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





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.



Zardari slams ‘immature’ Imran Khan, calls him ‘back seat driver’




ISLAMABAD: Former Pakistan president Asif Ali Zardari has slammed Prime Minister Imran Khan and said that the cricketer-turned-politician has no idea about international politics.

Zardari also reportedly called Imran Khan ‘immature’ and criticised him for not countering India’s allegation regarding the Pulwama terror attack on a CPRF convoy.

Zardari made these remarks while addressing a press conference.


“During my tenure, Mumbai attacks took place and we were blamed for it too. However, we handled the issue in the right way, forced India to back down and handled the issue diplomatically,” Zardari said.

Responding to a question on India trying to get Pakistan isolated globally, the former president said that Islamabad has faced global isolation for a long time but added that this time under the current regime this has increased manifolds.

Calling Imran Khan a ”back seat driver”, Zardari alleged that he is acting at the behest of others which is why the whole situation is getting worse.

It may be recalled that India has blamed Pakistan for the Pulwama attack and accused it of providing a safe haven to the terrorists.

Responding to India’s allegations, Pakistan PM Imran Khan had denied any role in the Pulwama attack and offered to help New Delhi in probing the matter.

He also assured that no Pakistani national would be spared if found guilty of involvement in Pulwama attack.

However, he also warned that Pakistan will retaliate if Indian forces attack the country.

Husband of former Pakistan PM Benazir Bhutto, Asif Ali Zardari was the 11th president of Pakistan from 2008 to 2013. During his reign, 10 terrorists from Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) attacked Mumbai which led to the death of 166 people and left over 300 injured.

India later provided evidence to Pakistan and accused Islamabad of backing the perpetrators of the attack.

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‘No rush to denuclearise Korean peninsula’: Trump




Washington D.C. [USA]: United States President Donald Trump (local time) said that he is in “no rush” to denuclearise the Korean peninsula, irrespective of the fact that the agenda was always on top of the table for the US.

“I’d just like to see, ultimately, denuclearisation of North Korea,” Trump said while addressing media at the White House, adding that he has “no pressing time schedule.”

“As long as there’s not testing, I’m in no rush.”


“If there’s testing, that’s another deal. I hope that very positive things are going to happen,” Yonhap News Agency quoted Trump, as saying.

The US President’s remarks come ahead of the second summit between him and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, slated to be held on February 27 and 28 in Vietnam.

During the first Summit which was held at Singapore’s Sentosa Island, Trump and Kim had agreed on a spectrum of issues, the most prominent being the complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.

However, the US and North Korea reached an impasse regarding sanctions relief for Pyongyang soon after the first Summit, leading to extremely slow progress on the denuclearisation front.

North Korea has sought relief in sanctions in light of the steps taken by the country towards denuclearisation. The US, however, has repeatedly stated that there would be no sanctions relief until complete denuclearisation is achieved by North Korea.

Reiterating the US’ stance, deputy spokesperson of the Department of State Robert Palladino said: “our policy goals haven’t changed at all.”

“We remain confident in the commitments made by President Trump and Chairman Kim, that those commitments made at the Singapore summit will be fulfilled, and it’s Chairman Kim’s commitment to denuclearization upon which the world is focused right now and that remains our goal,” Palladino added.

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Saudi crown prince in China on latest stop of Asian tour




Riyadh: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrived in China on the latest stop of a sweep through Asia that aims to expand the kingdom’s influence on the continent.

Prince Mohammed touched down in the morning following earlier visits to India and Pakistan.

He’s due to meet top officials including Chinese president and ruling Communist Party leader, Xi Jinping, on Friday, highlighting Saudi Arabia’s importance as one of China’s top oil suppliers and a market for its exports, including military drones.


Prince Mohammed’s visit to Beijing follows one earlier this week by a high-powered delegation from Saudi Arabia’s chief strategic rival Iran.

At a meeting on Wednesday, Xi told Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani that “China’s resolve to develop a comprehensive strategic partnership with Iran will remain unchanged,” regardless of the evolving international situation, according to China’s official Xinhua News Agency.

The trip comes five months after the crown prince came under intense pressure following the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. At the same time, China is facing growing international criticism over its treatment of its Muslim minority groups.

Thus far, Turkey has been the only majority Muslim country to criticise Beijing, with its Foreign Ministry this month calling treatment of minority Uighurs “a great cause of shame for humanity” and saying it is “no longer a secret” that China has arbitrarily detained more than a million Uighurs in “concentration camps”.

Commenting Wednesday on the crown prince’s visit, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said recent years have “seen a positive momentum in our cooperation with fruitful outcomes in various areas such as infrastructure and space satellites”.

“We hope that through this visit we will enhance our relations enhance mutual trust, deepen cooperation … and inject momentum into our bilateral relations,” Geng said.

Prince Mohammed is due to visit South Korea after Beijing. MBS was in New Delhi yesterday, where he met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Modi is in South Korea today for a two-day state visit and will meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

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