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Live Updates: A Former Top Federal Prosecutor Just Said There's Evidence To Begin An Obstruction Of Justice Case Against Trump

This week at the White House: Trump vs. London's Mayor; Comey testifies; the attorney general offered to resign; and the travel ban is now officially called a travel ban.

Originally posted on
Updated on

Here's what's going on in Washington this week:

  • Former FBI director James Comey told Congress on Thursday that he was fired because of the Russia investigation. "I was fired because of the Russia investigation ... to change the way the Russia investigation was being conducted. That is a very big deal."
  • Comey testified about meetings he had with the president prior to being fired, and said that he made detailed memos of those meetings because he was afraid Trump would "lie" about their private conversations. He also said the administration "chose to defame me" about why he was fired.
  • The director of national intelligence, Dan Coats, and the chief of the National Security Agency, Michael Rogers, declined on Wednesday to detail their conversations with President Trump, but said they never felt pressured to drop the Russia probe. The Washington Post reported that Trump asked Coats to intervene in the FBI investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
  • Preet Bharara, a former top federal prosecutor who was fired by Trump, says he's had "unusual" conversations with the president that were similar to those Comey had. Bharara said there is enough evidence to begin an obstruction of justice case against Trump.
  • Tensions between Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions have grown severe after Sessions recused himself from any investigation involving Russian interference in the election and possible collusion with the president's campaign, ABC News reported. Sessions offered to resign, but Trump rejected the offer.
  • Sessions will appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee next Tuesday to answer questions about Comey's testimony, and his role in the former FBI director's firing.

Updates

Posted at

Attorneys general for the District of Columbia and Maryland told the Washington Post that they are suing President Trump on Monday, claiming that he violated anticorruption clauses in the Constitution by not properly separating from his private business interests.

Attorney General Karl A. Racine (D) and Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh (D) say Trump has accepted millions in payments and benefits from foreign governments since becoming president.

At the center of the lawsuit is the Trump International Hotel in Washington, which Racine and Frosh will argue has negatively impacted their travel and entertainment industries and may have drawn business away from the taxpayer-owned D.C. convention center and Maryland's taxpayer-subsidized center, according to the Post.

Saudia Arabia, which Trump visited first on his recent trip abroad, has booked rooms at the president's hotel several times since he was inaugurated. And after first booking at the Four Seasons, The Embassy of Kuwait switched its event to Trump's hotel.

"We're getting in here to be the check and balance that it appears Congress is unwilling to be," Racine told the Post "We're bringing suit because the president has not taken adequate steps to separate himself from his business interests."

—Brianna Sacks

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Preet Bharara just said there is evidence to begin an obstruction of justice case against Trump and that he's had "unusual" calls with the president

.@PreetBharara to @GStephanopoulos: "There's absolutely evidence to begin a case" for obstruction of justice agains… https://t.co/e3r3S2qBkg

Preet Bharara, the former US Attorney for the Southern District of New York — who at one point was pretty much one of the most powerful federal prosecutors in the nation — told ABC's This Week on Sunday that there is enough evidence to begin prosecuting Donald Trump for obstruction of justice for trying to stop the FBI's investigation into ties between the president's campaign aides and Russia.

"There's absolutely evidence to begin a case," Bharara said.

This was Bharara's first interview since being controversially fired by Trump. It's usually routine for new presidents to ask top federal prosecutors nationwide to step down so they can appoint their own. What was odd about Bharara's situation is that Trump previously asked him to remain in the role.

Bharara has since become a critic of the president.

"When it comes down to who's telling the truth and who's not, I think most people would side, reasonably, with James Comey," Bharara said on the show, adding that Trump "sometimes makes accusations that turn out not to be true."

Bharara also said he's had some unusual calls with Trump, indicting they were like those James Comey had with the president where Trump asked the former FBI director to stop investigations into his campaign and Russia.

Former US Attorney @PreetBharara recounts "very unusual" calls with Trump: "There has to be some kind of arms-lengt… https://t.co/HT34RVk6fL

Some of his conversations with Trump "felt a little bit like déjà vu" when he heard about Comey's, Bharara said.

