Donald Trump is doing Gerhard Schroeder's bidding: The Reunification of Koreas - 11:20 AM 3/23/2019

Donald Trump is doing Gerhard Schroeder's bidding: The Reunification of Koreas. How much did they pay you, Gerhard? Your new Korean wife is just a fringe benefit and the communication channel. You and your bosses from the New Abwehr must have been paid quite nicely by all those high-tech companies interested in acquiring the cheap North Korean real estate or mostly the land, ah, weren't you, little petite bourgeois Social Democratic German grandiose hypocrite? 
Trump is the lackey of the German Social Democracy (Nationalistic, cheap, calculating), which serves as the front for the New Abwehr. The pragmatic and most evident roots of this dependency are in the Trump's huge, up to $10B probably, indebtedness to the German and Russian Banks and the imminent threat of the new and final, total bankruptcy or death by the Mafia bullet. 
In this sense Trump is a direct follow-up to Obama Presidency. Obama was the almost open and quite willing agent and the obedient lackey of the German Social Democracy; Trump is their masked but no less obedient and willing lackey. 
It looks like the New Abwehr saw their (Yes, their!) Operation 9/11 as the watershed event marking and celebrating their claimed dominance and the manipulations of the US and the World affairs. It was followed by the Operation Obama and the Operation Trump.

M.N. - 11:20 AM 3/23/2019

trump korea sanctions

Trump Overrules Own Experts on Sanctions, in Favor to North Korea

Trump Overrules Own Experts on Sanctions, in Favor to North Korea - Google Search

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Trump Overrules Own Experts on Sanctions, in Favor to North Korea - Google Search

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Trump Overrules Own Experts on Sanctions, in Favor to North Korea

New York Times-20 hours ago
WASHINGTON — President Trump undercut his own Treasury Department on Friday with a sudden announcement that he had rolled back ...
Trump overrules own experts in favour of North Korea
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Story image for Trump Overrules Own Experts on Sanctions, in Favor to North Korea from Blue Virginia (press release) (blog)

Saturday News: “Why end of Mueller's Russia probe could signal start ...

Blue Virginia (press release) (blog)-4 hours ago
Trump Overrules Own Experts on Sanctions, in Favor to North Korea · Trump botches North Korea sanctions announcement, sparking ...
Story image for Trump Overrules Own Experts on Sanctions, in Favor to North Korea from The Atlantic

The Inevitable Return of Muddling Along in North Korea

The Atlantic-Mar 5, 2019
In 2008, President George W. Bush overruled his more hard-line advisers to ... Read: Is Trump giving up on a nuclear-free North Korea? ... elicit a deal, Trump's and Kim's lieutenants are unlikely to produce their own breakthrough. ... to trade Pyongyang's entire nuclear arsenal for the lifting of all sanctions.
Story image for Trump Overrules Own Experts on Sanctions, in Favor to North Korea from Yahoo News

Trump recognizes Israel's control of the Golan Heights in tweet

Yahoo News-Mar 22, 2019
President Trump abruptly yanks sanctions on North Korea because he 'likes' ... Donald Trumpappeared to overrule his own Treasury Department on Friday and .... The Latest: Defense expertsupports cop who shot black teen.
Story image for Trump Overrules Own Experts on Sanctions, in Favor to North Korea from Bloomberg

Why the Trump-Kim Nuclear Summit Needs a Sequel

Bloomberg-Feb 25, 2019
The bellicose rhetoric between the U.S. and North Korea has certainly ... and even surrendering nuclear material, according to proliferation experts. ... In doing so, he overruled then-Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who argued ... But the Trump administration also imposed extra sanctions on North Koreans, ...
Story image for Trump Overrules Own Experts on Sanctions, in Favor to North Korea from Bloomberg

Why the Trump-Kim Nuclear Show Is Set for Act III

Bloomberg-Mar 13, 2019
Two historic summits between the U.S. and North Korea resulted in no concrete ... and even surrendering nuclear material, according to proliferation experts. ... Trump said he walked out after Kim insisted that sanctions be completely lifted. ... In doing so, he overruled then-Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who ...
Story image for Trump Overrules Own Experts on Sanctions, in Favor to North Korea from Democracy Now!

North Korea Disputes Trump's Account of Why Kim-Trump Summit Failed

Democracy Now!-Mar 1, 2019
North Korea has contradicted President Trump's explanation of why ... of experts from the United States, if the U.S. lifts the sanctions that affect our people's livelihood.” ... Netanyahu is accused of trading political favors for positive press ... on the matter, who say Trump sought to overrule the judgment of the ...
Story image for Trump Overrules Own Experts on Sanctions, in Favor to North Korea from WIRED

While You Were Offline: The North Korea Summit Goes South

WIRED-Mar 3, 2019
Ahead of former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen's testimony to Congress last .... was willing to ease some sanctions but North Korea was asking for all sanctions to ... when news emerged that he'd overruled experts to help his son-in-law. ... The fact that the president had overruled his ownintelligence people ...
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No new indictments: Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation is done

