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A HUD Official Once Criticized Trump. Now He’s an Ex-Official.

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thenewyorktimesonly1

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A top aide to President Trump’s housing secretary nominee, Ben Carson, was fired and led out of the department’s headquarters by security on Wednesday after writings critical of Mr. Trump surfaced in his vetting, according to two people briefed on the matter.

Shermichael Singleton, who was one of the few black conservatives in the Trump administration, had been working at the Department of Housing and Urban Development since Jan. 23 as a senior adviser. He was preparing a cross-country tour for Mr. Carson, who is expected to be confirmed by the Senate this month.

But according to the two people briefed, Mr. Singleton’s background check had not been completed. As it was being finished this week, Mr. Trump’s advisers turned up public writings by Mr. Singleton that appeared during the later stages of the campaign in which he was deeply critical of the candidate.

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 Ben Carson, right, greeted Shermichael Singleton, a top aide, before the start of his confirmation hearing to be secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development last month. Credit Al Drago/The New York Times

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Click link below for article:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/16/us/politics/shermichael-singleton-housing-urban-development

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Robert Harward Turns Down Offer to Become President Trump’s National Security Adviser

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Retired Navy Vice Adm. Robert Harward has turned down an offer to become President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, a White House official said on Thursday.

“It’s purely a personal issue,” Harward told The Associated Press on Thursday evening. “I’m in a unique position finally after being in the military for 40 years to enjoy some personal time.”

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said, “He is a great man who has served his country with distinction. Any discussion was subject to him overcoming family and financial concerns [which] he could not do.”

Trump is searching for a replacement for retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who resigned on Monday over phone calls with Russia’s ambassador to the United States, communications that reportedly involved discussions of sanctions leveled against the country during the Obama administration.

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Image: Robert Harward Vice Adm. Robert Harward in 2011. Sgt. Shawn Coolman / U.S. Marine Corps/AP

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Click link below for article and video:

http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/robert-harward-turns-down-offer-become-president-trump-s-national-n722136

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ISIS claims responsibility for deadly Baghdad blast

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ISIS has claimed responsibility for a deadly car bomb explosion Thursday in southwestern Baghdad, according to a statement released by ISIS-affiliated Amaq News Agency.

The blast killed 51 people and wounded at least as many others, Gen. Saad Maan, spokesman for Baghdad’s Operations Command, said in a statement.
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The attack targeted a busy car market in the predominately Shiite al-Bayaa district of the Iraqi capital, a security official told CNN.
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Even before the ISIS statement began circulating among supporters on social media, the US State Department blamed the terror group for the massacre.
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“We condemn in the strongest possible terms the horrible terrorist attacks carried out by ISIS targeting a car dealership in Baghdad, Iraq, today,” said Mark Toner, the department’s acting spokesman. “We extend our deepest condolences to the victims’ families and friends, and wish a full and quick recovery to those injured.”

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forjamesdealyblast1A burned-out car sits at the site of a deadly bombing Thursday in Baghdad.

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Click link below for article and video:

http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/16/middleeast/iraq-baghdad-violence-bomb/index.html

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Mental Health Professionals Warn About Trump

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thenewyorktimesonly1

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Charles M. Blow (column, nytimes.com, Feb. 9) describes Donald Trump’s constant need “to grind the opposition underfoot.” As mental health professionals, we share Mr. Blow’s concern.

Silence from the country’s mental health organizations has been due to a self-imposed dictum about evaluating public figures (the American Psychiatric Association’s 1973 Goldwater Rule). But this silence has resulted in a failure to lend our expertise to worried journalists and members of Congress at this critical time. We fear that too much is at stake to be silent any longer.

Mr. Trump’s speech and actions demonstrate an inability to tolerate views different from his own, leading to rage reactions. His words and behavior suggest a profound inability to empathize. Individuals with these traits distort reality to suit their psychological state, attacking facts and those who convey them (journalists, scientists).

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forjamesmentalhealth1

From google images mental health

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Click link below for article:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/13/opinion/mental-health-professionals-warn-about-trump

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G.O.P.’s Grand Visions for Congress Now Look Like a Mirage

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thenewyorktimesonly1

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Congressional Republicans, who craved unified control of the government to secure their aggressive conservative agenda, have instead found themselves on a legislative elliptical trainer, gliding toward nowhere.

After moving to start rolling back the Affordable Care Act just days after President Trump was sworn in last month, Republican lawmakers and Mr. Trump have yet to deliver on any of the sweeping legislation they promised. Efforts to come up with a replacement for the health care law have been stymied by disagreements among Republicans about how to proceed. The same is true for a proposed overhaul of the tax code.

The large infrastructure bill that both Democrats and Mr. Trump were eager to pursue has barely been mentioned, other than a very general hearing to discuss well-documented needs for infrastructure improvements. Even a simple emergency spending bill that the Trump administration promised weeks ago — which was expected to include a proposal for his wall on the Mexican border — has not materialized, leaving appropriators idle and checking Twitter.

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Representative Jim Jordan, Republican of Ohio, left, and Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, during a news conference on Wednesday where they discussed plans to replace the Affordable Care Act. Credit Al Drago/The New York Times .

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Click link below for article:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/16/us/politics/congress-republicans-health-care-infrastructure-taxes

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Kim Jong Un’s half brother murdered with poison, South Korea says

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The sudden death of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s half-brother was murder, South Korean officials announced Wednesday.

Kim Jong Nam died Monday soon after becoming ill at Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) before an outbound flight to Macau.
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Lee Cheol Woo, chairman of South Korea’s National Assembly Intelligence Committee, told a press briefing Wednesday that Kim had been poisoned, and the suspects were “presumed to be two Asian females.”
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It’s not clear how he obtained that information or how Kim was poisoned.
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South Korea’s Unification Ministry told CNN they were working with Malaysian authorities to get additional information.
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Many questions still remain around Kim’s killing.

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forjameskimjongunhalfbrothermurdered1Kim Jong Un’s half-brother killed

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Click link below for article and video:

http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/14/asia/kim-jong-un-half-brother-death/index.html

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Pentagon might propose sending ground troops to Syria

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The Defense Department might propose that the US send conventional ground combat forces into northern Syria for the first time to speed up the fight against ISIS, CNN has learned.

“It’s possible that you may see conventional forces hit the ground in Syria for some period of time,” one defense official told CNN.
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But the official emphasized that any decision is ultimately up to President Donald Trump, who has ordered his defense secretary to come up with a proposal to combat ISIS before the end of the month.
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The move would significantly alter US military operations in Syria if approved and could put troops on the ground within weeks.
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Until now, only small teams made up largely of Special Operations forces have operated in Syria, providing training and assistance to anti-ISIS opposition groups on the ground.
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Conventional units operate in larger numbers and would require a more significant footprint of security protection both on the ground and in the air.

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forjamespentagon1Pentagon considering proposing troops in Syria

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Click link below for article and video:

http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/15/politics/pentagon-considering-recommending-combat-troops-in-syria/index.html

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