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Trump willing to be questioned `under oath` in Russia probe

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Washington :President Donald Trump said Wednesday he “would love to” be questioned under oath by Russia collusion prosecutor Robert Mueller, adding it could happen in the coming weeks.
Trump confirmed that his lawyers are in discussion with Mueller, who is leading the investigation into collusion between the US presidents election campaign and Russia in the 2016 election, and also into allegations that Trump tried to obstruct his probe.
"I would love to do it," Trump told reporters in the White House when asked about testifying.
"I would like to do it as soon as possible... subject to my lawyers and all of that."
"I would do it under oath, absolutely," he added.
Asked when an interview could happen, Trump replied that he didn
t know exactly.
“Yesterday, they were talking about two or three weeks,” he said.
It was the first time the Trump said directly that he president would cooperate with Mueller, whose investigation he has repeatedly dismissed as being based on “fake news.”
“There has been no collusion whatsoever. There is no obstruction whatsoever,” he said Wednesday.But any interview of a US president in an investigation is fraught with issues of executive privilege — how much and in what context the US leader can be forced to disclose information.
In Trumps case, it also raises deep concerns that his shoot-from-the-hip outspokenness could jeopardize his own legal position.
Special counsel Mueller is believed to be focusing on whether Trump illegally interfered with the Russia investigation, particularly when he fired FBI director James Comey last year.
Mueller, himself a former FBI director, is also examining the extent of communications between Russians and Trump campaign officials, including a meeting in June 2016 between Trump
s son Donald Trump Jr, his son-in-law Jared Kushner, and a Russian lawyer who had allegedly offered them dirt on Trumps election rival, Democrat Hillary Clinton.
He has already issued indictments for four people from the campaign, securing guilty pleas from two: former national security advisor Michael Flynn, and former foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos, both for making false statements.Mueller
s investigators have been edging steadily closer to the White House, last week interviewing
Attorney General Jeff Sessions — who was a top Trump campaign official and had three meetings in 2016 with Russias US ambassador, Sergei Kislyak.
He has interviewed Comey and other former officials, and is reportedly going to interview former White House Strategist Steve Bannon in the coming days.
Ty Cobb, one of Trump
s lawyers, has repeatedly said since last year that the president is willing to testify to Muellers investigation, and wants Mueller to wind up the case as early as possible.
Trump "wants to put the matter to rest," Cobb told CBS News last week.
The form of an Mueller interview with the president still needs to be negotiated -- whether it is face-to-face, or in writing, or a mix.
Trump told reporters Wednesday he would listen to his lawyers
advice on how to proceed. Asked if he thought Mueller would be fair, he replied:
“We are going to find out… I hope so.”
But the case might not be cleared easily. Trumps repeated tweets attacking Comey and the FBI have added to suspicions that he has sought to stymie the Mueller investigation.
The Washington Post reported that last year Trump pressed Comey
s temporary replacement, FBI deputy director and Comey loyalist Andrew McCabe, to tell him who he voted for in the 2016 election.
Since then Trump has pressured the current FBI chief, Christopher Wray, to fire McCabe.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders dismissed Wednesday the Post report on the Trump-McCabe exchange by saying she doubts “any person in America” cares about it.
That sparked a mass rebuttal on Twitter by Trump critics declaring they do care, using the hashtag “#onewhodoes.


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Pakistan among the few countries to successfully turn tide against terrorism: Imran

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Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said that the country condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including state-terrorism against people under illegal occupation. The PM stated that Pakistan is “among the few countries to have successfully turned the tide against terrorism”.

Addressing the 19th Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit at Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, Khan reiterated that Pakistan is ready to share its experience and expertise in counter-terrorism. He added that growing intolerance and Islamophobia are threatening to accentuate religious fault-lines. He further said that Pakistan will remain actively engaged in SCO’s counter-terrorism initiatives.

Speaking on Afghanistan, PM Khan said that “the conflict in Afghanistan has no military solution”, adding that Pakistan is fully supporting efforts for “peace and reconciliation, through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process”.