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Schumer: American people have a right to the truth
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) calls for Attorney General William Barr to release the full Mueller report to the public and stresses that he should not give President Trump a sneak-peek.
Published at: 7:43 PM, Fri Mar 22 2019
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Robert Mueller’s latest service to America is all but complete. But the reverberations from his yet-to-be-revealed report could amount to inestimable political and constitutional consequences.
The conclusion of the special counsel’s investigation was an important landmark in itself, at a moment in America’s modern history when governing institutions are under intense strain. It demonstrated that so far at least, a credible legal examination is possible into the most explosive of charges against an unchained President, without interference and despite the bitter polarization of the times.
The question now is whether everyone accepts the result.
The nation could learn within days whether Mueller answered key inquiries: Did Trump cooperate with a hostile foreign power to win the 2016 election? Did he use that platform to seek to enrich himself with multi-billion dollar business deals in Russia? Did the President obstruct justice, including by firing FBI Director James Comey, in an effort to cover it all up? And is there any evidence to suggest why Trump often appears to be obedient to Russian President Vladimir Putin, following fears felt deep within the FBI that the US President was compromised? And can he explain the multiple suspicions contacts between Trump’s associates and Russians — both before and after the election — and the lies they all told about those relationships?
Trump’s team is already celebrating, claiming it is already clear that the President has already been vindicated since Mueller did not indict anyone for cooperating with Russian election meddling.
The lack of charges against Trump’s son, Donald Jr. and his son-in-law Jared Kushner, who were involved in a 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Russians offering “dirt” on Hillary Clinton, especially disappointed his critics.
Their escape proved the shrewdness of Trump’s consistent messaging that the only question that mattered in an investigation that held Washington spellbound for two years was whether there was collusion.
“The fat lady has sung,” one Trump aide told CNN’s Jim Acosta.
For now, consistent with Mueller’s tightly controlled investigation, no one outside the Justice Department knows what is in the report, how long it is and how much it deals with the President’s own actions.
But its delivery sets up an even bigger test for Washington’s political institutions than those involved in getting it safely to its culmination.
So much political and emotional capital has been invested in Mueller’s probe by partisans on all sides that it’s already clear that it will not mark a moment of catharsis that will once and for all drain the bitter poison of the 2016 election.
Mueller is sure to anger millions of Americans who do not find validation for their set-in-stone political convictions in an assessment that could conceivably dictate the fate of the Trump presidency.
The choices made in the coming days and the revelations to come are likely to ensure that whatever Mueller’s report says, the question of Russia’s assault on the last presidential election will stain the next one in 20 months.
Attorney General William Barr, a pillar of the legal establishment, weeks into his second spell in the job, now assumes the crucial historic role of deciding how much of the report the White House will initially see, and the extent to which Mueller’s conclusions will be shared with Congress and the public.
Still, even if there is not legal liability for the President or his family in the Mueller report, it could still inflict significant political damage.

Peril still lurks for Trump

The biggest peril for Trump always lay in the obstruction question and whether there was conduct on his part that Mueller could not charge in deference to the tradition that a sitting President can’t be indicted.
Democrats wasted little time in demanding the full and swift release of Mueller’s entire report, seeking the evidentiary haul behind to power their own investigations.
But they have a sensitive set of decisions as well. If the report in any way vindicates Trump, Democrats could endanger their new House majority by continuing to pursue him aggressively.
Republicans will argue that if Mueller, a decorated former Marine and ultimate Washington straight arrow, clears Trump, a new flurry of investigations would amount to presidential persecution.
However the political battle shapes up, it’s important to realize that the Mueller probe — though it has dominated Washington’s attention for nearly two years — is only one piece of the legal puzzle gathering around Trump.
It is unclear how much evidence Mueller can present on the question of contacts between Russians and people in Trump’s orbit since the counter-intelligence side of the investigation — which could still be going on at the FBI — involves classified information, sources and methods.
There are also multiple criminal and civil cases threatening Trump, his businesses, his inaugural committee and his presidential transition. The most perilous appears to be one launched by the US attorney’s office in the Southern District of New York that has already implicated Trump in campaign finance offenses over hush money payments made to women who alleged affairs with him before the election.
Then there are multiple investigations launched by Democratic House committees that if they do not result in grounds or the political motivation for an impeachment drive, could be used to make a case against Trump to lay before voters in 2020.

Where do Barr and Mueller go from here?

Barr spent several hours reading the Mueller report in his office after the special counsel handed it over just before 5 p.m. ET on Friday afternoon.
Now he must decide whether there are sufficient grounds to share parts of it with White House lawyers in anticipation of executive privilege assertions — a move that could give Trump and his team the chance to mount a pre-emptive defense.
In a surprise, a Justice Department official said that Barr could brief lawmakers on his takeaways from the Mueller report as soon as this weekend. That means that the crucial answers from Mueller’s investigation could emerge publicly more quickly than expected.
Still, a constitutional showdown still seems likely. Evidence gathered by Mueller about the firing of Comey, the President’s conversations about Russia with his fired national security adviser Mike Flynn and his conversations with aides about the Trump Tower meeting once he was President could all be subject to executive privilege assertions.
Democrats with subpoena battle could then launch a court battle that could drag on for months.
And Democrats are already threatening action if the whole of the report, and all of its supporting evidence is not quickly released. They also may call on the special counsel to explain himself in person.
“I think the American people need to hear from Mr. Mueller,” said California Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell, who sits on the House Intelligence Committee, on CNN.
One of the difficulties in assessing how the Mueller drama will unfold from here is that the structure of his report remains unclear — even though a Justice Department official described it as “comprehensive.”
Will he, for instance, confine himself to an examination of criminal matters — and a explanation of the charges he laid against 37 people and entities, including associates of Trump like former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Trump’s ex-attorney Michael Cohen and his reasons for not charging other key players?
Or has the special counsel told a story of political offenses committed by the President and his team, that could be potentially relevant to the question of impeachment?
How has he dealt with the intense public interest in his investigation and the President’s conduct — and the wider mission of uncovering and explaining an attempt by Russian intelligence agencies to sway the 2016 election to Trump?

