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April 15, 2018

Former FBI Director James Comey told ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos that President Trump is "morally unfit" to be president, primarily because he lies "constantly about matters big and small." But when Stephanopoulos, in their interview that aired Sunday night, asked if the correct remedy was to impeach Trump, Comey gave what he called "a strange answer":

I hope not, because I think impeaching and removing Donald Trump from office would let the American people off the hook and have something happen indirectly that I believe they're duty-bound to do directly. People in this country need to stand up and go to the voting booth and vote their values. We'll fight about guns. We'll fight about taxes. We'll fight about all those other things down the road. But you cannot have, as president of the United States, someone who does not reflect the values that I believe Republicans treasure and Democrats treasure and Independents treasure. That is the core of this country. That's our foundation. And so impeachment, in a way, would short circuit that. [James Comey, ABC News]

Earlier in the interview, Comey said Trump had demonstrated at least "some evidence of obstruction of justice," and he clarified after his impeachment comment that he's not saying Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his team should "stop doing their investigation or whatever flows from that. But in a way, as a citizen, I think we owe it to each other to get off the couch and think about what unites us." Peter Weber

12:19 p.m.

France's justice minister, Nicole Belloubet, said Monday that her government would not immediately act on President Trump's call for European allies to bring home and prosecute hundreds of Islamic State fighters captured in Syria, Reuters reports.

Trump had demanded that France, Britain, and Germany repatriate more than 800 ISIS fighters who are from European countries. He tweeted this request Saturday while writing, "The alternative is not a good one in that we will be forced to release them." He also said that "the U.S. does not want to watch as these ISIS fighters permeate Europe, which is where they are expected to go."

French policy has been to refuse to take back fighters and their wives, on the grounds that they are "enemies" of the nation who should face justice where they are. The U.S.-backed Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces are holding 150 French citizens, many of them children, in northern Syria, and their status is in question following President Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from the country. The Week Staff

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

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