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WASHINGTON – Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday said former FBI Director James Comey made an error of judgment in announcing that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would not be charged for sending and receiving classified information on a private email server.
“I don’t think it’s been fully understood – the significance of the error that Mr. Comey made on the Clinton matter,” Sessions told the Senate Judiciary Committee during the annual oversight hearing for the Department of Justice (DOJ).
“For the first time I’m aware of in all of my experience … a major case in which DOJ prosecutors were involved in an investigation that an investigative agency announced the closure of an investigation,” he explained.
Comey in June told the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that the revelation of a private meeting in the summer of 2016 between then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch and former President Bill Clinton on the tarmac of the Phoenix airport is what motivated the public disclosure.
Eleven days before the Nov. 8, 2016 presidential election, Comey sent a letter to several Congressional committees announcing that the FBI was reopening the Clinton email investigation after having discovered more 600,000 emails of interest in an unrelated probe.
Two days before the election, Comey announced that the second probe reaffirmed his original decision not to charge Clinton.
Sessions told the Judiciary committee in his opening statement that he would not reveal the contents of private conversations that he may have had with President Donald Trump. Sessions held firm to that premise when asked whether he had discussed Comey’s May firing with Trump.
The committee also questioned Sessions about his meeting with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during last year’s presidential campaign. During his confirmation hearings in January, Sessions had denied speaking to Kislyak. After the meetings were later revealed, he recused himself from the probe into interference into the election by Russia.
Sessions said Wednesday that he did not recall any discussions about Trump’s campaign with Kislyak and denied meeting with any Russian officials to discuss coordination between the campaign and Russia.
WASHINGTON—President Donald Trump said Monday that he would like to see Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee he defeated to claim the White House in 2016, run again in 2020.
“I was recently asked if Crooked Hillary Clinton is going to run in 2020?” Trump said in what appeared to be a tongue-in-cheek tweet. “My answer was, ‘I hope so!’”
I was recently asked if Crooked Hillary Clinton is going to run in 2020? My answer was, “I hope so!”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 16, 2017
Trump won in the 2016 election by a 306 to 232 margin in the electoral college, but trailed in the popular vote by about 3 million.
After ascending to the Presidency, Trump has repeatedly touted his election win and taken swipes at his former opponent.
In July, Trump blasted Attorney General Jeff Sessions for not opening a criminal probe into Clinton, calling Sessions “very weak” on the issue.
Trump has also claimed without evidence that he would have won the popular vote if not for widespread fraud.
While staying in the public eye and releasing a book recapping the 2016 election, Clinton has ruled out a 2020 run.
“I am done with being a candidate,” Clinton said during an interview with CBS’ “Sunday Morning.” “But I am not done with politics because I literally believe that our country’s future is at stake.”
WASHINGTON – Hillary Clinton said Wednesday that she will give money that disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein donated to her presidential campaign to charity.
“There’s no one to give it back to,” Clinton told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria when asked if she would return the donations. “What my former colleagues are saying is they’re going to give it to charity and of course will to do that. I give ten percent of my income to charity every year. This will be part of that.”
Weinstein donated $5,400 to Clinton’s campaign committee along with over $30,000 to a joint committee benefitting both Clinton and the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
The New Yorker followed with a report that three women are accusing the Miramax co-founder of rape.
In Wednesday’s interview, Clinton said that she was previously unaware of Weinstein’s behavior and that the revelations made her sick.
She also acknowledged Weinstein’s financial support of Democratic lawmakers and said that she would have considered him a friend.
On Tuesday, Clinton released a statement condemning Weinstein’s behavior and describing herself as “shocked and appalled.”
WASHINGTON – Hillary Clinton condemned disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein on Tuesday, five days after reports broke of his alleged predatory behavior.
“I was shocked and appalled by the revelations about Harvey Weinstein,” Clinton said in a statement through spokesperson Nick Merrill. “The behavior described by women coming forward cannot be tolerated. Their courage and the support of others is critical in helping to stop this kind of behavior.”
The New York Times reported Thursday that the powerful mogul has reached at least eight legal settlements with women over alleged sexual harassment.