How Trump will spin the outcome

It must have come as a huge relief for the President that no one in his immediate family was indicted and Mueller did not lay charges on the question of conspiracy to collude with Russia to interfere in the election.
There have been plenty of dark days for the President during the Russia investigation. But the news that Mueller would make no more indictments arrived as he settled into his Mar-a-Lago resort for a weekend with friends — surrounded by his legal and political teams.
One person close to Trump told CNN’s Pamela Brown that “we won” and that the campaign — which has been tainted for two years by the suggestion of wrongdoing — was absolved.
“Zero indictments mean we’re clear,” the person said.
Trump’s legal team can also claim a victory since they were able to protect their client by not permitting him to sit for an interview under oath with Mueller — a situation that could have exposed the President to the possibility of perjury. The President did provide answers to written questions filed by Mueller, with the help of his counsel.
Still, the President’s team faces nervous hours until they can learn the entirety of the report.
Whether Mueller finds a pattern of repeated obstruction by the President remains a mystery. It’s also possible that the special counsel outlines a pattern of behavior related to Russia, that if known by voters before November 2016, would have appeared deeply unpatriotic and made it impossible for him to win the presidency.
While there was a mood of celebration in the Trump camp on Friday night — things could quickly change.
The President has made clear that if Mueller delivers a result favorable to him, he will see the report as accurate and fair. Despite months of angry tweets and comments insulting Mueller and his team, the President is likely to quickly pivot to using the special counsel’s sterling reputation to his own advantage.
But if he is criticized in the report, it will validate in his own mind, the endless claims that the whole exercise was a “witch hunt” all along.
The President’s legal team has gamed out a range of strategies to cope with a report that is highly critical of Trump, that is mixed, or offers him a measure of validation, CNN has reported.

Democrats face a choice

Indications that Barr may be able to brief lawmakers soon about the report sparked immediate speculation, alongside the lack of new indictments, that the Mueller report could be more favorable to the President than expected.
Democrats appeared to be preparing for that possibility by stressing that the report was just the beginning of a new phase of the Russia intrigue.
In a statement, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the top Senate Democrat, Chuck Schumer, warned that Barr should not give the White House a “sneak preview” of the report.
In an apparently coordinated messaging blitz, key Democratic leaders and presidential candidates issued statements demanding the immediate public release of Mueller’s entire report and evidence backing it up.
Such a trove would be valuable for the multiple House committees that are delving into almost every aspect of Trump’s business and political affairs.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff made clear that his investigation would look at questions that may not be covered by Mueller, including why Manafort gave polling data to a Russian contact with links to Kremlin intelligence agencies. He also pledged to look at whether Trump was compromised by his business or other links with Russia from before he became President.
“If they are not answered, we are going to have to answer them,” Schiff told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.
His comments showed that while Mueller’s decision to file a report and end his investigation was a milestone moment, it was also the start of a new beginning of the Russia saga.
Read the whole story

· · · · · · · · ·

The Ongoing Investigations Facing Trump : NPR

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NPR's Scott Simon talks with Andrea Bernstein, co-host of the podcast Trump, Inc., from WNYC and ProPublica, about the legal threats facing President Trump beyond the Mueller investigation.

Trump-Russia inquiry: What might Mueller report look like?

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It's been 22 months since former FBI Director Robert Mueller was appointed to head a special investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and whether the Trump campaign was involved.
Now his work is done and his report has been submitted to the Department of Justice.
But what does that mean? Time Magazine senior editor Ryan Teague Beckwith has described trying to keep up with the twists in the Mueller investigation as akin to understanding the plot of a Russian novel by listening to a book club conversation.
Now, at last, perhaps we will see the full manuscript. Or at least the CliffsNotes (that's York Notes to you Brits).
Or maybe we won't.
If it all seems confusing, that's because no-one knows exactly what happens next.
It doesn't mean we'll know all the details immediately - or ever.
The notoriously tight-lipped former FBI director could simply announce that his work is done, pack his bags and go back to a private life of golf clubs, corporate boards, academic speaking engagements and trips to the Apple store Genius Bar.

Wait, won't there be a final 'Mueller Report' with all the juicy details?

Not necessarily. In fact, probably not.
It doesn't seem likely there will be a detailed investigative narrative presented to the public similar to the multi-tome report produced by Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr back in 1998.
Mr Starr's wide-ranging investigation that started with a real-estate inquiry and ended up scouring Bill Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky was governed by a federal statute with different rules. And Mr Starr himself - a former judge and Republican administration lawyer - was a different kind of man to the by-the-books ex-Marine Mueller.
Mr Mueller's probe is conducted under the auspices of the Justice Department and is governed by its regulations.
The special counsel's obligations at the conclusion of his work are to provide a "confidential report" to Attorney General Bill Barr explaining his prosecutorial decisions.
Mr Barr must then provide the top members of the Senate and House Judiciary committees with a brief explanation of any actions taken - or instances where he overruled the special counsel's proposed action.
It is up to the attorney general to decide whether it would be in the "public interest" to make any of these reports or communications accessible to the rest of us.

What will Bill Barr do?

This is the million-dollar question.
In his testimony during his January Senate confirmation hearings, Mr Barr was repeatedly pressed by Democrats to promise he would make public any findings or reports produced by the Mueller investigation. He demurred.
Now, in his just-released letter to senior members of Congress, the attorney general seems eager to tell us more.
"I am reviewing the report and anticipate that I may be in a position to advise you of the Special Counsel's principal conclusions as soon as this weekend," he writes.
Traditionally the Justice Department has been reluctant to provide information about investigations that do not lead to criminal prosecution. That was a guideline notably violated by former FBI Director James Comey during his July 2016 press statement outlining the results of a federal investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while she was Barack Obama's secretary of state.
It would be ironic, to say the least, if the resulting political fallout from Mr Comey's decision - which Ms Clinton's campaign believes dealt a mortal wound - is used by Mr Barr to defend a decision to keep confidential damaging details of the Mueller investigation involving Donald Trump.
His letter concludes: "I remain committed to as much transparency as possible, and I will keep you informed as to the status of my review."
So we may not know everything?
It's certainly a possibility. Or if we do learn something, it could take a while to render it into a form for public consumption (or, given the way things work in Washington, to leak).
Imagine the scene in Washington, as the political world learns Mr Mueller has provided his findings to Mr Barr and then waits - for hours, days - to learn what, if anything, will come of it.
There is another possibility, however.
Up until now, Mr Mueller has spoken through his court filings, which are rich in detail and new revelations. While Mr Mueller's report to the attorney general will be confidential, it may not be his final word at the conclusion of his investigations.
There may be more indictments to come.
Over the course of the last 21 months, Mr Mueller - in his prosecutorial documents - has explained how Russian agents and operatives allegedly gathered information about the US political process, initiated a social media campaign to influence and enflame American political views, funded on-the-ground political activities, and hacked the emails and files of top Democratic operatives in an effort to damage Mrs Clinton's presidential campaign.
He has prosecuted multiple members of the president's inner campaign circle for a variety of misdeeds, including obstruction of justice and lying about Russian contacts.
He helped strike a deal with Mr Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, which unearthed evidence of Trump business negotiations with Russian officials conducted in the heat of the 2016 presidential campaign.
He indicted a Trump confidant, Roger Stone, for lying about his contacts with Wikileaks, the organisation he says was the conduit through which Russia injected its purloined material into the American political bloodstream.
The special counsel could be building a prosecutorial path that leads to the White House, with the final stones about to be set. Court-watchers note multiple sealed indictments have been filed in the federal courts used by Mr Mueller's team over the past few months. Those could be political and legal bombs, with their fuses lit.
Or they could be duds.

