Jared Kushner shopping for new criminal attorney: Report – Washington Examiner

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner is reportedly considering hiring a new criminal lawyer because his current lawyer, Jamie Gorelick, has connections to Robert Mueller, the special counsel handing the Russia investigation.

Gorelick and Mueller were colleagues at the Washington-based firm WilmerHale.

“After the appointment of our former partner Robert Mueller as special counsel, we advised Mr. Kushner to obtain the independent advice of a lawyer with appropriate experience as to whether he should continue with us as his counsel,” according to a statement Ms. Gorelick issued Sunday to the New York Times.

Kushner’s staff started talking with top criminal attorneys last month following reports President Trump’s son-in-law met with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak during the transition period about creating a secret channel of communication between the incoming administration and Moscow.

Kushner may have later met with Sergey Gorkov, chief of the Russian-owned development bank Vnesheconombank, a key detail U.S. investigators have not confirmed.

The congressional committees and federal officials are probing whether anyone in Trump’s campaign had inappropriate or illegal contact with Russia during the 2016 presidential election.

A new hire would replace or supplement Gorelick as Kushner’s legal face. Abbe D. Lowell, a trial lawyer who is currently defended Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., has been contacted about the position, according to the New York Times.

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Meet the all-star team of lawyers Robert Mueller has assembled for the Trump-Russia investigation

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller

As the investigation into the Trump campaign’s possible ties to Russia gains traction, special counsel Robert Mueller has begun quietly assembling a formidable team of top lawyers and investigators.

Mueller has so far hired 12 people and intends to bring on more, his spokesman Peter Carr told The New York Times.

Only a handful have been named publicly so far, but legal experts and fellow lawyers who have spoken to media in recent days lauded the new hires as a powerhouse team of experienced professionals with sterling credentials who rank among the best in their field.

“That is a great, great team of complete professionals,” Kenneth Starr, the former independent counsel who investigated President Bill Clinton, told ABC News.

The members of Mueller’s team who’ve been named have a cumulative 37 years of experience at the FBI and 85 years at the Department of Justice, The Washington Post reported on Friday.

Yet despite the lawyers’ resumes and reputations, several members of the team have come under fire for their previous donations to Democrats, prompting some critics to cry foul on the investigation and urge Trump to fire Mueller.

Trump himself has even weighed in:

“You are witnessing the single greatest WITCH HUNT in American political history — led by some very bad and conflicted people!” Trump said Thursday on Twitter.

Here are some of Mueller’s new hires:

SEE ALSO: There’s a theme emerging in Mueller’s Russia probe that could prove damning for Trump

Michael Dreeben

Dreeben, the deputy solicitor general overseeing the Department of Justice’s criminal docket, is widely regarded as one of the top criminal law experts in the federal government. He will work for Mueller on the investigation part-time as he juggles the DOJ’s criminal appellate cases.

Dreeben is best known for having argued more than 100 cases before the Supreme Court — a feat that fewer than 10 other attorneys have accomplished in the court’s history. Peers say his hiring reveals how seriously Mueller is taking the investigation, and how wide-ranging it ultimately could be.

“That Mueller has sought his assistance attests both to the seriousness of his effort and the depth of the intellectual bench he is building,” Paul Rosenzweig, a former Homeland Security official and Whitewater investigator, wrote on the Lawfare blog.

Preet Bharara, the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York who was recently fired by Trump, called Dreeben one of the DOJ’s top legal and appellate minds in modern times:

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More importantly, Michael Dreeben is careful, meticulous, non-partisan, and fair-minded. His loyalty is to the Constitution alone. https://t.co/9a7jwHVH1K

Beyond possessing an “encyclopedic” knowledge of criminal law, lawyers who have worked with Dreeben say he also has a gift for anticipating questions his arguments will likely prompt, allowing him to prepare answers accordingly.

“He answers [questions] directly. He answers them completely. And he answers them exquisitely attuned to the concerns that motivated them,” Kannon Shanmugam, a partner at the law firm Williams & Connolly who worked with Dreeben at the solicitor general’s office, told the Law360 last year.