Weinstein, 65, has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to Democratic candidates and politicians including Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and former president Barack Obama. Weinstein also helped raise millions for the party, and hosted several fundraisers in his homes over the years, including events for Clinton and Obama.
Weinstein had made 185 individual donations to Democratic candidates and liberal-leaning organizations dating back to the early 1990s, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Republicans have called on Democrats to return the money, but only a handful have since news of the allegations broke.
Former first lady Michelle Obama praised Weinstein at a student film symposium held at the White House in 2013. “He is a wonderful human being, a good friend and just a powerhouse,” she said at the event.
She has not issued a statement yet.
The Obamas’ eldest daughter, Malia, interned in the New York City office of The Weinstein Company in the year she took off before matriculating at Harvard University in August.
On Saturday, President Donald Trump told reporters that he was not surprised by the revelations.
“I’ve known Harvey Weinstein for a long time,” Trump said.
When asked Tuesday what the President may have known about the Hollywood mogul, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders simply said that the President’s comment spoke for itself.
“There’s nothing to add,” Sanders said.
The board of directors of the company Weinstein co-founded fired him on Sunday “in light of new information about misconduct by Harvey Weinstein that has emerged in the past few days,” a statement from the company said.
Four famous actresses, including Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow, told the New York Times this week that Weinstein, who is married, harassed them in the 1990s. They said his behavior was well-known in Hollywood.
The New Yorker reported Tuesday morning that three women told the magazine that Weinstein raped them.
Weinstein’s spokesperson denied the rape allegations and said that any sexual behavior was consensual. But on Thursday he released a statement that said “the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it.”
Justin Duckham contributed to this report.
WASHINGTON – A Washington federal court hears arguments Friday in a conservative group’s bid to make public draft indictments of Hillary Clinton stemming from the Whitewater scandal.
Judicial Watch has filed a Freedom of Information Act request seeking drafts of the indictments, written by an attorney for Kenneth Starr, the independent counsel appointed to investigate Bill and Hillary Clinton’s alleged involvement in fraudulent real estate dealings in the 1990s.
Others were prosecuted and sentenced for their role Whitewater but neither Clinton ever was.
Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of state, lost Donald Trump in the presidential election.
WASHINGTON—Nearly a year after Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton, the White House is criticizing the President’s former opponent for releasing a book on the 2016 race.
When asked if Trump intended to read Clinton’s new book, titled What Happened and released today, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that she was not sure.
“He’s pretty well versed on what happened,” Sanders said.
She then proceeded to criticize Clinton directly.
“I think it’s sad that after Hillary Clinton ran one of the most negative campaigns in history and lost … the last chapter of her public life is now going to be defined by propping up book sales with false and reckless attacks,” Sanders said.
What Happened has garnered headlines for Clinton’s frank perspective on last years race, including factors that she claims contributed to her loss, including progressive candidate Bernie Sanders and former FBI Director James Comey.
WASHINGTON—Donald Trump, Jr., President Donald Trump’s eldest son, claimed that met with a Russian lawyer in order to gain information on then-Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s “fitness” and “character,” according to a report in the New York Times.
Trump made the claim in a statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee that the Times said they obtained.
The meeting took place during the 2016 campaign and garnered headlines after it was initially reported in July.
Trump initially claimed in a statement that the meeting was aimed at ending prohibitions on Americans adopting Russian children, but later conceded that it was intended to garner negative information on Clinton.
According to the White House, the President weighed in on drafting the initial statement.
During the campaign, the elder Trump repeatedly stoked conspiracy theories surrounding Clinton’s health.
Shortly after Clinton was captured on-camera passing out while leaving an event marking the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Trump asked supporters in Pennsylvania if they believed Clinton would be able to campaign at his pace.
“You think Hillary Clinton would be able to stand up here and do this for an hour? I don’t know,” Trump quipped.
Trump met with Judiciary Committee staff in a closed-door meeting at the Capitol today.
After leaving, Trump released a statement saying that he had “answered every question posed by the committee” related to potential Russian collusion with his father’s campaign.
“I trust this interview fully satisfied their inquiry,” Trump said.
WASHINGTON – Hillary Clinton’s memoir describes Donald Trump as a “creep” for having stood directly behind her during 2016’s second presidential debate, according to audio excerpts from her yet-to-be-released book obtained Wednesday by MSNBC’s Morning Joe.