 

“Excellencies, The world stands at a crossroads. For the first time in ages, we are seeing the advent of a multi-polar global order. Epicentres of economic power and growth momentum are shifting eastwards. Regional integration is speeding up. Disruptive technologies are maturing. Threats from terrorism to climate change to narcotics to bacterial resistance continue to loom large,” said PM Khan.

“There are increasing barriers to open trade and innovation. Meanwhile, growing intolerance and Islamophobia are threatening to accentuate religious fault-lines. For its part, Pakistan condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including State-terrorism against people under illegal occupation. We are among the few countries to have successfully turned the tide against terrorism,” added the Pakistan PM.

“Pakistan remains ready to share its experience and expertise in counter-terrorism. We will also remain actively engaged in SCO’s counter-terrorism initiatives. Excellencies, There is finally a realization that the conflict in Afghanistan has no military solution. Pakistan is fully supporting efforts for peace and reconciliation, through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process,” further said Pakistan PM Khan.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had reiterated India’s strong stand against terrorism and appealed that countries supporting, aiding and funding terrorism must be held accountable. PM Modi highlighted the spirit and ideals of SCO to strengthen cooperation in the fight against terrorism even as Khan looked on.

Without naming Pakistan, a country that has made state-sponsored terrorism its biggest policy to counter India for the last several decades, PM Modi said every country needs to come together, unite and fight against the scourge.

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Putin says Russia will fight for the right of Palestinians to their own state

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Moscow: Vladimir Putin has said Russia will fight for an independent Palestinian state, and called for the issues of the Middle East to be resolved through peaceful means.

Despite international criticism over Russia’s own role in the Ukrainian crisis, Mr Putin was hailed last week by a St Petersburg Cossack group for his ability to “bring order and stop wars”.

In an address to the Arab League summit in Egypt on Saturday, Putin spoke against foreign intervention in countries’ internal disputes and spoke of the role Russia can play in diplomatic channels.

 

While Russia openly opposes the stance of US-backed Israel on the Gaza crisis, its position in the Middle East is complicated. Putin is one of Iran’s key allies, but as he spoke on Saturday the core nations of the Arab League engaged in air strikes on the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.

His attempts to urge a peaceful solution in Yemen haven’t had much of an immediate impact – on Sunday, the Arab League agreed to the creation of a joint military forces comprised of around 40,000 elite troops to resolve the future “challenges” of the Middle East.

As one of the “Quartet” entities involved in Middle East peace negotiations, Russia has played a key role in talks about the fallout of last year’s Gaza crisis.

He told the summit this weekend: “Palestinians have the right to establish an independent and habitable state with a capital in East Jerusalem.

“Russia will continue to contribute to achieving this goal through bilateral and multilateral channels,” he said.

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Trump claims Queen had fun with him during his UK visit

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Washington: US President Donald Trump claimed that Britains Queen Elizabeth II had more fun during his state visit to the UK than in the last 25 years."I have such a great relationship, and we were laughing and having fun. And her people said she hasnt had so much fun in 25 years. Then I got criticized for it because they said we were having too much fun,” the Hill quoted Trump as saying.

Trump`s comments come two weeks after his first state visit to London to meet the 93-year-old monarch. During his three-day visit, the president dined with the Queen, members of the British royal family and other British politicians at Buckingham Palace.

Trump and the queen reaffirmed the importance of the Washington-London relationship during an elaborate state banquet.”On behalf of all Americans I offer a toast to the eternal friendship of our people, the vitality of our nations and to the long cherished and truly remarkable reign of her majesty, the queen,” Trump said in his toast during the event.

 

He also met Prime Minister Theresa May. Opposing Trumps visit, thousands of people hit the streets. TheTrump Baby` blimp was flown by the demonstrators outside the Houses of Parliament, according to CNN, alongside a 16-foot robot version of Trump sitting on the toilet and tweeting.

Other activists came dressed as gorillas, with signs reading that they “only eat chlorinated chicken” — a nod to concerns in Britain that a post-Brexit trade deal with the US would mean a decline in food standards for imported produce.

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