she wanted to speak to the president. According to sources, Gen. Kelly said the president was already informed and he signed off," Ryan said in her report.

"Sources say General Kelly did the firing and Omarosa is alleged to have acted very vulgar and cursed a lot and said she helped elect President Trump," Ryan also tweeted. "The word is a General Kelly had it and got rid of her."

Read more: http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/364729-april-ryan-omarosa-fired-by-kelly-escorted-out-of-white-house

Trump admin scraps Obama-era proposal requiring airlines to disclose bag fees

Source: The Hill

The Trump administration has scrapped an Obama-era proposal requiring airlines and ticket agencies to disclose baggage fees as soon as passengers start the process of buying a ticket.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) posted a notice on the Federal Register this week that it is withdrawing the proposed rule, along with another plan to force air carriers to disclose how much revenue they make from charging other ancillary fees.

The administration, which has made easing regulatory burdens for businesses a top priority, said the rules would have “limited public benefit.”


The DOT’s effort to kill the pair of Obama-era proposals drew ire from Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), who has been one of the leading voices in Congress pushing for airline consumer protections

Read more: http://thehill.com/policy/transportation/363956-trump-admin-scraps-obama-era-proposal-requiring-airlines-to-disclose

Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden: I expect that Senator Franken will announce his resignation tomorrow

Source: WP - AP

WASHINGTON — Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden: ‘I expect that Senator Franken will announce his resignation tomorrow’

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/congress/democratic-sen-ron-wyden-i-expect-that-senator-franken-will-announce-his-resignation-tomorrow/2017/12/06/e5eb3e62-dab5-11e7-a241-0848315642d0_story.html?utm_term=.f0acb520abcd

CNN: Senators are about to vote on a bill they haven't seen


Senate Republicans finally have enough votes to pass their tax plan. However, no one has actually seen the text of the bill. Republicans have been re-negotiating items in the bill, and things have been changing on a minute-by-minute basis.

Rep Maxine Waters!




White House sees the Flynn charge as "a win," source says

Source: CNN

One person familiar with the mood in the West Wing insists top White House officials are actually breathing a sigh of relief today.

“People in the building are very happy,” the source said. “This doesn’t lead back to Trump in any way, shape or form.”

The source noted that Flynn is being charged for making false statements, but not for any improper actions during the campaign.

“This is a further indication that there’s nothing there,” the source said. “This is a win for the White House.”

Read more: http://cnn.it/2AkHzjp

Flynn pleads guilty, reaches deal on charge of lying to FBI

Source: ABC News

Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, once a member of President Trump’s inner circle of advisers, has pleaded guilty in a deal with the Special Counsel investigating foreign meddling in the 2016 elections in which he admits to lying to the FBI about his back-channel conversations with the Russian ambassador.

Flynn’s plea signals the former top adviser to President Trump is now cooperating with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team. A brief statement released by Mueller’s team Friday morning does not say what information Flynn has provided the government as part of the deal, but people familiar with the agreement told ABC News Friday he has made a decision to assist investigators.

The general told confidants about his decision to plead guilty in the last 24 hours, according to people close to Flynn, who say the former adviser feels President Trump has abandoned him and has agreed to answer questions about the president or anyone else.

Flynn was charged with lying to the FBI about the nature of his conversations with then-Russian ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak during the presidential transition. Those conversations led Russian officials to temper their response to increased U.S. sanctions, according to the charging documents. The charge means Flynn could face up to 5 years in prison.

Read more: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/michael-flynn-charged-making-false-statements-fbi-documents/story?id=50849354
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