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EU chaos, division over Trump travel ban




Donald Trump’s travel ban on nationals of seven Muslim-majority countries sparked confusion, division and consternation in European capitals Monday, as officials scrambled to explain the implications for EU citizens.

U.S. embassies across Europe advised which the ban would affect citizens who will be dual nationals from the affected countries – effectively banning a large number of EU citizens from the bloc’s biggest global ally.

But for the reason that European Commission said Monday it’s receiving “conflicting” here is how the ban could well be implemented, the U.K. – already heading for the EU exit door – risked further dismay in Brussels, Paris and Berlin by stealing a march and securing what Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson named a specific “exception” through the ban for U.K. passport holders with dual nationality. Speaking in the home of Commons Monday evening, he referred to as the concession the fruits of “working closely with all the Trump administration.”

Appointments cancelled

The U.K. exemption was secured in message or calls between Johnson and senior White House advisors Sunday, the state run from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said. It was announced that same day and won generous newspaper headlines for your foreign secretary from the right-leaning Daily Telegraph and Sun newspapers.

“This order was signed on Holocaust Memorial Day. As a history, for heaven’s sake contain the guts to speak out” – British Labour MP Yvette Cooper

But suddenly on Monday, the FCO’s own interpretation of Trump’s guidance started look misguided, at best, particularly its report that “if you’re a dual citizen one of them [seven affected] countries visiting the U.S. external those countries than the order doesn’t apply to you.”?Advice subsequently issued within the websites of U.S. embassies working in, Berlin together with other European capitals asserted all nationals and dual nationals of your seven affected countries must not submit an application for visas on the U.S.

In London, the top minister’s official spokesman was caught unprepared via the new advice Monday morning within a daily briefing with journalists, who alerted him to barefoot jogging since it came through in their Twitter feeds. Meanwhile the ecu Commission admitted it was receiving “conflicting” info on the how the ban had been implemented.

Germany’s interior ministry said hello believed the ban could pertain to up to a whopping 130,000 Germans with dual nationality, including about 80,000 German-Iranians. The U.S. embassy in Berlin posted a bulletin on Facebook, instructing dual nationals to not generate a visa appointment, in wording comparable to that suited for the U.S. embassy in London’s website.

    “If you already possess a session scheduled, don’t ATTEND your appointment when we will not be able to proceed together with your visa interview,” the notice said.

    France’s foreign ministry has additionally asserted “several” dual nationality French citizens was affected directly because of the ban on January 29, without having to say how or where.

    Margaritis Schinas, the Commission’s spokesman, was reduced to non-specific assurances how the Commission would “analyze” Trump’s executive order “to understand how they are able to have an effect to EU nationals, a thing that just isn’t clear.”

    The confusion on to the ground in Europe seemed to originate from a disconnect in Washington regarding the White House additionally, the State Department, with Johnson’s guidance from the former, as well as the U.S. embassy’s in the latter.

    EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos was reported by Euractiv to generally be considering calling the U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly to elucidate the matter.?A European Commission spokeswoman told Newsman: “In the context within the travel ban, there will be touching the U.S. administration, but we can’t concur that a telephone call requires place.”

    Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, said Monday she was consulting European partners and pledged to defend the interests of the German citizens traveling to the U.S.

    Some clarity in London

    But the fog lifted, in the uk at least, as Johnson came to the House of Commons chamber to update MPs for the situation Monday evening.

    The foreign secretary joined the chorus of condemnation to your measures, expressing the U.K. government’s “anxiety about measures that discriminate on grounds of nationality in ways which are divisive and wrong.”

    Prime Minister Theresa May was branded “Theresa the appeaser” by Labour MP Mike Gapes.

    But to murmurs of approval from the Conservative benches, he confirmed that “all British passport holders” remained here you are at travel to the U.S knowning that no matter what country of birth or dual nationality, Trump’s executive order wouldn’t normally affect Britons.

    “Because with the energetic action of your government – likely to exception for U.K. passport holders whether dual nationals or elsewhere,” Johnson said. “I think most fair minded people would claim that shows some great benefits of working closely with all the Trump administration-to receive the vital protections for UK passport holders that any of us need.”

    In heated exchanges Johnson received pressure for that government’s close embrace in the Trump administration.

    Labour MP Yvette Cooper, who chairs your property affairs select committee, declared that the ban was “not basically the impact on British citizens.”

    “Has he urged the U.S. administration to lift this order, to help you refugees in order to stop targeting Muslims?” she asked Johnson, before adding, her voice shaking with emotion, “This order was signed on Holocaust Memorial Day. In the interests of history, for heaven’s sake possess the guts to speak out.”

    Prime Minister Theresa May, meanwhile, who had been criticized by MPs over the past weekend for neglecting to condemn the travel ban despite repeated questions about Saturday, was branded “Theresa the appeaser” by Labour MP Mike Gapes. Dennis Skinner, the firebrand Labour veteran, being blunter in the 1930s comparisons, branding Trump a “fascist.”