Andrew Weissmann

Weissmann joined Mueller’s team after taking a leave of absence from his current job leading the DOJ’s criminal fraud unit. He formerly served as general counsel to the FBI under Mueller’s leadership.

Weissman also headed up the Enron Task Force between 2002 and 2005, for which he oversaw the prosecutions of 34 people connected to the collapsed energy company, including chairman Kenneth Lay and CEO Jeffrey Skilling.

He spent 15 years as a federal prosecutor in the eastern district of New York, where he specialized in prosecuting mafia members and bosses from the Colombo, Gambino, and Genovese families.

“As a fraud and foreign bribery expert, he knows how to follow the money. Who knows what they will find, but if there is something to be found, he will find it,” Emily Pierce, a former DOJ spokeswoman under the Obama administration, told Politico.

Weissman is one of several attorneys in Mueller’s team that has donated to Democrats, although he does not appear to have donated in the 2016 election. He gave $2,300 to President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, and $2,000 to the Democratic National Committee in 2006, according to CNN’s review of FEC records.

Jeannie Rhee

Rhee is one of several attorneys to resign from the WilmerHale law firm to join Mueller’s investigation.

She also has two years of DOJ experience, serving as deputy assistant attorney general under former Attorney General Eric Holder. She advised Holder and Obama administration officials on criminal law issues, as well as criminal procedure and executive issues, according to her biography on WilmerHale’s website.

As many critics of Mueller’s investigation have pointed out, Rhee represented Hillary Clinton in a 2015 lawsuit that sought access to her private emails. She also represented the Clinton Foundation in a 2015 racketeering lawsuit.

Rhee is also one of the members of Mueller’s team under scrutiny for her political donations, and has doled out more than $16,000 to Democrats since 2008, CNN reported. She maxed out her donations both in 2015 and 2016 to Clinton’s presidential campaign, giving a total of $5,400.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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'Criminal Minds' Season 13 Cast News, Air Date: Kirsten Vangsness and AJ Cook Secure Raises to Return – Christian Post

Fans will be happy to know that two female fan-favorites will be staying on for season 13 of “Criminal Minds” as Kirsten Vangsness and A.J. Cook have signed new contracts.

Facebook/CriminalMinds‘Criminal Minds’ season 13 premieres in September.

According to an exclusive report from Deadline, Vangsness and Cook have landed significant raises in order to return for the upcoming season. The publication revealed that both actresses were earning less than their male co-star Matthew Gray Gubler, and the negotiation apparently resulted in equal pay with the actor.

Vangsness and Cook previously campaigned for higher salaries in 2013, though they failed to attain parity then. This time around, though, the actresses were reportedly prepared to leave the show should their conditions not be met. Both stars have been with “Criminal Minds” since its first season.

However, fans will have to say goodbye to Damon Gupton after just one season. Gupton was brought in to play Special Agent Stephen Walker after Thomas Gibson was fired. Gibson played Senior Supervisory Special Agent Aaron Hotchner from season 1 to 12, but was let go from the show following an incident involving a producer. According to Variety, Gupton’s departure was a result of “creative changes in the show.” Season 12 closed with many characters’ fates hanging in the balance.

Fans can still look forward to seeing plenty of familiar faces returning in the new season, though. Apart from Vangsness and Cook, Gubler and Joe Mantegna are also reprising their roles as Dr. Spencer Reid and Senior Supervisory Special Agent David Rossi, respectively.

Paget Brewster, who was a series regular from season 2 to 7 and made a few guest appearances thereafter, will likewise be returning. She recently reprised her role in season 12 as a series regular.

Aisha Tyler, who was upped to series regular status in the previous season, will also be reprising her role. Finally, newcomer Adam Rodriguez will be coming back.

“Criminal Minds” season 13 will premiere in Sept. 27.

