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Twitter storm: Trump lashes out at ex-FBI chief!

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Trump calls off Pompeo North Korea trip

WASHINGTON: Donald Trump launched into another furious Twitter tirade against James Comey here today hours before the broadcast of an extended interview with the fired former FBI director and with a memoir detailing his interactions with the US president soon to hit US bookstores.

Excerpts of the interview with ABC News already have been aired, as have reviews of Comey’s memoir, “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership.”

The book, which is due out Tuesday (17th of April), likens Trump to a dishonest, ego-driven mob boss and says he demanded Comey’s personal pledge of loyalty – a damning account that has infuriated the president at a moment of intensifying legal pressure on other fronts. “I never asked Comey for Personal Loyalty.

I hardly even knew this guy. Just another of his many lies. His ‘memos’ are self serving and FAKE!” Trump said in one of his latest tweets. The president again called Comey, who has said he took detailed notes of his meetings with Trump, a “slime ball” and said he “stupidly” handled a probe into Trump’s 2016 election rival Hillary Clinton.

In another tweet, the president undertook a mini-review of Comey’s memoir: “The big questions in Comey’s badly reviewed book aren’t answered like, how come he gave up Classified Information (jail), why did he lie to Congress (jail), why did the DNC refuse to give Server to the FBI (why didn’t they TAKE it), why the phony memos, McCabe’s $700,000 & more?”

The jumble of references appeared to allude to unsubstantiated accusations Trump has previously made claiming Comey lied in Senate testimony last May in denying he had served as an anonymous news source.

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Asia

US Senator Graham calls on PM Khan

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ISLAMABAD: Republican Senator Lindsey Graham called on PM Imran Khan here today. 

During the meeting, PM reiterated his government’s commitment to continue working with the US and other regional stakeholders in order to find a political settlement in Afghanistan. Khan further stressed the need for normalizing relations with all neighboring countries to unleash the potential of regional cooperation. Imran Khan said that his economic team was constantly striving to evolve business-friendly policies for potential investors which could be benefited by the US companies.

Senator Graham, lauding PM’s vision apropos political solution to the Afghan conflict,  conveyed his appreciation of Pakistan’s positive role in the ongoing efforts to find a political settlement in Afghanistan. He also appreciated PM’s endeavor vis-a-vis improvement of the economy, elimination of corruption and creation of jobs. He termed Imran Khan’s efforts to normalize relations with neighboring countries as noteworthy.

It is pertinent to mention here that  Lindsey Graham is Chairman of the US Senate’s Judicial Committee and Senior Member of the committees of the House on armed services and budget.

Earlier Senator Lindsey Graham called on Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi here today. During the meeting,  views on matters related to bilateral cooperation, situation in Afghanistan, regional and international issues were discussed. Various aspects to increase bilateral cooperation in economic and trade sectors were also pondered over.

 

 

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Asia

US Sp. Envoy Khalilzad’s Pak visit ends today

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ISLAMABAD:  Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, visited Islamabad from 17th to 20th January 2019 to follow up on discussions held in December. 

Special Representative Khalilzad met Prime Minister Khan, Foreign Minister Qureshi, Foreign Secretary Janjua, Chief of Army Staff Bajwa, and members of the diplomatic corps in Islamabad. 

During the consultations, both sides reaffirmed their commitment to advance the Afghan peace process.  Ambassador Khalilzad highlighted that all countries in the region will benefit from peace in Afghanistan.

 

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Politics

Trump says did not order lawyer to lie

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WASHINGTON: Donald Trump while responding to the allegation that he had directed Michael Cohen to lie denied the charges.

According to details Buzzfeed had reported that Michael Cohen told investigators Trump personally instructed him to lie about the Moscow Trump Tower plan in testimony in 2017 to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees.

The said report says that Trump had received ten personal updates from Cohen about a plan to build the Moscow tower at a time when totally denied having any business ties to Russia. US president claims that Cohen was lying about the Moscow project to reduce his jail time. It is pertinent to mention here that Cohen was sentenced to 36 months in December after he pleaded guilty to lying to Congress over the Trump Tower plan. He also admitted campaign finance violations and tax evasion. In court, he said his “weakness was blind loyalty to Donald Trump” – whose “dirty deeds” he had felt compelled to cover up. 

(Courtesy BBC)

The report says that Trump encouraged Cohen to plan a trip to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin during the election campaign. The White House sought to brush the report off by questioning Buzzfeed’s credibility and accusing Cohen of serial lying – while not directly addressing the allegations in the story.
“Lying to reduce his jail time!” Trump said of Cohen, who was convicted last year of fraud and perjury. “This is just another in a long line of ridiculous charges without any corroboration or credibility whatsoever,” White House deputy spokesman Hogan Gidley told Fox News.
“The premise is ridiculous. We are also talking about a person in Michael Cohen, who now quite frankly has been proven to be a liar,” Gidley said. Rudy Giuliani, one of Trump’s lawyers dealing with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible collusion with Russia by the Trump campaign, likewise suggested to several journalists that Cohen was lying.
“If you believe Cohen I can get you a great deal on the Brooklyn Bridge,” Giuliani, the former New York mayor, is reported to have quipped. No other media has confirmed Buzzfeed’s allegations which, if true, constitute a felony crime – suborning perjury – and an impeachable offense. But Democrats took the report seriously. “The allegation that the President of the United States may have suborned perjury before our committee in an effort to curtail the investigation and cover up his business dealings with Russia is among the most serious to date,” said Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
“We will do what’s necessary to find out if it’s true.”
“If this report of Trump suborning false testimony is confirmed, then Trump committed a felony and must resign or be impeached,” tweeted Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley. The Buzzfeed report was based on interviews with two anonymous “federal law enforcement officials” whom Buzzfeed said were involved in investigations relating to the matter. The report came two months after Cohen pleaded guilty in a New York court to making “false, fictitious and fraudulent” written testimony to Congress in connection with the Moscow project.
A statement of the facts in his November 29 plea deal, in a case brought by Mueller, suggested that his written testimony to Congress in August 2017 had been prepared in consultation with unnamed people in the White House. In the 2017 testimony, Cohen falsely said the Moscow project talks ended in January 2016, when in fact they went on at least six months longer, to June 2016 when Trump had already secured the Republican nomination for president.
Cohen also claimed at the time that others in the campaign, including Trump, were not informed about the project. But in the November plea deal, Cohen admitted the deal had in fact been discussed with Trump – designated “Individual 1” in court documents – several times in early 2016. “Cohen made the false statements to minimize links between the Moscow project and Individual 1… in hopes of limiting the ongoing Russia investigations,” prosecutors wrote.
The Buzzfeed report raised the stakes for Trump in his battle against Cohen and added to the political turmoil in Washington, where the government has been partially closed for four weeks due to a faceoff between Democrats and the White House over the president’s demand to fund a wall on the US-Mexico border.
Meanwhile, Cohen continues to be a headache for the White House. He was the president’s personal lawyer and right-hand man for years at the Trump Organization, often relied upon to quietly fix difficult problems and negotiate deals for the real estate mogul.
But he has turned on his former boss after he was charged with giving hush money to women credibly claiming to have had affairs with Trump ahead of the 2016 election – payments that violated campaign finance laws.
Cohen, who has been sentenced to three years in jail, said Trump ordered him to make the payments, and now says he regrets his work for the president. “I truly regret my blind loyalty to a man who doesn’t deserve it,” Cohen said Thursday in response to another article on his work for Trump. Democratic politicians are determined to probe the Buzzfeed allegations.

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