    Nahal Toosi in Washington resulted in the next few paragraphs.


    Cummings hospitalized as wife suspends campaign for governor





    Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) is currently hospitalized after a task to drain an infection, three sources told POLITICO, the most up-to-date setback inside of a string of medical issues which have plagued the longtime lawmaker since a year ago.

    Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, a Democratic policy consultant, suspended her gubernatorial bid in Maryland on Friday, shortly before news surfaced that her husband is at the hospital.

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    Soon after POLITICO first reported his hospitalization, Cummings\’ office released an argument saying his health problems were associated with a bacterial infection in the knee.

    "Doctors drained the infection in the minor procedure today. He\’s resting comfortably and expects the full recovery," his office said Friday.

    Cummings was hospitalized and sidelined for a lot of months not too long ago due to heart issues.

    In a press release announcing wants to suspend her campaign, Rockeymoore Cummings cited personal issues but wouldn\’t elaborate.

    \”Making an attractive and direct contribution towards state of Maryland also to our nation was my greatest motivating factor for getting into the public arena. Unfortunately, caused by personal considerations, We\’re suspending my bid for governor of Maryland,\” she said within an email to supporters.

    Multiple sources said Rockeymoore Cummings\’ decision to leave out the race was linked to her husband\’s health concerns. Democratic aides said Cummings was moving slowly ahead of the Christmas break.

    Cummings, 66, was hospitalized last May after what his office described back then as a \”minimally invasive\” heart valve replacement. He was scheduled to revisit work after that but ended up missing many months a result of a post-op infection that kept him clear of Capitol Hill until September.

    Upon his return, Cummings was noticeably slimmer and said he\’d have got to sustain a stricter diet and acquire more sleep. But he brushed aside any notion that he or she wasn\’t competent to fully perform his job.

    Cummings has represented his hometown Baltimore inside your home since 1996. He or she is well-liked and revered among all parties, even while he\’s sparred with Republicans over contentious issues for the reason that top Democrat over the House Oversight Committee.

    Rockeymoore Cummings was one among nine Democrats vying to unseat Republican Gov. Larry Hogan. She was endorsed by EMILY\’s List after she jumped within the race in October. But Rep. Cummings was the gubernatorial candidate\’s biggest single surrogate both publicly plus regards to fundraising. The congressman was listed as being a headliner a great upcoming fundraiser for Rockeymoore Cummings on Sunday.

    Despite the support with the prominent Democratic congressman, Rockeymoore Cummings wasn\’t the irrefutable front-runner however. At the beginning of polling of your Democratic primary, she trailed candidates including former NAACP President Ben Jealous and Prince George\’s County Executive Rushern Baker.

    Despite a considerable primary as well as general Democratic lean of Maryland, Democrats aren\’t as optimistic about unseating Hogan as they are about beating incumbent Republicans in states like Illinois, Boise state broncos, or Maine. That\’s largely because Hogan is popular: An October poll by Morning Consult listed him for the reason that governor while using the second-highest approval near your vicinity, behind only Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker.

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    GOP senators recommend FBI probe of Trump 'dossier' author Steele





    Two Republican senators have recommended which the FBI pursue a criminal investigation against Christopher Steele – this writer of the disputed Trump-Russia dossier – for the purpose they described as evidence that they made false statements to federal investigators.

    "I cannot take lightly generating a referral for criminal investigation. But, because would with any credible proof a criminal offense unearthed while in our investigations, I\’m obliged to secure that information along on the Justice Department for appropriate review,\” Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley said in the joint statement with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).

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    The senators did not provide public evidence to substantiate their request, nevertheless they noted they sent a "classified memorandum" to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray containing the foundation within their request.

    The request isn\’t going to measure the validity of your Steele dossier, nor can it constitute a criminal allegation. "The referral is made for further investigation only," according to the statement.

    Even so, Democrats quickly responded in anger.

    "I wasn\’t consulted concerning this referral nor were all of my Democratic colleagues," said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the highest Democrat on Grassley\’s committee. "I do believe this referral is unfortunate since it\’s clearly another effort to deflect attention from what medicine committee\’s main concern: determining whether there is collusion regarding the Trump campaign and Russia to steer the election and whether there were subsequent obstruction of justice."

    One congressional aide, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the choice by Grassley and Graham to mention Steele towards Justice Department raises an obvious anomaly.

    "These are speaking about DOJ a justice based upon documents DOJ gave them and according to witness testimony into the DOJ," the aide said.

    Steele, an old British intelligence officer, was commissioned in 2016 by research firm Fusion GPS to research President Donald Trump\’s ties to Russia. The dossier he produced, which Trump has derided as fiction, describes a lot of illicit connections between Trump, his business and also the Kremlin.

    Republicans have persistently questioned how the FBI handled the dossier after receiving it in the 2016 campaign, including whether or not it formed the foundation of your surveillance warrant against a Trump campaign associate and whether the FBI independently verified any kind of Steele\’s information.

