Iran’s foreign minister blames Trump’s advisors for ‘very dangerous moment’ in relations with the US

Thomas Kienzle | AFP via Getty ImagesMUNICH — Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called the deadly U.S. strike on Iran’s top military leader an “act of terror” and blamed President Donald Trump’s advisors. “This moment is a very dangerous moment because the United States has been misled. I believe President Trump, unfortunately, does not have good advisers,” Zarif told an audience Saturday during a discussion at the Munich Security Conference. “The United States conducts operations an


Thomas Kienzle | AFP via Getty ImagesMUNICH — Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called the deadly U.S. strike on Iran’s top military leader an “act of terror” and blamed President Donald Trump’s advisors.
“This moment is a very dangerous moment because the United States has been misled.
I believe President Trump, unfortunately, does not have good advisers,” Zarif told an audience Saturday during a discussion at the Munich Security Conference.
“The United States conducts operations an
Iran’s foreign minister blames Trump’s advisors for ‘very dangerous moment’ in relations with the US Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-02-17  Authors: amanda macias
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, dangerous, strike, tehran, foreign, advisors, moment, united, iran, soleimani, trumps, president, blames, trump, states, relations, minister, nuclear, zarif, irans


Iran's foreign minister blames Trump's advisors for 'very dangerous moment' in relations with the US

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif takes part in the panel discussion ‘A conversation with Iran’ during the 56th Munich Security Conference in Munich on February 15, 2020. Thomas Kienzle | AFP via Getty Images

MUNICH — Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called the deadly U.S. strike on Iran’s top military leader an “act of terror” and blamed President Donald Trump’s advisors. “This moment is a very dangerous moment because the United States has been misled. I believe President Trump, unfortunately, does not have good advisers,” Zarif told an audience Saturday during a discussion at the Munich Security Conference. “Unfortunately somebody else is trying to mimic John Bolton and promised the president that killing Soleimani would bring people to dance in the streets in Tehran and Baghdad. And that the continuation of maximum pressure would bring us to our knees before his reelection campaign,” he said, adding that none of it came to pass.

Iranian mourners gather during the final stage of funeral processions for slain top general Qasem Soleimani, in his hometown Kerman on January 7, 2020. Atta Kenare | AFP | Getty Images

“That was an act of terror,” he said of the Jan. 2 strike that killed Gen. Qasem Soleimani, a key military figure of Iranian and Middle East politics. “The United States conducts operations and wants to be immune from the consequences, that doesn’t happen,” he added. On the heels of the strike, Iran launched at least a dozen missiles from its territory on Jan. 7 at two military bases in Iraq that house U.S. troops and coalition forces. A day later from the White House, Trump said that Iran appeared “to be standing down” and warned Tehran to abandon its nuclear ambitions. “As long as I am president of the United States, Iran will never be allowed to have a nuclear weapon,” Trump said speaking from the grand foyer of the White House. But he suggested that the U.S. is open to negotiations with Tehran. “We must all work together toward making a deal with Iran that makes the world a safer and more peaceful place,” he said on Jan. 8. He then urged other world powers to break away from the Obama-era nuclear agreement with Iran and work out a new deal.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-02-17  Authors: amanda macias
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Pompeo says criticism of Trump’s ‘America First’ policy doesn’t ‘reflect reality’

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo adresses the audience on the podium during the 56th Munich Security Conference in Munich on February 15, 2020. MUNICH — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday defended the United States’ foreign policy approach and dismissed criticisms that the Trump administration disregards international alliances. The West is winning, and we’re winning together,” Pompeo said in a speech at the Munich Security Conference. “Our closest ally, the United States of America, un


US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo adresses the audience on the podium during the 56th Munich Security Conference in Munich on February 15, 2020.
MUNICH — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday defended the United States’ foreign policy approach and dismissed criticisms that the Trump administration disregards international alliances.
The West is winning, and we’re winning together,” Pompeo said in a speech at the Munich Security Conference.
“Our closest ally, the United States of America, un
Pompeo says criticism of Trump’s ‘America First’ policy doesn’t ‘reflect reality’ Cached Page below :
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Pompeo says criticism of Trump's 'America First' policy doesn't 'reflect reality'

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo adresses the audience on the podium during the 56th Munich Security Conference in Munich on February 15, 2020.

