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Trump Calls On Jeff Sessions To Stop Mueller Investigation

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Trump’s tweet raging at his attorney general likely becomes part of the special counsel’s probe into whether the president obstructed justice.

President Donald Trump on Wednesday said Attorney General Jeff Sessions “should stop this rigged witch hunt,” heightening his attacks on the special counsel’s investigation into whether his campaign colluded with Russia in the 2016 presidential election and whether he obstructed justice.

The tweet will likely become part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe. Investigators have been looking at Trump’s Twitter rants to determine whether they’re part of an attempt to obstruct justice, The New York Times reported last week.

Sessions recused himself from matters involving the investigation last year, after he lied about his meetings with Russian officials while an adviser to Trump’s campaign. His deputy later appointed Mueller as special counsel to pursue the probe.

Since then, Trump has frequently raged at Sessions. He has suggested the attorney general should not have recused himself and has lamented naming Sessions to the Cabinet post.

Trump’s new tweet tirade came as the public gets a deeper view of Mueller’s investigation. A trial began Tuesday for former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who has been charged with money laundering and fraud related to his work as a pro-Russia lobbyist in Ukraine.

Trump, who has repeatedly tried to distance himself from Manafort by citing his “short time” with the 2016 campaign, claimed Wednesday that the trial had “nothing to do with Collusion” and again referred to Mueller’s investigation as “a Hoax.”

Trump and his supporters in Congress and the conservative media have regularly attacked Sessions and other top law enforcement and intelligence officials as part of an effort to undermine and discredit Mueller’s investigation.

Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s attorney, later downplayed the tweet and insisted the president had been sharing “his opinion” rather than giving an order.

“The President was expressing his opinion on his favored medium for asserting his First Amendment right of free speech. He said ‘should’ not ‘must’ and no Presidential order was issued or will be,” Giuliani said in a statement to reporters.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders offered the same defense.

“It’s not an order. It’s the president’s opinion,” she told reporters Wednesday at the White House press briefing.

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https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trump-sessions-russia-investigation_us_5b61b5dce4b0b15aba9e9f2e

Trump just got another trade-war win

Score another victory for President Trump.

The U.S. and Europe recently agreed to work through their differences on trade policy, which has long been tilted against working Americans.

Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker decided to hold off on any further tariffs while trade negotiations were ongoing. Even better, the two sides agreed to begin discussions on eliminating the existing tariffs that continue to erect barriers to trade across the Atlantic Ocean. Moreover, Trump and the European leader moved to resolve the recent steel and aluminum tariffs imposed by the Trump administration, in addition to the European Union’s retaliatory tariffs imposed shortly thereafter.

Even that’s not all: On behalf of the EU, Juncker agreed to buy more natural gas and soybeans from the United States. American workers in those industries can now rejoice, knowing that Trump has their back — and Europe will follow suit.

Don’t just take my word for it. Consider the reaction from American and European elected officials, many of whom doubted Trump’s negotiation skills, not to mention his insistence on free and fair trade.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, referred to the U.S.-Europe negotiations as an “important first step.” Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., described them as “helpful in regard to our concerns with China.” Juncker himself, a longtime Trump critic, summed it up best: “This was a good, constructive meeting.”

In a shocking twist, even the left-leaning mainstream media gave Trump credit where credit was due. One NPR headline read: “Trump Announces Trade Deal With European Commission That Will Lower U.S.-Europe Tension.” Vox's Alex Ward acknowledged “both leaders seem pleased with the deal,” conceding the trade negotiations “could’ve gone a lot worse.” By Vox's standards, that’s a ringing endorsement.

There’s a reason for the optimism. The EU’s decision to purchase more American products — from natural gas to soybeans — translates to more jobs, higher wages, and sustained economic growth.

Soybeans, for example, will be planted on 55 million acres by 2019. Soybeans already account for billions of dollars in American exports. The soybean industry adds tens of thousands of jobs to the U.S. economy, and increased European consumption will support many more. Europe’s concession is a shot in the arms of soybean farmers: hardworking Americans who can thank Trump for another trade win.

America’s victory transcends soybeans. The EU also agreed to buy more liquefied natural gas from the U.S., supporting 14 LNG infrastructure projects to increase Europe’s capacity by 15 billion cubic meters in the coming years. As LNG exports to Europe are poised to rise nearly 20 percent by 2040, U.S. natural gas producers will launch at least four new LNG export projects in the next two years.

This means jobs, jobs, and more energy jobs. It also spells trouble for Russia, which hopes to be Europe’s top natural gas supplier for decades to come. (So much for Trump’s supposed pro-Russia sympathies.)

The bottom line is this: The “America First” agenda is working. For weeks, the Trump administration’s imposition of new tariffs to counteract European-erected trade barriers elicited fearmongering of the highest order. “Trade war” rhetoric flooded the news cycle. Career politicians and economic “experts” bemoaned the lost jobs to come. The liberal media warnedof an “apocalypse.”

A few weeks later, the picture looks prettier. Trump won again, and the U.S. economy continues to roar. More importantly, European negotiators realize the 45th president will no longer accept unfair trade as the status quo. Trump won’t do business as usual if that business undermines American workers — and the people of Europe clearly know it.

The days of leadership from behind are over. America is winning again.

WASHINGTONEXAMINER.COM

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/op-eds/trump-just-got-another-trade-war-win

Ruth Bader Ginsburg: I want to stay on Supreme Court 'at least' 5 more years

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The justice compared her timeline to that of her former colleague, Justice John Paul Stevens, who retired at age 90.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg does not have plans to step down from the nation’s highest court anytime soon. 

During an event in New York City on Sunday, Ginsburg said she has “at least five more years” to serve on the Supreme Court, according to CNN. The justice spoke with director Molly Smith following a performance of “The Originalist,” an Off-Broadway show about her former colleague, Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February 2016.

“I’m now 85,” Ginsburg said, per CNN. “My senior colleague, Justice John Paul Stevens, he stepped down when he was 90, so think I have about at least five more years.”

Focus on Ginsburg’s plans came into sharp view last month when Justice Anthony Kennedy, often considered a swing vote on the increasingly conservative bench, announced his retirement. His departure after 30 years of service gave President Donald Trump the opportunity to nominate Brett Kavanaugh, a jurist who could further cement the court’s right-wing leanings and shape the bench for decades. According to Axios, Trump has privately predicted Ginsburg would be one of four judges he plans to replace during his first term in office. 

Republicans are seeking to confirm Kavanaugh before the midterm elections. Democrats are fighting for a lengthier confirmation process.

Last year, Trump nominated conservative judge Neil Gorsuch to fill Scalia’s vacant seat.

Ginsburg, a barrier-breaking liberal icon, is the focus of a documentary currently in theaters titled “RBG.” Though she differed ideologically from Scalia, one of the court’s most conservative judges, she enjoyed a close friendship with her former colleague. 

“I miss the challenges and the laughter he provoked, his pungent, eminently quotable opinions, so clearly stated that his words rarely slipped from the reader’s grasp,” Ginsburg said of Scalia a few months after his death. “The court is a paler place without him.”

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https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/ruth-bader-ginsburg-says-she-has-at-least-5-more-years-on-supreme-court_us_5b5e604ae4b0fd5c73d08a10

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