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Monday, Dec 11th

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Focus on Flynn, Trump timeline suggests obstruction is on Mueller’s mind

Mike Flynn now focus of Mueller probeSpecial counsel Robert Mueller is trying to piece together what happened inside the White House over a critical 18-day period that began when senior officials were told that National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was susceptible to blackmail by Russia, according to multiple people familiar with the matter.

The questions about what happened between Jan. 26 and Flynn's firing on Feb. 13 appear to relate to possible obstruction of justice by President Donald Trump, say two people familiar with Mueller's investigation into Russia's election meddling and potential collusion with the Trump campaign.

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Mueller Probe Circling Its Biggest Target Yet: Former Campaign CEO Steve Bannon

Steve Bannon next target in Russia probeHe worked in the White House when former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was fired, spoke with President Donald Trump about firing former FBI Director James Comey and played the role of initial mediator between the Trump campaign and the data firm that made overtures to suspected Russia-linked site WikiLeaks.

So, Steve Bannon, President Donald Trump’s former chief political strategist and campaign chief executive could very well be the next key witness interviewed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller in his ongoing investigation into alleged Russian collusion, with some stating it’s almost “inevitable,” Politico reported Monday morning.

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Behind Trump’s plan to target the federal safety net

Trumps plan to target federal safety net

The Trump administration and Republicans in Congress are hoping to make the most sweeping changes to federal safety net programs in a generation, using legislation and executive actions to target recipients of food stamps, Medicaid and housing benefits.

The White House is quietly preparing a sweeping executive order that would mandate a top-to-bottom review of the federal programs on which millions of poor Americans rely. And GOP lawmakers are in the early stages of crafting legislation that could make it more difficult to qualify for those programs.

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Trump Accusers Reiterate Claims in Appearances for New Documentary

Trump accusersThree women who have accused Donald Trump of sexual misconduct or inappropriate behavior appeared on “Megyn Kelly Today” on Monday to reiterate their claims and call for some kind of reckoning amid the #MeToo movement.

The women appear in a new documentary short video about Trump’s accusers, called “16 Women and Donald Trump,” from progressive filmmaker Robert Greenwald, and appeared at a press conference with him later in the day. They women called for Congress to conduct an ethics investigation of allegations against Trump.

“I would like to see some reckoning, that he is not made of Teflon, that he acknowledges in some fashion and is called on to answer for the charges,” Jessica Leeds said on “Today.”

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Bella De Paulo: I study liars. I’ve never seen one like President Trump.

De Paulo: Trump lies more than anyone

I spent the first two decades of my career as a social scientist studying liars and their lies. I thought I had developed a sense of what to expect from them. Then along came President Trump. His lies are both more frequent and more malicious than ordinary people’s.

In research beginning in the mid-1990s, when I was a professor at the University of Virginia, my colleagues and I asked 77 college students and 70 people from the nearby community to keep diaries of all the lies they told every day for a week. They handed them in to us with no names attached. We calculated participants’ rates of lying and categorized each lie as either self-serving (told to advantage the liar or protect the liar from embarrassment, blame or other undesired outcomes) or kind (told to advantage, flatter or protect someone else).

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Star U.S. Diplomat Quits With Fiery Letter To Rex Tillerson

Elizabeth Shackelford resigns

A distinguished U.S. diplomat who was seen as a rising star at the State Department resigned after writing a searing letter to Secretary Of State Rex Tillerson, accusing him of gutting the department and damaging America’s standing across the world.

Elizabeth Shackelford, who served as a political officer based in Nairobi for the U.S. mission to Somalia, lamented in a Nov. 7 letter obtained by Foreign Policy the “stinging disrespect” President Donald Trump’s administration had shown the diplomatic corps and how it was “driving” the department’s most experienced staff away in growing numbers.

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Haley: Trump's accusers should be heard

Nikki Haley: Trump's accusers should be heard

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said on Sunday that women who accuse anyone of sexual misconduct deserve to be heard, including those accusing President Trump.

"I am incredibly proud of the women who have come forward. I'm proud of their strength. I'm proud of their courage. And I think that the idea that this is happening, I think it will start to bring a conscience to the situation, not just in politics, but in, you know, we've seen in Hollywood and in every industry. And I think the time has come," Haley told CBS News's John Dickerson on "Face the Nation."

Dickerson went on to ask how people should assess the accusers of the president.

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