Thursday, March 2, 2017

M.N.: Imagining Mr. Session's train of thought and hypothetical response: "It all depends on what exactly the words "member" and "surrogate" mean, and also of which committee, how long, when, and under what circumstances and capacities... Very relative... Not true! Not true! False news! Dig deeper! No mix! No Justice in politics, and definitely no any politics in justice. Absolutely not! I swear!" | FBI's Comey: Mexican drug cartels fueling US heroin epidemic - Fox News

M.N.: 
Imagining Mr. Session's train of thought and hypothetical response: 
"It all depends on what exactly the words "member" and "surrogate" mean, and also of which committee, how long, when, and under what circumstances and capacities... Very relative... Not true! Not true! False news! Dig deeper! No mix! No Justice in politics, and definitely no any politics in justice. Absolutely not! I swear!" 
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“He was asked during the hearing about communications between Russia and the Trump campaign — not about meetings he took as a senator and a member of the Armed Services Committee,” Flores said.

She added that Sessions last year had more than 25 conversations with foreign ambassadors as a senior member of the Armed Services Committee, including the British, Korean, Japanese, Polish, Indian, Chinese, Canadian, Australian and German ambassadors, in addition to Kislyak.

In the case of the September meeting, one department official who came to the defense of the attorney general said, “There’s just not strong recollection of what was said.”

The Russian ambassador did not respond to requests for comment about his contacts with Sessions... 

The Washington Post contacted all 26 members of the 2016 Senate Armed Services Committee to see whether any lawmakers besides Sessions met with Kislyak in 2016. Of the 20 lawmakers who responded, every senator, including Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.), said they did not meet with the Russian ambassador last year. The other lawmakers on the panel did not respond as of Wednesday evening."

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FBI's Comey: Mexican drug cartels fueling US heroin epidemic - Fox News

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Sessions met with Russian envoy twice last year, encounters he later did not disclose

