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Schiff requests info from intel communities, accuses Trump of endangering national security

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Schiff requests info from intel communities, accuses Trump of endangering national security

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., criticized the Trump administration on Friday for dangerously politicizing the Intelligence Community (IC) and requested that agencies provide more information about the president’s order allowing them to declassify information related to the Russia investigation.

Alleging Trump’s policy threatened national security, Schiff requested that the IC provide all documents made available to Attorney General William Barr, inform his committee prior to any declassification, provide an assessement on declassification’s harms to national security, and an in-person briefing on what the administration requested up to that point.

“President Trump’s May 23, 2019 directive to you and other heads of agencies to assist and produce information to Attorney General William P. Barr … represents a disturbing effort by the President and the Attorney General to politicize the Intelligence Community (“IC”) and law enforcement, and raises grave concerns about inappropriate and misleading disclosures of classified information and IC sources and methods for political ends,” Schiff said in a letter to Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats.

BARR HAS NOT RECEIVED ‘SATISFACTORY’ ANSWERS FROM INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY IN RUSSIA PROBE ORIGINS REVIEW

Schiff was referring to the order Trump imposed in an effort to expedite his Justice Department’s investigation into the Russia probe’s origins. Questions arose — as to how the Russia probe started — after Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report was unable to conclude the president’s 2016 campaign engaged in a conspiracy with Russia.

In his Friday letter, Schiff suggested that the administration’s argument behind that investigation was a “conspiracy theory” that unfairly questioned the validity of Mueller’s probe.

“The Special Counsel’s report definitively establishes that the counterintelligence investigation was properly initiated based on credible information from an intelligence partner. Yet the Attorney General has called into question, without evidence, the validity of the predication of what became the Special Counsel’s investigation,” he said.

Trump, according to Schiff, endangered national security by granting Barr the authority to declassify information without consulting with the IC.

AG BARR BREAKS WITH TRUMP, SAYS HE DOES NOT THINK OBAMA-ERA OFFICIALS COMMITTED TREASON

“This approach threatens national security by subverting longstanding rules and practices that obligate you and other heads of IC agencies to safeguard sources and methods and prevent the politicization of intelligence and law enforcement.”

The Justice Department did not respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

Barr has vowed to get to the bottom of the investigation’s origins but said he faced difficulty in obtaining the answers he needed. “I assumed I’d get answers when I went in, and I have not gotten answers that are at all satisfactory,” he told CBS in an interview aired on Friday.

Schiff’s words echoed those of former FBI Director James Comey, who led the Russia investigation during the 2016 presidential election.

In a Washington Post op-ed published on Tuesday, Comey defended the investigation’s origins and called Trump’s suspicions a “conspiracy theory” that made “no sense.”

2020 DEM ELIZABETH WARREN PROPOSES LAW SAYING A PRESIDENT CAN BE INDICTED

“The FBI wasn’t out to get Donald Trump. It also wasn’t out to get Hillary Clinton. It was out to do its best to investigate serious matters while walking through a vicious political minefield,” he said.

Republicans, however, have demanded accountability after the release of Mueller’s report, pointing to the controversial Steele dossier’s role in initiating the investigation. Former House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, told Fox News that Democrats weren’t so much concerned with national security as they were with Trump uncovering their influence on the Russia investigation.

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Congressional Democrats, meanwhile, have continued pressing the administration for more answers surrounding Mueller’s investigation — facing roadblocks as the president invoked executive privilege to avoid complying with subpoenas.

Some Democrats have taken the party’s efforts further in calling for impeachment proceedings against the president.

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Trump accuser says most people think of rape as being ‘sexy’ in interview

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Trump accuser says most people think of rape as being 'sexy' in interview

E. Jean Carroll, the writer who accused President Trump of sexually assaulting her in the mid-1990s, raised eyebrows when she said in an interview that most people consider rape “sexy.”

The longtime advice columnist for Elle Magazine appeared on the channel to detail the allegations from 23 years ago in a dressing room. She said the incident wasn’t “sexual” and likened it to a “fight.”

LONGTIME ADVICE COLUMNIST E. JEAN CARROLL ACCUSES TRUMP OF SEXUAL ASSAULT IN 1990S

“I was not thrown on the ground and ravaged. The word rape carries so many sexual connotations. This was not sexual. It just hurt,” she said.

Anderson Cooper, the CNN host, asked Carroll about her refusal to use word rape and pointed out that most people describe rape as a violent assault.

“I think most people think of rape as being sexy. Think of the fantasies,” Carroll replied. The interview was interrupted by a commercial break.

New York magazine on Friday published the allegations as part of an excerpt from her forthcoming book in which she accuses Trump, and other men, of improper sexual behavior.