That's it, then?

Hardly. Even if the Mueller investigation closes up shop and there is no "report", there are no new indictments and the attorney general's public pronouncements provide few details, it's not the end of the story.
There are a number of cases initiated by the special counsel - involving Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and deputy campaign aide Rick Gates - that still await final sentencing.
Former campaign chairman Paul Manafort has been jailed for fraud and for conspiracy related to illegal lobbying.
Long-time Trump adviser Mr Stone has yet to go to trial on his charges of lying to Congress, witness tampering and obstruction of justice. Mr Mueller has handed this prosecution over to government lawyers. There's also a special counsel case against Concord Management and Consulting, which Mr Mueller has charged with assisting Russia's 2016 social media election-meddling campaign.
Meanwhile there's a plethora of other ongoing investigations that are being run independently of the special counsel's office. Federal investigators in New York are looking into possible election-law violations by the Trump campaign and his businesses and misconduct by the Trump inaugural committee.
The US attorneys in Washington and Virginia also have their hands full, with the espionage case involving Russian Maria Butina and an unregistered foreign lobbying prosecution of Mr Flynn's business associates.
There are also state-level investigations of Mr Trump's charitable foundation and Trump Organization tax filings, as well as an ongoing lawsuit by Maryland and the District of Columbia alleging that the president, through his business dealings, is violating a constitutional rule prohibiting the acceptance of money from foreign governments while in office.
Mr Mueller may exit the stage, but the drama will continue.
Read the whole story

· · · · · ·

kushner - Google Search

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Story image for kushner from New York Times

Kushner Is an NBA Owner

New York Times-12 hours ago
Joshua Kushner, the venture capitalist whose older brother is President Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, became a minority shareholder ...
Joshua Kushner and Brandon Arrindell purchase shares of Grizzlies
Local Source-The Daily Memphian (press release)-13 hours ago
Story image for kushner from BBC News

Jared Kushner 'used WhatsApp for official duties', top Democrat says

BBC News-14 hours ago
Jared Kushner, White House senior advisor and President Trump's son-in-law, used WhatsApp for official business, a top Democrat says. Democrat Elijah ...
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Trump's son-in-law Kushner cooperating with U.S. House probe: source | News | 1450 99.7 WHTC

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Trump's son-in-law Kushner cooperating with U.S. House probe: source

By David Morgan and Mark Hosenball
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner is cooperating with a wide-ranging probe by the U.S. House Judiciary Committee into Trump and possible obstruction of justice and abuse of power, a person knowledgeable about the matter said on Friday.
Just hours earlier, a lawyer for Trump adviser Roger Stone said in a letter seen by Reuters that Stone was not cooperating with the same committee and cited his right to avoid self-incrimination under the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
The contrasting responses to Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler's probe targeting 81 individuals and groups came on the same day the Justice Department announced the completion of a report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into Trump and Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. [nL1N2191QR]
As a cloud of legal risk darkened over Trump, he was spending the weekend at his private club Mar-a-Lago in Florida.
Kushner submitted documents to Nadler's panel on Thursday in response to a wave of document requests sent by the committee on March 4, the knowledgeable person said.
Kushner's attorney Abbe Lowell, who received the committee's document request, was not immediately available for comment.
Democrats in the House of Representatives have launched numerous inquiries into Trump, his presidency, his family and his business interests. The Mueller investigation has been focused on the election and whether Trump's campaign colluded with Moscow in its effort to sway U.S. voters in Trump's favor.
Although Mueller's report is finished, its contents were not yet known late on Friday. Details were expected soon.
Russia has denied U.S. intelligence agencies' findings that the Kremlin interfered in the 2016 campaign. Trump has denied any collusion and dismissed Mueller's probe as a "witch hunt."
Among the Judiciary Committee's aims are determining if Trump obstructed justice by ousting perceived enemies at the Justice Department and abused his power by possibly offering pardons or tampering with witnesses.
It was not clear how much material Kushner provided to the committee. But investigators sought documents from him on more than two dozen topics. Those topics ranged from a June 9, 2016, Trump Tower meeting with a Russian lawyer who claimed to have damaging information about Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to any Trump transition team contacts with Russia.
Stone's lawyer Grant Smith said in the letter to Nadler that Stone faces federal criminal charges and that it "is not in Mr. Stone's best interest" to participate in any other proceedings.
Stone was arrested in January and charged with lying to Congress about the 2016 Trump campaign's efforts to use stolen emails to undercut Clinton. Stone declared himself innocent hours after a team of FBI agents raided his home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. [nL1N2110RA]
Smith called Nadler's demand for documents a "fishing expedition request." Stone, who is under a gag order from the judge hearing his criminal case, had no comment.
(Reporting by David Morgan and Mark Hosenball, Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and Rosalba O'Brien)
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Mozart - Symphony No. 40 in G Minor KV 550 (Berlin Philharmonic / von Karajan) - YouTube

