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Thursday, May 25th

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NYT: Russians discussed using Manafort, Flynn to influence Trump

Russians discussed using Manafort to influence TrumpMonths before the presidential election, U.S. spies collected intelligence showing senior Russian officials discussing how to exert influence over Donald Trump using his advisers, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

Their discussions centered around then-adviser Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign adviser at the time, according to three current and former U.S. officials.

Both men had indirect ties to Moscow and the Russian officials were confident that they could be used to sway President Trump, according to The Times.

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AG Sessions did not disclose meetings with Russian officials, DOJ says

Jeff Sessions did not reveal contact with RussiansAttorney General Jeff Sessions did not disclose meetings he had last year with Russian officials when he applied for his security clearance, the Justice Department told CNN Wednesday.

Sessions, who met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak at least two times last year, didn't note those interactions on the form, which requires him to list "any contact" he or his family had with a "foreign government" or its "representatives" over the past seven years, officials said.

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How a dubious Russian document influenced the FBI’s handling of the Clinton probe

Comey acted on fake newsIn the midst of the 2016 presidential primary season, the FBI received a purported Russian intelligence document describing a tacit understanding between the campaign of Hillary Clinton and the Justice Department over the inquiry into whether she intentionally revealed classified information through her use of a private email server.

The Russian document mentioned a supposed email describing how then-Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch had privately assured someone in the Clinton campaign that the email investigation would not push too deeply into the matter — a conversation that if made public would cast doubt on the inquiry’s integrity.

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CBO: House Obamacare repeal bill would leave 23 million more uninsured

CBO reporet: 23 million Americans would lose health careRoughly 23 million more people would be uninsured over a decade if the House-passed Republican Obamacare repeal bill becomes law, according to a long-awaited CBO analysis that could complicate GOP hopes of getting a companion measure through the Senate.

That's nearly identical to the coverage losses that CBO forecast for an earlier version of the bill — despite the addition of new provisions and billions in funding aimed at keeping more people insured.

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Four climbers found dead at Mount Everest's highest-altitude camp

Four climbers found dead on Mt. EverestFour mountaineers were found dead within their tent at Mount Everest's highest camp, expedition officials said, bringing this year's death toll on the mountain to 10.

Mingma Sherpa, managing director of the expedition company Seven Summit Treks, said Sherpa climbers seeking the remains of Slovakian mountaineer Vladimir Strba, who died Sunday on the 29,029-foot tall mountain, found the bodies of four unidentified climbers, the Himalayan Times reported. Strba, and the four newly discovered climbers, died at Camp IV, the highest-altitude encampment on the mountain at about 26,000 feet. The four were identified by the Sherpas only as two Nepalis and two foreigners.

The area around Camp IV is called "The Death Zone" because of its low level of oxygen. The Sherpa rescuers suggested the four discovered in the tent may have died of suffocation.

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Top House Intel Dem: Flynn Not Cooperating With Russia Probe, Subpoenas Coming

Michael FlynnThe House intelligence committee is preparing to issue subpoenas against Michael Flynn after the former national security adviser denied a request to voluntarily turn over documents related to the committee’s Russia probe.

Rep. Adam Schiff (Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the committee, said on Wednesday that the committee is prepared to use “whatever compulsory process we need” to obtain information from Flynn if he does not cooperate with the subpoenas. He added that the committee could issue additional subpoenas if other witnesses fail to cooperate, but did not name additional individuals.

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Trump Revealed Location Of U.S. Nuclear Subs In Call With Duterte

DuterteU.S. President Donald Trump told his Philippine counterpart that Washington has sent two nuclear submarines to waters off the Korean peninsula, the New York Times said, comments likely to raise questions about his handling of sensitive information.

The transcript of the call was first reported by the Intercept.

Trump has said “a major, major conflict” with North Korea is possible because of its nuclear and missile programs and that all options are on the table but that he wants to resolve the crisis diplomatically.

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Trump set to tap longtime lawyer Kasowitz to lead legal fight

Mark KasowitzPresident Donald Trump plans to select Marc Kasowitz — his longtime, New York-based lawyer — to lead his outside legal team as an investigation of Russian election interference heats up, an administration official said.

Kasowitz has represented Trump in legal matters for decades and is considered to have the president’s trust. He has a well-established rapport with Trump and has spoken to him regularly since Trump was sworn into office.

In selecting Kasowitz, Trump once again is turning to a person with extensive experience working with him — rather than a seasoned, Washington-based operator — to deal with a high-profile challenge.

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Manchester bomber's father, brother arrested in Tripoli

Manchester brother and father arrestedThe father and a brother of suicide bomber Salman Abedi have been arrested in the Libyan capital of Tripoli, authorities in the beleaguered African nation said Thursday.

Also Thursday, police in the Manchester area made four more arrests and said they were investigating a "network" as the probe intensified into the suicide bombing at a pop concert that killed 22 people and wounded scores more, many critically.

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