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Tillerson has confidence in British investigation linking Russia to poisoning of ex-spy

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson again butted heads Monday with his own Trump administration by proclaiming the poison attack on a Russian dissident in Britain clearly appeared to be the work of Moscow spies.  Tillerson, traveling in Africa, said he had “full confidence” in the British government.

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Mar. 12, 2018, 8:20 p.m.

    By Tracy Wilkinson

    Mar 12, 2018 | 8:20 PM

    Tillerson has confidence in British investigation linking Russia to poisoning of ex-spy

    Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja. (Associated Press)

    Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has again butted heads with the Trump administration by proclaiming that the poison attack on a Russian dissident in Britain clearly appeared to be the work of Moscow.

    Tillerson, traveling in Africa, said Monday he had “full confidence” in the British government investigation that indicated that Russia was likely responsible for the nerve agent attack that sickened former Russia spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter.

    Father and daughter were in England, and an attack on them tied to Russia would be a major international incident. Russia has denied any involvement in the poisoning.

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    Mar. 12, 2018, 5:13 p.m.

      By Noah Bierman

      Mar 12, 2018 | 5:13 PM

      Trump immigration officials take aim at California politicians ahead of presidential visit

      Rep. Nancy Pelosi. (Alex Wong / Getty Images)

      White House officials ratcheted up their fight with California politicians over immigration policies ahead of President Trump’s visit Tuesday, briefing reporters Monday night on what they called “misconceptions” being propagated by leading Democrats in the state.

      Thomas D. Homan, acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, took particular exception to a comment by House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco, who contended last week that the administration was engaged in “cowardly attacks” against immigrants when the Justice Department sued the state over its immigration laws.

      “Her quotes were just beyond the pale,” Homan said, taking Pelosi’s words as an attack on immigration officers.

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      Mar. 12, 2018, 12:59 p.m.

        By Tracy Wilkinson

        Mar 12, 2018 | 12:59 PM

        U.S. blasts Russia and others at the U.N. for failure of Syria ceasefire

        U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley on March 12 (AFP / Getty Images)

        The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, blamed Russia and its allies Monday for violating a humanitarian ceasefire in Syria, and excoriated the U.N. Security Council for failing to guarantee the truce.

        Haley also warned that the Trump administration “remains prepared to act,” as it did last April when U.S. missiles were fired at a Syrian government airbase that was used to drop nerve gas on civilians.

        "It is not the path we prefer, but it is a path we have demonstrated we will take, and we are prepared to take again," Haley told the Security Council, which met in special session. "When the international community consistently fails to act, there are times when states are compelled to take their own action."

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        Mar. 12, 2018, 12:50 p.m.

        • White House

        By Noah Bierman

        Mar 12, 2018 | 12:50 PM

        Trump will host Saudi Arabia's controversial crown prince

        President Trump meets Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, last year. (Evan Vucci / Associated Press)

        President Trump plans to host Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the White House next week, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced Monday.

        Prince Mohammed attracted controversy in November when he orchestrated a purge of dozens of people, including sitting cabinet members and a fellow prince. The move was seen as an effort to consolidate power. The regime portrayed the sweep as a crackdown on corruption and an effort to attract foreign investment and reduce the country’s historic dependence on oil. 

        Sanders declined to say whether Trump would raise human rights issues with the heir to the throne.

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        Mar. 11, 2018, 12:40 p.m.

          By Noah Bierman

          Mar 11, 2018 | 12:40 PM

          Trump loves winning, but in his presidency and business, California has gotten in his way

          President Trump's well-documented clashes with California owe plenty to politics, culture and personality. But at bottom, what drives the president's toxic relationship with the nation's most populous state is this: his near-obsessive desire to be seen as a winner.

          No state represents losing for Trump more than California, whether in business or politics. No surprise, then, that he didn't rush to visit. He arrives on Tuesday later into his term than any president since Franklin D. Roosevelt, back when presidents weren't flying routinely; FDR crossed the continent by train.

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          Mar. 11, 2018, 4:00 a.m.