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Then-Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) spoke twice last year with Russia’s ambassador to the United States, Justice Department officials said, encounters he did not disclose when asked about possible contacts between members of President Trump’s campaign and representatives of Moscow during Sessions’s confirmation hearing to become attorney general.
One of the meetings was a private conversation between Sessions and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak that took place in September in the senator’s office, at the height of what U.S. intelligence officials say was a Russian cyber campaign to upend the U.S. presidential race.
The previously undisclosed discussions could fuel new congressional calls for the appointment of a special counsel to investigate Russia’s alleged role in the 2016 presidential election. As attorney general, Sessions oversees the Justice Department and the FBI, which have been leading investigations into Russian meddling and any links to Trump’s associates. He has so far resisted calls to recuse himself.
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When Sessions spoke with Kislyak in July and September, the senator was a senior member of the influential Armed Services Committee as well as one of Trump’s top foreign policy advisers. Sessions played a prominent role supporting Trump on the stump after formally joining the campaign in February 2016.
(Senate Judiciary Committee)
Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) questioned attorney general nominee Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) about news that intelligence officials briefed President-elect Trump on unconfirmed reports that Russia has compromising information on Trump. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) questioned attorney general nominee Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) about news that intelligence officials briefed President-elect Trump on unconfirmed reports that Russia has compromising information on Trump. (Senate Judiciary Committee)
At his Jan. 10 Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing, Sessions was asked by Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) what he would do if he learned of any evidence that anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign communicated with the Russian government in the course of the 2016 campaign.
“I’m not aware of any of those activities,” he responded. He added: “I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I did not have communications with the Russians.”
Officials said Sessions did not consider the conversations relevant to the lawmakers’ questions and did not remember in detail what he discussed with Kislyak.
“There was absolutely nothing misleading about his answer,” said Sarah Isgur Flores, Sessions’s spokeswoman.
In January, Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) asked Sessions for answers to written questions. “Several of the President-elect’s nominees or senior advisers have Russian ties. Have you been in contact with anyone connected to any part of the Russian government about the 2016 election, either before or after election day?” Leahy wrote.
(Victoria Walker/The Washington Post)
Then-Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) spoke twice in 2016 with Russia's ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak, but did not mention this during his confirmation hearing to become U.S. attorney general. Sessions was asked about possible contacts between President Trump's campaign and the Russian government. Jeff Sessions spoke twice in 2016 with Russia's ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak, but did not mention this during his confirmation hearing. (Victoria Walker/The Washington Post)
Sessions responded with one word: “No.”
In a statement issued Wednesday night, Session said he “never met with any Russian officials to discuss issues of the campaign. I have no idea what this allegation is about. It is false.”
Justice officials said Sessions met with Kislyak on Sept. 8 in his capacity as a member of the armed services panel rather than in his role as a Trump campaign surrogate.
“He was asked during the hearing about communications between Russia and the Trump campaign — not about meetings he took as a senator and a member of the Armed Services Committee,” Flores said.
She added that Sessions last year had more than 25 conversations with foreign ambassadors as a senior member of the Armed Services Committee, including the British, Korean, Japanese, Polish, Indian, Chinese, Canadian, Australian and German ambassadors, in addition to Kislyak.
In the case of the September meeting, one department official who came to the defense of the attorney general said, “There’s just not strong recollection of what was said.”
The Russian ambassador did not respond to requests for comment about his contacts with Sessions.
The Washington Post contacted all 26 members of the 2016 Senate Armed Services Committee to see whether any lawmakers besides Sessions met with Kislyak in 2016. Of the 20 lawmakers who responded, every senator, including Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.), said they did not meet with the Russian ambassador last year. The other lawmakers on the panel did not respond as of Wednesday evening.
“Members of the committee have not been beating a path to Kislyak’s door,” a senior Senate Armed Services Committee staffer said, citing tensions in relations with Moscow. Besides Sessions, the staffer added, “There haven’t been a ton of members who are looking to meet with Kislyak for their committee duties.”
Last month, The Post reported that Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn had discussed U.S. sanctions with Kislyak during the month before Trump took office, contrary to public assertions by Mike Pence, the vice president-elect, and other top Trump officials. Flynn was forced to resign the following week.
When asked to comment on Sessions’s contacts with Kislyak, Franken said in a statement to The Post on Wednesday: “If it’s true that Attorney General Sessions met with the Russian ambassador in the midst of the campaign, then I am very troubled that his response to my questioning during his confirmation hearing was, at best, misleading.”
Franken added: “It is now clearer than ever that the attorney general cannot, in good faith, oversee an investigation at the Department of Justice and the FBI of the Trump-Russia connection, and he must recuse himself immediately.”
Several Democratic members of the House on Wednesday night called on Sessions to resign from his post.
“After lying under oath to Congress about his own communications with the Russians, the Attorney General must resign,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a statement, adding that “Sessions is not fit to serve as the top law enforcement officer of our country.”
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), a senior member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said on Twitter late Wednesday that “we need a special counsel to investigate Trump associates’ ties to Russia.”
Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) said at a CNN town hall Wednesday night that if the substance of Sessions’s conversations with the Russian ambassador proved to be improper or suspect, he too would join the call for Sessions to go.
“If there is something there and it goes up the chain of investigation, it is clear to me that Jeff Sessions, who is my dear friend, cannot make that decision about Trump,” Graham said — although he stressed he Sessions’s contacts with the Russian ambassador could have been “innocent.”
“But if there’s something there that the FBI thinks is criminal in nature, then for sure you need a special prosecutor. If that day ever comes, I’ll be the first one to say it needs to be somebody other than Jeff.”
Current and former U.S. officials say they see Kislyak as a diplomat, not an intelligence operative. But they were not sure to what extent, if any, Kislyak was aware of or involved in the covert Russian election campaign.
Steven Hall, former head of Russia operations at the CIA, said that Russia would have been keenly interested in cultivating a relationship with Sessions because of his role on key congressional committees and as an early adviser to Trump.
Sessions’s membership on the Armed Services Committee would have made him a priority for the Russian ambassador. “The fact that he had already placed himself at least ideologically behind Trump would have been an added bonus for Kislyak,” Hall said.
Michael McFaul, a Stanford University professor who until 2014 served as U.S. ambassador to Russia, said he was not surprised that Kislyak would seek a meeting with Sessions. “The weird part is to conceal it,” he said. “That was at the height of all the discussions of what Russia was doing during the election.”
Two months before the September meeting, Sessions attended a Heritage Foundation event in July on the sidelines of the Republican National Convention that was attended by about 50 ambassadors. When the event was over, a small group of ambassadors approached Sessions as he was leaving the podium, and Kislyak was among them, the Justice Department official said.
Sessions then spoke individually to some of the ambassadors, including Kislyak, the official said. In the informal exchanges, the ambassadors expressed appreciation for his remarks and some of them invited him to events they were sponsoring, said the official, citing a former Sessions staffer who was at the event.
Democratic lawmakers, including senior members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, have demanded in recent weeks that Sessions recuse himself from the government’s inquiry into possible ties between Trump associates and Russia.
Last week, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee, became one of the few Republican representatives to state publicly the need for an independent investigation.
Sessions’s public position on Russia has evolved over time.
In an interview with RealClear World on the sidelines of the German Marshall Fund’s Brussels Forum in March 2015, Sessions said the United States and Europe “have to unify” against Russia.
More than a year later, he spoke about fostering a stronger relationship with the Kremlin. In a July 2016 interview with CNN’s “State of the Union,” Sessions praised Trump’s plan to build better relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“Donald Trump is right. We need to figure out a way to end this cycle of hostility that’s putting this country at risk, costing us billions of dollars in defense, and creating hostilities,” Sessions told CNN.
Asked whether he viewed Putin as a good or bad leader, Sessions told CNN: “We have a lot of bad leaders around the world that operate in ways we would never tolerate in the United States. But the question is, can we have a more peaceful, effective relationship with Russia? Utilizing interests that are similar in a realistic way to make this world a safer place and get off this dangerous hostility with Russia? I think it’s possible.”
Julie Tate, Robert Costa and Karoun Demirjian contributed to this report.
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Thursday Morning Briefing: Sessions in the hot seat

