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March 18, 2018

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on CNN's State of the Union Sunday sought to distinguish between Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation and the circumstances surrounding the firing of Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, the latter including the allegation, as President Trump once put it, that the FBI became "a tool of anti-Trump political actors" in 2016.

McCabe's actions have "absolutely nothing to do with the Mueller investigation," Graham said, arguing that a new special counsel should be appointed to investigate the FBI.

He warned Trump against firing Mueller, suggesting that to do so "would be the beginning of the end of his presidency." Graham added that he believes Mueller is "doing a good job," pledging "to make sure that Mr. Mueller can continue to do his job without any interference — and there are many Republicans who share my view."

Watch an excerpt of Graham's interview below. Bonnie Kristian

12:07 p.m.

Iranian and Chinese hackers appear to have resumed attacks on U.S. businesses and government agencies, The New York Times reported Monday.

The recent targets of Chinese spies included Boeing, General Electric Aviation, and T-Mobile, according to an intelligence briefing summary read to the Times. The report notes that it's not clear whether the hacking attempts were successful.

Security experts believe that the hackers stepped up their efforts after President Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Iran nuclear deal last year, and as trade tensions escalated with China. Iran's recent attacks have been broader than previously reported, targeting U.S. banks, businesses, and government agencies and prompting the Department of Homeland Security to declare an emergency order during last month's government shutdown.

Intelligence officials also told the Times that a 2015 agreement between former President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping meant to put an end to the hacking of trade secrets seems to have been "unofficially canceled" as the Chinese hacking has "returned to earlier levels." A counterintelligence expert said, "Cyber is one of the ways adversaries can attack us and retaliate in effective and nasty ways that are well below the threshold of an armed attack or laws of war." The Week Staff

9:04 a.m.

President Trump on Monday lashed out at former Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, accusing them both of planning a crime.

McCabe had said in a 60 Minutes interview that aired Sunday that "a crime may have been committed" if President Trump was trying to obscure his campaign's ties to Russia and derail the Russian election meddling investigation when he fired then-FBI director James Comey in May 2017, per The Associated Press. McCabe was ousted in March 2018, 10 months after opening two investigations into Trump that he said led to his firing.

McCabe additionally confirmed in that interview that Rosenstein offered to wear a wire to record President Trump in the White House and that he was "not joking" when he suggested that, CNN reports. And McCabe said Rosenstein discussed which members of the president's Cabinet might support an effort to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove him from office.

On Twitter, Trump said that McCabe is telling "so many lies" and that his "story gets even more deranged." He also accused both McCabe and Rosenstein of "planning a very illegal act." Brendan Morrow

February 17, 2019

Referring to Amazon's decision to pull its H2Q campus out of New York's Long Island City, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told NBC's Chuck Todd "this is an example of an abuse of corporate power," on Sunday's edition of Meet the Press.

"They said they wanted a partnership, but the minute there were criticisms, they walked away," de Blasio said. "What does that say to working people, that a company would leave them high and dry, simply because some people raised criticisms?"

He agreed with Todd's sentiment that the corporate giant was none too keen on getting mixed up in New York City politics. "They couldn't handle the heat in the kitchen," said de Blasio.

While the mayor placed the blame for the deal's failings squarely on Amazon, he did urge progressive politicians to "show working people that we will get more for them" by grasping opportunities like the one Amazon initially presented.

Watch the interview here. Tim O'Donnell

February 17, 2019

CNN's Dana Bash interviewed Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), chair of the House Intelligence Committee, on Sunday's edition of State of the Union, pressing the congressman about whether he'd accept Special Counsel Robert Mueller's findings if they did not uncover any wrongdoing by President Trump.

Schiff was vague at first, stating that while his committee "will certainly be very interested to learn what" Mueller finds, "there may be, for example, evidence of collusion or conspiracy that is clear and convincing, but not proof beyond a reasonable doubt," as is needed for a criminal conviction.

