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Trump signs order to end family separation at U.S. border

U.S. President Donald Trump address the backlash against the separation policy.



Eli Ridder | Report

U.S. President Donald Trump announced early on Wednesday afternoon that he will take action to stop the separation of families at the southern border of the United States, and signed an executive order halting his immigration policy hours later. 

After days of intense pressure from within his own party, the corporate world and the public, Mr. Trump authorized the order that he says is “about keeping families together while ensuring we have a powerful border.”

“If you’re really really pathetically weak, then the country’s going to be overrun with millions of people, and if you’re strong, then you’re heartless. And maybe I prefer being strong but that’s [inaudible],” Trump during a roundtable meeting earlier in the day.

The U.S. president also wants immigration laws to be toughened under any new border legislation.

The moves come in response to major backlash to investigative reports from the Wall Street Journal and others that revealed that U.S. border agents seperate families at the border.

More details to follow. Image of Donald Trump from previous files.


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No Trump crimes in Mueller report: Justice Dept.

Trump is cleared of collusion: AG.



U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election did not find that President Donald Trump committed a crime but is also not exonerated, according a summary of the investigation released by the United States’ attorney general on Sunday.

Attorney General William Barr sent his briefing of the report to congressional leaders on Capitol Hill after Mueller handed in his findings to the Justice Department on Friday.

Trump responded on Twitter, posting: “No Collusion, No Obstruction, Complete and Total EXONERATION. KEEP AMERICA GREAT!”

He then talked to the press in a short statement saying that the investigation was an “illegal takedown that failed” and called for a counter-probe into the “other side”.

It has been welcomed as a win from Republican leadership and they say it serves as vindication of Trump, who has denied collusion since the probe started in 2017.

Press secretary Sarah Sanders noted that there was no collusion and no obstruction, saying that the findings are “a total and complete exoneration” of Trump.

Trump lawyer Rudy Guiliani repeated what Sanders’ said.

The attorney general said that the evidence developed during the probe was not sufficient to establish the president committed an obstruction of justice offense.

Mueller wrote in his report that his investigation “does not conclude Trump committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him” and Barr wrote that the document identifies no actions that constitute obstructive conduct.

Mueller said that he would leave it to the attorney general to make a decision on whether a crime was committed by the president.

Evidence does not establish that the president was involved in an underlying crime related to Russian election interference, Barr says.

President Trump is headed to Air Force One from the Mar-A-Lago resort where he spent the weekend. He has not said a word on the report since Mueller submitted it on Friday, but reporters say he will speak to the press before he departs Florida for Washington.

The investigation took 22 months to complete and cost $25 million, resulting in charges against 34 individuals varying from Russian agents and allies of the president, including ex-campaign  chair Paul Manafort and former personal lawyer Michael Cohen.

None of the charges were directly related to any cooperation between the 2016 Trump campaign and the Russian Federation.

Image of Donald Trump from files. ■

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U.S. special counsel probe report submitted

The report is here, but it is not yet public.



Eli Ridder | Report

U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller on Friday handed in a highly-awaited report on his investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 United States presidential election and potential wrongdoing by President Donald Trump, the Justice Department said.

Mueller handed over the completed report to the top U.S. law enforcement official, Attorney General William Barr, the agency said. The report was not immediately made public and no details are known from document, including whether any criminal conduct was found beyond the charges already laid against campaign aides.

Mueller did not recommend any further indictments, a Justice Department official said. Any further prosecution would come from the Southern District of New York as the special counsel’s office winds down.

Read Barr’s Letter to Lawmakers

Barr said that he may send Congress a summary of the findings by “the weekend”. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said soon after the story broke that the next steps are up to the attorney general, and that she looks forward to “the process taking its course”.

“The White House has not received or been briefed on the Special Counsel’s report,” Sanders added in her statement.

Democrats have already started to call for the probe to be made public in full.

Russia has denied election interference and Trump has denied collusion and obstruction.

The Russia probe has severally impacted the Trump presidency, making headlines often as actors close to the president were ensnared in charges that stemmed from Mueller’s work, though the charges were not necessarily collusion-related.

Ex-campaign chairman Paul Manafort, former personal lawyer Michael Cohen and national security Michael Flynn have all either been convicted or pleaded guilty to charges that have been brought against them by Mueller. More than 30 others have been charged as part of the probe.

These cases will likely be taken over by the Justice Department and continued by prosecutors from the agency.

At-large is the answer to the question of whether the report contains allegations of criminal wrongdoing by the president himself, currently unknown.

It was opened in 2017 by ex-Deputy Attorney Rod Rosenstein General after the recusal of the then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Earlier on Friday, Trump continued his efforts to undermine the Mueller report on Fox Business, saying that “people will not stand for it”. The president has not made any statement since the report was delivered around 5 p.m. on Friday.

The White House was reportedly made aware about 20 minutes before the report was delivered.

As of Friday evening, there are 10 remaining prosecutors in the special counsel’s office in Washington, D.C. — six from the Justice Department and four from private practice, spokesman Peter Carr said.

Trump himself is in Palm Beach, Florida where a Republican Party dinner was scheduled take place at the Mar-a-Lago Resort, where the president is a frequent visitor. Several reports indicate that the usually more relaxed presence of staffers around Trump in Florida has been increasing as advisors flock to his side.

Image from previous files. ■

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Trump signs executive order on post-secondary free speech

U.S. President Donald Trump wants to protect free speech on campuses.



Eli Ridder | Report

U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Thursday protecting free of speech on post-secondary campuses across the United States, flanked by conservative activists who say their views are suppressed at colleges and universities.

Over 100 students, several legislators and two cabinet secretaries joined Trump in the East Room for the signing of the order, which directs 12 agencies that make fedearl grants to ensure college are complying with the law and their polices to protect free speech and open debate.

The U.S. president told students that people can have their different views but “they have to let you speak”.

In a White House statement, Trump said his government rejects “oppressive speech codes, censorship, political correctness, and every other attempt by the hard left to stop people from challenging ridiculous and dangerous ideas.”

“The Trump Administration will ensure students have access to information they need to make the higher education decisions that work best for them,” the White House said, highlighting that Trump has also ordered “improvements to its mobile application so borrowers are better informed about loan balances, payments, and repayment options.”

The Oval Office said that students take on so much debt from education that it “inhibit[s] them from prospering in today’s booming economy”, saying that students need “better information about prices and outcomes of postsecondary options so they can make better and well-informed choices.”

It comes after Trump announced at a conservative conference that he would make federal funding for universities contingent on the upholding of free speech on campuses, however, the legislation does not tie student aid money to campus compliance to the order.

The move is similar to the initiative introduced by Premier Doug Ford and his Progressive Conservative provincial government last year that mandated post-secondary institutions create a free speech policy and follow it.

Image of Donald Trump from files. ■

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