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Trump talks ‘Crazy Nancy’ Pelosi and treason at wild press conference

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By Jonathan Allen

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump repeatedly called House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “crazy,” said former FBI Director James Comey and the late Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., were guilty of treason, and declined to commit to raising the nation’s debt ceiling during a sprawling interaction with reporters at the White House Thursday.

Trump clashed with Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Wednesday, cutting short a planned meeting on infrastructure spending because he is frustrated with congressional efforts to investigate his administration. Just after that confrontation, he told the media he would not work with Democrats on legislation until they halt their inquiries.

On Thursday, he took issue with Pelosi’s characterization of his abrupt departure from the room, saying he kept his cool.

“I was so calm,” he said. “Cryin’ Chuck, Crazy Nancy — I tell you what, I’ve been watching her. I have been watching her for a long period of time. She is not the same person. She has lost it.”

Pelosi quickly fired back.

“When the ‘extremely stable genius’ starts acting more presidential, I’ll be happy to work with him on infrastructure, trade and other issues,” she wrote on Twitter.

Asked whether his self-imposed ban on legislative action extends to budget matters, including an increase in the statutory debt limit, Trump hedged.

“We’ll see what happens,” Trump said, calling himself a “very capable” person. “Let them get this angst out of their belt.”

The House is pursuing multiple open investigations involving the administration, including follow-ups to special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe. Trump has denied subpoena requests for documents and testimony from congressional committees, setting up court battles with House Democrats.

He reiterated Thursday that he believes he is the victim of a long-running effort to stop him from winning in 2016, delegitimize his presidency and remove him from office either through impeachment or by Democrats damaging him enough with investigations that he can’t be re-elected.

He has charged that some of his adversaries are guilty of treason, and he was asked Thursday to provide the names of people who should be held accountable for a crime punishable by death.

Trump answered with a list of names: Comey, McCain, former FBI agent Peter Strzok and former Justice Department official Lisa Page.

Strzok and Page exchanged text messages during the 2016 campaign — when the FBI was investigating his operation — that disparaged him, and attempted to prevent him from winning.

Now, Trump says, Democrats in Congress are continuing their efforts.

“Without the ‘treason’ word — they don’t feel they can win so they’re trying to do the thousand stabs,” he said.

Congressional Democrats say that Trump has systematically abused the power of his office by summarily rejecting valid requests for information related to their legislative duties and a possible impeachment inquiry.



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Tory leadership race tracker: How Boris Johnson and Rory Stewart fared after BBC debate

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Hope Hicks testifies before House committee behind closed doors

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WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s former aide Hope Hicks arrived on Capitol Hill Wednesday morning to testify behind closed doors before the House Judiciary Committee.

Democrats planned to focus their questions on what they say are five crimes of obstruction of justice established by the Mueller Report against Trump, as well as campaign finance violations involved with alleged election-year hush money payments.

Her appearance marks the first time a former Trump aide has come in to answer questions before that panel as part of Democrats’ obstruction of justice investigation. A transcript of the interview will be released, though it may not appear for several days.

Other issues Democrats plan to question Hicks about include Trump’s conduct and attitude towards former national security adviser Michael Flynn, Trump’s reaction when former Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation and the firing of former FBI Director James Comey, among others.

In a letter sent to Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., Tuesday evening, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone asserted that Hicks was not legally required to provide testimony regarding her time working in the White House.

“Ms. Hicks is absolutely immune from being compelled to testify before Congress with respect to matters occurring during her service as a senior adviser to the President,” he wrote.

Nadler dismissed those claims. “I reject that assertion” regarding blanket executive privilege, he said in a response released late Tuesday night, adding that after the panel poses questions to her, “we will address privilege and other objections on a question by question basis.”

Hicks’s testimony comes after the Judiciary Committee issued a subpoena last month for her appearance. She previously served as White House communications director and the White House director of strategic communications after a stint as a senior aide on Trump’s 2016 campaign.

The White House directed Hicks and another former White House aide earlier this month not to hand over any documents to the House Judiciary Committee related to their time at the White House.

Mike Memoli contributed.



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Commons erupts in fury as SNP's Ian Blackford brands Boris Johnson 'racist'

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SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford sparked fury in the House of Commons after he branded former foreign secretary Boris Johnson “racist”.

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