MUNICH — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday defended the United States’ foreign policy approach and dismissed criticisms that the Trump administration disregards international alliances.

“I’m happy to report that the death of the transatlantic alliance is grossly exaggerated. The West is winning, and we’re winning together,” Pompeo said in a speech at the Munich Security Conference.

Pompeo’s remarks come a day after German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier took an indirect swipe at President Donald Trump’s “America First” campaign and warned that the United States would prioritize its own interests first at the expense of allies.

“Our closest ally, the United States of America, under the current administration, rejects the very concept of the international community,” he said. “‘Great again’ but at the expense of neighbors and partners,” Steinmeier added without naming Trump but referring to his “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan.

“Thinking and acting this way hurts us all,” he said.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-02-15  Authors: amanda macias
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German president slams Trump’s ‘America First’ foreign policy in front of Pompeo and Esper

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier addresses the opening speech of the 56th Munich Security Conference in Munich, southern Germany, on February 14, 2020. “Our closest ally, the United States of America, under the current administration, rejects the very concept of the international community,” he said. In his opening remarks, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier warned that the United States would put its own interests first at the expense of allies. MUNICH — Germany’s president kicked


German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier addresses the opening speech of the 56th Munich Security Conference in Munich, southern Germany, on February 14, 2020.
“Our closest ally, the United States of America, under the current administration, rejects the very concept of the international community,” he said.
In his opening remarks, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier warned that the United States would put its own interests first at the expense of allies.
MUNICH — Germany’s president kicked
German president slams Trump’s ‘America First’ foreign policy in front of Pompeo and Esper Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-02-14  Authors: amanda macias
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, spending, president, paying, steinmeier, military, policy, munich, slams, trumps, foreign, america, security, trump, nato, esper, german, pompeo


German president slams Trump's 'America First' foreign policy in front of Pompeo and Esper

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier addresses the opening speech of the 56th Munich Security Conference in Munich, southern Germany, on February 14, 2020.

“Our closest ally, the United States of America, under the current administration, rejects the very concept of the international community,” he said. “‘Great again’ but at the expense of neighbors and partners,” Steinmeier added without naming Trump but referring to his “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan.

In his opening remarks, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier warned that the United States would put its own interests first at the expense of allies.

MUNICH — Germany’s president kicked off the annual Munich Security Conference on Friday by taking a swipe at President Donald Trump’s “America First” foreign policy approach.

“Thinking and acting this way hurts us all,” he said.

Listening to Steinmeier’s speech, delivered at the 56th Munich Security Conference, were Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Lindsey Graham and Rep. Adam Schiff along with other representatives, making it the largest U.S. delegation to attend the forum.

Read more: Nuclear weapons and 5G among national security topics at Munich Security Conference

Steinmeier also accused Russia and China of amplifying global insecurity in pursuit of “great power” competition.

“In this scenario, the security of one is the insecurity of others,” he said, adding that European leaders must create a unified policy to deal with increasing threats posed by Russia and China.

The former German foreign minister also placed emphasis on the importance of NATO, the world’s most powerful military alliance, which has been frequently dressed down by Trump.

In December, Trump reiterated at the NATO leaders meeting that too many members were still not paying enough and threatened to reduce U.S. military support if allies do not increase spending.

At the meeting in London, Trump singled out German Chancellor Angela Merkel for not meeting the 2% of GDP spending goal set in the 2014 NATO summit in Wales.

Read more: What each NATO country contributes financially to the world’s strongest military alliance

“So we’re paying 4[%] to 4.3% when Germany’s paying 1[%] to 1.2% at max 1.2% of a much smaller GDP. That’s not fair,” Trump said at the time.