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Mozart - Symphony No. 40 in G Minor KV 550 (Berlin Philharmonic / von Karajan)

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Symphony 40 & 41(1 Hour Classical Music) [Full Recording HQ] - YouTube

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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Symphony 40 & 41(1 Hour Classical Music) [Full Recording HQ]

Shostakovich - Piano Concerto No. 2: II. Andante - YouTube

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Shostakovich - Piano Concerto No. 2: II. Andante

Adam Schiff vows to subpoena Mueller if necessary 

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From: CNN
Duration: 08:55

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) says that he will subpoena special counsel Robert Mueller if the full details of the report into Russian interference in the 2016 election are not made public.
#Schiff #Mueller #CNN #News

WATCH: It's 'imperative' that Barr make the full Mueller report public, Sen. Schumer says 

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From: PBSNewsHour
Duration: 03:00

Shortly after the Justice Department confirmed that special counsel Robert Mueller delivered his final report on the Russia probe, Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer said it was now "imperative" that Attorney General William Barr make it available to the public.
"Attorney General Barr shall not give President Trump, his lawyers or his staff any sneak preview of special counsel Mueller's findings or evidence. And the White House must not be allowed to interfere in decisions about what parts of those findings or evidence should be made public."
Schumer said the "American people have a right to the truth."
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Page 3

Schumer issues warning to Barr about Mueller report 

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From: CNN
Duration: 05:18

Senate Minority leader Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) called on Attorney General William Barr to make the full Robert Mueller report on the Russian interference in the 2016 election to be made public and urged no "sneak peeks" for President Donald Trump.
#Schumer #Mueller #CNN #News

WATCH LIVE: PBS NewsHour Mueller Report update

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From: PBSNewsHour
Duration: 00:00

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Robert Mueller's final report delivered to DOJ and attorney general 

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From: ABC News
Duration: 04:47

The contents of the special counsel report, nearly two years in the making, are a tightly guarded secret, but Mueller has recommended no further indictments.

Attorney general's first summary of special counsel report expected soon 

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From: ABC News
Duration: 06:05

For 22 months, the special counsel has let his indictments and court filings speak for themselves with 34 people charged and seven people pleading guilty.

How the Mueller report represents the beginning of ‘a new phase’ 

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From: PBSNewsHour
Duration: 06:58

There are early indications that the Mueller report does not recommend any further indictments beyond those brought during the nearly two-year investigation. If true, does that mean President Trump is cleared of wrongdoing? Judy Woodruff talks to former federal prosecutor Amy Jeffress and former Justice Department official John Carlin about the “fact-gathering” nature of the investigation.
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Mueller submits final report to Department of Justice

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From: CBSNewsOnline
Duration: 29:02

Special Counsel Robert Mueller delivered his report on the Russia investigation to the Department of Justice. Attorney General William Barr will determine how much to release to the public. CBS News' Jeff Glor anchors Special Report coverage.
Next Page of Stories
Page 4

Are They Out Of The Woods Yet? | Deadline | MSNBC

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From: msnbcleanforward
Duration: 08:57

Former assistant director of the FBI Frank Figliuzzi, former US attorney Chuck Rosenberg, former DOJ spox Matt Miller and former CIA Director John Brennan on the many tentacles of Mueller’s investigation that will kick into high gear once the final report is filed.
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Are They Out Of The Woods Yet? | Deadline | MSNBC

Will the Mueller report be made public? - YouTube

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Will the Mueller report be made public?

Mueller Russia Probe Ends, More Inquiries Around Trump

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Signed in as Michael_Novakhov
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What We Know About The Mueller Report So Far

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The special counsel has already uncovered what historians consider the worst scandal in American history, with 37 indictments and 7 guilty pleas from the President’s closest associates. President Trump has also engaged in an unprecedented cover-up that continues to this day as he desperately dangles pardons for Paul Manafort and Roger Stone to prevent their cooperation. The fact that Russian President Putin almost certainly knows the facts that Trump has been trying to keep hidden is itself enough to compromise our national security, and to raise the alarm bells that Trump’s groveling to Putin and pro-Putin foreign policy are the result.
The Special Counsel investigation has uncovered an extensive and incredibly effective Russian election interference campaign to elect Donald Trump – which his campaign aided and abetted.
  • Russia’s campaign to elect Donald Trump was a multimillion-dollar, sophisticated, multifaceted campaign directed by the Kremlin.  And Trump’s campaign was in constant in constant contact with this Russian campaign, with at least 28 meetings and more than 100 contacts between Trump officials and Kremlin-linked figures.
  • Russia had multiple lines of communication with the Trump campaign and deployed intelligence assets to target conservative candidates and causes, including:
    • Joseph Mifsud, a Maltese professor who told the Trump campaign that Clinton’s emails had been hacked.
    • Konstantin Kilimnik, Paul Manafort’s longtime associate with ties to Russian intelligence. Kilimnik and Manafort remained in contact during the campaign, and Manafort allegedly passed polling data to Kilimnik in August 2016.
    • Maria Butina, who targeted the NRA and key GOP leaders ahead of the campaign.
  • At the June 9 Trump Tower meeting, high-ranking members of the Trump campaign sought to get the “dirt” Russia had on Clinton.
  • Russian military intelligence officers engaged in a year-long hacking campaign against Trump’s opponents. This wasn’t just an attack on Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, this was a widespread effort that targeted over 60 opponents of Trump — that we know of.
    • Russian intelligence offers hacked into DNC servers to access their analytics, field research, donor lists, and internal emails.
    • Through the Internet Research Agency (IRA), Russia had a digital team the size of a modern presidential campaign, with a multi-million dollar budget. They bought online ads, organized political rallies, and spread false and divisive information online – all to influence election coverage and boost Trump.
  • As Russia was attacking the U.S., Trump encouraged and defended this effort at every opportunity. He even publicly encouraged Russia to continue looking for Clinton’s emails. His campaign also coordinated with Wikileaks, a Russian intelligence cutout.
  • Since taking office, Trump has downplayed the Russian attack on our democracy at every turn.
    • He’s repeatedly attacked the intelligence community and the DOJ, calling investigations into his campaign and transition a “witch hunt”.
    • He’s done nothing to respond to foreign election interference. His administration has gutted task forces dedicated to securing U.S. elections, and Trump has implemented policies that benefit the Kremlin at every opportunity.
If DOJ does not indict Trump, it would not be surprising but would also not exonerate him.
  • DOJ policy has been not to indict a sitting president, so if Trump is not indicted, it would not be surprising.
  • This would not mean Trump is innocent, or blameless, simply that DOJ is following its long-standing policy.
  • It is also DOJ policy to not speak disparagingly about individuals not charged with any crimes, therefore it would be unsurprising if Trump is not mentioned, given DOJ policy of not indicting sitting presidents.
Even if the criminal investigation is complete, there was also a counterintelligence investigation that was handed off to the Special Counsel by the FBI.
  • In the letter empowering the Special Counsel office, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, handed over the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation into Trump.
  • Counterintelligence investigations often do not result in arrests or indictments. Unlike criminal investigations, the goal of a counterintelligence investigation is not to bring about criminal indictments, but rather to thwart the intelligence activities of hostile foreign adversaries. Arrests are a tool, but only one among a broad catalogue.
  • Trump’s campaign worked with Russia, and Russia knew about it, so we already know that the President of the United States has been compromised by a hostile foreign power. This is an ongoing national security crisis.
Read the whole story