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Trump 'Is Not Under Investigation,' His Lawyer Insists – New York Times

WASHINGTON — A member of President Trump’s legal team said on Sunday that the president was not under investigation by the special counsel looking into Russia’s election-year meddling, contradicting Mr. Trump’s assertion in a Friday morning tweet that he is a subject of the widening inquiry.

The denial on Sunday by Jay Sekulow, one of several personal lawyers Mr. Trump has hired to represent him in the Russia case, is the latest of many examples in which the president’s aides and lawyers have scrambled to avert a public-relations mess created by Mr. Trump’s tweets, off-script remarks or leaked private conversations.

Advisers have been forced to perform postpresidential cleanup in the wake of Mr. Trump’s tweet claiming he had been wiretapped by the Obama administration, his Oval Office comments to Russian diplomats about the former F.B.I. director, his private musings about the possibility of firing the Russia special counsel, his suggestion that there might be recordings of White House conversations, and his comments about a “military” deportation operation.

The Run-Up

The podcast that makes sense of the most delirious stretch of the 2016 campaign.

In Mr. Sekulow’s case, his appearance on multiple Sunday morning talk shows took on the added urgency of trying to protect his client from admitting that he is in legal jeopardy during a criminal investigation, one that appears to be increasingly focused on whether Mr. Trump took steps to interfere with the normal progress of the federal inquiry.

Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, last month named Robert B. Mueller, a former F.B.I. director, as a special counsel to lead the sprawling investigation into the extent of Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election, and whether any of Mr. Trump’s associates colluded in that effort.

In addition, two congressional committees have issued subpoenas for testimony and documents as part of their wide-ranging, bipartisan investigations. All three inquiries are reportedly examining whether Mr. Trump, as president, sought to impede the progress of the inquiries.

Mr. Sekulow repeatedly and forcefully denied that on Sunday, saying on CBS’s “Face the Nation” program that “the president has not been and is not under investigation,” and insisting that the administration had received no information from the special counsel’s office to think otherwise.

On CNN’s “State of the Union” program, he said flatly, “The president is not a subject or target of an investigation.”

On Friday, the president wrote the opposite on Twitter, saying: “I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt.”

Mr. Sekulow said that the message was merely a response by the president to a Washington Post article citing five unnamed sources who said Mr. Trump was under investigation in the Russia case. Mr. Sekulow said that Mr. Trump would have challenged the basic assertion of the article, but was constrained by Twitter’s limit of 140 characters per post.

“There’s a limitation on Twitter, as we all know,” Mr. Sekulow said on CNN. “And the president has a very effective utilization of social media.”

Mr. Sekulow did acknowledge on “Fox News Sunday” that he “can’t read people’s minds,” but said there had been “no notification of an investigation” of the president by Mr. Mueller.

“I can’t imagine a scenario where the president would not be aware of it,” Mr. Sekulow said on CBS.

Evidence that Mr. Mueller is in fact looking at Mr. Trump’s actions grew last week when Mr. Mueller requested interviews with three high-ranking current or former intelligence officials, according to a person briefed on the investigation. Reports have raised questions about whether Mr. Trump requested their help in trying to get James B. Comey, then the F.B.I. director, to end an investigation into the president’s former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn.

Veteran lawyers who have represented presidents during high-stakes legal cases said Mr. Trump’s repeated comments about the Russia investigation were extremely unusual. They said previous presidents would make sure to have the White House counsel’s office and their personal lawyers carefully review any comments about such an investigation before making them.

They said Mr. Sekulow’s denials on Sunday were not so much a legal argument as an effort to repair the political damage from the apparent admission by Mr. Trump on Twitter.

“With all due respect to Mr. Sekulow, what he says about what Mr. Mueller is or isn’t doing will make no difference,” said Gregory B. Craig, who led the legal team defending President Bill Clinton against impeachment charges. “If Mueller thinks there is evidence that obstruction occurred, Mueller’s job is to investigate.”