Germany is only one of 19 NATO members that have not met the 2% GDP spending goal set at the 2014 summit.

Steinmeier said that while Germany should continue to raise its defense spending, it should not be “the be-all end-all for our security.”


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-02-14  Authors: amanda macias
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Attorney General Barr orders review of criminal case against former Trump aide Michael Flynn

President Donald Trump’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn leaves the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Attorney General William Barr has ordered a review by an outside prosecutor of the criminal case against President Donald Trump’s first national security advisor, Michael Flynn, who is awaiting sentencing for lying to FBI agents. Flynn originally was charged by special counsel Robert Mueller, who was tasked by the Justice Department with investigating Russian interference in the 2016 pres


President Donald Trump’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn leaves the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S.
Attorney General William Barr has ordered a review by an outside prosecutor of the criminal case against President Donald Trump’s first national security advisor, Michael Flynn, who is awaiting sentencing for lying to FBI agents.
Flynn originally was charged by special counsel Robert Mueller, who was tasked by the Justice Department with investigating Russian interference in the 2016 pres
Attorney General Barr orders review of criminal case against former Trump aide Michael Flynn Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-02-14  Authors: dan mangan
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Attorney General Barr orders review of criminal case against former Trump aide Michael Flynn

President Donald Trump’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn leaves the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse on June 24, 2019 in Washington, DC.

Attorney General William Barr has ordered a review by an outside prosecutor of the criminal case against President Donald Trump’s first national security advisor, Michael Flynn, who is awaiting sentencing for lying to FBI agents.

Barr — who has come under fire this week for easing career prosecutors’ sentencing recommendation for Trump’s friend Roger Stone — asked the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri, Jeffrey Jensen, to look into Flynn’s interview by the FBI, which led to his prosecution in Washington, people familiar with the inquiry told NBC News.

The inquiry began within the past month, they said.

The New York Times reported earlier Friday that Barr had asked Jensen “to scrutinize” Flynn’s case, a move that the newspaper noted was “highly unusual and could trigger more accusations of political interference by top Justice Department officials into the work of career prosecutors.”

Flynn originally was charged by special counsel Robert Mueller, who was tasked by the Justice Department with investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Mueller has since left that post, and Flynn’s case is being handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Washington, which is part of the Justice Department. Barr is the department’s top official.

A Justice Department spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the review of Flynn’s case.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-02-14  Authors: dan mangan
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Fed nominee Shelton has said questionable, unconventional things: Economist

Fed nominee Shelton has said questionable, unconventional things: EconomistCNBC’s “Closing Bell” team discusses Trump’s Federal Reserve nominees with Michelle Meyer of Bank of America Global Research and David Rosenberg of Rosenberg Research.


Fed nominee Shelton has said questionable, unconventional things: EconomistCNBC’s “Closing Bell” team discusses Trump’s Federal Reserve nominees with Michelle Meyer of Bank of America Global Research and David Rosenberg of Rosenberg Research.
Fed nominee Shelton has said questionable, unconventional things: Economist Cached Page below :
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Fed nominee Shelton has said questionable, unconventional things: Economist

Fed nominee Shelton has said questionable, unconventional things: Economist

CNBC’s “Closing Bell” team discusses Trump’s Federal Reserve nominees with Michelle Meyer of Bank of America Global Research and David Rosenberg of Rosenberg Research.


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Anti-Trump social media posts by Roger Stone jury forewoman fuel controversy in case

Roger Stone, former adviser to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, and his wife Nydia Stone arrive at federal court in Washington, D.C., on Monday, Nov. 4, 2019. Lawyers for President Donald Trump’s longtime friend and advisor Roger Stone are eyeing anti-Trump and other social media posts by a woman who says she served as the forewoman of the jury in his case. Trump has repeatedly blasted the prosecution of his former advisor Stone, and has refused to rule out pardoning him. Smith declined to


