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  • White House

When a border wall replacement project began near downtown Calexico this year, Border Patrol agents emphasized that it should not be confused with President Trump’s wall. The president himself stirred up confusion Wednesday, tweeting photos of the Calexico construction and saying, “Great briefing this afternoon on the start of our Southern Border WALL!”

One problem: Plans for the wall replacement project started in 2009.

“It was ultimately funded under the current administration in 2017, but is completely separate of any political talk or commentary,” Justin Castrejon, a spokesman for the Border Patrol’s El Centro Sector, said in an interview this month. 

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Former Trump campaign advisor Carter Page makes a presentation during a visit to Moscow in December 2016.
Former Trump campaign advisor Carter Page makes a presentation during a visit to Moscow in December 2016. (Artyom Korotayev/TASS/Abaca Press/TNS)

The Justice Department’s internal watchdog will examine how officials handled a secret application to conduct surveillance of a Trump foreign policy advisor, the latest review in a controversy that has set off a partisan battle in Congress and drawn angry accusations from President Trump.

Following requests from Republican senators and Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions, Inspector General Michael Horowitz announced Wednesday that his office would examine whether the FBI and Justice officials followed the law and department procedures during an investigation of Carter Page, the energy consultant whose dealings with Russians attracted scrutiny before the 2016 election.

The department obtained permission from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to use spying tools against Page, a U.S. citizen. Their warrant application was based in part on a now-infamous dossier compiled by Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence agent who was working as part of a Democrat-funded opposition research project.

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President Trump waded into Orange County’s “sanctuary” laws fight with a pair of tweets Wednesday morning, one day after the Orange County Board of Supervisors voted to join a federal lawsuit against California’s sanctuary laws.

Senate Bill 54, which Gov. Jerry Brown signed after the Legislature passed it last year, prohibits state and local police agencies from notifying federal officials in many cases when immigrants in their custody who may potentially be subject to deportation are about to be released.

The Trump administration went to federal court to invalidate the state laws, contending that they blatantly obstruct federal immigration law and thus violate the Constitution's supremacy clause, which gives federal law precedence over state measures. That case is pending.

(Tom Williams / CQ-Roll Call)

Of the many charges faced by Paul Manafort, conspiring with Russians to influence the 2016 presidential campaign in Donald Trump’s favor isn't one of them.

But in a legal filing on Tuesday night, prosecutors working with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III dropped more hints about alleged connections between Manafort, Trump's former campaign manager, and Russian intelligence. 

The information was disclosed in court papers filed in a separate case involving Alex van der Zwaan, a former lawyer who pleaded guilty in February to lying to investigators and is scheduled to be sentenced on Tuesday.

  • White House
Stormy Daniels speaks to Anderson Cooper during her interview on "60 Minutes."
Stormy Daniels speaks to Anderson Cooper during her interview on "60 Minutes." (CBS News)

President Trump is too busy running the country to weigh in personally on the Stormy Daniels accusations, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters Tuesday.

Aides aren’t saying whether Trump watched Sunday’s “60 Minutes” interview on CBS, in which Daniels told of a sexual encounter she had with Trump in 2006, shortly after the birth of his son, and of subsequent efforts to keep her from telling the story — including a physical threat in Trump’s name. They reiterated that Trump denies the accusations.

The president himself wasn’t saying so, however. He remained uncharacteristically silent in the wake of both Daniels’ much-watched interview and an earlier one on CNN of Karen McDougal, a former Playboy playmate who described a long sexual relationship with Trump in the same year.

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U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley speaks at the United Nations earlier this month.
U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley speaks at the United Nations earlier this month. (Getty Images)

The United States on Tuesday condemned the forced surrender of one of the last rebel-held enclaves in Syria and accused Syrian government forces of using a U.N.-backed cease-fire to accomplish it.

Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, blamed Russia for supporting Syrian President Bashar Assad and playing a “central role in the bombing of Syrian civilians into submission.”

Haley, speaking at a special session of the U.N. Security Council, also lashed out at her fellow members of the organization, saying they had failed to call out Russia and Syria’s other key ally, Iran. She was reacting to reports that the enclave of eastern Ghouta, near Damascus, had all but fallen to government forces, and thousands of civilians were being forced to flee.

They’re headed for the exits in Congress, more than 50 lawmakers in all, deciding they’ve had enough and opting to quit rather than run again in November.

President Trump “may or may not have seen” the “60 Minutes” interview with porn star Stormy Daniels on Sunday, a spokesman said, but the president denies her allegations surrounding a sexual encounter.

“The president doesn’t believe that any of the claims that Ms. Daniels made last night in the interview are accurate,” principal deputy press secretary Raj Shah told White House reporters on Monday. “There’s nothing to corroborate her claim.”

Shah disputed Daniels’ account, including her new allegation that she was threatened by an unknown man to stay quiet about Trump, even as Shah declined to answer reporters’ questions, telling them to contact the president’s personal lawyer. Ms. Daniels’ lawyer has said as recently as Monday that she does have proof of her relationship with Trump, though he has not provided it. 

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The highly anticipated “60 Minutes” interview with adult film star Stormy Daniels on Sunday, during which she discussed President Trump, brought the CBS program its largest TV audience since 2008.

Stormy Daniels was threatened with physical harm in 2011 if she went public with her story of an alleged affair with Donald Trump, the porn actress said in an interview broadcast Sunday on “60 Minutes.”