Several lawyers who requested anonymity because they did not want to publicly comment on the president’s legal situation dismissed Mr. Sekulow’s comments about the president’s not having been notified that he is a target of the investigation. One noted that very few criminal investigations begin with an identified target. Rather, targets are notified much later, after evidence in the case is developed.

On Capitol Hill, members of both parties expressed exasperation with Mr. Trump’s continuing public commentary about the Russia investigation. Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida, pleaded on Sunday for the president to give Mr. Mueller the room he needs to manage the inquiry.

“If I were the president, I would be welcoming this investigation,” Mr. Rubio said on CBS. “I would ask that it be thorough and completed expeditiously, and be very cooperative with it.”

Mr. Rubio added, “The best thing that can happen for the president and for America is that we have a full-scale investigation that is credible.”

Representative Adam Schiff, Democrat of California, accused Mr. Trump and his allies of seeking to undermine Mr. Mueller’s investigation, setting a pretext for potentially firing those leading it. Mr. Trump has reportedly told friends that he considered firing Mr. Mueller, and the president’s tweet on Friday appeared aimed at Mr. Rosenstein, raising questions about whether the president might fire him, too.

“What’s happening here is the president wants to take down Bob Mueller. His lawyer wants to take down Bob Mueller,” Mr. Schiff said on ABC’s “This Week” program. “They want to lay the foundation to discredit whatever Bob Mueller comes up with. They’re essentially engaging in a scorched-earth litigation strategy that is beginning with trying to discredit the prosecutor.”

During his five months as president, Mr. Trump has repeatedly made comments that administration officials later sought to correct or explain.

After Mr. Trump repeatedly called for a “Muslim ban” during the presidential campaign, White House aides and lawyers said the travel ban he imposed shortly after taking office was not aimed at any religious group. Federal judges, however, said they had looked to the president’s own statements as they assessed the constitutionality of the effort to impose a travel ban, a case that has reached the Supreme Court.

Just weeks after taking office, Mr. Trump told reporters that new immigration policies were getting rid of “really bad dudes” and added, “It’s a military operation.” John Kelly, the secretary of homeland security, quickly corrected: “No — repeat — no use of military force in immigration operations. None.”

On a Saturday morning in early March, the Mr. Trump accused former President Barack Obama of wiretapping, a charge that aides repeatedly struggled to explain. “I’m just going to let the tweet speak for itself,” Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, said at the time. “I think the president speaks very candidly.”

In May, word leaked out that Mr. Trump had told Russian diplomats in the Oval Office that Mr. Comey was a “nut job,” and that his firing had relieved “great pressure” on the president. Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, his national security adviser, later went on television to say that “the gist of the conversation was that the president feels as if he is hamstrung in his ability to work with Russia to find areas of cooperation because this has been obviously so much in the news.”

And after a longtime friend of Mr. Trump said this month that the president was considering whether to fire Mr. Mueller, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, a spokeswoman, clarified his remarks during a gaggle with reporters on Air Force One.

“While the president has the right to, he has no intention to do so,” she said.

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Sheriff David Clarke has reportedly withdrawn his acceptance of a Homeland Security job

David Clarke

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke will not join the Department of Homeland Security as an assistant secretary, his adviser Craig Peterson told The Washington Post on Saturday.

“Late Friday, Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke Jr. formally notified Secretary of Homeland Security John F. Kelly that he had rescinded his acceptance of the agency’s offer to join DHS as an assistant secretary,” Peterson said.

“Sheriff Clarke is 100 percent committed to the success of President Trump and believes his skills could be better utilized to promote the president’s agenda in a more aggressive role.”

Clarke previously said he would start the DHS job in June.

The news comes just weeks after Clarke was embroiled in a plagiarism controversy, after CNN’s KFile reported that he had failed to properly cite sources in at least 47 parts of his master’s thesis.

Clarke has also faced longtime criticism over the conditions at the Milwaukee County Jail, which he oversees. Since April 2016, one newborn baby and three inmates have died at the jail, and prosecutors have alleged that one of the deaths was caused by dehydration after jail staff cut off water access to his cell.