Roger Stone, former adviser to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, and his wife Nydia Stone arrive at federal court in Washington, D.C., on Monday, Nov. 4, 2019.
Lawyers for President Donald Trump’s longtime friend and advisor Roger Stone are eyeing anti-Trump and other social media posts by a woman who says she served as the forewoman of the jury in his case.
Trump has repeatedly blasted the prosecution of his former advisor Stone, and has refused to rule out pardoning him.
Smith declined to
Anti-Trump social media posts by Roger Stone jury forewoman fuel controversy in case Cached Page below :
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Anti-Trump social media posts by Roger Stone jury forewoman fuel controversy in case

Roger Stone, former adviser to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, and his wife Nydia Stone arrive at federal court in Washington, D.C., on Monday, Nov. 4, 2019.

Lawyers for President Donald Trump’s longtime friend and advisor Roger Stone are eyeing anti-Trump and other social media posts by a woman who says she served as the forewoman of the jury in his case.

Stone in November was convicted of lying to Congress and witness tampering.

The posts by the forewoman, Tomeka Hart, which included one referring to Stone’s arrest last year and one made the day he was convicted, came to light Wednesday night and added more fuel to a firestorm of controversy over the upcoming sentencing of the Republican operative.

Trump himself on Thursday morning in a Twitter post called out Hart, a Democrat who once ran for Congress, for what he said appeared to be her “significant bias.”

Trump has repeatedly blasted the prosecution of his former advisor Stone, and has refused to rule out pardoning him.

One of Stone’s lawyers, Grant Smith, in an interview with CNBC, said, “We are reviewing all of the recently posted new information, and we will evaluate and take the appropriate action.”

Smith declined to say whether such action could include a request for a new trial for Stone, who is due to be sentenced Feb. 20.

Joseph Tacopina, a New York criminal defense lawyer who is not connected to the case, told CNBC that getting a judge to grant Stone a new trial based on Hart’s posts is “going to be monumentally difficult.”

“Even taking her posts at face value, it doesn’t rise to the level of automatic reversal,” Tacopina said.

He said the defense would face extremely long odds of getting a new trial if it could be shown that Hart did not give false statements during jury selection, and if her social media posts could have been discovered by Stone’s lawyers during the selection process but failed to do so.

Hart did not immediately return a request for comment.

Her Facebook page was deactivated as of Thursday morning, but her Twitter account remained public.

Hart’s LinkedIn page identifies her as a senior program officer at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. She previously served as president and CEO of the Memphis Urban League, and on the Memphis, Tenn., school board.

CNN reported Wednesday that Hart, in a Facebook post this week, said she wanted to “stand up” for the four prosecutors who quit Stone’s case after the Department of Justice said it would reduce their recommendation that Stone serve between seven and nine years in prison.

The DOJ’s move, which came after Trump harshly criticized the first recommendation, outraged congressional Democrats, who accused Trump of improper political interference in the department by pushing for a lighter sentence for Stone.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-02-13  Authors: dan mangan
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How Trump has used his power in the week since his impeachment acquittal

“No serious person believes President Trump has learned any lesson,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said on the Senate floor Wednesday. Sitting just a few feet away: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who launched the impeachment inquiry into Trump’s Ukraine dealings late last year. “I’m not happy with” the NSC staffer, Trump said, hours before Pressman revealed Vindman’s departure from the White House. Asked at the White House on Wednesday if there were more departures to come


“No serious person believes President Trump has learned any lesson,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said on the Senate floor Wednesday.
Sitting just a few feet away: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who launched the impeachment inquiry into Trump’s Ukraine dealings late last year.
“I’m not happy with” the NSC staffer, Trump said, hours before Pressman revealed Vindman’s departure from the White House.
Asked at the White House on Wednesday if there were more departures to come
How Trump has used his power in the week since his impeachment acquittal Cached Page below :
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Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, trump, house, ukraine, sentencing, acquittal, stone, white, week, president, trumps, prosecutors, power, impeachment, used


How Trump has used his power in the week since his impeachment acquittal

President Donald Trump takes questions after signing S. 153, The Supporting Veterans in STEM Careers Act, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, on February 11, 2020. Jim Watson | AFP | Getty Images