He called the interactions "very unusual" and said, "There has to be some kind of arms-length relationship."

—Tom Namako

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Trump began his Sunday morning with a Twitter rant that included a tweet about Comey that barely made sense

I believe the James Comey leaks will be far more prevalent than anyone ever thought possible. Totally illegal? Very 'cowardly!'

The president is using prevalent oddly in this tweet. It seems like he's indicating that the contents of memos Comey wrote about his interactions with Trump — which Comey said he indirectly leaked himself — are very powerful or favored?

Maybe trump is trying to say they will do more damage to the country than good?

Here's Merriam-Webster's definition:

Trump also raises the idea that what Comey did was illegal — that doesn't seem to be the case, the memos were not classified — although Trump's lawyer is filing a complaint against the former FBI director with the Justice Department inspector general.

Trump also confusingly placed quotation marks around 'cowardly.'

Trump also ranted about the Democrats and the media, of course. Here are those tweets:

The #FakeNews MSM doesn't report the great economic news since Election Day. #DOW up 16%. #NASDAQ up 19.5%. Drilling & energy sector...

...way up. Regulations way down. 600,000+ new jobs added. Unemployment down to 4.3%. Business and economic enthusiasm way up- record levels!

The Democrats have no message, not on economics, not on taxes, not on jobs, not on failing #Obamacare. They are only OBSTRUCTIONISTS!

We would tell you what Trump was up to this Sunday, but the media bas recently been barred from reporting the president's schedule.

—Tom Namako

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Jeff Sessions will testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee next week

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has agreed to appear Tuesday before the Senate Intelligence Committee as it continues to investigate Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

Sessions, who has been dogged by questions about his contacts with Russia's ambassador to the US during the campaign, had been scheduled to testify before House and Senate appropriations subcommittees Tuesday about the Justice Department's budget. But after former FBI director James Comey's testimony last week, it was clear that lawmakers would focus many of their questions on the attorney general's contacts with Russian officials, as well as his role in Comey's ouster.

In letters to the chairmen of the appropriations subcommittees Saturday, Sessions said that he would instead send his deputy, Rod Rosenstein, to discuss the DOJ budget, while he appears before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

"In light of reports regarding Mr. Comey's recent testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, it is important that I have an opportunity to address these matters in the appropriate forum," Sessions wrote. "The Senate Intelligence Committee is most the most appropriate forum for such matters because it has been conducting an investigation and has access to relevant, classified information."

It was not immediately clear whether Sessions would testify in public or in a closed setting.

Breaking: Jeff Sessions won't testify before appropriations subcomtes, will testify before Senate Intelligence Comm… https://t.co/500FKWX61u

Sessions recused himself in March from the federal investigation into contacts between Russia and the Trump campaign after acknowledging that he had failed to disclose two meetings with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak. In his testimony last week, Comey raised additional questions about Sessions's contacts with Russian officials, and about his involvement in the federal Russia probe.

In addition to questions about Kislyak, the attorney general is also likely to be asked about his role in firing Comey.

—Grace Wyler

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President Trump on Friday claimed that former FBI director James Comey lied under oath during his sworn testimony before a congressional committee.

"No collusion. No obstruction. He's a leaker," Trump said during a White House news conference when asked about Comey's testimony.

Trump's public statements were the first since Comey testified on Thursday accusing the president of asking him to "let go" of the FBI's Michael Flynn investigation and lift the "cloud" of the Russia investigation.

When asked about Comey's testimony, Trump said "I didn't say that," although he added "there'd be nothing wrong if I did say it."

"It was an excuse by the Democrats who lost an election," Trump said, repeating a claim he has made before when asked about the multiple investigations into Russian meddling in the election and possible collusion with his campaign.

Read more here.

—Salvador Hernandez

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Trump's social media director violated a federal act when he tweeted from his official account calling for a member of Congress to lose his election

Big win for CREW! Dan Scavino reprimanded for Hatch Act violation!

Scavino was issued a warning and was "counseled."

—Tom Namako

Posted at

President Trump's personal lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, will file a misconduct complaint against James Comey for asking a friend to reveal the contents of memos documenting his conversations with the president to the press, a source close to Trump's legal team told BuzzFeed News on Friday.

