Thursday May 18, 2017 5 Top Stories to Start Your Day

Thursday May 18th, 2017 5 Top Stories to Start Your Day

There are events that occur that has so many tentacles that the story has more than just one highlight. Today, instead of 5 different stories, the focus will be the Russia-Trump investigation and how it is affected the country.

1. Wednesday evening, it was announced that a special counsel will be taking over the Justice Department’s investigation of Russia and the 2016 Presidential election. The investigation focus is on what Russia did to exploit the race in favor of Donald Trump. There is also the investigation into who in the Trump campaign had dealings with Russia and if there was any collusion between the two. The new special counsel is former FBI chief Robert Mueller who served as director for 12 years. On the hill reaction, has been a rare united moment with both Democrats and Republicans agreeing that Mueller is a great pick. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said in a statement announcing the special counsel, “I determined that a special counsel is necessary in order for the American people to have full confidence in the outcome.”

2. The New York Times is reporting Thursday that Michael Flynn, while on the Trump campaign team, told the campaign that he was under FBI investigation for his work as a foreign agent for Turkey yet when President Trump won the election, Trump appointed Flynn the National Security Adviser. The Times states that Flynn told transition team’s attorney, Donald F. McGahn, who is now the counsel to the President, on January 4th. This conversation and another 2 days later proves that the Trump Administration knew about the FBI was investigation Flynn. Flynn had to resign after only 24 days after being sworn in as the National Security Adviser.

3. McClatchy News is reporting Thursday that Michael Flynn intervened to blocked a military plan opposed by Turkey that was supposed to take aim against an ISIS group. The plan that he reportedly blocked was to be carried out by Syrian Kurdish forces in Raqqa, a measure Turkey has long opposed. Flynn, who resigned as the National Security Adviser in February, was registered as a foreign agent for $530,000 worth of lobbying work before Election Day. The plan eventually was okayed but only after Flynn had resigned.

4. Thursday, the Deputy Attorney General Ron Rosenstein, will appear before all the Senate to brief them on the how the firing of FBI Director James Comey came about. Originally the White House stated their decision came about after a memo was released to the President by Rubenstein, outlining the reasons of why Comey could be relieved of this duty. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) stated he would like to ask Rosenstein, “It’s pretty simple: Did you support the decision to fire [Comey] and tell us about the letter and how it came about.” Another major point to be asked is if Rosenstein was aware of the reported memo that Comey wrote that purportedly states the President asked Comey to drop the Flynn investigation

5. Thursday, it was reported that Michael Flynn and other advisers to Donald Trump’s campaign were in contact with Russian officials during the campaign at least 18 times. According to Reuters, 6 of the contacts were made between Flynn and Sergei Kislyak, Russia’s ambassador to the United States and the calls were to establish a back channel for communication between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin that could bypass the U.S. national security bureaucracy. Reuters reports that they had seen no evidence of wrongdoing or collusion between the campaign and Russia but these calls, which were not released immediately, will cause further investigation.

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