When Bash restated the question, however, Schiff was a little more direct, arguing that if he was sure that Mueller's investigation was not subject to tampering, he would, indeed, accept the findings.

"I have great confidence in the special counsel," he said. "And if the special counsel represents that he has investigated, and not been interfered with, then I will believe that he is operating in good faith."

The discussion begins slightly after the 5-minute mark in the video below. Read the full interview transcript here. Tim O'Donnell

February 17, 2019

Enough senators are unhappy with President Trump's Friday declaration of a national emergency to obtain funding for border wall construction, Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) said on ABC's This Week Sunday, that the Senate could pass a resolution to block Trump's plan.

"Now, whether we have enough for an override of veto, that's a different story," Duckworth said. "But frankly, I think there's enough people in the Senate who are concerned that what he's doing is robbing from the military and the [Defense Department] to go build his wall, that it's really not the best way to fight the crisis that he's talking about at the border."

Per an accounting from The Bulwark, a conservative commentary site, 14 GOP senators have criticized the emergency declaration, albeit with differing rationales. The Senate currently seats 45 Democrats plus two independents who caucus with the Democrats. If all 47 plus those 14 Republicans voted to block Trump's declaration, their combined 61 votes would fall short of the 67 needed to override a presidential veto.

And a veto should be expected, said White House senior adviser Stephen Miller on Fox News Sunday. "Obviously the president is going to protect his national emergency declaration," Miller told host Chris Wallace. This would be the first veto of Trump's presidency.

Watch Miller's comments below. Bonnie Kristian

February 17, 2019

White House senior adviser Stephen Miller appeared on Fox News Sunday to defend President Trump's Friday declaration of a national emergency to obtain funding for border wall construction — and host Chris Wallace did not let him off lightly.

"The president talks about an 'invasion' — he used that word multiple times on Friday — an 'invasion' on the southern border," Wallace said. "But let's look at the facts," he continued, citing statistics to show illegal border crossings have fallen dramatically in the last two decades; that the vast majority of heroin and fentanyl seizures at the border take place at official entry points, not unfenced areas; and that visa overstays now account for twice as many illegal entries to the United States as illicit border crossings.

"Again," Wallace concluded, "where's the national emergency to build a wall?"

After promising to address every fact Wallace raised, Miller responded by arguing that would-be illegal immigrants are now sneakier and more difficult to deport than they were two decades ago and that more drugs are not captured in unfenced areas of the border because there is not enough manpower there to capture them.

Wallace didn't seem convinced, but turned the conversation to constitutional questions concerning the national emergency, repeatedly pressing Miller on whether he can "name one case where a president has asked Congress for money, Congress has refused, and the president has then evoked national policy to get the money anyway?"

Miller refused to give Wallace the yes or no answer he sought, instead arguing the National Emergencies Act is Congress "saying the president could have this authority," so any time the president declares an emergency he automatically has congressional approval to spend money on the situation as he pleases.

Watch the full interview below, or read the transcript here. Bonnie Kristian

February 17, 2019

Heather Nauert, Trump's pick to replace Nikki Haley as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, withdrew her name from consideration Saturday.

The State Department spokeswoman and former Fox News anchor said that it was in the best interest of her family that she remove her name from the process. "I am grateful to to President Trump and Secretary [Mike] Pompeo for the trust they placed in me," Nauert said in a statement. "However, the past two months have been grueling for my family and therefore it is in the best interest of my family that I withdraw my name from consideration."

Pompeo addressed Nauert's decision, praising her job performance at the State Department and wishing her "nothing but the best."

The Washington Post reported Nauert's nomination faced complications and that her security investigation was delayed because 10 years ago she hired a foreign-born nanny who did not have a proper work visa. Additionally, the report says Nauert did not pay her taxes on the hire at the proper time.

The State Department said Trump will select a new nominee soon. Tim O'Donnell

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