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Truck goes airborne during police chase in Louisiana

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WEBSTER PARISH, LA --
We're getting our first look at some incredible video of a police chase in Louisiana.
Deputies said they stopped the driver of a Toyota Tacoma for speeding, but then the passenger tried to make a getaway.

As the driver was speaking with officers outside the vehicle, that passenger climbed into the driver's seat and took off.
He led officers in a chase that ended when his truck hit some spike strips, swerved and then went airborne.
A bystander with a smartphone captured the whole thing on video.
The driver was unhurt, but you can tell from the incredible damage to the truck just how violent that crash was when he landed.
Deputies said the suspect was an escaped work-release participant. He's now back in custody.

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FBI's Comey: Mexican drug cartels fueling US heroin epidemic - Fox News

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Fox News

FBI's Comey: Mexican drug cartels fueling US heroin epidemic
Fox News
GLEN ALLEN, Va. – Mexican drug cartels are fueling the U.S. heroin epidemic, said FBI Director James Comey, who addressed residents and public safety officials in suburban Virginia. Comey, who headlined community summit in Henrico County, said these ...
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Richard Nixon's former lawyer warns Donald Trump over Russia cover-up - The Independent

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The Independent

Richard Nixon's former lawyer warns Donald Trump over Russia cover-up
The Independent
Richard Nixon's former lawyer has warned President Donald Trump over his administration's alleged links to the Kremlin. John Dean, who was referred to as the "master manipulator of the [Watergate] cover-up" by the FBI, gave evidence against President ...

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Nancy Pelosi demands Attorney General Jeff Sessions resign after 'lying under oath' - The Independent

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The Independent

Nancy Pelosi demands Attorney General Jeff Sessions resign after 'lying under oath'
The Independent
One of the leading Democratic Party politicians in Washington has said under-fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions “lied under oath” and “must resign”. House of Representatives Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi also said the Republican, and keen Donald ...

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White House lawyers order Donald Trump aides to preserve Russian election hacking evidence - The Independent

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The Independent

White House lawyers order Donald Trump aides to preserve Russian election hacking evidence
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Jeff Sessions: The moment Attorney General misled Congress under oath about Russia contacts - The Independent

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The Independent

Jeff Sessions: The moment Attorney General misled Congress under oath about Russia contacts
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Jeff Sessions had two meetings with the Russian ambassador during the presidential campaign, despite saying under oath in his Attorney General confirmation hearing he "did not have communication with the Russians". Mr Sessions, an early Donald Trump ...

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How the Internet Threatens Democracy - New York Times

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New York Times

How the Internet Threatens Democracy
New York Times
Such a regime, in his view, would keep the trappings of democracy, including seemingly free elections, while leaders would control the election process, the media and the scope of permissible debate. ... What Does Vladimir Putin See in Donald Trump ...

Defcon warning analysts tell Donald Trump to develop MORE nuclear weapons for WAR - Express.co.uk

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Express.co.uk

Defcon warning analysts tell Donald Trump to develop MORE nuclear weapons for WAR
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They wrote in their latest nuclear warning update: “Russia is losing its hope over better relationships with the US, while the U looks to increase its military spending by more than 10 per cent. Additionally, some analysts are urging the United States ...

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Donald Trump's relationship with the truth... And Vladimir Putin perfectly illustrated in one video - The indy100

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The indy100

Donald Trump's relationship with the truth... And Vladimir Putin perfectly illustrated in one video
The indy100
But nowhere is his story more confusing than when it comes to his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Amid revelations that Trump's attorney general Jeff Sessions met with the Russian ambassador twice during the US presidential campaign ...