If the past week is any indication, President Donald Trump has indeed learned a lesson from his impeachment — but perhaps not the one that GOP Sen. Susan Collins had in mind. Rather than growing “much more cautious,” as Collins predicted he would, Trump appears to be throwing caution to the wind since being acquitted Feb. 5 by the Republican-led Senate on articles of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Trump has ramped up attacks on his perceived political enemies and dismissed multiple officials in his administration who testified in the impeachment proceedings. Critics have characterized the moves as a campaign of “revenge.” He also weighed in on the sentencing of Roger Stone, his longtime friend and political advisor, who was convicted of lying to Congress about his contacts with the document disclosure group WikiLeaks during the 2016 presidential elections. Trump’s salvos against the prosecutors in Stone’s case prompted accusations that he is putting his thumb on the scale in a federal criminal trial and politicizing the Department of Justice. “No serious person believes President Trump has learned any lesson,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said on the Senate floor Wednesday. “He doesn’t learn any lessons. He just does what he wants, what suits his ego at the moment. Observers of the president would question whether he’s even capable of learning a lesson.” But Trump told reporters that day that he had learned something from his impeachment: “That the Democrats are crooked. They’ve got a lot of crooked things going. That they’re vicious. That they shouldn’t have brought impeachment.” Here’s what has happened in the week since Trump’s acquittal:

Trump lashes out during National Prayer Breakfast

The morning after the impeachment verdict, Trump delivered a warning to his perceived opponents in remarks — at the bipartisan National Prayer Breakfast. “So many people have been hurt, and we can’t let that go on,” Trump said. Sitting just a few feet away: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who launched the impeachment inquiry into Trump’s Ukraine dealings late last year. Trump was accused of pressing Ukraine to announce investigations into his political rivals, including former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, while withholding nearly $400 million in congressionally appropriated military aid to Kyiv. House Democrats impeached Trump on Dec. 18 on two articles, arguing that Trump tried to pressure an ally for his own political gain, and then obstructed Congress’ impeachment inquiry by refusing to hand over documents and ordering potential witnesses not to testify. At the Feb. 6 prayer breakfast, Trump appeared to take shots at Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, the only Republican in that chamber to vote to convict the president on abuse of power, and Pelosi. Romney cited his faith in making his decision; Pelosi has repeatedly said she prays for Trump. “I don’t like people who use their faith as justification for doing what they know is wrong. Nor do I like people who say ‘I pray for you’ when they know that that’s not so,” Trump said. After the prayer breakfast, Trump took a longer victory lap at the White House, where he called Pelosi “a horrible person” and described House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the lead impeachment manager in the Senate trial, “vicious.”

Key impeachment witness — and his brother — escorted from White House

Two days after Trump’s acquittal, Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a National Security Council staffer whose testimony about President Donald Trump at House impeachment hearings angered the president, was escorted out of the White House. Trump “has decided to exact revenge,” Vindman’s lawyer, David Pressman, said in a statement at the time. Trump had previously signaled his displeasure with Vindman, who had expressed concerns about Trump’s July 25 call asking Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to “look into” the Bidens. “I’m not happy with” the NSC staffer, Trump said, hours before Pressman revealed Vindman’s departure from the White House. Later Friday, Yevgeny Vindman, Alexander’s twin brother, who also worked at the NSC but didn’t testify at the impeachment proceedings, was escorted out of the White House. At the White House on Wednesday, Trump said of Alexander Vindman, “We sent him on his way to a much different location and the military can handle him any way they want.” Pressed on whether Vindman should face disciplinary action by the military, Trump said, “if you look at what happened, I mean, they’re going to certainly, I would imagine, take a look at that.”

