Friday May 16, 2017 5 Top Stories to Start Your Day

Friday June 16, 2017 5 Top Stories to Start Your Day

1. Friday, Russian officials stated that in an airstrike that they had killed the leader of the Islamic State while there was a meeting of IS leaders just outside the group’s de facto capital in Syria. The Russians claim that the airstrike killed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in late May along with other senior group commanders. The spokesman for the U.S.-led anti-IS coalition said in a statement Friday he could not confirm the Russian claim.

2. Thursday morning, President Trump weighed in on the Washington Post article which, based on unnamed sources, that President Trump is under investigation for obstruction of justice due to his alleged calls to drop the investigation into Russia’s influence on the 2016 Presidential election and the investigation into former National Security advisor Michael Flynn. Trump took to Twitter to respond, “They made up a phony collusion with the Russians story, found zero proof, so now they go for obstruction of justice on the phony story. Nice.” Continuing the President tweeted, “You are witnessing the single greatest WITCH HUNT in American political history – led by some very bad and conflicted people! #MAGA.” Trump then went back to his opponent for the Presidency stating, “Why is that Hillary Clintons family and Dems dealings with Russia are not looked at, but my non-dealings are?” then continuing with “Crooked H destroyed phones w/ hammer, ‘bleached’ emails, & had husband meet w/AG days before she was cleared- & they talk about obstruction?” Former FBI Director James Comey had told the President on three separate occasions that he was not under investigation but with the President’s firing of Comey it is alleged that an investigation began into the reasons for the firing.

3. Thursday, it was announced that Vice President Pence has hired a personal attorney to help him with probes into whether there were ties between the election campaign of U.S. President Donald Trump and Russia. A spokesman for the Vice-President stated that Pence hired Richard Cullen, chairman of law firm McGuireWoods, to help him respond to inquiries from special counsel Robert Muellen. The office for Pence stated that he had been looking at hiring his own counsel for several weeks, but made his decision earlier this week after interviewing several candidates. Pence spokesman, Jarrod Agen, said in a statement, “The vice president is focused entirely on his duties and promoting the president’s agenda and looks forward to a swift conclusion of this matter.”

4. On Thursday, in a near unanimous vote, the United States Senate voted to impose new sanctions on Russia and Iran. The vote on new sanctions on Russia also makes it difficult for the President to change the sanctions or lessen the sanctions against Russia by including language that requires Trump to get Congress’ approval before easing any existing sanctions on Russia. Senator Bob Corker, the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, stated that the measure “sends a very, very strong signal to Russia, the nefarious activities they’ve been involved in.” The bill also includes new sanctions on Iran over its ballistic missile program and other activities not related to the international nuclear agreement reached with the United States and other world powers.

5. GOP House Whip Steve Scalise, who was shot Wednesday in the attack on GOP members who were practicing for a baseball game, is still in critical condition with more surgeries to come. Scalise was shot in the hip but the bullet caused extensive damage to his internal organs. MedStar Washington Hospital Center said Scalise had surgery Thursday related to his internal injuries and a broken bone in his leg, and “will require additional operations.” Representative Scalise is the House’s No. 3 GOP leader.


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