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Thursday, Feb 22nd

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Mueller set to question Bannon on Flynn and Comey

Bannon to be interviewed about Flynn and ComeySpecial counsel Robert Mueller's team wants to question former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon about the firings of national security adviser Michael Flynn and FBI Director James Comey, according to two people familiar with the investigation.

Bannon is set to interview with Mueller by the end of the month, these people say, as the special counsel's investigation moves closer to President Donald Trump's inner circle. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who was a witness to the firing of Comey, was interviewed last week, the Justice Department confirmed Tuesday.
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Felons, people under foreign influence got national security clearances

Process for security clearance questionedA Defense Department report obtained by NBC News found that 165 defense contractors had their initial security clearances revoked last year after further investigation linked the recipients to problematic or illicit activity, including questionable financial transactions, influence by foreign governments and even felonies like pedophilia.

The report, which will be released Wednesday, shows how it is possible for people who have been compromised or who have criminal backgrounds to slip through the cracks of the preliminary background investigation and obtain access to sensitive national security-related information.

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Comey interviewed last year by Mueller's team

Comey interviewed in 2017 by Mueller teamFormer FBI Director James Comey was reportedly interviewed last year as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian election interference.

The New York Times reported Tuesday that the interview with Comey included discussion of the memos he wrote about his interactions with President Trump.

Trump fired Comey last May.

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Was This Russian General Murdered Over the Steele Dossier?

Was this man killed over the dossier?

The dossier on Donald Trump compiled by former British intelligence operative Christopher Steele—which made headlines for its salacious, unconfirmed passage about Trump and hookers performing for him in a Moscow hotel room—has been denounced by the president’s people as fake news, of course.

But the document was a mixed collection of information and allegations far more precise than the rumors about compromising sexual activities, and some of what's in it may have unnerved not only Trump, but the Kremlin, where hunting down leaks can take a fatal turn.

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Sessions interviewed in special counsel's Russia probe

Sessions interviewed by Mueller team

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been interviewed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team as its probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election continues, CBS News' Paula Reid reports.

Reid reports that Sessions was interviewed last week in the probe. Sessions was questioned for several hours, the New York Times first reported. The interview is the first known meeting between Mueller's team and a Trump White House cabinet official as it looks for possible ties between Russian entities and the Trump campaign or its associates.

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Pennsylvania Supreme Court strikes down congressional district map

Pennsylvania Supreme Court strikes down redistricting mapPennsylvania’s Supreme Court struck down the state’s congressional district map in a split decision issued today.

The justices, ruling just days after hearing oral arguments in the case, stated the map “clearly, plainly and palpably” violates the state constitution.

The order also says a new map will be in place by Feb. 19 to use for the primary election scheduled for May 15, according to the case docket.

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FBI director threatened to resign amid Trump, Sessions pressure to fire deputy

Wray threatened to resign because of pressure from Trump, Sessions

Attorney General Jeff Sessions — at the public urging of President Donald Trump — has been pressuring FBI Director Christopher Wray to fire Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, but Wray threatened to resign if McCabe was removed, according to three sources with direct knowledge.

  • Wray's resignation under those circumstances would have created a media firestorm. The White House — understandably gun-shy after the Comey debacle — didn’t want that scene, so McCabe remains.
  • Sessions told White House Counsel Don McGahn about how upset Wray was about the pressure on him to fire McCabe, and McGahn told Sessions this issue wasn’t worth losing the FBI Director over, according to a source familiar with the situation.
  • Why it matters: Trump started his presidency by pressuring one FBI Director (before canning him), and then began pressuring another (this time wanting his deputy canned). This much meddling with the FBI for this long is not normal.

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