She claimed the Trump incident occurred at Bergdorf Goodman in either the fall of 1995 or the spring of 1996. Trump has denied the allegations. He was criticized for saying in an interview that she is not his type.

Carroll is known for her “Ask E. Jean” column, which runs in Elle magazine.

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In the excerpt, Carroll, who had a daily advice show at the time, said Trump recognized her and asked for her help choosing a gift. She said they eventually made their way into the lingerie section, and then a dressing room.

“The moment the dressing-room door is closed, he lunges at me, pushes me against the wall, hitting my head quite badly and puts his mouth against my lips,” Carroll wrote. In explicit detail, Carroll wrote that Trump held her against a wall and pulled down her tights.

“The next moment, still wearing correct business attire, shirt, tie, suit jacket, overcoat, he opens the overcoat, unzips his pants, and, forcing his fingers around my private area, thrusts his penis halfway — or completely, I’m not certain — inside me,” she said. “It turns into a colossal struggle.”

After coming forward with her allegations, Carroll told MSNBC on Friday that despite the alleged ordeal, she won’t pursue the allegations in court due to the migrant detention situation at the southern border, saying it would be “disrespectful.

“I would find it disrespectful to the women who are down on the border who are being raped around the clock down there without any protection,” Carroll said. “As you know, the women have very little protection there. It would just be disrespectful.”

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Trump released a lengthy statement vehemently denying the allegations: “I’ve never met this person in my life. She is trying to sell a new book — that should indicate her motivation. It should be sold in the fiction section.”

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Trump reassures Tokyo he will stick with security pact: Japan government

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Trump reassures Tokyo he will stick with security pact: Japan government

TOKYO (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday reassured Japan he was committed to a military treaty that both nations have described as a cornerstone of security in Asia, after a media report said he had spoken privately about withdrawing from the pact.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during delivering a speech to Japanese and U.S. troops as they aboard Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force’s (JMSDF) helicopter carrier DDH-184 Kaga at JMSDF Yokosuka base in Yokosuka, south of Tokyo, Japan, May 28, 2019. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha/File Photo

Citing unidentified sources, Bloomberg reported on Monday that Trump had discussed ending the pact which he believed is one-sided because it obligated the United States to defend Japan if attacked but did not require Tokyo to respond in kind.

The report said Trump was also unhappy with plans to relocate the U.S. base on Japan’s Okinawa island.

“The thing reported in the media you mentioned does not exist,” chief government spokesman Yoshihide Suga told reporters in Tokyo when asked about the report.

“We have received confirmation from the U.S. president it is incompatible with the U.S. government policy,” he added.

Under the security agreement, the United States has committed to defend Japan, which renounced the right to wage war after its defeat in World War Two.

Japan in return provides military bases that Washington uses to project power deep into Asia, including the biggest concentration of U.S. Marines outside the United States on Okinawa, and the forward deployment of an aircraft carrier strike group at the Yokosuka naval base near Tokyo.

Ending the pact, which also puts Japan under the U.S. nuclear umbrella, could force Washington to withdraw a major portion of its military forces from Asia at a time when China’s military power is growing.

It would also force Japan to seek new alliances in the region and bolster its own defenses, which in turn could raise concern about nuclear proliferation in the already tense region.

Washington’s close ties to Tokyo have also benefited U.S. military contractors such as Lockheed Martin Corp and Raytheon Co, which have sold billions of dollars of equipment to Japan’s Self Defense Forces.

On a visit to Japan in May, Trump said he expected Japan’s military to reinforce U.S. forces throughout Asia and elsewhere as Tokyo bolsters the ability of its forces to operate further from its shores.

Part of that military upgrade includes a commitment by Japan to buy 97 F-35 stealth fighters, including some short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL)B variants worth more than $8 billion.

Japan says it eventually wants to field a force of around 150 of the advanced fighter jets, the biggest outside the U.S. military, as it tries to keep ahead of China’s advances in military technology.

Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; writing by Tim Kelly; editing by Darren Schuettler

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U.S. president confirms no withdrawal from security pact: Japan

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TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s top government spokesman said on Tuesday the United States has confirmed its defense treaty with Japan after a report suggested U.S. President Donald Trump considered withdrawing from the pact.

Bloomberg reported on Monday that Trump has recently spoken privately about withdrawing from the treaty as he is of the view that the pact treated the United States unfairly.

“The thing reported in the media you mentioned does not exist,” Yoshihide Suga told reporters in Tokyo.

“We have received confirmation from the U.S. president it is incompatible with the U.S. government policy,” he added.

Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; editing by Darren Schuettler

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