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Trump’s border wall, vulnerable to flash floods, needs large storm gates left open for months

Trump's border wall vulnerable to floodsPresident Trump's border wall probably will require the installation of hundreds of storm gates to prevent flash floods from undermining or knocking it over, gates that must be left open for months every summer during "monsoon season" in the desert, according to U.S. border officials, agents and engineers familiar with the plans.

The open, unmanned gates in remote areas already have allowed for the easy entry of smugglers and migrants into the United States.

At locations along the U.S. southern border where such gates already are in operation, Border Patrol agents must manually raise them every year before the arrival of the summer thunderstorms that convert riverbeds into raging torrents that carry massive amounts of water and debris, including sediment, rocks, tree limbs and vegetation. Trump's wall, which features 30-foot metal bollards spaced four inches apart, effectively acts as a sewer grate that traps the debris; when clogged, the barriers cannot withstand the power of the runoff.

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More than two months before he asked Ukraine’s president to investigate his political opponents, President Trump directed John R. Bolton, then his national security adviser, to help with his pressure campaign to extract damaging information on Democrats

Bolton leaks new info on TrumpMr. Trump told Mr. Bolton to call Volodymyr Zelensky, who had recently won election as president of Ukraine, to ensure Mr. Zelensky would meet with Mr. Giuliani, who was planning a trip to Ukraine to discuss the investigations that the president sought, in Mr. Bolton’s account. Mr. Bolton never made the call, he wrote.

Mr. Trump told Mr. Bolton to call Volodymyr Zelensky, who had recently won election as president of Ukraine, to ensure Mr. Zelensky would meet with Mr. Giuliani, who was planning a trip to Ukraine to discuss the investigations that the president sought, in Mr. Bolton’s account. Mr. Bolton never made the call, he wrote.

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'Plot thickens': Maddow suggests Barr pick for top prosecutor tied to Michael Flynn case

Bill Barr appoints Flynn friend to DC court

MSNBC host Rachel Maddow suggested there is an odd coincidence in Attorney General William Barr's pick for a top prosecutor spot.

The Associated Press reported on Thursday that Barr picked his senior counselor, Timothy Shea, to be U.S. attorney in D.C. He will lead the same office that is prosecuting former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn.

"The plot thickens," Maddow said in a tweet.

The post is the second in a thread that began on Wednesday, when the Justice Department said it will not oppose probation for Flynn, who earlier this month filed to withdraw his guilty plea to lying to the FBI about his communications with a Russian ambassador.

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Dutch Trump superfan who claimed he surveilled Ambassador Yovanovitch told people he was DEA

Anthony de CaluweThe Dutch man who claimed to have Marie Yovanovitch under surveillance when she was the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine has been masquerading as a U.S. federal law enforcement officer and told people he was starting a tech company that could track movements electronically, according to interviews and documents obtained by NBC News.

And despite saying he had "no connection" to Ukraine, the man, Anthony de Caluwe, was romantically involved with a Ukrainian woman, who returns regularly to her home country, at the same time in early 2019 that he sent text messages about Yovanovitch's purported whereabouts in Kyiv, according to two people who know de Caluwe and photographs obtained by NBC News.

How de Caluwe, 54, a citizen of the Netherlands and an ardent, vocal supporter of President Donald Trump, ended up sending encrypted messages about Yovanovitch's supposed whereabouts has been mostly a mystery since his name first surfaced in news stories about the Trump administration and Ukraine this month.

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White House has issued formal threat to Bolton to keep him from publishing book

John BoltonThe White House has issued a formal threat to former national security adviser John Bolton to keep him from publishing his book, "The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir," sources familiar with the matter tell CNN.

In a letter to Bolton's lawyer, a top official at the National Security Council wrote the unpublished manuscript of Bolton's book "appears to contain significant amounts of classified information" and couldn't be published as written.
The letter, which is dated January 23, said some of the information was classified at the "top secret" level, meaning it "reasonably could be expected to cause exceptionally grave harm to the national security."

Bolton Was Concerned That Trump Did Favors for Autocratic Leaders, Book Says

Att. General Barr also concernec about TrumpJohn R. Bolton, the former national security adviser, privately told Attorney General William P. Barr last year that he had concerns that President Trump was effectively granting personal favors to the autocratic leaders of Turkey and China, according to an unpublished manuscript by Mr. Bolton.

Mr. Barr responded by pointing to a pair of Justice Department investigations of companies in those countries and said he was worried that Mr. Trump had created the appearance that he had undue influence over what would typically be independent inquiries, according to the manuscript. Backing up his point, Mr. Barr mentioned conversations Mr. Trump had with the leaders, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey and President Xi Jinping of China.

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'Satanic wombs': the outlandish world of Trump's spiritual adviser

Trump's satanic adviser

This weekend, a video of Trump’s spiritual adviser, Paula White, surfaced showing her preaching some potentially ungodly words.

“We command any satanic pregnancies to miscarry right now!” she says, before clarifying: “We declare that anything that’s been conceived in satanic wombs that it will miscarry, it will not be able to carry forth any plan of destruction, any plan of harm.”

White has since claimed that her words were taken out of context – she wasn’t praying for literal miscarriages, just metaphorical ones! Right. Whatever the case, it’s not the most outlandish thing she’s ever advocated.

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