    Republicans in addition sounded the alarm over reports that Fusion was paid by the Clinton campaign for Steele\’s research, suggesting that Steele\’s work was the merchandise of your partisan smear effort.

    The two senators claim in their letter to obtain seen proof "potential violations" by Steele on the law prohibiting false statements to government officials. These potential violations, they assert, occurred "regarding his distribution of information contained in the dossier."

    Their letter was copied to Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the highest Democrat to the Judiciary Committee, and Sens. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.), the most notable lawmakers for the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Reps. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the top part lawmakers on the House Intelligence ommittee.

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    DOJ clash with Trump allies hits Ryan's doorstep





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    The two sources told POLITICO there was an endeavor by Ryan and DOJ leaders to reduce the temperature newest hostilities between the Justice Department and Trump allies in Congress. That group of House Republicans has railed against the department\’s leadership amid partisan questions its handling with the investigation into Trump campaign ties to Russia. Nunes had even threatened contempt citations against DOJ and FBI leaders should they failed to comply with his request.

    Still, this probably is not the end of it for Ryan. There are signs that Wednesday\’s agreement won\’t placate the GOP lawmakers most hostile toward the Justice Department. And therefore the speaker will probably be in the heart of ongoing run-ins between some of his hard-line members as well as DOJ as they quite simply fight over the definition of typically closely guarded documents – from surveillance warrants to evidence connected with ongoing investigations.

    Indeed, Ryan\’s attempt to help broker a truce suggests he\’ll be a central figure in resolving disputes that Democrats and several Republicans fear could erode public confidence inside justice system.

    On Thursday morning, just hours after the tentative détente, Reps. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) requested Attorney General Jeff Sessions to be replaced unless he exerts with additional control in the FBI and produces documents Congress have been requesting.

    "It\’s time for Sessions to get started managing from a spirit of transparency to give doing this improper behavior to light and stop further violations," they wrote within a op-ed within the Washington Examiner.

    Though Ryan hasn\’t waded publicly into these fights, multiple GOP lawmakers repeat the speaker\’s attitude may be consistent: He firmly believes during the House\’s authority to conduct oversight with the Department of Justice and FBI.

    "Is know for Representatives carries a constitutional duty to workout oversight from the executive branch," said the spokeswoman, AshLee Strong. "The speaker always expects the administration to observe the House\’s oversight requests, and then he will support his chairmen when they get them to be."

    Rosenstein and Wray "wasted a visit to the Capitol," said one Republican lawmaker near the speaker. "Once Paul assures himself that this request is legitimate and there\’s grounds for it, he always backs the chairperson who requires it."

    Democrats have declared that the GOP attacks to the Justice Department – and Special Counsel Robert Mueller for example – really are a cynical try to protect Trump as investigations of his campaign\’s ties to Russia encroached upon his group of friends. The document requests and claims of bias, they\’ve argued, are aimed towards delegitimizing your research.

    Republican lawmakers themselves are divided about precisely how harsh an approach to take toward the FBI and Justice Department. But in interviews, some House lawmakers say Ryan has come across a unifying theme throughout the conference: transparency.

    "Paul Ryan can be an institutionalist," said Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), who\’s been being among the most aggressive critics of Justice Department leaders\’ handling of the Trump-Russia probe. "I really believe he shares our frustration using the loss of responsiveness."

    "Perhaps we have seen several different camps regarding how aggressive people must be … but those camps are typical coming together with one singular focus, which will come down on the medial side of needing more documents, more transparency," added another GOP lawmaker who requested anonymity to characterize conversations with colleagues.

    "I do believe there was clearly lots of division earlier, even so the more the GOP members uncover … greater careers aligning of investigative strategies and tactics," the lawmaker said.

    Ryan states little publicly over the matter since October, as he chided DOJ due to its refusal to cooperate with congressional investigators demanding more info about how exactly the FBI handled its Trump-Russia investigation.

    "As soon as the executive branch, in this situation, the FBI as well as DOJ are stonewalling or foot-dragging, making it harder for us to accomplish our obligation of conducting oversight about the executive branch," he vented within an interview with Reuters back then.

    Since then, some Trump loyalists inside the house have ratcheted up their complaints. First, they took concentrate on Mueller, who was simply tapped by Rosenstein in May to oversee the Trump-Russia investigation after the president fired FBI Director James Comey. Mueller\’s team, they complained, included officials who had donated to Democrats, they can said raised the specter of bias.

    That group of Republicans close with Trump – including Gaetz, Jordan, Meadows and Ron DeSantis – also pounced on reports that Mueller had removed a highly regarded agent from his team in July after learning of a few texting criticizing Trump that he had provided for a colleague.

    At once, even more traditional Republicans over the intelligence, judiciary and oversight panels also began more quietly question the FBI\’s tactics inside the Russia probe, though failed to allege bias or corruption necessarily. Recently, POLITICO also reported that Nunes and various Republicans about the House intelligence committee ended up perfecting a probe they assert could spotlight wrongdoing by top officials inside FBI.

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