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Fiona Hill - Google Search

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Story image for Fiona Hill from Foreign Policy (blog)

Trump Taps Putin Critic for Senior White House Position

Foreign Policy (blog)-1 hour ago
The decision to hire Fiona Hill, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, for one of the government's top jobs dealing with U.S.-Russia ...

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Trump Taps Putin Critic for Senior White House Position

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The Trump administration is seeking to loosen some security requirements for hiring Border Patrol agents in order to meet a dramatic surge in immigration enforcement, according to internal memos obtained by Foreign Policy and analyzed by five current and former officials in the Department of Homeland Security.
Customs and Border Protection, part of DHS, is seeking approval to relax some stringent standards that have made it difficult for the agency to meet recruitment targets in recent years. That includes a request to potentially loosen congressionally-mandated requirements such as a polygraph, as well as an entrance exam and background check.
According to the five-page, Feb. 17 memo from CBP Acting Commissioner Kevin McAleenan, changes to hiring standards are urgently needed if the agency is to expand as now planned from 19,627 Border Patrol agents to about 26,370. One former DHS official said the current requirements, especially the lie-detector test, are “insanely cumbersome,” and a big reason the agency has trouble recruiting compared with other law-enforcement agencies and even other immigration bodies within DHS, such as Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
“We do face headwinds,” McAleenan allowed, in an interview with Foreign Policy on Saturday. While declining to discuss internal planning documents, he emphasized, “Secretary Kelly has made it absolutely clear we are not going to lower standards to speed up our hiring.”
The memo estimates that even with the measures to accelerate hiring, it will take five years and cost about $2.2 billion to help fill out CBP’s ranks to meet President Trump’s quota.
“The taxpayer demonstrated in the November election very clearly that border security is a very important issue for them,” McAleenan told FP.
“The taxpayer demonstrated in the November election very clearly that border security is a very important issue for them,” McAleenan told FP. “The investments are justified to protect our communities.”
But some former officials said the plan, despite bland bureaucratic language, clearly suggests loosening requirements in order to ramp up hiring.
“Most of the measures are worded in terms that look neutral on their face,” Stephen Legomsky, former senior counsel to the Secretary of Homeland Security and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services under President Barack Obama, told FP after reviewing the memos.
“But because all of that is prefaced with how they need to make changes for the express purpose of enhancing their hiring ability, then obviously these things are meant to loosen those standards, not to tighten them,” he said.
And some current and former DHS officials and outside experts are concerned that lowering standards could allow the influx of less-qualified candidates who may be susceptible to corruption. CBP is uniquely targeted by drug-trafficking and other transnational organizations seeking out agents they can bribe — with money or sexual favors — to allow drugs, undocumented immigrants, or other contraband across the U.S.-Mexico border.
“We actually lived through this,” said Jay Ahern, a deputy CBP commissioner under George W. Bush, when the agency doubled in size. When reviewing tens of thousands of applicants, he said, mistakes are inevitable.
“If you start lowering standards, the organization pays for it for the next decade, two, or three,” Ahern said.
“If you start lowering standards, the organization pays for it for the next decade, two, or three,” Ahern said. (He did not review the memos.)
McAleenan’s memo is part of CBP’s effort to figure out how to meet the Trump administration’s increased immigration enforcement. In one of his first acts as president, Trump issued an executive order that mandated building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and beefing up enforcement by adding 5,000 additional Border Patrol agents, and 10,000 additional ICE officers, tripling their number. DHS Secretary John Kelly expanded upon the executive order with directives released on Feb. 21 that dramatically expand the pool of immigrants subject to deportation.
“CBP has insufficient agents/officers to effectively detect, track, and apprehend all aliens illegally entering the United States,” Kelly wrote in the directives, released three days after the internal CBP memo was stamped. He directed DHS department heads, such as McAleenan, to immediately begin the process of hiring, “while ensuring consistency in training and standards” and “subject to the availability of resources.”
In the memo, McAleenan described some of the changes CBP is considering — waiving the polygraph for some applicants such as police in good standing, making background investigations less stringent, and easing the entrance exam — as making CBP “more competitive.”
