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|Giuliani rails against Mueller report as Democrats mull Trump impeachment
Trump lawyer: ‘Nothing wrong with information from Russians’Teflon Don: how Trump the mafia boss fought the law … and wonOpinion: Moral squalor, not impeachment, will remove Trump Donald and Melania Trump arrive at the Bethesda-by-the-Sea church for Easter services in Palm Beach, Florida. Photograph: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images As the White House mounted a furious assault on the Mueller report and critics of a president not found to have conspired with Russia but not cleared of obstruction of justice, the chair of the House judiciary committee said obstruction, if proven, “would be [an] impeachable” offence. Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani appeared on multiple Sunday talk shows, arguing with interviewers in a series of chaotic encounters. On Fox News Sunday, he claimed Robert Mueller’s 448-page report, which was released with redactions on Thursday, was full of “calumny, lies and distortion”. On CNN’s State of the Union, the former New York mayor went as far as to call one of Mueller’s lawyers a “hitman” and claim the special counsel’s team “came close to torturing people” in the questioning and confinement of Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort, who was convicted and sentenced on financial charges. Asked on NBC’s Meet the Press why Trump was so angry at Mueller and former White House counsel Don McGahn, a key witness, Giuliani replied: “Because they tried to frame him.” There’s nothing wrong with taking information from Russians. It depends on where it came from Rudy Giuliani The first volume of Mueller’s report concerns Russian election interference and the Trump campaign’s warm reception to “Russian offers of assistance”, including an infamous June 2016 meeting with a Kremlin-linked lawyer offering “dirt” on Hillary Clinton. Giuliani told CNN: “There’s nothing wrong with taking information from Russians. It depends on where it came from.” On ABC’s This Week, White House adviser Kellyanne Conway, who previously called the inquiry a “a political proctology exam”, took a different tone, saying: “The campaign I managed in those last few months did not welcome help from Russia. In fact, I don’t recall getting, being offered help from Russia. It would have been a ridiculous prospect.” In his second volume, Mueller considers potential obstruction of justice by Trump or his campaign, of which 11 possible instances are listed. He passed judgment on the issue to Congress. House judiciary committee chair Jerrold Nadler told NBC that if the evidence shows Trump obstructed justice, “some of this would be impeachable, yes”. He added that Democrats plan to “go where the evidence leads”. Democrats remain split on impeachment, which would begin in the House they control but almost certainly fail in the Republican Senate. Some fear it would galvanise Trump’s supporters and win him sympathy among independents. On Fox, House intelligence chair Adam Schiff said to impeach or not to impeach was “going to be a very consequential decision and one I’m going to reserve judgment on until we have a chance to fully deliberate on it”. House oversight chair Elijah Cummings told CBS’s Face the Nation he could “foresee [impeachment] possibly coming”. But he said: “We have to be very careful here. The American people, a lot of them clearly still don’t believe that President Trump is doing things to destroy our democracy and has done a lot of things very poorly.” He also said he thought “history would smile upon us for standing up for the constitution”. The American people, a lot of them clearly still don’t believe President Trump is doing things to destroy our democracy Elijah Cummings Giuliani expended significant energy attacking McGahn, who is cited by Mueller in descriptions of orders from Trump to fire the special counsel, which McGahn did not do. McGahn’s recollection was “wrong”, Giuliani said on CNN, claiming the experienced lawyer was “confused [and] cannot be relied upon”. Mueller depicts McGahn taking notes of meetings with Trump, a practice Trump is said to have questioned. The Trump campaign has severed links with the law firm to which McGahn returned. On CNN, an incensed Giuliani made the “hitman” claim about Andrew Weissmann, a prosecutor Trump allies claim is too close to the Clintons. “I have no problem with investigating Russian interference in the election,” Giuliani said, adding: “The reality is, you think this is the first time the Russians have interfered with a presidential election?” Special counsel Robert Mueller and his wife Ann Cabell Standish leave St John’s Episcopal Church in Washington. Photograph: Andrew Harnik/AP Giuliani was pressed on criticism of Trump by the 2012 Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, who said he was “sickened at the extent and pervasiveness of dishonesty and misdirection by individuals in the highest office of the land, including the president”. “Stop the bull, stop this pious act,” Giuliani said, adding: “Who says [taking information from Russians is] even illegal? Who says it’s even illegal? And then does the information turn out to be false, by the way?” Referring to Democratic party emails hacked by Russia and obtained by WikiLeaks, he said: “The information that was gleaned and disseminated, every newspaper printed it. Why did the Washington Post
