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Iran says latest US sanctions ends ‘channel of diplomacy forever’

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Iran says latest US sanctions ends ‘channel of diplomacy forever’

A spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry said in a tweet Tuesday that the new U.S. sanctions that target Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and other officials close any channel for diplomacy between the two countries “forever.”

The U.S. and Iran have seen tensions increase exponentially in the past few weeks after an initial U.S. sanctions squeeze that Washington said led to the attacks on two oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz. The situation became increasingly dire last week after Tehran admitted to downing a $100 million U.S. Navy drone.

RAND PAUL PRAISES TRUMP’S RESTRAINT

Abbas Mousavi took to Twitter to call out President Trump’s latest decision to impose additional sanctions and said the sanctions means “closing channel of diplomacy forever,” according to Reuters.

“Trump’s desperate administration is destroying the established international mechanisms for maintaining world peace and security,” the tweet read.

Trump, for his part, has been largely credited for his show of prudence while dealing with a hostile country. Trump appears hesitant to enter another hot war in the region but said Monday that his “restraint” is not limitless.

Trump said the sanctions “will deny the supreme leader and the supreme leader’s office and those closely affiliated with him and the office access to key financial resources and support.” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the sanctions “lock up literally billions of dollars more of assets.”

Fox News has confirmed that the U.S. military also carried out a cyberattack against Iran last Thursday even as the president nixed plans for airstrikes in response to the downing of an American drone.

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Sources said U.S. Cyber Command launched the cyberattack targeting the Iranian intelligence and radar installations used to down the U.S. Navy drone last week.

Fox News’ Alex Pappas contributed to this report

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Trump announces ‘real compromise’ on budget deal with congressional leaders

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Trump announces 'real compromise' on budget deal with congressional leaders

The Trump administration and congressional leaders, including Democrats, have reached a critical debt and budget agreement, a deal that amounted to an against-the-odds victory for Washington pragmatists seeking to avoid politically dangerous tumult over fiscal deadlines, President Trump announced Monday.

The deal would increase spending caps by $320 billion relative to the limits prescribed in the 2011 Budget Control Act, whose provisions have repeatedly been waived year after year. It would also suspend the debt ceiling and permit more government borrowing until July 31, 2021 — after the next presidential election.

The arrangement all but eliminates the risk of another government shut down this fall, but already has been drawing the ire of fiscal conservatives saying it will lead to more irresponsible government spending.

Even some Democrats — including Vermont Sen. Patrick J. Leahy — were outraged, saying the bill would not block Trump from spending money on his proposed border wall.

“I am pleased to announce that a deal has been struck with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy – on a two-year Budget and Debt Ceiling, with no poison pills,” Trump wrote.

He added: “This was a real compromise in order to give another big victory to our Great Military and Vets!”

Democrats celebrated that, under the new deal, the domestic, non-military budget receives larger increases than the defense budget, when compared to last year. Democrats also lauded the deal’s allocation of $2.5 billion for the 2020 Census, to ensure that all residents are counted.

The deal, which must still pass Congress, also comes as budget deficits have been rising to $1 trillion levels — requiring the government to borrow a quarter for every dollar the government spends — despite the thriving economy and three rounds of annual Trump budget proposals promising to crack down on the domestic programs that Pelosi, D-Calif., has been defending.

It apparently ignored warnings from fiscal conservatives saying the nation’s spending has been unsustainable and eventually will drag down the economy.

“This agreement is a total abdication of fiscal responsibility by Congress and the president,” said Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a Washington advocacy group. “It may end up being the worst budget agreement in our nation’s history, proposed at a time when our fiscal conditions are already precarious.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Trump says deal reached on spending, debt limit

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Trump says deal reached on spending, debt limit

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks as he formally kicking off his re-election bid with a campaign rally in Orlando, Florida, U.S., June 18, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Barria/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump said on Monday a two-year deal had been reached with congressional leaders to raise the Treasury Department’s borrowing authority and to set budget spending caps.

“I am pleased to announce that a deal has been struck with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy – on a two-year Budget and Debt Ceiling, with no poison pills,” Trump said on Twitter.

Reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by David Alexander

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Pence’s mysteriously canceled NH trip linked to presence of suspected drug dealer

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Pence's mysteriously canceled NH trip linked to presence of suspected drug dealer

Vice President Pence abrupt and mysterious scrapping of plans to fly to New Hampshire and return to the White House earlier this month occurred, in part, because of concerns he could come in contact with a suspected drug dealer under federal investigation, Fox News has learned.

The abrupt cancellation of Pence’s trip to Salem on July 2 has prompted confusion and speculation. At the time, a senior White House official told reporters the situation wasn’t related to national security or the health of Pence or President Trump.

On Monday, Politico reported that among the concerns was Pence’s potential proximity to Jeff Hatch, a former New York Giants player who was under investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration over the movement of fentanyl from Massachusetts to New Hampshire. Hatch, according to Politico, pleaded guilty to federal drug charges in court on Friday.

PENCE STILL WON’T DIVULGE REASON FOR ABRUPT NH TRIP CANCELLATION: ‘I CAN’T DISCUSS IT’

An email address listed for Hatch at Granite Recovery Centers was no longer active on Monday. Hatch also did not comment to Politico.

Fox News was told that Hatch, who worked at a treatment center that Pence had planned to visit, is only part of the reason why the trip was scrapped.

The unusual sequence of events began with a crowd in Salem was waiting for Pence to participate in a roundtable discussion on the illegal drug flow in New Hampshire. But shortly before the vice president was to arrive, an announcer told the crowd that Air Force Two was no longer able to come to New Hampshire.

PENCE’S OFFICE TIGHT-LIPPED AFTER VP ABRUPTLY CANCELS NEW HAMPSHIRE TRIP TO RETURN TO WHITE HOUSE

Pence’s chief of staff, Marc Short, later told reporters that Pence had boarded the plane, but that Air Force Two hadn’t left the ground. Short said at the time that details of the events would be made public “in a few weeks.”

In a recent interview with Fox News, Pence refused to disclose the reasons.

“Facts came to our attention that made it no longer appropriate for us to make the trip,” Pence said. “And I can’t discuss it.”

Without going into details, the vice president said the reason had “nothing to do with the White House. Nothing to do with the administration.” He said he hoped to be able to speak about it eventually.

“I hope we have the opportunity to discuss the reasons in the future, but I’m very confident that we made the right decision,” he said.

Fox News’ John Roberts contributed to this report.

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