Kasowitz intends to file a complaint with the Justice Department's Office of the Inspector General within the next few days, the source said. He will also submit a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee about Comey's testimony and "other matters," the source said.

In testimony before the Senate intelligence committee on Thursday, Comey described taking notes about a series of one-on-one conversations he had with the president over the course of several months. Comey said that after he was fired in early May, he arranged for a friend, a professor at Columbia Law School later confirmed to be Daniel Richman, to share the contents of at least some of the memos with the press.

Read the full story here.

—Zoe Tillman

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Trump feels vindicated the day after being called a liar by the former FBI director

Despite so many false statements and lies, total and complete vindication...and WOW, Comey is a leaker!

Posted at

Thursday: Comey called Trump a liar, people watched the hearing at bars, no one knows what's going on with McCain, and the Republicans say everything is fine

Former FBI director James Comey testified before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence about Trump and the Russia investigation on Thursday. Here's a taste of what went down:

  • Here's Comey's biggest line of the day: "I was fired because of the Russia investigation ... to change the way the Russia investigation was being conducted. That is a very big deal."

  • And to back things up, and remind you why we're all here: Trump fired Comey as FBI director. Comey says that happened because Trump wanted him to bury the investigation into ties between one of his top aides and Russia. Trump says Comey was performing badly and was a "nut job." It turns out Comey wrote detailed memos of his interactions with Trump, which are not flattering to the president.

  • Comey said outright that he made the detailed memos because he was afraid Trump would "lie" about their private conversations. He also said the administration "chose to defame me" about why he was fired.

  • The former FBI director also revealed he was the one who leaked his memo, through a Columbia University professor, about Trump demanding "loyalty" to him over dinner.

For a complete rundown on the hearing, check out this story.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said President Trump is new to politics and may not have realized that asking the director of the FBI for loyalty, and to "let go" of an investigation into a member of Trump's administration, was inappropriate.

Ryan made the comments as Comey testified before a Senate committee on Thursday morning, during which Comey alleged that President Trump asked for a loyalty pledge and requested he help "lift the cloud" of the Russia probe.

Ryan — who said he had not been watching the hearings but had read a prepared statement from Comey — said it's likely that Trump didn't understand that what he was saying was inappropriate.

"The president's new at this. He's new to government. And so he probably wasn't steeped in the long-running protocols that establish the relationships between the DOJ, FBI and White House," Ryan told reporters.

Read the full story here.

—Paul McLeod

Arizona Sen. John McCain was the last member of the Senate intelligence committee to question former FBI director James Comey on Thursday and it was...something.

No one understood what he was trying to say during his seven minutes of questions, in which he repeatedly called Trump "Comey." He even said "President Comey" at one point. Of course, everyone was completely bewildered.

McCain kept going back to Hillary Clinton's emails and seemed to confuse that closed investigation with the ongoing Russia probe.

People were genuinely concerned that something might be wrong, but then McCain said he had stayed up too late watching the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball game.

"Getting sense my q's today went over ppls heads - maybe going fwd I shouldn't stay up late watching @Dbacks games..." McCain tweeted on Thursday.

More on that here.

—Brianna Sacks

People dropped everything to watch the hearing — from bars, from the office, and while walking down the street

A taste of how many people are at Union Pub right now, nearly two and a half hours into the hearing.

How are Republicans feeling after Comey called the president a liar? They say everything is fine.

Former FBI director James Comey's greatly anticipated testimony before the Senate intelligence committee on Thursday cast President Trump as a bumbling, and possibly nefarious, liar who benefitted from a Russian intelligence operation — and Trump's allies still spent Thursday afternoon insisting it was a win for the president.

In interviews after the hearing they stressed that Comey made no explosive accusations of legal wrongdoing directed at President Trump. Comey, who spoke openly and without notes, repeatedly talked about feeling troubled and confused about his conversations with the president. However, he was careful to avoid explicitly accusing Trump, or any other administration official, of breaking the law.

Asked several times if he thought that Trump engaged in an obstruction of justice, Comey deferred to the ongoing investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller, himself a former FBI director.