print the information that came from a foreign source, when they knew it was hacked? Aren’t they just as wrong for doing that as the campaign wanting to use it?” Of Giuliani’s claim there was “nothing wrong with taking information from Russians”, former US attorney Preet Bharara, who was fired by Trump in 2017, told CNN: “That’s an extraordinary statement and I would hope he would retract it.” Giuliani ran against Romney for the 2008 Republican nomination, both losing to John McCain. Asked if he would have accepted such information, Giuliani said: “I probably wouldn’t. I wasn’t asked. I would have advised, just out of excess of caution, don’t do it.” He also accused Romney of doing “things very similar”, although he did not elaborate. Asked if Trump thought Russian interference helped him win, Giuliani told NBC: “Whether he did or he didn’t, I think it’s quite clear that there are a lot of factors that go into any election and the reality is he was elected president.” Conway told ABC Trump “didn’t need WikiLeaks. We had Wisconsin. He won because he was the better candidate”. Trump has repeatedly claimed Mueller’s investigation exonerated him, which it did not, and called the inquiry a “hoax”. He continued to tweet on Sunday, from his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. Attending church, the president was asked if he felt betrayed by staffers who spoke to Mueller. According to the White House pool report, he “clearly heard the question” but “just smiled and turned away”.
POSTED APRIL 21, 2019 1:11 PM
|IS claims deadly attack on Afghan ministry
The Islamic State group Sunday claimed responsibility for an attack that killed 10 people and trapped around 2,000 for hours inside the communications ministry in the Afghan capital the previous day. Four IS jihadists detonated explosives near the ministry, then entered and "battled Afghan security forces with machine guns and hand grenades for numerous hours", the group said in a statement on its social media channels. The attack in central Kabul killed seven civilians and three members of the security forces, the interior ministry said on Sunday, in a new toll after three people died of their wounds.
POSTED APRIL 21, 2019 9:36 AM
|Israeli election may have dimmed hopes for 2-state solution
JERUSALEM (AP) — Is the two-state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict dead?
POSTED APRIL 21, 2019 2:13 AM
|The 8 best deals and sales you can get online this Sunday
What better way to relax and recharge than with some retail therapy?
POSTED APRIL 21, 2019 10:32 AM
|Twenty years since the Columbine massacre and America is still failing its young people
Twenty years ago, at a school in Littleton, Colorado, as students prepared for lunch, their lives were irrevocably changed in one of the most distressing school shootings America had ever seen. Now, it's not even amongst the ten worst mass shootings in modern American history. Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were twelfth grade students at Columbine high school. Armed with homemade bombs and guns they stormed their school, killing twelve fellow students and one teacher before turning the guns on themselves. The USA went into mourning and for a time, Columbine became the most famous school in the world. The attack sparked debate over gun culture and gun control. The influence of the internet, violence in video games, social isolation, the use of antidepressants by teenagers and even metal music were all called into question. The the days after the massacre, as candles left in memorials burned down to the wick and flowers began to wilt, promises were made. Promises by politicians, state officials, school and community leaders that things would change. Some things did. Schools across the country introduced new security measures such as see-through backpacks, metal detectors, security guards and practice drills for students. The police also reassessed how they respond to school shootings after criticism over their slow response during the attack. They now enter buildings where they there is an active shooter, previously they set up a perimeter around the building before even thinking about moving on the suspect. In 2000 a loophole in the state of Colorado was changed that had allowed people to buy guns at gun shows without background checks. (This is how Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris acquired the weapons they used at Columbine.) But comprehensive debate and changes to gun control were hard fought by the NRA and in the years that have followed, despite further mass shootings at Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech and Marjory Stoneman Douglas, America appears to have made no significant steps towards tightening federal law on gun control. Watch our video above to see how America continues to struggle with school shootings.