“It was incredibly uncomfortable. He was literally breathing down my neck,” Clinton said in a recording of the passage. “… Do you stay calm, keep smiling and carry on as if he weren’t repeatedly invading your space? Or do you turn, look him in the eye and say loudly and clearly, ‘Back up you creep, get away from me.”
During the televised debate last October, Trump was at times seen looming directly behind the then-Democratic nominee while she responded to questions.
The memoir, “What Happened,” is scheduled to be released on Sept. 12.
Clinton garnered about 2.9 million more votes than Trump during last year’s election but nevertheless lost the Electoral College by a substantial margin.
Polling data suggests Clinton’s defeat can largely be attributed to her failure to gain sufficient support among white working-class voters. Although that demographic has for the most part voted Republican since the Reagan-era, Clinton was the first Democratic presidential candidate in a generation to lose the rust-belt states of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin.
In May, Clinton told a Women for Women International forum in New York that she takes “personal responsibility” for her election loss, but argued that then-FBI Director James Comey’s behavior and Russian interference ultimately derailed her chances.
WASHINGTON – Chelsea Clinton rallied to first son Barron Trump’s defense on Twitter Tuesday after a writer criticized the wardrobe of the president’s son.
In a Monday Daily Caller article headlined “It’s high time Barron Trump starts dressing like he’s in the White House,” contributor Ford Springer said Barron should look spiffier in his public appearances.
“The youngest Trump doesn’t have any responsibilities as the president’s son, but the least he could do is dress the part when he steps out in public,” Springer wrote.
The writer noted that when the president and first lady Melania Trump returned from their New Jersey vacation on Sunday with 11-year-old Barron, they were photographed arriving on Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews. The president was wearing a suit and his wife was attired in a dress. Barron was dressed casually in a T-shirt, and khaki shorts and suede loafers.
The story received widespread criticism from both sides of the political aisle and the media – and Clinton joined in the fray.
It’s high time the media & everyone leave Barron Trump alone & let him have the private childhood he deserves https://t.co/Wxq51TvgDX
— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) August 21, 2017
Chelsea has said in previous tweets that Barron should be given privacy and allowed to “be a kid.”
Incidentally, some people consider Barron a fashion icon. The red T-shirt that he wore on Sunday, which said “On your mark tiger shark” and costs $24.50, was sold out on J.Crew’s website on Monday. Another J.Crew T-shirt that Barron wore earlier in the summer that read “The Expert” also sold out in minutes.
WASHINGTON – The State Department must make a good-faith effort to recover outstanding Benghazi-related emails sent by three of Hillary’s Clinton’s closest aides during her tenure as the nation’s top diplomat, a federal judge has ruled.
“The court finds that State’s search was inadequate insofar as it did not search the official state.gov e-mail accounts of Secretary Clinton’s three aides, and orders State to conduct a supplemental search of those accounts,” United States District Judge Amit Metha wrote Tuesday in the 10-page judgment.
The ruling lists the former Clinton aides as Huma Abedin, former chief of staff Cheryl Mills and ex-deputy chief of staff Jake Sullivan, and requires the State Department to report back to the court with a status update by Sept. 22.
The search was ordered via Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) litigation initiated by the conservative-leaning transparency advocacy group Judicial Watch.
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a Tuesday statement that the ruling might help lead to answers about what Clinton knew about the Sept. 11, 2012 terror attack in which four Americans – including Ambassador Christopher Stevens – were killed.
“This major court ruling may finally result in more answers about the Benghazi scandal-and Hillary Clinton’s involvement in it – as we approach the attack’s fifth anniversary,” Fitton said.
Judicial Watch successfully sued the State Department last year to obtain the expedited release of thousands of potentially Benghazi-related Clinton emails.
Clinton blamed the attack on an anti-Muslim video that stirred up protesters, but simultaneously told her daughter, Chelsea Clinton, and other governments that it was a terrorist endeavor.
Clinton told the House Select Committee on Benghazi in October 2015 that she neither sent nor received classified information on the private email server she had used.
Former FBI Director James Comey later told the House Oversight Committee that Clinton had not been entirely truthful when making that statement.