· · ·

11 looming questions now that Mueller's investigation is over

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Special counsel Robert Mueller has finished his investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and turned over his final report to Attorney General William Barr.
In a letter to lawmakers Friday afternoon, Barr said he might be ready to share Mueller’s “principal conclusions” with Congress “as soon as this weekend,” and a Justice Department official said that information may be made public. But it’s unclear how much of Mueller’s full work the public will see — or when it will be released.
Here are the looming questions:

Was there a conspiracy to collude?

In the court of public opinion, this is the ball game. Prosecutors crafted a mosaic of how collusion could have played out. But if Mueller stops short of producing a smoking gun, President Donald Trump is sure to declare all-out victory and claim total vindication.
Of course, the reality is more nuanced. Court filings and news reports have already established that senior Trump associates were eager to accept assistance from, or share sensitive election data with, the Russians. It’s the second half of the equation that is still shrouded in mystery.
Mueller’s team has left a trail of breadcrumbs suggesting that if there was collusion with the Russians, then Trump’s campaign chairman Paul Manafort may have played a key role. Trump and Manafort deny any collusion, and in dozens of public filings, Mueller never produced any evidence implicating them in collusion. But prosecutors repeatedly alleged that Manafort worked for free, was desperate for cash, and tried to monetize his position with influential oligarchs.
In addition, Mueller laid out how Trump acolyte Roger Stone sought information from WikiLeaks with prodding from Trump’s campaign, as to when the website would release politically damaging documents. Those documents were stolen by Russian government hackers. But Mueller never accused Stone of directly working in cahoots with WikiLeaks or the Russians.
Trump’s ex-attorney Michael Cohen recently testified on Capitol Hill that he witnessed Stone and Trump discussing WikiLeaks in summer 2016. During a gripping daylong hearing, Cohen also described how he and Trump pursued a massive business deal with a Russian company during the campaign. Mueller’s team has suggested that this could be a motive for collusion, outlining in court filings how the deal would have enriched Trump with Russian help.
If there was collusion, and it rose to the level of criminality, it’s safe to assume that Mueller would have brought indictments. The Russia investigation is now over, and nobody in Trump’s orbit was charged with conspiring with the Russian government. A Justice Department official told CNN on Friday that no additional indictments are coming from the Mueller investigation.
But Mueller could have also found things resembling collusion that aren’t prosecutable. Federal rules require Mueller to provide the attorney general with a report explaining why he did not bring charges against people who were under investigation. It’s up to Barr to decide how much should become public, but hopefully the report gives a definitive answer to the question of collusion.

Why didn’t Mueller interview Trump in person?

Another element of the unfolding Russia drama was the on-again, off-again dance between Mueller’s team and Trump’s lawyers regarding the President’s testimony. Trump provided Mueller with written responses about his 2016 campaign, but nothing that happened after Election Day, viewing the transition and his time in office as subject to executive privilege.
With the investigation over, it appears that Trump’s lawyers succeeded in staving off an in-person interview.
Trump’s lawyers knew their client regularly strays from the truth and sometimes flat-out lies. So, preventing an interview was tantamount to preventing perjury.
Mueller could have subpoenaed Trump, though this would have carried risks of its own, like a lengthy court battle ending with a ruling in Trump’s favor. Mueller might have found ways to get what he needed from other witnesses. Or perhaps he was ultimately swayed by Trump’s lawyers that they cooperated so extensively that a sit-down interview wouldn’t add much value.
If Mueller was deterred by the Justice Department from seeking a subpoena, a notification must go to Congress. Special counsel regulations require the attorney general to inform Congress if any prosecutorial steps were prevented from going forward. That is something to look for.

What will the public see of Mueller’s report?