POSTED APRIL 20, 2019 3:00 AM
|Ilhan Omar: Somali Americans vow to stand up to Trump attacks
After being accused of endangering one of the city’s US representatives, the president visited Minneapolis. Activists were there to meet himProtesters support Minnesota representative Ilhan Omar, outside an event attended by Donald Trump this week. Photograph: Kerem Yucel/AFP/Getty ImagesAs she stood in a crowd of protesters, helping hold a long “Stand with Ilhan” sign outside the trucking company in Burnsville where Donald Trump was about to speak, Habon Abdulle could not help but be swept up in the contradictory emotions of the moment.As a hijab-wearing Muslim woman who speaks with a slight Somali accent, and as executive director of Women Organizing Women (Wow) Network, a not-for-profit group dedicated to training and supporting East African immigrants who run for office, Abdulle had more than a passing familiarity with the some of the views reflected in signs and chants among a crowd of Trump supporters lined up across the street.There was the idea that Muslims were as a whole responsible for 9/11, and that the congresswoman Ilhan Omar and her supporters were affiliated with terrorist groups. There was another oldie-but-goodie: that the city of Minneapolis, like many urban centers dealing with an affordable housing shortage driven by an influx of new residents, is filled with crime-ridden “no go” zones governed by sharia law, where police supposedly fear to tread.> We thought we passed the collective blaming, the ‘punish the whole for the actions of a few'> > Habon AbdulleAbdulle was still a little surprised to see such arguments expressed so brazenly, out in the open, just as she had been a few days earlier when Trump retweeted a video meant to show Omar did not respect the tragedy of 9/11.“There are conversations in my community,” Abdulle told the Guardian. “We thought we passed the collective blaming, the ‘punish the whole for the actions of a few’. Those were things that we experienced right after the 9/11 attack. And many of us actually thought we were done with that. But lately, it actually feels that it’s back. It’s really weird, like: what’s going on?”> On the pro-Ilhan side of the protests, two Muslim women, @nausheena and Asma Mohammed of @RISEsisterhood led many of the chants. > > Here, @HabonDaud explains why she thought it was important that Muslim women stand in the front. pic.twitter.com/83keO83kFU> > — Jared Goyette (@JaredGoyette) April 20, 2019She also saw reasons for optimism. A young Muslim woman walked in front of the pro-Omar group, wearing a black hijab and a keffiyeh scarf, holding a bullhorn and leading a chant. Abdulle watched as the crowd responded, many white and older Minnesotans included. That, she thought, was something she could work with.“If we don’t stand up for ourselves,” she asked, “who will? We have to stand up for ourselves and they felt someone who looks like them was attacked. And we were all of us out there saying, ‘No.’ We are not going to accept. We have rights. It isn’t fair that someone always has to other us. So, we went there because that was the right place to be that day.”In the same moment, from the other side of the street, a tall man with a gray scraggly beard could be overheard cracking a joke.“Hey, is that Omar? They all look the same to me.”He might have been on to something, but not in the way he intended. The young Muslim women in the crowd did see themselves in Omar. That was why they were out in force.> I came here to support my sister Ilhan. She’s been under attack and she’s been facing death threats> > Ama Mohammed“I came here to support my sister Ilhan,” the keffiyeh-wearing woman, Asma Mohammed, 26, told the Guardian. “She’s been under attack and she’s been facing death threats consistently, but even more so after Trump tweeted things about her that make her seem like she was sympathizing with terrorists.”Mohammed said Omar was more than just a political figure: “She is my sister, as Minnesotans; she is my sister as another woman of faith; as another woman who wears a hijab and faces that kind of hate on the daily.”Such a mix of outrage, disappointment and incredulousness, along with a growing sense of empowerment, was common among activists the Guardian spoke to in Minneapolis in the week after Trump’s tweet.Omar’s office was quieter than usual, declining media requests and not issuing statements, leaving Trump to deal with the fallout from the Mueller report without his favorite new foil to spar with.But if there is one thing Trump has been consistent about in his political career, it has been the targeting of migrants and Muslims in moves meant to appeal to his base. Many observers believe he will redouble such efforts as 2020 draws near.