This is what passes for good news in Washington these days.

Read more reaction from the Republicans here.

—Tarini Parti and Adrian Carrasquillo

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Here are all the different reasons intelligence officials gave for refusing to answer questions about Russia

Top intelligence and justice officials on Wednesday refused to answer questions from senators about whether the Trump administration had ever asked them to influence the FBI's ongoing Russia investigation.

Though the hearing was supposed to be focused on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, many senators wanted to know whether the White House was trying to meddle in an active FBI investigation. But all four witnesses repeatedly declined to address questions on the Russia investigation or their conversations with the president about it, using a variety of reasons to explain their decision to pass.

As the committee's vice chair, Mark Warner, said at the end of the hearing, many senators left frustrated at the lack of answers, and more confused than they had been beforehand.

"It just shows what kind of an Orwellian existence that we live in," Sen. John McCain, who participated in the hearing, said of the witnesses.

Read more about their responses here.

—Emma Loop

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Former FBI director James Comey's prepared remarks for his testimony before the Senate intelligence committee on Thursday were released on Wednesday, detailing his recollection of how President Trump demanded his loyalty and pressured him to drop the Russia probe.

It will be the first time Comey has testified publicly since he was fired by Trump last month.

Sens. Richard Burr and Mark Warner, the committee's ranking Republican and Democratic members, said they decided to make Comey's prepared remarks available a day early.

The "Statement for the Record" is dated June 8, indicating Comey plans to read it on Thursday.

In the statement, Comey writes that the president asked him for his loyalty at a Jan. 27 dinner between the two at the White House.

"I need loyalty. I expect loyalty," Comey alleges the president told him. Comey said he declined to offer such a pledge, but did promise honesty.

Read more about Comey's statement here.

—David Mack

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President Trump had some very confusing words about terrorism, Saudi Arabia, and his trip to the Middle East

Trump says that King Salman told him Saudi Arabia is "going to stop the funding of radical islamic terrorism. And t… https://t.co/W0k470NPZJ

The president suddenly broke from comments about infrastructure in Ohio to discuss terrorism, unleashing a word salad about — a country? several countries? Qatar? Saudi Arabia? — no longer financing what he calls "radical Islamic terrorism." It's unlikely that previous US presidents would have said this publicly about Saudi Arabia.

Here are the president's comments in full:

"I've just returned from a trip overseas that secured more than $350 billion of military and economic investments into the United States. That means millions of jobs. I want to thank the king of Saudi Arabia, King Salman, spent a lot of time together and they're doing a great job. They're going to be doing something very special. You see it with terrorism. The funding of terrorism. It's going to stop. Going to stop the funding of radical Islamic terrorism. And they're going to stop. And they hosted over 50 all-Muslim countries. They said there's never been anything like it in our history."

—Tom Namako

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The director of national intelligence and the chief of the National Security Agency declined before the Senate on Wednesday to publicly discuss their conversations with President Trump.

Appearing before the Senate intelligence committee, both Dan Coats and Michael Rogers said they did not believe it was appropriate to detail their interactions with the president in a public session.

"I do not feel it's appropriate for me to in a public session — in which confidential conversations between the president and myself — I don't believe it's appropriate for me to address that in a public session," Coats said.

On Tuesday night, the Washington Post reported that Coats had told others that Trump had asked him to try to persuade former FBI director James Comey to drop an investigation into Michael Flynn, the president's former national security adviser.

Coats says he's never felt pressure to intervene for political reasons in intelligence matters

Coats repeated the statement he gave to the newspaper, denying he had ever felt pressured to act politically with regards to intelligence.

"In my time of service, which is interacting with the president of the United States or anybody in his administration, I have never been pressured, I've never felt pressure to intervene or interfere in any way with shaping intelligence in a political way or in relationship to an ongoing investigation," Coats said.

Rogers says he won't talk about theoreticals, nor discuss his conversations with the president

Rogers, the NSA director, also said he would not discuss his interactions with the president. However, he said he had never felt pressured to do anything illegal.