Another key witness is recalled from his post

Hours after Vindman’s dismissal from the White House on Friday, it was revealed that diplomat Gordon Sondland, who had delivered bombshell testimony in the House, was being recalled as ambassador to the European Union. In a statement that night, Sondland said, “I was advised today that the president intends to recall me effective immediately as United States Ambassador to the European Union,” NBC reported. Sondland donated $1 million to Trump’s 2016 inaugural committee through several Limited Liability Corporations, according to Open Secrets. Sondland stunned lawmakers and Americans in November, when he testified before the House Intelligence Committee that Trump directed his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani to pursue a “quid pro quo” with Ukraine. One of the so-called three amigos involved in the alleged scheme, Sondland said he had worked with Giuliani “on Ukraine matters at the express direction of the president of the United States.” Asked at the White House on Wednesday if there were more departures to come, Trump said, “Oh, sure. Absolutely.”

Attorney general agrees to review Giuliani’s Ukraine dirt

Attorney General William Barr said Monday that the DOJ will accept and review information gathered by Giuliani, who has been investigating the Bidens in Ukraine. But Barr stressed that anything Giuliani might provide would be treated with skepticism. “The DOJ has the obligation to have an open door to anybody who wishes to provide us information that they think is relevant,” Barr said. Giuliani’s alleged shadow foreign policy efforts in Ukraine became a central feature of House Democrats’ impeachment case against Trump. Two days later, House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., said in a letter that Barr must testify before that panel on March 31 to address concerns about his leadership at the DOJ — including his decision to create a channel for Giuliani to feed information to the department.

Trump rails against prosecutors and judge in Stone case

On Monday evening, federal prosecutors recommended that a U.S. District judge in Washington sentence Stone to up to nine years in prison. Stone, a self-described dirty trickster, was convicted of lying to Congress about his contacts with the document disclosure group WikiLeaks during the 2016 presidential elections, and pressuring an associate, comedian Randy Credico, to corroborate his lies. The charges were brought as part of former special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe. The severity of the recommended sentence raised some eyebrows in legal circles — as did a Trump tweet early Tuesday, slamming the prosecutors’ proposed prison term as “disgraceful!” “This is a horrible and very unfair situation,” Trump added in another tweet. “The real crimes were on the other side, as nothing happens to them.” “Cannot allow this miscarriage of justice!” Trump tweeted. Stone’s lawyers had asked the judge, Amy Berman Jackson, to sentence Stone to probation. In another tweet Tuesday night, Trump went after Jackson, suggesting that she had treated former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort worse than notorious mobster Al Capone. Manafort, who like Stone was also charged as part of Mueller’s probe, was sentenced to a combined total of more than seven years in prison in two federal courts, including Jackson’s.

Prosecutors quit Stone case after DOJ steps in

On Tuesday, one day after the first sentencing memo was made public and hours after Trump’s criticism began, the DOJ filed a revised recommendation asking for “far less” time in prison for Stone than prosecutors initially suggested. The first filing “does not accurately reflect the Department of Justice’s position on what would be a reasonable sentence in this matter,” Timothy Shea, the U.S. Attorney for Washington, wrote in the new sentencing memorandum. The revised sentencing memorandum did not recommend a punishment. But Shea wrote that original sentencing recommendation by his prosecutors “could be considered excessive and unwarranted under the circumstances.” Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec told NBC that the decision to lower the recommended prison term for Stone was made Monday night, hours before Trump blasted the original sentencing proposal on Twitter. But the DOJ’s unusual demand for a change in Stone’s recommended sentence appeared to prompt the four prosecutors working on Stone’s case to quit. Stone is set to be sentenced Feb. 20. The increasingly public fight within the DOJ has raised Democrats’ already-strong suspicions about Barr, who has been accused of working more as an ally of Trump’s than as top law enforcement officer. Presidential candidate and current Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., on Wednesday called for Barr to “resign or face impeachment.”