Some officials said the steps outlined are long overdue to reduce unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles and meet the staffing shortfalls at CBP; it is still 1,600 agents shy of its authorized strength, and turnover is prevalent. In the last budget cycle, CBP requested funding for 300 fewer officers than the prior year, preferring to upgrade old equipment than chase “unrealistic” hiring expectations.
In addition to the lie-detector test, CBP applicants undergo cognitive, fitness, and medical exams, as well as fingerprinting, financial disclosure, drug testing and background checks. Even veterans with security clearances have to undergo an additional security screening to be hired at CBP, the former DHS official pointed out.
McAleenan said Saturday CBP is also looking at better pay equity, incentivizing remote locations, opening up more opportunities for veterans, and continuing to streamline the hiring process. In the last two years, McAleenan said, CBP has reduced its hiring timeline from 400 days to 170.
But social changes, he added, have added to the hiring difficulty. “We’re dealing with an environment around law enforcement that’s challenging in our society right now,” he said. And marijuana legalization in some states “makes it challenging for young people to meet our standards.”
Yet the polygraph has become the biggest hurdle, officials and experts say. Two out of three CBP applicants fail — more than double the average rate for eight other law enforcement agencies, according to the Associated Press.
McAleenan observed in the memo that the lie-detector test “has been identified as both a significant deterrent and point of failure.” ICE, he noted, does not require a polygraph test, and that agency’s own drive to hire 10,000 more agents will “greatly hinder” CBP’s own staffing.
The polygraph “helps us insure our integrity,” and has helped identify cartel lackeys trying to infiltrate CBP, McAleenan said Saturday. But he’s looking for ways to ensure it’s not being used “as an investigative tool,” and to allow some applicants — such as former members of the military or other law enforcement agencies — to skip it.
“We’d like to have the flexibility to make those decisions, instead of having every single person who applies be subject to the polygraph,” McAleenan said.
“We’d like to have the flexibility to make those decisions, instead of having every single person who applies be subject to the polygraph,” McAleenan said. “But we’re going to make those decisions very carefully in balancing the risk against the benefits.”
Yet those tough standards, including a mandatory polygraph, were put into place by Congress in 2010, after Customs and Border Protection suffered acute growing pains during the Bush administration, when CBP doubled in size. Some Border Patrol agents didn’t complete background checks before they deployed to the frontlines, officials reported, and the agency saw an increase in cases of internal corruption, and questions over its use-of-force training following a spate of deadly incidents.
And problems have persisted. According to rights group Southern Border Communities Coalition, between 2010 and 2015, media reported 40 deadly incidents involving CBP, and only one agent was prosecuted. The former head of internal affairs at CBP, James Tomsheck, who declined to comment for this story, claims he was pushed out in 2014 because he fought against a “paramilitary” mindset and a culture of evading accountability for abuses. This week, the Supreme Court is hearing a case to determine whether parents of a Mexican teenager shot and killed by a CBP agent can sue.
The administration’s rush to beef up border security comes as illegal crossings into the United States from Mexico have sunk to their lowest levels in four decades; among Mexican immigrants, the flow has in fact reversed since 2009. Still, “we have not reached the level where we have more people than we need for the crossings,” McAleenan said.
The additional agents would primarily be placed in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, where the bulk of border traffic is today, as well as the Tucson and Yuma sectors in Arizona, but also at the northern border with Canada.
“In many ways, you know, the border is more secure than it’s ever been, we have fewer people trying to cross,” McAleenan said of the southern line. “But we still have significant risks, and we need to address them across the entire border.”
The moves, especially the staffing plans, have made Mexico nervous, even beyond the public pronouncements of President Enrique Peña Nieto and other officials, who rejected the new directives as “unilateral” and “inappropriate.”
The Mexican government reached out to CBP immediately after Trump’s Jan. 25 executive order with a number of questions over how carefully the agency selects, recruits, and trains agents, according to a separate series of emails obtained by FP.
While some former officials said Mexican and American counterparts frequently communicate over new directives, others described the correspondence as atypical, and indicative of increased tensions between the U.S. and Mexico over Trump’s rhetoric.  
“It’s a bit unusual, but it’s a really unusual transition,” said David Martin, a former counsel for DHS and the Departments of State and Justice, and now a professor emeritus at the University of Virginia law school. “Particularly with the focus on immigration so early and so vehemently in the new administration.”
Photo Credit: John Moore / Staff
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Trump Taps Putin Critic for Senior White House Position - Foreign Policy (blog)