"In the three-plus years that I have been the director of the National Security Agency, to the best of my recollection, I have never been directed to do anything I believe to be illegal, immoral, unethical, or inappropriate.

"And to the best of my recollection, during that same period of service, I do not recall ever feeling pressured to do so," Rogers said.

Both men will testify in a closed session later on Wednesday.

@MarkWarner Here's Sen Rubio asking Coats/Rogers if anyone "asked" — key question — them to influence the ongoing i… https://t.co/SjsJ2VdKLZ

Later, Sen. Marco Rubio, the Florida Republican and former presidential candidate, asked Coats and Rogers if anyone ever "asked" them to interfere in the Russia investigation.

Again, both men declined to answer.

@MarkWarner Things got testy between Sen. King (I-ME) and the panel. He was asking what legal basis they had for no… https://t.co/y41VxigXz8

@MarkWarner Here's where Coats/Rogers pretty much say they're not discussing convos with Trump about Russia because… https://t.co/Apn4vKyH9q

And there were some tense exchanges involving Sen. Angus King, an independent from Maine, after he asked on what legal basis the pair was refusing to answer questions about any conversations they had with Trump about the Russia investigation.

Rogers repeated that he thought the conversations were classified — but refused to elaborate. He also said he felt it was inappropriate to answer.

"What you feel isn't relevant, admiral," King said.

Coats said he also didn't think it appropriate to discuss his conversations with Trump in an open hearing.

King said they were "inappropriately refusing to answer these questions."

There's going to be a closed hearing later. Coats said he needs to talk to the Office of the White House Counsel about whether Trump intends to invoke executive privilege, which would block them from disclosing details in that forum too.

Sen. Mark Warner, a Democrat, said he was frustrated with the testimony.

"I come out of this hearing with more questions than when I went in. Gentlemen, you are both willing to somehow characterize your conversations with the president. You didn't feel pressure, but you wouldn't share the content," he said, adding, "the content of his communications with you is absolutely critical."

—David Mack and Tom Namako

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Christopher Wray, who Trump called "a man of impeccable credentials," served as the assistant attorney general in charge of the Justice Department's Criminal Division from 2003 to 2005 under President George W. Bush. More recently Wray has worked in private practice as a litigation partner at the King & Spalding law firm, according to the firm's website.

He also served as a lawyer for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Trump supporter, in the wake of the "Bridgegate" scandal, according to NJ.com.

Read the full story here.

Posted at

The director of national intelligence, Dan Coats, will testify on Wednesday to members of the Senate intelligence committee amid new questions regarding President Trump and Russian meddling in the election.

The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that Trump asked Coats to intervene in the FBI investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn and potential relationships between members of the presidential campaign and Russia.

In a statement to MSNBC, a spokesperson for Coats said Trump had not pressured him, but Coats declined to reveal whether Trump had ever asked him to intervene.

It was the latest in a series of reports suggesting that Trump tried to influence what was supposed to be an independent investigation.

Coats is scheduled to testify before the committee on Wednesday morning, along with Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, NSA Director Michael Rogers, and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

Their testimony comes before Thursday's scheduled questioning of James Comey, the former FBI director fired by Trump.

—Claudia Koerner

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Attorney General Jeff Sessions told President Trump he could resign from his post due to mounting friction between the two men, according to multiple reports.

Sessions was among the earliest supporters of Trump during the presidential campaign, but tensions between the two have reportedly grown since the attorney general recused himself from any investigation involving Russian interference in the election and possible collusion with the president's campaign.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein then decided to appoint a special investigator.

ABC News reported on Tuesday that the president has since "lashed out" at the attorney general in private meetings, and that Sessions at some point suggested that he resign. The Washington Post also confirmed that Sessions made the suggestion.

A spokesperson for the Department of Justice declined to comment on the matter to BuzzFeed News.

When asked by reporters on Tuesday whether Trump still had confidence in the attorney general, White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters that he couldn't say since he had not spoken to the president about it.

After the reports published on Tuesday, a Justice Department spokesperson told CNN's Jim Acosta that Sessions had no plans to resign.