Clarke’s job offer at the DHS was never publicly announced by the Trump administration, but Clarke had announced on a Wisconsin radio station in May that he accepted the post. He told WISN host Vicki McKenna he would work as a “liaison with the state, local, and tribal law enforcement” in the Office of Partnership and Engagement.

Soon after Clarke’s announcement, dozens of Democratic lawmakers urged Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly to reject the appointment, citing concerns over the Milwaukee County Jail deaths as well as Clark’s previous criticisms of the Black Lives Matter movement, which he has called a “hateful ideology.”

Clarke, who has been a prominent Trump surrogate since the early days of his presidential campaign, met with President Trump in Wisconsin on Tuesday to discuss other potential roles he could fill, the Post reported.

“The sheriff is reviewing options inside and outside the government,” Peterson said.

“Sheriff Clarke told Secretary Kelly he is very appreciative of the tremendous opportunity the secretary was offering, and expressed his support for the secretary and the agency.”

SEE ALSO: Sheriff David Clarke reportedly plagiarized parts of his master’s thesis

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NOW WATCH: Melania Trump swats Donald Trump’s hand away as he attempts to hold it multiple times on his trip abroad

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'Criminal Minds': Kirsten Vangsness & A.J. Cook Close Deals To … – Deadline

EXCLUSIVE:Criminal Minds two original female cast members are staying on. Kirsten Vangsness and A.J. Cook have closed new deals to continue on the long-running CBS drama series, which is headed into its 13th season. They join fellow Criminal Minds veterans Joe Mantegna and Matthew Gray Gubler who signed new contracts last month.

A.J. Cook (Jennifer "JJ" Jareau), Aisha Tyler (Dr. Tara Lewis), Kirsten Vangsness (Penelope Garcia)

Vangsness and Cook, who were negotiating together, had been seeking parity with fellow original cast member Gubler. I hear the two actresses have landed raises that put them essentially on par with him.

The studios behind Criminal Minds, ABC Studios and CBS TV Studios, did not begin talks with Vangsness and Cook until after completing deals with Mantegna and Gubler. I hear Vangsness and Cook, who play fan-favorites Penelope and J.J. on the show, respectively, took a similar stand during the 2013 negotiations as the two had consistently been paid less than half of what their male counterparts, Gubler and Shemar Moore, were making at the time. Back then, Vangsness and Cook eventually reached new agreements, securing salary increases but not able to achieve parity. I hear this time they were willing to walk for the cause.

CBS and the Criminal Minds producers had been taken to task on the treatment of female cast members in 2010 when they opted not to bring back Cook for Season 6 and to reduce the episodes of Brewster, leaving Vangsness as the only remaining full-time female cast member. The move led to an outcry from fans. Cook and Brewster subsequently were reinstated.

Both Vangsness and Cook have been on Criminal Minds since the beginning. Vangsness started as a recurring in Season 1, quickly getting promoted to a regular. She also co-starred on the 2011 spinoff Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior. Cook has been a series regular for the entire run except for Season 6, when she guest starred.

In addition to Vangsness, Cook, Mantegna and Gubler, set to return next season are recent Criminal Minds cast additions Adam Rodriguez,  and Aisha Tyler along with Paget Brewster, who rejoined the crime drama this season after a four-year break. Damon Gupton is departing after one season.

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Trump hires another attorney weeks after his lawyer sent out typo … – Raw Story

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Trump hires another attorney weeks after his lawyer sent out typo …
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President Donald Trump has hired another attorney just a few weeks after his existing attorney, Marc Kasowitz, sent out a press release riddled with typos.
Robert Mueller Team of Investigators: Full List of LawyersHeavy.com
Trump adds Washington lawyer John Dowd to his legal teamReuters
Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, hires his own lawyer in Russia probeWashington Post
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Trump's hardline on US relations with Cuba could create a blind spot in a major drug-trafficking corridor

Donald Trump Cuba dissident

President Donald Trump announced on Friday the reversal of several key parts of Barack Obama’s normalization of relations with Cuba, which started in December 2014.

