Tillerson plan to skip NATO, visit Russia puts allies on edge

March 22, 2017

Washington (CNN)The State Department scrambled Tuesday to suggest new dates for Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to attend a meeting of NATO foreign ministers after his plan to skip the annual gathering — but travel to Russia — came to light. Tillerson’s decision to miss his first NATO meeting but visit Russia a week later plunged his department into damage control, frustrated allies and left analysts scratching their heads at an administration that once again is rubbing …

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Trump’s wiretapping accusation comes to a head at Comey hearing

March 20, 2017

… — effectively an allegation of criminal wrongdoing against the former administration — or to draw back the claims tied his White House in knots as it sought to explain and finesse the tweets while sparing the President embarrassment. But the effort stumbled as every key congressional figure associated with intelligence oversight said there was no evidence of wiretapping. Comey was “incredulous” about Trump’s tweets, sources familiar with the matter told CNN. The …

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CNN’s Brian Stelter Slams Trump For Being A ‘Fox News Presidency’

March 19, 2017

CNN media correspondent Brian Stelter accused the White House of being the Fox News presidency on Saturday, despite President Donald Trumps recent attempt to blame the network forunsubstantiated claimsthat Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower during the election. Whitfield noted that while the network has tried to distance itself from the wiretapping claim made by its analyst, Judge Andrew Napolitano, she found the shift of blame interesting given Fox News and Trumps rather cozy relationship. …

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What is Neil Gorsuch’s religion? It’s complicated

March 19, 2017

WASHINGTON (CNN)Earlier this month, the Trump administration summoned two dozen religious leaders to a private meeting. The mission: to rally support for Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s Supreme Court nominee. According to several participants, White House staffers emphasized Gorsuch’s robust defense of religious rights as a judge on the 10th US Circuit Court of Appeals. In one prominent decision, Gorsuch argued that the government should rarely, if ever, coerce the consciences of believers. …

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Why Trump just can’t (and probably won’t) quit the wiretap story

March 18, 2017

Washington (CNN)For nearly two weeks now, President Donald Trump and his aides have floated a conspiracy theory involving President Barack Obama wiretapping then-candidate Trump’s phone lines in his Manhattan office building. Even now, as bipartisan agreement has emerged that no such thing happened, Trump has dug in, leaving Trump aides and allies fumbling for excuses and explanations — like that spying microwaves are apparently a thing, according to White House counselor …

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Dina Powell to be named deputy national security adviser for strategy

March 16, 2017

(CNN)Dina Powell, President Donald Trump’s senior counselor for economic initiatives, is switching roles at the White House and will named deputy national security adviser for strategy, a senior administration official tells CNN. Powell, a former executive at Goldman Sachs, will work closely with K.T. McFarland, who has been the acting deputy for strategy. Though some national security experts speculated that McFarland would leave following Michael Flynn’s ouster as national …

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