—Salvador Hernandez

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London mayor says Trump should not visit UK following his tweets about the London Bridge attack

Pathetic excuse by London Mayor Sadiq Khan who had to think fast on his "no reason to be alarmed" statement. MSM is working hard to sell it!

After remaining silent on Trump's comments initially, London Mayor Sadiq Khan has now called for the president's state visit to the UK to be cancelled due to his tweets.

"I don't think we should roll out the red carpet to the president of the USA in the circumstances where his policies go against everything we stand for," Khan said during a Monday night appearance on Channel 4 News.

"When you have a special relationship it is no different from when you have got a close mate. You stand with them in times of adversity but you call them out when they are wrong. There are many things about which Donald Trump is wrong."

The US president accused Khan of having "to think fast" after the mayor of London said there was no reason for Londoners to be alarmed following the terror attack, which appears to have been carried out by Islamist extremists.

Trump also said the mainstream media were spinning the story on the mayor's behalf and implied that Khan, one of the only Muslim mayors of a major Western city, had to come up with an explanation for his comments after the event.

In reality, Khan's comment was taken out of context by Trump on Sunday morning, when he implied that the Muslim mayor was playing down the impact of the attack. The original quote was intended to reassure Londoners they had "no reason to be alarmed" about the "increased police presence today and over the course of the next few days" on the streets of the capital, rather than about the attack itself.

Khan's original quote continued: "I'm reassured that we are one of the safest global cities in the world, if not the safest global city, but we always evolve and review to make sure we're as safe as we possibly can be."

You can read more about Trump's reaction here.

—Alicia Melville-Smith and Jim Waterson

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President Trump was off and running early on Monday morning, with a series of four tweets attacking the Justice Department, the courts, and his own travel ban — the executive order he signed March 6.

The tweets came just days after the Justice Department asked the Supreme Court to resolve the legality of the ban (in its favor, of course) and allow the administration to enforce the ban while the appeal against it is being heard.

George Conway — a conservative lawyer (and Kellyanne Conway's husband) — said on Twitter that Trump's tweets "won't help" get five votes from the Supreme Court.

Read more here.

—Chris Geidner

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President Donald Trump will not invoke executive privilege to block former FBI director James Comey from testifying before the Senate intelligence committee on Thursday.

In a statement, the White House said that while the president's "power to assert executive privilege is well-established," Trump will not exercise that right "in order to facilitate a swift and thorough examination of the facts sought by the Senate Intelligence Committee."

Comey is set to appear before the committee on Thursday morning to testify on whether Trump tried to interfere with his department's Russia investigation, and whether the president's actions amounted to an obstruction of justice.

Trump suddenly fired Comey last month after reportedly demanding his loyalty at a dinner in January.

Brianna Sacks

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President Trump held a ceremony in the White House's East Room to make his case for privatizing the nation's air traffic control system — a move some say could have been announced by the president's staff.

Flanked by the vice president, transportation officials, and airline executives, Trump signed a decision memo and a letter to lawmakers proposing new principles that he said would modernize air traffic, in a ceremony resembling a bill signing which included the president distributing the two pens he used.

"Today we're proposing to take American air travel into the future," Trump said. "Finally."

Trump isn’t signing a bill. He’s signing a list of “principles” on air traffic control. It’s a faux bill signing ceremony. Amazing.

Trump's memo is a proposal supporting aviation changes whose implementation would require congressional approval. Democrats have largely opposed the changes, saying they would give too much power to the airline industry, according to AP.

"If we adopt these changes, Americans can look forward to cheaper, faster, and safer travel," Trump said.

An administrator at the Federal Aviation Administration later delivered tepid remarks about the plan:

Not exactly a full-throated endorsement… https://t.co/0YVXQcAIU7

—Mary Ann Georgantopoulos

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Donald Trump has criticized Sadiq Khan over the London Bridge terror attack (again)

Donald Trump has once again commented on the London Bridge terror attack, which resulted in the deaths of at least seven individuals, by criticizing Sadiq Khan.

The US President accused Khan of having "to think fast" after the mayor of London said there was no reason for Londoners to be alarmed following the terror attack, which appears to have been carried out by Islamist extremists.

