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Republicans renew calls for US-UK trade deal amid Brexit delay

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Republicans renew calls for US-UK trade deal amid Brexit delay

Republicans in the White House and Congress are renewing their support for a U.S.-U.K. trade deal after Britain leaves the European Union — even as Brexit is facing significant delays across the Atlantic.

“If the U.K. regains control over its national trade policy, our two nations will have a once-in-a-generation chance to forge an ambitious trade pact – a truly free, fair, and reciprocal agreement that will foster economic growth, spur innovation, and define a new global standard in trade,” Rep. George Holding, R-N.C., wrote in an op-ed for the Daily Telegraph this week.

BRITAIN, EU AGREE TO DELAY BREXIT DEADLINE UNTIL OCT. 31

Holding, who is the ranking Republican of the British American Parliamentary Group and co-chair of the Congressional U.K. Caucus, wrote that a U.S.-U.K. free trade agreement is a “top priority” for the U.S. He said that President Trump is “extremely supportive of such a deal as are many Republican and Democratic leaders in Congress.”

“With the U.K. no longer restrained by Brussels’ command-and-control bureaucracy and its heavy-handed regulatory tendencies, we can finally realize the full economic potential a sovereign Britain presents,” he wrote.

Britain voted to leave the European Union in 2016, a vote that then-candidate Donald Trump and other Republicans supported, but the British government has struggled to implement the result.

Prime Minister Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement, negotiated with Brussels last year, has been voted down three times by Parliament, and last week U.K. and E.U. leaders negotiated an extension until Oct. 31. It had initially been scheduled to leave the bloc in March. The country cannot negotiate a free trade deal until after the U.K. exits the E.U.

Amid calls in the U.K. for a second referendum or a “softer” Brexit from British lawmakers in favor of staying in the bloc, those in favor of a “harder” Brexit have repeatedly pointed to the possibility of a generous U.S.-U.K. trade deal as an example of the benefits that will come from the U.K. leaving the E.U. — and warned against a deal that would limit that ability to negotiate its own deals.

“All that remains to be seen are the exact terms under which Great Britain will leave the European Union,” Holding wrote. “An exit agreement that ties Britain too closely to the EU would effectively render a bilateral trade deal with the United States impossible.”

Holding’s op-ed comes amid a broader push by the White House to nudge Britain in the direction of a Brexit that would allow the country to negotiate its own deals, and soon.

Last summer, the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office formed a trading “committee” with the U.K. to work out a trade agreement, as a way to get around the fact that the U.S. cannot formally negotiate with the U.K. until it leaves the E.U.

TRUMP BACKS BREXIT BY PROMISING ‘LARGE SCALE TRADE DEAL’ WITH UK, AS LAWMAKERS MULL DELAY

National Security Adviser John Bolton told Reuters in a recent interview that President Trump is very eager to cut a bilateral trade deal with an independent Britain.”

“It’s very complicated inside Britain,” Bolton said. “I know they’re going through a lot of turmoil. But really I think the president would like to reassure the people of the United Kingdom how strongly we feel, that we want to be there when they do come out of the European Union.”

Those remarks came days after Trump tweeted: “My administration looks forward to negotiating a large scale Trade Deal with the United Kingdom. The potential is unlimited!”

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The same day, in the Oval Office alongside Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, Trump said he was “surprised at how badly it’s all gone from the standpoint of a negotiation” and said that May didn’t listen to his advice on how to negotiate with the E.U. He also said that a second referendum would be “unfair.”

“I hate to see everything being ripped apart right now, I don’t think another vote would be possible because it would be very unfair to the people that won that say: ‘What do you mean you’re going to take another vote?'” he said. “So that would be tough.”

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Kellyanne Conway: Trump can’t be impeached by an investigation Democrats started

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Kellyanne Conway: Trump can't be impeached by an investigation Democrats started

As thousands gathered on the White House lawn for the annual Easter egg roll on Monday morning, Kellyanne Conway criticized House Democrats latest impeachment push, calling it “a ridiculous proposition.”

News broke on Sunday that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., plans to hold a private conference call with fellow Democrats to discuss the possibility of impeaching President Trump.

The issue was raised again after a redacted version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report was released last week, which Dems argue provides evidence to the contrary of Attorney General William Barr’s summary that the investigation found no evidence that President Trump obstructed justice.

However, Conway pushed back.

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“You can’t impeach a Republican president for something the Democrats started, which is this ridiculous investigation that has cost us $25 million, over 2500 subpoenas,” Conway told “Fox & Friends” host Ainsley Earhardt on Monday morning.

“The special counsel provides a report to the attorney general who, in concert with the deputy attorney general and office of legal counsel, decided there was no obstructive conduct. They could not bring obstruction charges – they made that decision,” she continued.

“I’m sure if director Mueller and his team could have brought those very clear charges they would have.”

She added that many in the media are now trying to “save face” after fiercely believing and predicting Mueller’s investigation would uncover collusion between Trump and Russia, which would have supplemented their arguments in 2016 that Trump “lied and stole the election.”

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As the 2020 election approaches, Conway also commented on the wide array of Democrats entering the race and reminded viewers that candidates need to run on real issues.

“Simple math,” she said. “One, 19, 50, anything times zero, simple multiplication … 19 are running, but if your message is zero it’s a big zero.”

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Ex-Trump attorney Dowd disputes Mueller report, says president never tried to oust special counsel

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Ex-Trump attorney Dowd disputes Mueller report, says president never tried to oust special counsel

President Trump never said he wanted to “get rid” of Special Counsel Robert Mueller and instead cooperated fully with his investigation, according to one of the president’s former attorneys.

John Dowd, who served as a member of President Trump’s legal team from June 2017 until March 2018, discussed Trump’s approach to Mueller during an interview on “Fox & Friends” Monday.

Frequent media accounts prior to the release of the report suggested Trump tried to fire Mueller at times during the Russia investigation. The report itself said Trump told then-White House Counsel Don McGahn in June 2017 to tell the acting attorney general that Mueller “must be removed.” McGahn refused.

But asked on Monday when Trump said to fire Mueller, Dowd said: “He never did. I was there at the same time that the report says McGahn mentioned this, and I was assigned to deal with Mueller and briefed the president every day.

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“At no time did the president ever say, ‘you know, John, I’m going to get rid of him.’ It was the opposite.

“Here’s the message the president had for Bob Mueller, he told me to carry — number one, you tell him I respect what he is doing; number two, you tell him he has my full cooperation; number three, get it done as quickly as possible; and number four, whatever else you need, let me know.

“That was always the message and that is exactly what we did.”

Dowd continued, saying he spoke to Mueller about the president’s frequent public criticism of the investigation.

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“I talked to Bob about that. I said, ‘do you understand what’s going on?’ and he said, ‘oh, it’s political, he has to do that for political reasons’.

“I said, ‘I tell you what, the president and I will make sure, we’ll say publicly cooperate with Bob Mueller’ and we did early on. So that was it.”

Host Steve Doocy then asked Dowd about “the suggestion from the report that Don McGahn, the president’s attorney, was told go out and fire him” Mueller.

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“I just I think there was a misunderstanding,” Dowd said.

“I just don’t believe it. I think the president simply wanted McGahn to call Rosenstein, have him vetted, because the president believed Mueller did have some conflicts.”

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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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