            By Noah Bierman

            Mar 11, 2018 | 4:00 AM

            Michigan county plagued by potholes and sinkholes waits for Trump to deliver on infrastructure

            Warnings begin as soon as you arrive. Beware of the potholes.

            They're everywhere in this Michigan city near Detroit, rattling travelers' teeth and popping tires, making for a lunar-like obstacle course. Local television newscasters hand out gift cards for tire repairs amid their reports on banged wheel rims and stranded motorists. "POTHELL!!" blared a recent headline in the Detroit Free Press.

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            Mar. 12, 2018, 10:00 a.m.

              By Evan Halper

              Mar 12, 2018 | 10:00 AM

              More trouble for Trump's candidate in Pennsylvania special election

              President Trump with congressional candidate Rick Saccone. (Keith Srakocic/AP)

              Republicans desperate to hold onto a congressional seat in the heart of Trump country received more bad news Monday, just days after the president parachuted into western Pennsylvania to give their struggling candidate a boost.

              Republican Rick Saccone, according to a new Monmouth University poll, is still losing ground in Tuesday’s election to fill a vacant seat in the district near Pittsburgh that Trump won by 20 points. Some $8 million in spending by national Republican groups aimed at propping up the state lawmaker hasn’t seemed to give him the boost he badly needs to take a lead against his political-neophyte opponent, Conor Lamb.

              The poll found Lamb leading 51% to 45% if turnout reflects the patterns of other similar special elections held this year, in which there was a Democratic surge. Even if turnout is lackluster, as it tends to be for a routine special election, the poll still shows Lamb winning by two points.

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              Mar. 11, 2018, 6:55 p.m.

                By Don Lee

                Mar 11, 2018 | 6:55 PM

                Steel tariffs bring vindication for Trump's feisty trade advisor Peter Navarro

                Minutes before President Trump entered the White House Roosevelt Room on Thursday to announce sweeping tariffs on imported metals, the president's economic A-team stood stone-faced near the president's podium — but not Peter Navarro.

                The 68-year-old former UC Irvine economics professor looked almost gleeful as he waited for Trump to issue final orders levying 25% duties on foreign steel and 10% on aluminum, all in the name of national security.

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                Mar. 11, 2018, 4:30 p.m.

                • White House
                • Congress

                By Laura King

                Mar 11, 2018 | 4:30 PM

                Treasury secretary defends Trump after he mocks Rep. Maxine Waters as 'very low IQ' in insult-laced speech

                Rep. Maxine Waters speaks at the California Democrats State Convention on Feb. 24 in San Diego. (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

                Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin on Sunday defended President Trump’s spree of name-calling at a campaign rally on Saturday night, including the president’s renewed mocking of Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles) as “a very low IQ individual.”

                At the raucous Pennsylvania rally for Republican House candidate Rick Saccone, Trump derided Waters for calling for his impeachment, imitating her as supposedly declaring, “’We will impeach him. We will impeach the president. But he hasn’t done anything wrong. It doesn’t matter, we will impeach him.’”

                Mnuchin, appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” said Trump’s verbal assaults were intended to be humorous.

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                Mar. 10, 2018, 1:53 p.m.

                • North Korea

                By Chris Megerian

                Mar 10, 2018 | 1:53 PM

                President Trump says he expects North Korea to hold off on new missile tests

                A South Korean soldier walks past a television screen in Seoul with images of President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. (Jung Yeon-je / AFP/Getty Images)

                President Trump tweeted Saturday that he believes North Korea won’t conduct any more missile tests as he plans to meet with the country’s leader, Kim Jong Un.

                North Korea has not conducted a Missile Test since November 28, 2017 and has promised not to do so through our meetings. I believe they will honor that commitment!

                — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 10, 2018

                It was a noteworthy vote of confidence in North Korea’s intentions as the leaders of the two countries prepare for what could be a historic meeting.

                North Korea has been testing intercontinental ballistic missiles that may be capable of carrying a nuclear weapon across the Pacific Ocean to the continental United States. 

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