> She’s anti-American. She’s anti-Jews …Everyone knew the Muslims took down those buildings in New York> > Melody BlackOmar and Trump have become intrinsically linked, and not just on Trump’s terms. Omar was elected to the House of Representatives in November as part of an anti-Trump blue wave that included Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. Before that, she made national news when she became the first Somali American in statewide office, on the night Trump was elected president. Her victory party at a Marriott in downtown Minneapolis was a rollercoaster, tears and dancing underscored by a sense of girding for a fight.“It’s going to be very tough,” Omar said then. “We have to figure out how to organize the community to prepare for what’s to come. We have to amplify our voices of love against the rhetoric of hate.”That fight has now come, though in a more direct way than many supporters thought possible. As Trump uses Omar to galvanize his base, he will inevitably rally hers. Last Monday’s rival protests outside Trump’s Tax Day event signalled such battles to come.> In this clip, @nausheena and Asma Mohammed of @RISEsisterhood explain why they came to the standwithilhan protest in Burnsville on Monday. pic.twitter.com/XQFVu8sxkz> > — Jared Goyette (@JaredGoyette) April 20, 2019“Omar really needs to go,” said Melody Black, a Trump supporter from Red Wing, Minnesota, as a man behind her held a “Making America Great Again” sign.“She’s anti-American. She’s anti-Jews. She’s anti-Minnesotan. And everyone knew that the Muslims took down those buildings in New York. All of us watched it. And now they’re saying that we’re racist because we say it. But it’s the truth.“Omar came from Somalia and her father taught her exactly how to do what she’s doing – including getting into government. They’re trying to take over our government, the Muslims are.”Trump supporters hoist a flag and give the thumbs-up. Photograph: Kerem Yucel/AFP/Getty ImagesOmar has indeed inspired other Muslim women to enter politics.“Many women within the Somali community who never thought to run for office changed their mind,” Abdulle said. The Minnesota state house now has its second female Somali American legislator, Hodan Hassan.Across the street from Black, Nausheena Hussain, a 42-year-old in a dark purple headscarf who directs a female-led Muslim not-for-profit organization, took her turn leading a round of chants. She said Trump’s attacks on Omar had encouraged others.“What I’m hearing, specially my community, is that she cannot be alone,” Hussain said. “They are asking everybody to run for office that has those same progressive values, so she is not bearing the brunt of the responsibility by herself.“And so I feel like 2020, you are going to see more people of color running for office, more Muslims or Muslim women, because not only do we not want her to be the only one there, but we have seen that she’s able to fight and still get things done. More people need to back her up and to be part of that.”Abdulle welcomed such words.“That’s how we are going to end the polarization,” she said. “That’s how we’re going to end the hatred. That’s how we’re going to end the narrative that we are not American.“I’m going to repeat the whole day long: we are American.”
POSTED APRIL 21, 2019 1:00 AM
|Officials: South Carolina school girl died of natural causes
WALTERBORO, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina authorities said Friday that the death of a fifth grade girl at school last month was due to natural causes and not a fight with another student, which they described as lasting only seconds. But the family of the girl disagreed, saying she was repeatedly antagonized by the other student.
POSTED APRIL 19, 2019 6:45 PM
|Three world-class climbers presumed dead in Canadian avalanche
Three renowned professional alpinists are missing and presumed dead after an avalanche in the Rocky Mountains.
POSTED APRIL 19, 2019 2:00 PM
|Illinois police officer helps teenager land a job
An Illinois police officer pulled over a teenager for an expired tag, but instead of writing him a ticket, he took the teen to a job interview.
POSTED APRIL 20, 2019 7:01 AM
|How the U.S. Navy Sank Imperial Japan's Top Secret Aircraft Carrier
“No doubt he intends to act as a decoy at some point to lure away our screening destroyers. That accomplished, his comrades can approach Shinano unopposed. We must guard against any such ploy,” grumbled the thoughtful skipper.The first torpedo struck farthest aft. Over the next 30 seconds three more warheads detonated against the massive aircraft carrier’s hull, working their way forward. The explosions and instant flooding immediately killed scores of men, many asleep in their bunks.As tons of seawater cascaded into the wounded colossus, men below deck could see the extent of the damage, were seized with panic, and stampeded topside. The missiles had hit 10 feet below the water line, and on the bridge and upper levels the commander and his officers were not yet aware of how sorely they were hurt. Many had survived earlier torpedo attacks, and aboard less formidable vessels than this one. Even as their gargantuan ship began to list, they remained optimistic.“Expressing the Flavor of an Ancient Samurai”
POSTED APRIL 19, 2019 10:00 PM