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Trump Held Undisclosed Meeting with Turkey’s Dictator Erdogan at NATO

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Not the first time a foreign power has been the first to reveal Trump met with their top leaders

President Donald Trump held an undisclosed meeting Wednesday with Turkish President Recep Erdogan during this week’s NATO summit. While Turkey is a member nation of NATO, President Erdogan is widely seen as a dictator for whom President Trump holds a special fondness.

The meeting had not appeared on President Trump’s official schedule, nor did the White House announce it later, until the Turkish government posted a photo of the two leaders in a tweet.

After the photo was released the White House put out a statement saying Trump met with Erdogan to remind him of “the importance of Turkey fulfilling its alliance commitments.”

Trump met with Erdogan at the White House last month.

The Hill reports White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley, while confirming the meeting, “did not describe the meeting either as a full bilateral meeting or a pull-aside at the summit, nor did he confirm reports that the meeting lasted a half hour.”

“Pull-asides,” when two or more leaders casually chat on the sidelines, are not uncommon during summits like NATO. This meeting did not appear to be one.

 

Related: World Leaders Caught on Camera Mocking Trump During Buckingham Palace Reception: ‘His Team’s Jaws Drop to the Floor’

This is far from the first time a foreign power has been the first to reveal Trump met with their top leaders. For example, in May of 2017 President Trump secretly met with the then the Ambassador of Russia to the United States, Sergey Kislyak, in the Oval Office. Kislyak is seen by U.S. Intelligence as a top spy and spy recruiter.

During that now infamous meeting Trump disclosed classified information, leading to an international scandal. The White House had barred all U.S. reporters from the meeting but a photographer for Tass, the official Russian news agency, was present. Tass later published the photos.

That secret meeting came just one day after fired FBI Director James Comey.

On Monday U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) lambasted Trump for appeasing Erdogan:

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Kobe Bryant Dead in Helicopter Accident: TMZ

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Basketball great Kobe Bryant has died in a tragic helicopter accident, along with everyone on board, TMZ was first to report. The 41-year old NBA star played with the LA Lakers for two decades. He retired in 2016.

“Kobe was traveling with at least 3 other people in his private helicopter when it went down,” TMZ adds. “A fire broke out. Emergency personnel responded, but nobody on board survived. 5 people are confirmed dead. We’re told Vanessa Bryant was not among those on board.”

The LA County Sheriff’s Office posted this tweet, but did not include Bryant’s name.

In 2013 after his own missteps Bryant stepped up to correct a fan for using the word “gay” as a slur. Nearly seven years ago, it was a big moment for awareness and for the LGBTQ community.

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. This story will be updated, and NCRM will likely publish follow-up stories on this news. Stay tuned and refresh for updates.

Image via Wikimedia

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The Saudi Crown Prince Tried to Have a Comedian and Critic Kidnapped on US Soil — but the FBI Stopped It: Report

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In an exclusive interview with the Daily Beast, 27-year-old comedian and former USD student Abdulrahman Almutairi revealed that he was nearly kidnapped by a suspected agent of the Saudi government and it happened on American soil.

Almutairi, who has a huge social media following, has been an outspoken critic of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. While the Saudi leader may have the power to take out critics in other countries, in the United States it’s not an acceptable form of legal action.

“After Almutairi used social media to criticize the powerful Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman over the October 2018 murder and dismemberment of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi, an unidentified Saudi man accompanied Almutairi’s father on a flight to collect Almutairi against his will and bring him back to Saudi Arabia, according to The Daily Beast’s sources,” reported the Beast.

Almutairi said that he’s certain if he ever returns to Saudi Arabia that he’ll be killed in the airport.

It was also revealed this week that MBS’s cell phone number was responsible for hacking Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’s cell phone.

“There is a pattern of the Saudi authorities, particularly over the last two years, targeting individuals—high profile people with a big Saudi audience, either because they’re critical of MBS or the government or not just for what they say but what they don’t say, if they’re insufficiently supportive,” said Agnes Callamard, the United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings.

Read the full report at the Daily Beast.

 

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‘So We Don’t Have to Fight Russia Over Here’: Schiff Delivers Powerful Statement to Senators in Trump Impeachment Trial

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House Intelligence Chair and Lead impeachment manager Adam Schiff delivered powerful remarks to the U.S. Senate on Wednesday, summing up why what President Donald Trump did – extorting Ukraine – was so damaging to both Ukraine and the U.S.

Schiff reminded the Senators who will decide the fate of the nation’s chief executive that 15,000 Ukrainians have already died fighting Russia. That was after Vladimir Putin illegally annexed Crimea.

And he reminded the Senators that President Trump withheld nearly $400 million in congressionally-approved military aid to Ukraine, despite the nation’s fight against Russia.

That military aid helps “to protect and advance American national security interests in the region and beyond.

Quoting a House impeachment inquiry witness, Schiff said: “The United States aids Ukraine and her people so that we can fight Russia over there so we don’t have to fight Russia here.”

Watch:

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