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CIA's 'Dark Prince' tapped to lead charge against Iran

Michael d'andrea in charge of Iran offensiveThe CIA has appointed a senior counterterrorism officer with a strong background in the Middle East to lead the US administration's handling of Iran, signaling a new hardline approach to Tehran, sources tell Al Jazeera.

Known as the "Dark Prince", "Ayatollah Mike", and the "Undertaker" within the halls of the CIA, Michael D'Andrea ran the CIA's Counterterrorism Center between 2006 and 2015. He also oversaw its covert programmes to hunt and kill "terrorist" suspects with drones around the world, particularly in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen.


Trump White House Made Secret Efforts to Remove Russia Sanctions

Tom MalinowskiPresident Donald Trump’s administration moved quickly to try and lift economic sanctions on Russia and other punishments former President Barack Obama had put in place as soon as it took office in January, according to multiple sources who have spoken with Yahoo News.

“There was serious consideration by the White House to unilaterally rescind the sanctions,” according to Dan Fried, who retired in February as Coordinator for Sanctions Policy at the State Department.


Special counsel probe to include Flynn's Turkey ties: report

Flynn tis to Turkey eyed in probeThe Justice Department special counsel investigating Russian election interference will also look into former national security adviser Michael Flynn's lobbying work for Turkey, according to Reuters.

Robert Mueller’s probe will look into the grand jury investigation into Flynn’s paid work lobbying for a Turkish businessman, the report said. A Virginia grand jury has issued subpoenas to business associates of Flynn for documents, bank records and communications involving the lobbying work.

Flynn’s lobbying work for Turkey has come under scrutiny in recent weeks. McClatchy reported earlier this month that during the presidential transition, Flynn pushed to delay an Islamic State attack plan that Turkey opposed.


Trump’s tweets ‘a gold mine’ for Mueller probe

Trump tweets a treasure trove for Mueller probePresident Donald Trump’s Twitter feed – packed with more than 35,000 time-stamped missives dating to 2009 – offers a treasure trove of evidence for Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his growing team of investigators, according to lawyers and veterans of past White House scandals.

Like emails, handwritten notes or transcribed Oval Office conversations, the @realdonaldtrump account gives investigators a detailed timeline of Trump’s thoughts and opinions – including where they might differ from official accounts – and can also be used to establish intent, which can be critical in a criminal investigation.


‘We were used, abused and exploited’: Victims of Trump and group backing him

Remembrance ProjectAs he built support for his signature political issue, Donald Trump formed a powerful partnership with a nonprofit group dedicated to families of those killed by undocumented immigrants, but now some of those families are alleging they were exploited by both the nonprofit group and — to a lesser extent — by President Trump.

More than a dozen families involved in the Houston-based Remembrance Project — including two who spoke at the Republican National Convention and several more who spoke at Trump’s rallies or were featured in his campaign ads — have parted ways with the organization, according to people familiar with the situation, including six of the families.



Trump exempts senior staff from ethics rules

Trump exempts senior staff from ethics rulesThe White House on Wednesday evening released its list of waivers to the Trump administration ethics pledge, exempting at least a dozen White House officials from the rules.

The list includes ex-lobbyists who joined the administration to work on policy areas they had covered for their K Street clients. Two comprehensive waivers give whole swaths of White House employees a waiver from the ethics pledge.

Trump’s ethics pledge, contained in an executive order, came along with promises that he would “drain the swamp” of the Washington influence industry.


Nigel Farage 'person of interest' in Trump-Russia probe

Nigel farageNigel Farage, a British MEP and former leader of the Brexit campaign, is a "person of interest" in the US investigation into possible collusion between Russia and Donald Trump's presidential campaign, the Guardian newspaper has reported.

Citing unidentified sources, the Guardian reported on Thursday that Farage had not been accused of wrongdoing and was not a suspect or target of the US investigation.


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