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Ready to accept info about opponent from Russia, China on 2020 presidential polls: Trump

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Donald Trump Trade War

Washington, June 13 US President Donald Trump said that he would accept damaging information provided by foreign actors such as China or Russia on his Democratic opponent in the 2020 presidential elections.

In a TV interview on Wednesday, Trump said that he would listen to that information on his rival in a hypothetical scenario in which another country offered it and denied that this would constitute foreign electoral interference.

“There’s nothing wrong with listening,” Trump said. “If somebody called from a country – Norway – ‘We have information on your opponent’. Oh, I think I’d want to hear it.”

“It’s not interference,” he added. “They have information; I think I’d take it.”

He compared the situation to “oppo research” – a common term in political jargon referring to the compilation of information that may cast an opponent in a negative light – and said about members of Congress: “they all do it”.

When asked if he would alert the Federal Bureau of Investigation (fbi) when made such an overture, the President said: “I don’t think in my whole life I’ve ever called the FBI… Give me a break. Life doesn’t work that way.”

When further pressed on the issue, pointing out that the FBI Director (Christopher Wray) had said that the Bureau should be contacted in such an instance, Trump replied: “The FBI Director is wrong.”

The back-and-forth was prompted by the fact that his son, Donald Trump Jr., had been summoned to testify before the Senate’s Intelligence Committee on Wednesday in a closed-door hearing to be questioned about a meeting held on June 9, 2016 at the Trump Tower in New York City with a Kremlin-linked Russian lawyer.

The attorney, Natalia Veselnitskaya, reportedly told Trump Jr. and other members of the campaign that she had dirt on Hillary Clinton, Trump’s opponent from the Democratic Party in the 2016 presidential race.

America

US unemployment rate falls to 50-year low

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The U.S. unemployment rate fell in September to a new five-decade low of 3.5%, while employers added a modest 136,000 jobs.

The Labor Department says that despite the ultra-low unemployment rate, which was down from 3.7% in August, average hourly wages slipped by a penny. Hourly pay rose just 2.9% from a year earlier, lower than 3.4% at the beginning of the year.

Hiring has slowed this year as the U.S.-China trade war has intensified, global growth has slowed, and businesses have cut back on their investment spending. Still, hiring has averaged 157,000 in the past three months, enough to lower the unemployment rate over time.

The unemployment rate for Latinos fell to 3.9%, the lowest on records dating from 1973.

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Trump embarrassed by TV channel

As Trump was speaking to the media after meeting Zelensky to clarify his position, MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace cut into it, saying: “We hate to do this but the President isn’t telling the truth.”

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New York, Sep 26 : US President Donald Trump was subjected to an embarrassment when the MSNBC news channel cut away from his press conference while he was speaking on the controversy surrounding him over the Ukrainian probe against former Vice President Joe Biden.

Trump on Wednesday was addressing the press conference against the backdrop of impeachment proceedings announced against him by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi following allegations that he put pressure on the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to order a probe against Biden whose family has business interests there.

The allegation against Trump came to light because of a whistleblower and a transcript of the conversation between him and Zelensky in July, which has become public.

As Trump was speaking to the media after meeting Zelensky to clarify his position, MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace cut into it, saying: “We hate to do this but the President isn’t telling the truth.”

She added that Trump was trying to do it to deflect the attention from his impeachment.

According to the transcript of the telephonic conversation that has gone public, Trump is heard asking Zelensky to “do us a favour”, after the latter expresses gratitude for the military aid the US provided to his country.

Trump’s words of “do us a favour” is seen as a quid pro quo for the American military aid, because of which the impeachment proceedings have been announced.

After Wallace cut the press conference, her guest on the programme, justice and security analyst Matthew Miller, rebuked Trump for saying that Biden and his son had done wrong.

“This story has been looked at and thoroughly debunked by everyone involved,” Miller said, adding the real issue was whether Trump’s conduct is “impeachable”.

Trump is facing problem at a time when he is in New York to attend the UN General Assembly.

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Kim Jong-un receives ‘excellent’ letter from Trump

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Pyongyang, June 23 North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has received a personal letter with “excellent” and “interesting” content from US President Donald Trump, Pyongyang’s state media said on Sunday.

“After reading the letter, the Supreme Leader of the Party, the state and the armed forces said with satisfaction that the letter is of excellent content,” the Korean Central News Agency said, referring to its leader.

“Appreciating the political judging faculty and extraordinary courage of President Trump, Kim Jong-un said that he would seriously contemplate the interesting content,” it added.

The KCNA did not disclose when and how the letter was delivered to Kim, reports Yonhap News Agency.

The letter appears to be in response to the one Kim sent to Trump recently in time for the anniversary of their first-ever summit in Singapore last June.

Trump had described Kim’s letter as “beautiful” and “very warm”. He also emphasized that the relationship between them remains strong and that “something will happen that’s going to be very positive”.

The exchange of correspondence between the leaders renewed hopes for a resumption of denuclearization talks which have stalled since the breakdown of their second summit in February.

The summit collapsed as Pyongyang wanted sanctions relief as a corresponding measure in exchange for dismantling its Yongbyon nuclear complex, while Washington insisted that sanctions should remain in place until the North completely gives up its nuclear weapons programme.

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