Trump also said the mainstream media were spinning the story on the mayor's behalf and implied that Khan, one of the only Muslim mayors of a major Western city, had to come up with an explanation for his comments after the event.

In reality, Khan's comment was taken out of context by Trump on Sunday morning, when he implied that the Muslim mayor was playing down the impact of the attack. The original quote was intended to reassure Londoners that they had "no reason to be alarmed" about the "increased police presence today and over the course of the next few days" on the streets of the British capital, rather than about the attack itself.

Read more here.

—Jim Waterson

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Trump starts the week with a tweetstorm confirming once and for all that his travel ban is a travel ban

People, the lawyers and the courts can call it whatever they want, but I am calling it what we need and what it is, a TRAVEL BAN!

President Trump confirmed Monday that his executive order is a "travel ban," while urging the courts to implement the tougher version he originally submitted.

The early morning Twitter rant comes the day after the president tweeted that "we must stop being politically correct and get down to the business of security for our people."

On Monday, Trump said people "can call it whatever they want, but I am calling it what we need and what it is, a TRAVEL BAN!"

In the past, White House press secretary Sean Spicer has argued to reporters that the executive order is not a travel ban.

Now Trump appears to be doubling down on comments he made over the weekend, urging the Justice Department to shoot down what he calls the "watered down" and "politically correct" version of the "travel ban" that he signed on March 6. He wants either a tougher version, or a return to the original draft he signed in January.

Read the full story here.

—Jessica Simeone

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President Donald Trump tried to garner support for his legally challenged travel ban just moments after a suspected terror attack in London on Saturday, referencing the violent incidents as a justification for the executive order.

Trump's tweet, connecting the London attack to the travel executive order currently tied up in the courts, was his first public statement concerning the violence on Saturday.

It followed a retweet of a Drudge Report item on the attack, which left at least six people dead and more than 20 injured after a van rammed into pedestrians on London Bridge and suspects began stabbing people in Borough Market.

Read more here.

—Salvador Hernandez

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In New York, DC, Philly, and many other cities around the US on Saturday, people gathered at the "March for Truth" to demand an independent investigation of any ties President Trump or his aides may have to Russia.

The protesters are calling for "a fair and impartial investigation, for the pursuit of truth, and for the restoration of faith in our electoral system and the Office of the Presidency." US spy agencies agreed that Russia worked to help Trump in the 2016 election.

"The legitimacy of our democracy is more important than the interests of any party, or any President," reads the march's website. Organizers claimed there would be action in more than 100 US cities.

Check out images from demonstrations in cities across the country here.

—Julia Reinstein

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Speaking at a political event in Boone, Iowa, on Saturday, Vice President Mike Pence praised the "strong support" both he and President Donald Trump have received from Congress — but some Iowans were not so confident that the administration is getting the support it needs to move forward with its agenda.

"In fact, thanks to President Trump's leadership, and the strong support we have from Iowa and Congress, over 600,000 new private sector jobs have been created this year, and unemployment is at its lowest level in 16 years," Pence said. He added later that he has "faith" in the Republican majority in Congress.

The remarks were made at Republican Sen. Joni Ernst's third annual Roast and Ride event in Central Iowa, where Pence pulled up on a Harley Davidson as part of a 500-strong motorcycle parade in honor of veterans. While the Republicans present were still overwhelmingly supportive of what Trump is doing in the White House, their generosity did not extend to the GOP lawmakers he has to work with in Congress.

Read the full story here.

—Lissandra Villa

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Dozens of Trump supporters gathered outside the White House on Saturday to show their support for the president's decision to pull the US out of the Paris Agreement on climate change, which he said would have drained the country's economy.

The rally, which drew roughly 200 people both in support of and against Trump's decision, ran for about two hours, and was organized by the Fairfax County Republican Committee and the Republican Party of Virginia.

It was dubbed the "Pittsburgh not Paris" rally after Trump's most memorable — and criticized — line from the speech in which he announced the US would leave the agreement. It began in Lafayette Square outside the White House, named for French aristocrat and military officer the Marquis de Lafayette who fought in the Revolutionary War.

Find out more here.

—Nidhi Subbaraman

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