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Spicer on Trump and Russia: 'There's nothing there'

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The White House suggested Monday that there’s no need for a special prosecutor to lead an investigation into possible contact between President Donald Trump’s associates and Russian officials, insisting “there’s nothing there.”

White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters Monday that House and Senate panels and the intelligence community have already looked into Russia’s interference during the presidential election.

“I think that Russia’s involvement and activity has been investigated up and down,” Spicer said. “So the question becomes at some point: If there’s nothing further to investigate, what are you asking people to investigate?”

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) last week called for a special prosecutor to oversee an investigation into alleged contacts between Trump associates and Russian officials, questioning Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ impartiality, given that the former Alabama senator was a prominent and early backer of Trump’s White House bid.


On Monday, Spicer cited House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes’ (R-Calif.) comments to the media. Nunes told reporters he has seen no evidence of alleged contacts and cautioned against going on what he called “a witch hunt.”

“Chairman Nunes spoke very clearly today when asked over and over and over again about all of this and said that he has seen nothing that leads him to believe that there’s there,” Spicer said. “The president has spoken forcefully time and time again, that he has no interest in Russia, he hasn’t talked to people in Russia in years, and yet you keep asking — and I say ‘you’ collectively — to try to find something that’s seemingly, at least the reporting that I’m seeing in different organizations, suggests that there’s nothing new that’s being reported. It’s the same stuff over and over again that we’ve heard for literally six months. And so the question becomes at some point: What do you need to further investigate if there is nothing that has come out?”


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mikenova
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Trump seeks 'historic' increase of 9 percent in U.S. military's budget

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump is seeking what he called a "historic" increase in military spending of more than 9 percent, a huge rise even as the United States has wound down major wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and remains the world's strongest military power.
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Washington Free Beacon: Charles Hurt: Obama Would ‘Routinely’ Keep Reporters Out of Gaggles

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Washington Times editor Charles Hurt said Sunday on "Fox & Friends" that President Obama would "routinely" kick reporters out of press gaggles.

"I remember a column that I wrote in 2008 that got me kicked off the President Obama's campaign plane," Hurt said. "We would routinely get kept out of those gaggles in the White House. It was not a big deal."

"I will tell you, the New York Times never mounted the ramparts to defend the First Amendment when that happened," hurt continued. "They only time that they care about the First Amendment is suddenly when they get left out of something like this. It really is sort of obnoxious."

Hurt went on to say that the First Amendment applies to both the press and political figures.

"Places like the New York Times seem to forget that and think that it only applies to the New York Times," he said.

Several major publications like Politico, CNN, and the New York Times were left out of an unofficial press gathering at the White House on Friday, angering some in the media.

The post Charles Hurt: Obama Would ‘Routinely’ Keep Reporters Out of Gaggles appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.



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Pentagon Spokesman Discusses ISIS Preliminary Plan, Budget Amendment

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Defense Secretary Jim Mattis will present a preliminary version of the Pentagon’s new plan to rapidly defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria during a meeting of the White House Principals Committee.



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Trump fails to unify as he sticks to campaign mode

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US president has replaced Oval Office decorum with his pugnacious brand of politics
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Pentagon Sends Trump Plan to Defeat Islamic State, Other Extremist Groups

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The Pentagon says it has sent the White House a preliminary plan to defeat Islamic State extremists in Iraq and Syria, and says Defense Secretary Jim Mattis will brief senior administration officials on the draft later Monday. Pentagon spokesman Jeff Davis described the document as a framework for a broader plan aimed at countering the extremist group beyond Syria and Iraq, where Islamic State is seeking to establish a religious state. Davis did not provide details.   But Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Joseph Dunford said last week the strategy will also target al-Qaida and other extremist groups in the Middle East and elsewhere.  He also emphasized that the plan would reach beyond military force, calling it a “political-military plan.” Dunford said U.S. estimates show Islamic State has drawn about 45,000 recruits from more than 100 nations. “Our plan, to be successful, needs to, number one, cut the connective tissue between regional groups that now form a trans-regional threat,” he said. “What we don't want to do is bring [President Trump] options that solve one problem only to create a second problem,” he said.

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