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Kushner urges ‘open mind’ on upcoming Mideast plan: source

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Kushner urges 'open mind' on upcoming Mideast plan: source

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – White House senior adviser Jared Kushner urged a group of ambassadors on Wednesday to keep an “open mind” about President Donald Trump’s upcoming Middle East peace proposal and said it will require compromises from both sides, a source familiar with his remarks said.

White House adviser Jared Kushner at the “2019 Prison Reform Summit” in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., April 1, 2019. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

Kushner said the peace plan is to be unveiled after Israel forms a governing coalition in the wake of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s election victory and after the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which ends in early June, the source said.

“We will all have to look for reasonable compromises that will make peace achievable,” Kushner said, according to the source, who asked to remain anonymous.

Kushner, one of the main architects of the peace proposal and who is married to Trump’s daughter Ivanka, spoke to about 100 ambassadors from around the world at Blair House, the presidential guest home across the street from the White House. He spoke as part of a State Department series of speeches.

The proposal has two major components: A political piece that addresses core political issues such as the status of Jerusalem, and an economic part that aims to help the Palestinians strengthen their economy.

Unclear is whether the plan will propose outright the creation of a Palestinian state, the Palestinians’ core demand.

During his remarks, Kushner pushed back on the idea that the Trump peace plan was mostly centered around the economic package, saying the political component is “very detailed,” the source said.

“He said the plan will require concessions from both sides but won’t jeopardize the security of Israel,” the source said.

“It requires everybody approaching the plan with an open mind.”

The White House had no comment.

Israel’s U.N. Ambassador Danny Danon said on Wednesday that Netanyahu is unlikely to follow through on an election pledge to annex Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank until after the United States has unveiled its plan.

“I think we will respect the efforts of the administration. I don’t think we will see any major action done by our government before the peace plan will be presented,” Danon told reporters in New York.

The Palestinians and many countries consider the settlements illegal under the Geneva conventions that bar settling on land captured in war. Israel disputes this, citing security needs and biblical, historical and political connections to the land.

Reporting by Steve Holland; additional reporting by Michelle Nichols at the United Nations; Editing by Steve Orlofsky, Susan Thomas and Dan Grebler

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Trump sues to block Democrats’ subpoena for financial information

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Republican convention set for August 2020 in Charlotte

Lawyers for President Trump on Monday sued to block a subpoena issued by members of Congress that sought the business magnate’s financial records.

The complaint named Rep. Elijah Cummings, the Democratic chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, and Peter Kenny, the chief investigative counsel of the House committee, as its plaintiffs.

“We will not allow Congressional Presidential harassment to go unanswered,” said Jay Sekulow, counsel to the president.

This is a breaking news story. Check back for updates.

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Congressman Moulton enters Democratic 2020 presidential race

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Congressman Moulton enters Democratic 2020 presidential race

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Representative Seth Moulton entered the 2020 Democratic presidential race on Monday as a long-shot contender in a contest that now includes almost 20 candidates.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Congressman Seth Moulton (D-MA) speaks at a Merrimack County Democrats Summer Social at the Swett home in Bow, New Hampshire, U.S., July 28, 2018. REUTERS/Brian Snyder/File Photo

A 40-year-old Iraq War veteran who represents a district in Massachusetts, Moulton enters the race as an underdog, with little national name recognition and a shorter track record than some rivals who have spent years in the U.S. Senate or as state governors.

Moulton has built a political career by challenging the party’s establishment. He entered Congress in 2015 after winning a Democratic primary challenge against John Tierney, who had held the seat for 18 years.

After Democrats took control of the U.S. House of Representatives in 2018, Moulton helped organize opposition to Representative Nancy Pelosi’s bid to again become Speaker of the House.

He ended his opposition to Pelosi with a statement saying: “Tough conversations make us stronger, not weaker, and we need to keep having them if we’re going to deliver on the change that we’ve promised the American people.”

In a YouTube video announcing his presidential candidacy, he said: “Decades of division and corruption have broken our democracy and robbed Americans of their voice.”

“While our country marches forward, Washington is anchored in the past,” he said.

In the video, Moulton said he wants to tackle climate change and grow the U.S. economy by promoting green jobs as well as high tech and advanced manufacturing.

Moulton served in the Marines from 2001 to 2008. During his 2014 congressional bid, he became a vocal critic of the Iraq War in which he served, saying no more troops should be deployed to the country.

He has advocated stricter gun laws, saying military-style weapons should not be owned by civilians.

Moulton supports the legalization of marijuana and told Boston public radio station WGBH in 2016 that he had smoked pot while in college.

He graduated from Harvard University with an undergraduate degree in physics in 2001 and returned to receive a master’s degree in business and public policy in 2011.

For a graphic of the 2020 presidential candidates, see: tmsnrt.rs/2Ff62ZC

Reporting by Ginger Gibson; additional reporting by Rich McKay; Editing by Colleen Jenkins, Jonathan Oatis, Kirsten Donovan and David Gregorio

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Trump sues to block subpoena for financial information

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Trump sues to block subpoena for financial information

U.S. President Donald Trump boards Air Force One as they travel to Florida for Easter weekend, at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, U.S., April 18, 2019. REUTERS/Al Drago

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday sued to block a subpoena issued by the Democratic chairman of the U.S. House Oversight Committee that sought information about his and his businesses’ finances.

“Chairman Cummings’ subpoena is invalid and unenforceable because it has no legitimate legislative purpose,” lawyers for Trump and the Trump Organization said in court filing.

Reporting by Makini Brice; Editing by Tim Ahmann

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