Trump rips ‘Fake News’ reports of WH infighting over Iran; DOJ taps prosecutor for Russia-probe inquiry

Written by on May 16, 2019

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Trump rips ‘Fake News’ over reports of White House discord on Middle East Policy
President Trump on Wednesday trashed the Washington Post and the New York Times for reporting on alleged White House infighting over the administration’s policy on the Middle East. Trump, in a tweet, denied that there was infighting between his staff as tensions escalate with Iran – saying that opinions may differ, but that he is the person who makes the final decisions. “The Fake News Washington Post, and even more Fake News New York Times, are writing stories that there is infighting with respect to my strong policy in the Middle East,” Trump tweeted. “There is no infighting whatsoever.” Trump’s tweets come amid mounting tensions between Washington and Tehran, with the Pentagon on Wednesday ordering all nonessential government staff to leave Iraq amid still-unspecified threats that the Trump administration has linked to Iran. The recent discord between the U.S. and Iran has raised concerns among lawmakers on both sides of the aisle about a potential war with Iran, and has drawn comparisons to the lead-up to the Iraq War in 2003.

Who is John Durham? Prosecutor tapped for Russia probe inquiry known as ‘aggressive, tireless and fair’
U.S. Attorney John Durham, the longtime lawman tapped to investigate the origins of the Russia investigation, is no stranger to high-stakes assignments that might make him unpopular in federal law enforcement circles. But his reputation as a hard-charging and apolitical prosecutor is what colleagues say has made him the go-to investigator for highly sensitive jobs. And looking into alleged misconduct within the FBI and other government agencies — surrounding the most politically explosive investigation since at least the Clinton era — could be his toughest assignment yet. Durham served as counsel to former U.S. Attorney for Connecticut Deirdre Daly when she was U.S. attorney and deputy U.S. attorney. Durham now holds the U.S. attorney position in Connecticut, but his profile rose this week after it emerged that Attorney General Bill Barr had assigned him to lead the investigation into “all intelligence collection activities” related to the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential election, and any misconduct during the early stages of the FBI’s original Russia probe.

State Department official cited Steele in emails with Ohr after flagging credibility issues to FBI, docs reveal
Shortly after the 2016 presidential election, then-Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kathleen Kavalec and Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr discussed new allegations concerning the Trump campaign’s Russia connections that were sourced to British ex-spy Christopher Steele, according to documents made public Wednesday. The previous month, in October 2016, Kavalec had met with Steele and documented his political motivations in writing — particularly that he was “keen” to see his anti-Trump materials “come to light” prior to the election. Kavelec forwarded her written notes, in which she also pointed out that some of Steele’s claims were apparently false, to a senior FBI executive. Despite Kavalec’s concerns, the FBI used Steele’s information to obtain a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant targeting former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page just weeks later.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio to announce 2020 White House bid on Thursday: source
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, widely known to have been pondering a White House run, is expected to announce his official entry into the crowded candidate field on Thursday, a source familiar with the situation told Fox News on Wednesday. De Blasio will make the announcement in a Thursday morning video followed by an appearance on ABC News’ “Good Morning America,” said the source, who requested anonymity. The mayor would be the 23rd Democrat vying for the Democratic presidential nomination, following Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, who announced his own candidacy on Tuesday. De Blasio has plans to visit a pair of early-voting states. He will travel to Iowa on Friday and South Carolina on Saturday, a spokesperson told Fox News. The mayor has been teasing an announcement this week about his decision. And he’s made several campaign-style trips to states expected to play key roles in the Democratic nominating process.

Pacific Gas & Electric power lines caused California’s ‘deadliest and most destructive wildfire’: officials
California authorities said Wednesday that power lines owned and operated by the Pacific Gas & Electric Corp. (PG&E) caused the state’s most destructive wildfire ever – one that killed 85 people and nearly destroyed an entire city. Lines owned by the San Francisco-based utility sparked the deadly, fast-moving Camp Fire on Nov. 8 in the Pulga area of Butte County, the state Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) said in a news release. In total, the blaze burned 153,336 acres and destroyed in excess of 18,000 structures. The city of Paradise – population 27,000 — was nearly wiped out as residents evacuated and their homes and vehicles were engulfed in flames. Investigators also found a second nearby ignition site involving power lines owned by PG&E and vegetation that sparked another fire.

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Sean Hannity says Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation team was stacked with “far-left Clinton allies” who were hell-bent on taking down President Trump.   

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Fox News First is compiled by Fox News’ Bryan Robinson. Fox News’ Bradford Betz contributed to this report. Thank you for joining us! Have a good day! We’ll see you in your inbox first thing Friday morning.

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