Trump hints at possibly pardoning Stone


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-02-13  Authors: kevin breuninger
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Trump favorite Hope Hicks will return to the White House as aide to Jared Kushner

Former White House communications director Hope Hicks, a favorite former aide of President Donald Trump’s, is rejoining the administration to work for the president’s senior advisor and son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Hicks, 31, was hired as the chief communications officer at Fox after she left the White House in April 2018. White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said Hicks will serve as “counselor to the president and senior advisor, working for Jared Kushner’s office.” Kushner told NBC News


Former White House communications director Hope Hicks, a favorite former aide of President Donald Trump’s, is rejoining the administration to work for the president’s senior advisor and son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
Hicks, 31, was hired as the chief communications officer at Fox after she left the White House in April 2018.
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said Hicks will serve as “counselor to the president and senior advisor, working for Jared Kushner’s office.”
Kushner told NBC News
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Trump favorite Hope Hicks will return to the White House as aide to Jared Kushner

Former White House communications director Hope Hicks, a favorite former aide of President Donald Trump’s, is rejoining the administration to work for the president’s senior advisor and son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

Hicks, 31, was hired as the chief communications officer at Fox after she left the White House in April 2018. She had worked for Trump since the 2016 election.

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said Hicks will serve as “counselor to the president and senior advisor, working for Jared Kushner’s office.”

Kushner told NBC News in a statement: “There is no one more devoted to implementing President Trump’s agenda than Hope Hicks. We are excited to have her back on the team.”

Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and senior advisor, tweeted “Welcome back Hope!” on Thursday, after The New York Times first reported Hicks’ career switch.

The Times’ Maggie Haberman tweeted later Thursday that another ex-Trump official is expected to return to the White House: Johnny McEntee, Trump’s onetime personal assistant who was fired amid a reported Secret Service probe into his finances.

McEntee had become an advisor on Trump’s reelection campaign after being escorted from the White House in March 2018. He “is expected to take over the office that oversees presidential personnel appointments,” Haberman tweeted, citing two people briefed on the matter.

The White House declined CNBC’s request for comment on McEntee’s reported return.

Hicks started her career in the Trump orbit as an aide to Ivanka Trump for her fashion brand.

Hicks’ return is the latest example of the White House-Fox revolving door of staffers.

After Hicks moved to the media giant, former Fox News executive Bill Shine joined the White House in the similar role of deputy chief of staff for communications. Shine announced in March that he was resigning from the White House to advise Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign.

Trump often grants Fox News exclusive interviews and frequently cites it favorably for its coverage of him. He recruited a regular guest on that network, Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, to the legal team that defended him in the Senate’s impeachment trial. The Republican-led Senate last week acquitted Trump of two articles of impeachment, abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Fox Corp. confirmed Hicks’ departure in a statement. “We are proud of the work Hope has done and wish her well in her future endeavors,” the company said.

Hicks left their previous White House job under a cloud of controversy.

Hicks had been dating former White House staff secretary Rob Porter, who at the time had been accused of spousal abuse. Hicks also admitted during testimony to the House Intelligence Committee during its investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election that she had told “white lies” for Trump.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-02-13  Authors: kevin breuninger
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, advisor, trump, house, reported, senior, return, hope, kushner, white, aide, trumps, hicks, jared, tweeted, favorite


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Attorney General William Barr says Trump’s tweets ‘make it impossible for me to do my job’

Attorney General William Barr said Thursday that President Donald Trump should stop tweeting about the Department of Justice, complaining that the president’s comments “make it impossible for me to do my job.” “I’m going to do what I think is right,” Barr said. President Trump uses social media very effectively to fight for the American people against injustices in our country, including the fake news. The President has full faith and confidence in Attorney General Barr to do his job and uphold


Attorney General William Barr said Thursday that President Donald Trump should stop tweeting about the Department of Justice, complaining that the president’s comments “make it impossible for me to do my job.”
“I’m going to do what I think is right,” Barr said.
President Trump uses social media very effectively to fight for the American people against injustices in our country, including the fake news.
The President has full faith and confidence in Attorney General Barr to do his job and uphold
Attorney General William Barr says Trump’s tweets ‘make it impossible for me to do my job’ Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-02-13  Authors: kevin breuninger dan mangan, kevin breuninger, dan mangan
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, attorney, prosecutors, trumps, right, president, sentencing, justice, general, barr, trump, william, stone, job, tweets, impossible, department, think


Attorney General William Barr says Trump's tweets 'make it impossible for me to do my job'

Attorney General William Barr said Thursday that President Donald Trump should stop tweeting about the Department of Justice, complaining that the president’s comments “make it impossible for me to do my job.”