During his confirmation hearing in January, Barr pledged to “provide as much transparency as I can” when it comes to the Russia investigation. His comments satisfied Republicans, who control the Senate and confirmed him with ease to lead the Justice Department.
But Barr left plenty of wiggle room in his testimony, and there isn’t anything in the special counsel regulations that requires Barr to release the full report to the public. Democrats have drawn a line in the sand, demanding more promises from Barr and total transparency.
There is no indication that Barr is in the mood to cave to Democratic complaints. But his hands could be tied if Democrats subpoena the report or invite Mueller for a public hearing. A potential lawsuit by House Democrats could trigger lengthy court battles around the report. California Rep. Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, recently said all these options are on the table. In this respect, the “end” is only the beginning.

Were there even more contacts with Russians?

After the election, Trump’s team maintained that there were zero contacts between the campaign and Russians. It didn’t take long for this story to completely fall apart. Since then, at least 16 Trump associates have been identified as having contacts with Russians during the campaign or transition. There were dozens and dozens of Trump-Russia contacts.
That list of 16 includes senior people from Trump’s campaign, senior Trump administration officials, members of Trump’s family, and people who were part of Trump’s trusted inner circle.
Stunningly, we’re still learning about some of these contacts. It was only a few weeks ago when we learned that Manafort shared internal campaign polls with one of his Russian associates, Konstantin Kilimnik, who is suspected by the FBI of having active ties to Russian intelligence.
The lie of “no contacts” was debunked a long time ago. Perhaps there are even more contacts between Trump-world and Russia that will be revealed for the first time in Mueller’s report.

Did Trump or anyone else obstruct justice?

The saying goes, “the cover-up is worse than the crime.” That could be true once more.
Obstruction can be a lot of things. Already, members of Trump’s inner circle pleaded guilty to witness tampering, lying to the FBI and misleading congressional investigators. Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to Congress and testified to lawmakers that he did so at Trump’s direction, though Trump didn’t explicitly use those words. Prosecutors say these actions by Cohen and former Trump campaign aides impeded the Russia investigation time and time again.
Many of Trump’s detractors already think he is guilty of obstruction. They point to his firing of FBI Director James Comey, his role in misleading the public about the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting, attempts to remove Mueller from his post, relentless public attacks against witnesses, and more.
Whether this meets the legal threshold of obstruction is up to Mueller. But even then, Justice Department rules say a sitting president cannot be indicted. And unlike independent counsel Ken Starr’s investigation of President Bill Clinton in the 1990s, it isn’t Mueller’s job to tee up impeachment in Congress.
House Democrats, however, are ready to pick up where Mueller leaves off. The Democratic chair of the House Judiciary Committee said recently he believes it’s already “very clear” that Trump obstructed justice.

Are there more big lies that will be exposed?

Lies are a major theme of this two-year saga. Time after time, Trump and his allies have changed their stories, spread false information or been forced to disavow past comments. Six Trump associates have been accused by Mueller’s team of lying about their Russian ties.
Regardless of the legal implications, Mueller might have uncovered more lies as he interviewed dozens of witnesses. And it’s possible some of those revelations could be in his final report.
For instance, even some of the most stalwart Trump supporters have cast doubt on Donald Trump Jr.’s testimony that he never told his father about the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting. And Cohen publicly testified that he witnessed a June 2016 conversation between Trump and Trump Jr. that he believes was about the Trump Tower meeting.
Others found it hard to believe that Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos didn’t tell anyone on the campaign that he was tipped off about the Russians having damaging Hillary Clinton emails. (Papadopoulos has told CNN he “can’t guarantee” that it never came up.)
Then there was the controversial move by Trump campaign staff to block language in the Republican party platform at their 2016 convention about arming Ukraine to counter Russia. At the time, Manafort and Trump denied any involvement, despite Manafort’s extensive ties to Ukrainian interests. Since then, Mueller asked witness about this situation, and reportedly wanted to ask Trump about it too.

Was Trump deemed a counterintelligence threat?

Beyond the criminal probe, investigators at the FBI looked into the possibility that Trump was working for the Russians. Details of this investigation were publicly confirmed this week by former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who opened the investigation in May 2017.
McCabe said in interviews that the counterintelligence investigation was spurred by Trump’s bizarre public statements and comments — not some damning classified information. But once the probe was opened, the FBI could use a wide array of tools to investigate the President.
The FBI general counsel at the time, James Baker, told Congress it was not a clear-cut suspicion. He said FBI officials considered the whole range of possibilities, from Trump “acting at the behest of and somehow following directions, somehow executing their will” to the possibility of Trump being totally innocent. Either way, Baker said, it needed to be investigated.
Still, analysts have noted that it would be strange for investigators to deem Trump a national security threat, but then sit on that information for months while Mueller continued his work.
Republicans have been extremely critical of McCabe and regularly accuse the FBI and Justice Department of anti-Trump bias. The report could thoroughly explain why McCabe and others took this drastic step and describe the safeguards that were in place to ensure a fair investigation.

How much of the dossier could Mueller confirm?

It’s impossible to discuss the Russia probe without bringing up “the dossier,” the infamous memos written in 2016 by retired British spy Christopher Steele. The reports, which he said contained raw intelligence from trusted sources, alleged a widespread conspiracy of collusion.
The most salacious elements of the dossier are unproven, yet many of the allegations contained in the memos have held up over time, or at least proven partially true. The memos accurately described Russia meddling and said Trump’s campaign was hiding contacts with Russians and that the Kremlin was involved in potential real estate deals for the Trump Organization.
Mueller’s team met with Steele in summer 2017, and CNN previously reported on efforts by the FBI to assess the intelligence memos. But it’s unclear whether Mueller felt compelled to include a full accounting of the dossier in his final report. A lot of that work likely came from highly classified sources and clandestine surveillance that US intelligence agencies want to keep secret.

What did Mueller find when he crossed Trump’s “red line?”