Before an enthusiastic anti-Castro crowd in Miami, Trump signed a directive that restricted Americans’ ability to travel to the island, prohibited financial dealings with the Cuban military, and laid out several stipulations on which future US-Cuban negotiations would be based.

One of the four goals of Trump’s police change is to “Further the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States and those of the Cuban people,” according to a fact sheet distributed by the White House.

“The policy clarifies that any further improvements in the United States-Cuba relationship will depend entirely on the Cuban government’s willingness to improve the lives of the Cuban people,” the fact sheet states, “including through promoting the rule of law, respecting human rights, and taking concrete steps to foster political and economic freedoms.”

Trump’s directive reinstates many of the restrictions that were in place prior to the Obama-led opening. But beyond limiting travel and financial dealings, Trump’s reversal may limit or end recent cooperation on security issues, particularly on drug trafficking, which appears to be returning to the Caribbean in force.

Cocaine Seized in Fort Lauderdale Feb. 16

While Cuba was awash in drugs prior to Castro’s arrival, once he took over and imposed a hardline anti-narcotics policy, they largely disappeared.

In the wake of an incident in the late 1980s in which several Cuban officials were executed for conspiring with drug traffickers, Cuba increased its cooperation with the US to counter smuggling in the area.

Now, despite Cuba’s location between major drug producers in South America and a major drug consumer in the US, the island “is not a major consumer, producer or transit point of illicit narcotics,” the US State Department reported in 2016.

And over the last decade, despite political differences, Cuban and US officials have worked closely together to track and intercept drug shipments transiting the Caribbean.

According to Col. Victor Lopez Bravo of Cuba’s coast guard and border patrol, Havana has notified US officials of more than 500 drug-smuggling operations over the last 10 years. Between 2003 and 2016, Cuban authorities seized or recovered more than 40 tons of marijuana, cocaine, and hashish.

Cuba coast guard drug smuggling trafficking

“We have prevented a huge quantity of drugs from coming into the US,” Bravo told CNN. The US Drug Enforcement Administration has confirmed it is exchanging information about narcotics smuggling with Cuban officials.

After Obama’s opening in late 2014, drug-enforcement officials from both countries starting having meetings in Cuba and Florida regularly. Last year, they reached an agreement that allowed US and Cuban personnel pursuing drug traffickers in the area to communicate directly for the first time — cutting down on delays and giving suspected traffickers less time to flee.

That deal came as a number of incidents in the latter half of 2016 indicated that drug trafficking was swinging back to the Caribbean — a once prominent smuggling corridor that saw drug flows wither in the face of increased enforcement and the growing popularity of routes through Mexico and the Pacific.

The freeze Trump has put on dealings with the Cuban government during his review of US policy toward the island — which now looks set to endure — has thrown that cooperation into doubt.

Cuban soldiers

Two meetings between Cuban security officials and their US counterparts scheduled this year have already been canceled.

“We are waiting to see if it happens,” Bravo told CNN about US-Cuba meetings where law-enforcement officials discuss tactics and share intelligence.

“It’s up to the United States to announce and invite us to the next meeting,” he said. “We hope it happens because it really is beneficial for both countries.”

The recent US-Cuba thaw hasn’t only facilitated cooperation on drug trafficking.

Lt. Col. Yahanka Rodriguez, the commander of Cuba’s military cybersecurity center, told NBC news this month that over the last year and half, Cuba has given the US information on at least 17 cybercrime cases involving the US.

That information has included internet addresses thought to be part of a suspected identity-theft attempt — “addresses that we traced to the United States, for both the suspected attackers and the potential victims,” Rodriguez told NBC.

Cuban officials also said they’d contacted a Homeland Security Department cybersecurity team about hacking attacks on Cuban infrastructure that appeared to come from the US — though they were not aware of an any US action taken in response to such Cuban reports made in January and May this year.

For some US officials, the security concerns related to a US reversal on Cuba extend to the geopolitical sphere.