Barr’s unusual critique of his boss came in an ABC News interview.

The remarks followed days of sharp criticism of Barr, Trump and the DOJ by congressional Democrats over the department’s decision to reverse a harsh sentencing recommendation for Trump’s friend, Republican political consultant Roger Stone.

“I think it’s time to stop the tweeting about Department of Justice criminal cases,” Barr told ABC News Chief Justice Correspondent Pierre Thomas.

“I will make those decisions based on what I think is the right thing to do, and I’m not going to be bullied or influenced by anybody … whether it’s Congress, a newspaper editorial board, or the president,” Barr said.

“I’m going to do what I think is right,” Barr said. “I cannot do my job here at the department with a constant background commentary that undercuts me.”

Trump’s tweets, “make it impossible for me to do my job and to assure the courts and the prosecutors in the department that we’re doing our work with integrity,” he said.

White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham responded to Barr’s comments with the following statement:

“The President wasn’t bothered by the comments at all and he has the right, just like any American citizen, to publicly offer his opinions. President Trump uses social media very effectively to fight for the American people against injustices in our country, including the fake news. The President has full faith and confidence in Attorney General Barr to do his job and uphold the law.”

The four prosecutors who handled Stone’s trial on Monday night told a judge in a court filing that Stone should serve between seven to nine years in prison, the same span called for under federal sentencing guidelines as determined by U.S. probation officials.

Within hours of that filing, Trump blasted the sentencing recommendation as a “disgrace.”

And hours after that, the Justice Department said it would filed a new sentencing suggestion for Stone, calling for a markedly lower prison term.

All four prosecutors quit the case in apparent protest on Tuesday — and one resigned from the Justice Department altogether.

Trump praised Barr on social media after the Justice Department pushed the prosecutors in Stone’s case to weaken their proposal.

In his ABC interview, Barr, for the first time publicly, detailed his account of the decision to reduce Stone’s sentencing recommendation.

Barr said that Timothy Shea, his former counselor who recently became the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, on Monday “came by to briefly chat with me and say that the team [of trial prosecutors] very much wanted to recommend the 7-9 year to the judge, but he thought that there was a way of satisfying everybody and providing more flexibility.”

“And there was a brief discussion of that. I was under the impression that what was going to happen was very much what I had suggested, which was deferring to the judge,” Barr told ABC.

“Monday night, when I first saw the news reports [about the sentencing proposal], I said “gee, the news is spinning this. This is not what we were going to do.’ ”

“I was very surprised. And once I confirmed that that’s actually what we filed, I said that night to my staff that we had to get ready cause we had to do something in the morning to amend that and clarify what our position was,” the attorney general said.

“I had made a decision that I thought was fair and reasonable in this particular case. And once the tweet [by Trump condemning the sentencing proposal] occurred, the question was, well, now what do I do? Do you go forward with what you think is the right decision? Or do you pull back because of the tweet?”

“And that just sort of illustrates how disruptive these tweets can be,” Barr said.

Barr added that while “I have a problem with some of the tweets, I’m happy to say that in fact, the President has never asked me to do anything in a criminal case.

Asked if he had ever spoken with Trump about the sentencing recommendations for Stone, Barr said, “Never.”

Barr also denied that anyone from the White House had called him to try to influence him about Stone: “No. I have not discussed the Roger Stone case at the White House.”


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-02-13  Authors: kevin breuninger dan mangan, kevin breuninger, dan mangan
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, attorney, prosecutors, trumps, right, president, sentencing, justice, general, barr, trump, william, stone, job, tweets, impossible, department, think


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