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Foreign Policy (blog)

Trump Taps Putin Critic for Senior White House Position
Foreign Policy (blog)
The Trump administration has offered a well-respected scholar and sober critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin the position of White House senior director for Europe and Russia, a White House official told Foreign Policy. The decision to hire Fiona ...
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White self-interest is not the same thing as racism

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Trump leaves Asia door open for China to dominate trade

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Sessions did not disclose meetings with Russian ambassador - CNN

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CNN

Sessions did not disclose meetings with Russian ambassador
CNN
(CNN) Attorney General Jeff Sessions met twice last year with the top Russian diplomat in Washington whose interactions with President Donald Trump's former national security adviser Mike Flynn led to Flynn's firing, according to the Justice Department.

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Attorney General Jeff Sessions accused of lying about contact with Russia - The Grio

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The Grio

Attorney General Jeff Sessions accused of lying about contact with Russia
The Grio
WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General Jeff Sessions had two conversations with the Russian ambassador to the United States during the presidential campaign season last year, contact likely to fuel calls for him to recuse himself from a Justice Department ...

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AG Sessions' Talks With Russian Envoy May Conflict With Senate Testimony - NPR

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NPR

AG Sessions' Talks With Russian Envoy May Conflict With Senate Testimony
NPR
Attorney General Jeff Sessions, while an adviser to then-presidential candidate Donald Trump last year, spoke twice with the Russian ambassador, a source familiar with the matter tells NPR's Carrie Johnson. At his Senate confirmation hearing, when ...

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Attorney General Jeff Sessions says he never discussed campaign issues during meetings with Russian official - Q13 FOX

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Q13 FOX

Attorney General Jeff Sessions says he never discussed campaign issues during meetings with Russian official
Q13 FOX
WASHINGTON — Jeff Sessions, then a U.S. senator and senior foreign policy adviser to Donald Trump, spoke twice last year with Russia's ambassador, but didn't disclose those encounters when asked about possible contacts between the Trump campaign ...

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Are We About To Get Jeff Sessions The F*ck Up Outta Here? - The Root

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The Root

Are We About To Get Jeff Sessions The F*ck Up Outta Here?
The Root
Contrary to the testimony he gave during his confirmation hearing, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who was then a U.S. Senator representing the state of Alabama, had two conversations with the Russian ambassador to the United States during the ...

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Jeff Sessions spoke twice with Russian envoy during presidential campaign: Department of Justice - CBS News

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CBS News

Jeff Sessions spoke twice with Russian envoy during presidential campaign: Department of Justice
CBS News
Attorney General Jeff Sessions had two contacts with Russian envoy Sergey Kislyak during the presidential campaign, Justice Department officials confirmed. The Washington Post first reported the meetings Wednesday. When he was asked in his ...

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Democrats Demand Attorney General Jeff Sessions Resign Over Russian Meetings - NBCNews.com

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NBCNews.com

Democrats Demand Attorney General Jeff Sessions Resign Over Russian Meetings
NBCNews.com
Top Democrats issued demands for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to immediately resign late Wednesday following news that he met with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. during the 2016 presidential campaign. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and ...

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Trump Attorney General Jeff Sessions under fire over Russia meetings - BBC News

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BBC News

Trump Attorney General Jeff Sessions under fire over Russia meetings
BBC News
Attorney General Jeff Sessions met Russia's ambassador during the election despite telling his confirmation he had "no communications with the Russians". The justice department confirmed he met Sergei Kislyak in July and September last year as part of ...

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A note to the White House and FBI: Politics and justice should not mix

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sessions and comey - Google Search

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Story image for sessions and comey from Daily Kos

The tipping point: Will Trump, Congress, SessionsComey all ...

Daily Kos-Feb 24, 2017
Later on, FBI Director James Comey himself calls Priebus and reiterated much the same thing—story BS, but can't out out statement.

Attorney-General Jeff Sessions - Google Search

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Story image for Attorney-General Jeff Sessions from NBCNews.com

Democrats Demand Attorney General Jeff Sessions Resign Over ...

<a href="http://NBCNews.com" rel="nofollow">NBCNews.com</a>-6 hours ago
Top Democrats issued demands for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to immediately resign late Wednesday following news that he met with the ...
Sessions pushes tougher line on marijuana
Highly Cited-Politico (blog)-Feb 27, 2017
Attorney General Jeff Sessions met with Russian envoy during 2016 ...
In-Depth-<a href="http://AL.com" rel="nofollow">AL.com</a>-9 hours ago

