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Foreign Policy: Updates (prior to 7/22/17)

UPDATES through 7/21: (1) Sessions discussed policy matters with Russian ambassador during the campaign (Washington Post). (Consider if Sessions is fired, Trump may appoint a new AG who is willing to fire Mueller.) (2) Trump Jr. & Manafort made deal with Senate Judiciary Committee to be interviewed privately (CNN). (3) WH Press Secy, Sean Spicer, resigns after Trump appoints adviser, financier Scaramucci, who is under suspicion for violating Russia sanctions (Business Insider), as WH Communications Director. 7/13: House Appropriations Committee refuses to strip Kushner of his security clearance, voted along party lines. 7/12: Federal investigators examining whether Kushner's digital campaign operation guided Russia's sophisticated voter targeting & fake news attacks on Clinton (McClatchy). 7/11: "Before arranging a meeting with a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer he believed would offer him compromising information about Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump Jr. was informed in an email that the material was part of a Russian government effort to aid his father's candidacy"--New York Times (Apuzzo, Becker, Goldman & Haberman). 7/8: Trump leaves world leaders fearing the future as G20 summit ends (Washington Post). 7/6: Why is Trump enabling Russian espionage in America? (6/27/17, 20committee). Massive G20 protests against Trump today. 7/5: (1) UK Guardian reports investigators now actively looking at Trump-Russia collusion to spread bogus stories about Clinton before election. (2) Following North Korea's latest long-range ICBM missile test, Trump administraion says it will use its "considerable military forces" on them "if we must." (BBC) 6/30: Washington Post reports GOP operative discussed getting Russian hackers' Clinton emails to Flynn. 6/26: Trump associate Carter Page refusing to provide Senate with names of Russian contacts...Putin? (UK Independent). 6/22: Election hackers stole data and altered voter rolls (TIME), keeping some voters from being able to vote in 2016. 6/18: Russia warns it will target US-led coalition jets as targets in Syria. Calls US downing of a Syrian plane a violation of international law (ABC News) 6/16: Multiple reports: Trump, Pence, and cabinet members now have their own personal attorneys; some of the attorneys have now hired their own personal attorneys... Deputy AG considering recusing himself from Trump-Russia investigation. 6/14: 200 members of Congress are suing Trump, accusing him of violating the Constitution by profiting from foreign business deals (New York Times). Meanwhile, according to the NY Times and Washington Post, Trump and his campaign are under investigation by Special Counsel Mueller and his team for obstruction of justice, money laundering and collusion with Russia. 6/13: Jeff Sessions appears before the Senate Intellligence Committee, and can't remember anything, especially the most important info. 6/10: Trump's personal lawyer has Russian ties (Washington Post). 6/8: Link to Comey's statement. According to John Bresnahan, Capitol bureau chief for Politico, the RNC is putting out suggested Comey-bashing tweets. (2) Trump says he'll nominate Christopher Wray, whose legal firm represents Trump, to be FBI Director (New York Times). 5/29: Russian President Putin visited France, and unlike Trump, French President Macron had some harsh words about Russia's meddling in their election (AP), and regarding the treatment of LGBTQ in Chechyna. German Chancellor Angela Merkel's rival came to her defense regarding Trump's poor treatment of her (Washington Post). 5/28: David Frum appears on AM Joy (MSNBC) and explains Russia's goal, since the end of WWII, of severing the US-Germany relationship. "Putin couldn't have gotten more out of [Trump's trip] if he'd paid for it." 5/26: Dominoes, dropping: GOP strategist admitted he colluded with Russians to influence the election (Wall Street Journal). 5/25: Flynn evokes the 5th Amendment against self-incrimination and defies the Senate subpoena to turn over documents on Trump-Russia and Russian interference in our election (NPR).Meanwhile, Stone and Manafort have turned over documents (NBC News), and Ivanka's husband, Jared, is now under FBI investigation for his ties to Russia (NBC News). Meanwhile, Trump insults Germany and threatens their auto imports, and shoves aside the Prime Minister of Montenegro at the NATO summit, and gives a speech warning NATO allies, again, we may not come to their military aid unless they pay up. Putin, undoubtedly, cheers (CNN). 5/18: Trump and his transition team knew Flynn was under FBI investigation weeks before inauguration and appointed him anyway. Why? (NY Times). 5/15: After Trump's historic meeting with the Russians in the Oval Office, without US press present, the Washington Post (verified by the NY Times) reports (Miller & Jaffe, 5/15/17) Trump revealed sensitive, "highly classified" information, obtained from Israel, to the Russians. 5/10: The day after Sally Yates testified at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Trump-Russia ties, Trump fired FBI director James Comey. Hours later, we learn that federal prosecutors issued grand jury subpoenas to Flynn associates (CNN). Today, we hear the FBI has raided a Trump campaign fundraising company (WBAL-TV, Baltimore). 4/13: US drops largest non-nuclear bomb in its arsenal on Afghanistan today, as UK Guardian reports FBI now has corroborating evidence of Trump-Russia collusion. Coincidence? 4/7: Trump launched 50 Tomahawk missiles into Syria without Congressional approval; no planes hit. 4/3: Just before inauguration, Blackwater founder and brother of Betsy De Vos held secret Seychelles meeting to set up backchannel for communications between Trump and Putin (Washington Post). Carter Page reportedly met with and passed documents to Russian agent in 2013 (confirmed by MSNBC & ABC News). 3/24: MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell reports tonight that Trump Administration officials and transition team are now purging their phones in anticipation of being subpoenaed. 2/9: Lithuanian intelligence head: "Zapad 2017 will constitute the greatest challenge to national security of Lithuania this year." Zapad 2017 will have the largest number of troops and most technologically complex drills ever used by Russia on the Lithuanian border. Will Russia occupy Belarus in 2017? Map of NATO buildup on the Russian border, largest since Cold War. (See the below "Take Action" section and Preventing War section.)

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