Russia Cuba Vladimir Putin Raul Castro

With internal strife and economic turmoil consuming Venezuela, one of Havana’s main energy suppliers and trading partners has been able to provide less and less.

“[Russia] has already started trying to make up the gap in petroleum imports to Cuba that have fallen off dramatically with the chaos in Venezuela,” retired Army Brig. Gen. David L. McGinnis, a member of the Consensus for American Security at the American Security Project, said on an Atlantic Council conference call this week.

Russia has also recently forgiven billions in Cuban government debt and won a bid to build a railroad on the island.

“They’re in a market for products from both Russia and China, and both of those countries have the resources to provide the loans to allow them to purchase their weapons and equipment,” McGinnis said.

China Cuba Fidel Castro Li Keqiang

These are not new concerns.

In 2010, nine retired generals wrote to then-House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Howard Berman to say that Cuba did not pose a threat to the US and to call for the travel ban to be lifted.

“Lifting the overall travel ban would extend this cultural and economic engagement and … [enhance] our security by removing unnecessary sources of discontent in a country so close to the United States,” the generals wrote.

For its part, Havana has not fully embraced Russia (or China, which is Cuba’s largest trading partner and the largest holder of its foreign debt).

According to McGinnis, that is likely because of the Cuban government “wanting to have a balanced foreign policy to the best extent they can, hoping that we will step forward and do the right thing.”

This isn’t a return to the Cold War, but the Cuban mood may quickly change if avenues for engagement with the US appear to be closed.

“If we would step back, that would kind of take the hope away from the Cuban government that there was going to be rapprochement,” the retired general said, “and obviously they would be forced toward the two eager adversaries of the United States in our own backyard.”

SEE ALSO: Trump’s rollback of Obama’s Cuba policies may harm the Cubans it means to help

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NOW WATCH: Here’s what it’s like to sit down for a family meal in Cuba

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Trump hires another attorney weeks after his lawyer sent out typo-filled criminal defense – Raw Story

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President Donald Trump has hired another attorney just a few weeks after his existing attorney, Marc Kasowitz, sent out a press release riddled with typos. According to Politico, John Dowd was hired to be an additional resource to Kasowitz. The new …
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'Bachelor in Paradise' contestant says the scandal cost him his job and video will clear his name

demario jackson bachelor in paradise inside edition

DeMario Jackson, the “Bachelor in Paradise” contestant accused of sexual assaulting a female cast member, suggests tapes from the alleged incident will clear his name.

“My character has been assassinated, my family name has been drug through the mud,” Jackson told “Inside Edition” for a segment to air on Thursday. “The only thing I want is for the truth to come out. I feel like the truth will be able to come out in those videos.”

Jackson’s interview with the newsmagazine show echoes his official statement released on Wednesday, in which he called claims that he sexually assaulted Corinne Olympios when she was too intoxicated “false” and “malicious.” “Bachelor” cameras were reportedly rolling as the alleged incident took place. He also said that he has sought out legal counsel.

Jackson told “Inside Edition” that the scandal has cost him his job as an executive recruiter, but he doesn’t blame anyone for what’s happened.

“I don’t blame anyone right now, all I want [are] the tapes,” he said in addition to asking for privacy for himself and his family.

Olympios also released a statement on Wednesday. The alleged victim announced that she had hired famed attorney Marty Singer to represent her and said she had very little memory of what occurred that night, adding, “I’m a victim.”

Currently, production on the show has been suspended pending Warner Horizon’s investigation into the incident as a result of a complaint filed by a producer. The incident occurred on the show’s first day of taping on Sunday, June 4.

Watch Jackson’s interview with “Inside Edition” below:

SEE ALSO: Everything we know about the ‘Bachelor in Paradise’ sex scandal that could kill the show

DON’T MISS: ‘Bachelor in Paradise’ contestant DeMario Jackson breaks silence: My character has been assassinated

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NOW WATCH: Everything you need to know about Corinne Olympios — the newest villain on ‘The Bachelor’

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