Trump famously declared in a July 2017 interview with The New York Times that Mueller would be crossing a “red line” if he investigated Trump’s personal finances and his family’s business.
Mueller blew past Trump’s rhetorical line. He scrutinized potential efforts by Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner to mix his business interests with his government role. And he handed off the wide-ranging Cohen investigation to federal prosecutors in Manhattan. That case put the Trump Organization squarely in the crosshairs of federal investigators.
That is some of what we know. We also know that Mueller never indicted any members of Trump’s family — the closest he got to Trump’s innermost circle was Cohen. But there might be things we don’t know.
It would not have been difficult for Mueller to obtain Trump’s tax returns from the Internal Revenue Service. Trump has worked hard to keep his taxes out of public view — perhaps Mueller’s report will change that. If not, the onus will fall on eager House Democrats.

Will Mueller knock down left-wing conspiracies?

A cottage industry of left-wing conspiracy theorists blossomed in the Mueller Era.
Anti-Trump conspiracy sites started popping up in 2017, rivaling right-wing counterparts like Infowars. Academics with little to no insight into the Mueller investigation have breathlessly posted Trump-Russia theories, creating viral Twitter threads that were barely tethered to reality.
On a few occasions, these uninformed influencers spread word of Trump’s imminent arrest, explosive surveillance wiretaps, or that dozens of new indictments were approved against Trump’s family. Obviously, none of it was true.
Mueller is required to explain why he brought charges against some people and why he didn’t prosecute others. He doesn’t need to delve into these dark corners of the Internet. But if he doesn’t knock down any of these conspiracies, they’ll continue bouncing around forever.

How many related investigations are still active?

Mueller’s work gave birth to an entire ecosystem of related investigations. Some of those investigations are over, others are underway, and others might still be unknown to the public.
Prosecutors in Manhattan picked up the mantle on the Cohen case, and he’s heading to prison this spring for a three-year stint. Prosecutors there are also weighing charges in a foreign lobbying probe against Manafort associate Greg Craig, who once served as White House counsel under President Barack Obama.
Michael Flynn, Trump’s short-lived national security adviser, cut a deal with Mueller and provided evidence against one of his former lobbying partners. Bijan Kian was charged with illegally lobbying for Turkey and is set to go on trial this summer. He pleaded not guilty.
Other key players — like Manafort’s longtime deputy Rick Gates and influential DC lobbyist Sam Patten — have been cooperating with Mueller for a while. Gates was a senior official on Trump’s inaugural committee, which is now under scrutiny by federal investigators in Manhattan.
The same US attorney’s office in Manhattan is separately seeking to talk to executives from the Trump Organization, though the reason for those interviews has yet to be disclosed.
Prosecutors say Gates, Patten, Cohen and Flynn have been helpful beyond the special counsel investigations. But redactions have kept the details secret. Mueller’s team worked closely with prosecutors who will remain at the Justice Department and can continue pursuing these cases.
Additionally, Mueller has aggressively pursued evidence from an unnamed company that is owned by a foreign country. The battle over that subpoena has gone all the way to the Supreme Court. Now that the investigation is over, will they continue fighting? And what does it mean that Mueller was able to wrap up without getting any evidence from this mystery company?
Mueller’s investigation was never just about Russia. There was an entire component that looked at how Middle East countries potentially tried to improperly influence Trump’s team, perhaps through emissaries like Blackwater founder Erik Prince. Mueller didn’t bring any charges from that swath of the probe, though parts could have been handed off to other investigators.
Read the whole story

· · · · · · · · · · ·

Mueller completes the Russia probe report - YouTube

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Mueller completes the Russia probe report

Trump Overrules Own Experts on Sanctions, in Favor to North Korea - Google Search

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Trump Overrules Own Experts on Sanctions, in Favor to North Korea The New York Times - YouTube

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Trump Overrules Own Experts on Sanctions, in Favor to North Korea The New York Times

trump korea sanctions - Google Search

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trump korea sanctions - Google Search

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Story image for trump korea sanctions from Asia Times

Trump cancels extra North Korea sanctions

Asia Times-3 hours ago
US President Donald Trump has cancelled additional 'large-scale' sanctions to tighten international pressure on North KoreaTrump tweeted ...
Story image for trump korea sanctions from New York Times

Administration Imposes North Korea Sanctions Amid Stalled Talks

New York Times-21 hours ago
WASHINGTON — The Trump administration on Thursday ratcheted up pressure on North Korea, imposing new sanctions on two Chinese ...
Story image for trump korea sanctions from Wall Street Journal

Trump Blocks Large-Scale Sanctions Planned Against North Korea

Wall Street Journal-15 hours ago
President Trump said he wouldn't move forward with a round of large-scale sanctions against North Korea on Friday, catching senior officials in ...
Story image for trump korea sanctions from Washington Examiner

Weekly Trump Report Card: Korea sanctions, Mueller, oh my

Washington Examiner-5 hours ago
Trump, in Florida, is also coming off a week during which he muddled his sanctions war on North Koreaand engaged in a weird Twitter fight ...
Story image for trump korea sanctions from MSNBC

John Brennan on reversing North Korea sanctions: President Trump ...

MSNBC-17 hours ago
In a tweet, President Trump orders the US Treasury Departments newly announced North Korea-related sanctions to be rescinded as the White ...
Story image for trump korea sanctions from New York Times

Mueller Report, North Korea Sanctions, NCAA: Your Friday Evening ...

New York Times-16 hours ago
The sanctions came weeks after a summit meeting between Mr. Trump and Kim Jong-un, North Korea's leader, collapsed without a nuclear ...
Story image for trump korea sanctions from Yahoo News

Trump halts new North Korea sanctions despite lack of progress in ...

Yahoo News-19 hours ago
President Trump announced Friday that he was reversing a decision by the Treasury Department to impose new sanctions on North Korea, ...
Story image for trump korea sanctions from Reuters

Trump decides against more North Korea sanctions at this time: source

Reuters-15 hours ago
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday said he has decided against imposing new large-scale sanctions ...
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Trump Overrules Own Experts on Sanctions, in Favor to North Korea - Google Search

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