Democrats Demand Attorney General Jeff Sessions Resign Over Russian Meetings

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Top Democrats issued demands for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to immediately resign late Wednesday following news that he met with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. during the 2016 presidential campaign.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts were among those who called for the attorney general to step down.
"Sessions is not fit to serve as the top law enforcement officer of our country and must resign," Pelosi said in a statement. "There must be an independent, bipartisan, outside commission to investigate the Trump political, personal and financial connections to the Russians."
Rep. Cummings: Sessions report is 'shocking to the conscience' 5:43
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In a series of strongly worded tweets, Warren said that Sessions must step down.
And in a statement, Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Maryland, said, "Attorney General Sessions should resign immediately, and there is no longer any question that we need a truly independent commission to investigate this issue."
In a statement Wednesday night, Sessions replied to news of his two meetings with Sergei Kislyak, the Russian Ambassador to the U.S.: "I have never met with any Russian officials to discuss issues of the campaign. I have no idea what this allegation is about. It is false."
Sessions was asked during his confirmation hearings by Sen. Al Franken what he would do if he learned that "anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign communicated with the Russian government in the course of this campaign," Sessions replied:
"I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign, and I did not have communications with the Russians, and I'm unable to comment on it."
Sessions' spokeswoman, Sarah Isgur Flores, told NBC News that the then-senator did have a conversation with Kislyak last year but that "there was absolutely nothing misleading about his answer" at the hearing.
Flores told NBC News that Sessions was asked about "communications between Russia and the Trump campaign, not about meetings he took as a senator and a member of the Armed Services Committee," so "there was absolutely nothing misleading about his answer."
Rep. Himes: AG Sessions must recuse himself from Trump-Russia probe 9:35
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While some Democrats were calling on Sessions to resign, other lawmakers intensified demands that a special prosecutor be named to lead an investigation into ties between Russian officials and Trump campaign aides.
"This is even further proof of the need for an independent, bipartisan commission to investigate Russian interference with the 2016 election," said Rep. Eric Swalwell, a Democratic member of the House Intelligence Committee.
Calls also mounted for Sessions to recuse himself from any investigation conducted by the FBI on the matter.
"If reports are accurate that Attorney General Sessions — a prominent surrogate for Donald Trump — met with Ambassador Kislyak during the campaign, and failed to disclose this fact during his confirmation, it is essential that he recuse himself from any role in the investigation of Trump campaign ties to the Russians," said Rep. Adam Schiff, top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee.
"This is not even a close call; it is a must," Schiff added.
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Newshour: Trump promises Congress 'renewal of American spirit' 

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In his first address to Congress President Trump adopted a measured and upbeat tone and spoke of a "new chapter of American greatness". Also in the programme, the UN finds both sides committed war crimes in the battle for Aleppo and scientists discover an evolutionary 'arms race' between squids and octopuses. (Photo: President Donald Trump addresses a joint session of the U.S. Congress on February 28, 2017. Credit: Win McNamee/Getty Images)



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 Newshour
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Global News Podcast: US President's first speech to Congress

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Donald Trump touts 'new chapter of American greatness', Ebola nurse dies in childbirth, Uber row, Obamas memoirs



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 Global News Podcast

Global News Podcast: Russia and China veto Syria sanctions

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UN resolution condemning Syria over chemical weapons is vetoed, Donald Trump addresses joint session of US Congress, Yemen inching ever closer to famine after fighting closes crucial port.



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 Global News Podcast

International Edition - Voice of America: International Edition 2230 EST - February 28, 2017 

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International Edition delivers insight into world news through eye-witnesses, correspondent reports and analysis from experts and news makers. We also keep you in touch with social media, science and entertainment trends.



Download audio: https://av.voanews.com/clips/VEN/2017/03/01/20170301-033000-VEN060-program_hq.mp3

 International Edition - Voice of America

WSJ What's News: Trump is Slow to Fill Top Administrative Jobs 

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Stay informed of breaking news throughout your day with senior editor John Wordock of The Wall Street Journal. Listen to critical news and engaging interviews, featuring executives, economists and notable WSJ editors discuss business, markets, politics and more.



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 WSJ What's News

Hourly News Summary: NPR News: 03-01-2017 9AM ET 

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NPR News: 03-01-2017 9AM ET



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 Hourly News Summary

International Edition - Voice of America: International Edition 1205 EST - March 01, 2017 

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International Edition delivers insight into world news through eye-witnesses, correspondent reports and analysis from experts and news makers. We also keep you in touch with social media, science and entertainment trends.



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 International Edition - Voice of America
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Global News Podcast: Top Trump lawyer hit by Russia talks claims 

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Attorney-General Jeff Sessions accused of 'lying under oath' over meetings with Russia's US ambassador, humans cook up mineral bounty, Snapchat flotation, safe cannabis?



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 Global News Podcast

Hourly News Summary: NPR News: 03-01-2017 10PM ET 

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NPR News: 03-01-2017 10PM ET



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 Hourly News Summary

International Edition - Voice of America: International Edition 2230 EST - March 01, 2017 

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International Edition delivers insight into world news through eye-witnesses, correspondent reports and analysis from experts and news makers. We also keep you in touch with social media, science and entertainment trends.



Download audio: https://av.voanews.com/clips/VEN/2017/03/02/20170302-033000-VEN060-program_original.mp3

 International Edition - Voice of America

Sebastian Gorka - Google Search

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Story image for Sebastian Gorka from Breitbart News

Forbes: Journalists' War on Sebastian Gorka Is Only Hurting Them

Breitbart News-1 hour ago
Writing at Forbes, Richard Miniter systematically debunks the media's baseless attacks on President Trump's senior advisor Dr. Sebastian ...
Story image for Sebastian Gorka from National Review

A series of hit pieces is part of an effort to take down the White ...

National Review-15 hours ago
Now, the swamp is after its next scalp, Sebastian Gorka, a White House counterterrorism adviser. If the White House is wise, they won't get it.
Family
Family Security Matters-Feb 28, 2017
Story image for Sebastian Gorka from Washington Post

Survival tips for Sebastian Gorka, PhD

Washington Post-Feb 27, 2017
Sebastian Gorka has an interesting job in the White House. He is a self-proclaimed “irregular warfare strategist,” so one might think he would ...
The Washington Post Smeared Sebastian Gorka
Highly Cited-National Review-Feb 27, 2017
Story image for Sebastian Gorka from Politico
Politico

On Steve Inskeep's interview with Sebastian Gorka

Minnesota Public Radio News (blog)-3 hours ago
Steve Inskeep tried mightily again to get an answer to the question, “Does Donald Trump believe Islam is a religion?” when Sebastian Gorka ...
Story image for Sebastian Gorka from Express.co.uk

'No dilution!' US illegal immigrants who commit a crime are GONE ...

Express.co.uk-10 hours ago
DONALD TRUMP'S Deputy Assistant Sebastian Gorka issued a stark warning to illegal immigrants that they would be booted out of the US if ...
Story image for Sebastian Gorka from New York Magazine

Trump's Counterterrorism Adviser Sebastian Gorka Has Links to Anti ...

New York Magazine-Feb 24, 2017
Sebastian Gorka, the deputy assistant to Donald Trump who portrays himself as a counterterrorism expert, despite the fact that most of the ...
Spotlight on Gorka's Controversial Medal
Highly Cited-LobeLog-Feb 24, 2017
Story image for Sebastian Gorka from New York Magazine

Donald Trump's Counterterrorism Guy Wants to Ignore Human ...

New York Magazine-7 hours ago
One of them is Sebastian Gorka, Trump's controversial special assistant ... of disastrous counterterrorism,” says Gorka, seeming to disqualify a ...
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Questions persist about deadly Yemen raid and its results - YouTube

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Published on Mar 1, 2017
More than a month after a controversial U.S. Special Operations raid in Yemen -- during which Navy SEAL Ryan Owens was killed -- there are still questions about how the mission was authorized, what it accomplished and more. Chief foreign affairs correspondent Margaret Warner looks at competing claims and Judy Woodruff gets the perspective of Sebastian Gorka, deputy assistant to President Trump.

U.S. General Says Russia Inadvertently Bombed U.S.-Backed Syrian Fighters

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The U.S. commander of coalition forces in Iraq and Syria says a Russian air strike in northern Syria accidently struck U.S.-backed Syrian Arab forces who are part of the fight against so-called Islamic State (IS) militants.
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Aydin Dogan, Turkish Media Tycoon, Is Ordered to Appear in Court 

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The summons received by Aydin Dogan, who owns several newspapers and two Trump-branded towers, is part of a long-running dispute with the Turkish state.

Russia and the Syrian regime bombed U.S.-backed fighters in Syria, U.S. general says 

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The attacks may have been an attempt to target the Islamic State, a U.S. general said.





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Comey Eyes Mexico in US Heroin Epidemic 

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From: AssociatedPress
Duration: 02:05

FBI Director James Comey pointed to Mexican drug traffickers in a discussion about the opioid epidemic in the U.S. He said traffickers are selling very pure heroin very cheaply to people already addicted to prescription painkillers. (March 1)
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Ethics issues resurface as new Trump tower opens 

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From: CNN
Duration: 02:39

Conflict of interest questions surround the first Trump tower to open since the President's inauguration. CNN's Cristina Alesci reports.

Three words — radical Islamic terrorism — expose a Trump administration divide 

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The president invokes the description while his national security adviser finds it unhelpful.





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Senior al Qaeda leader killed by CIA drone strike - INFORUM

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Senior al Qaeda leader killed by CIA drone strike
INFORUM
WASHINGTON - A Hellfire missile fired by a CIA drone killed al-Qaeda leader Abu al-Khayr al-Masri late on Sunday while he was riding in a car near the northwestern Syrian city of Idlib, a U.S. intelligence official said on Wednesday. The 59-year-old al ...

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