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An Intramural Republican Fight Breaks Out Over the C.I.A. Director’s Fate

first_imgWASHINGTON — Internal Republican divisions over the fate of Gina Haspel’s tenure as C.I.A. director have come tumbling into view as some Senate leaders showed support while President Trump’s allies pushed for her ouster, in part over the agency’s role in disseminating the whistle-blower complaint that prompted impeachment, according to current and former administration officials.For weeks, Mr. Trump has been mulling whether to fire Ms. Haspel, the agency’s first female director. Despite Mr. Trump’s refusal to accept his election loss, people close to him understand that his time in office is limited and the window to remove her is dwindling.- Advertisement – Some officials and presidential allies believe that Ms. Haspel failed to do enough to stop the whistle-blower’s complaints about Mr. Trump’s July 2019 call with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine, which prompted impeachment, from moving forward. Others have also grown frustrated with her opposition to declassifying documents related to Russia’s 2016 election interference.White House aides are divided over Ms. Haspel’s removal. Pat A. Cipollone, the White House counsel, opposes it, though other officials are pushing for her dismissal, the officials said. Allies of the president have had “a real issue of trust” with Ms. Haspel for more than a year, a senior administration official said. Ms. Haspel’s congressional allies noted that she is a cabinet official and has a responsibility to answer questions from lawmakers conducting oversight of the intelligence agencies.Tensions over Ms. Haspel’s fate intensified this week after Mr. Trump ordered a string of firings at the Pentagon that began with the ouster of Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper on Monday and continued on Tuesday with the removal of other key Pentagon officials, including the head of intelligence and the leader of the influential policy apparatus. The White House then installed loyalists in top defense posts. Top Republicans came subtly to Ms. Haspel’s defense on Tuesday. Senator Mitch McConnell invited her for a conspicuous meeting in his office.That prompted Arthur Schwartz, an informal adviser to Donald Trump Jr., to accuse top Republicans of trying to manipulate Mr. Trump into keeping Ms. Haspel, who Mr. Schwartz said “undermines Trump and subverts his agenda at every turn.” Making reference to Ms. Haspel’s previous clandestine work overseas managing C.I.A. informants, Mr. Schwartz said Republicans “are getting played by a master case officer.”Senator John Cornyn of Texas responded on Twitter, saying intelligence should not be partisan and is “about preserving impartial, nonpartisan information necessary to inform policy makers.”That invited a response from Donald Trump Jr., who asked whether the senators had discussed Ms. Haspel with members of the administration. “Or,” he concluded in an apparent swipe at Ms. Haspel, “are you just taking a trained liar’s word for it on everything?”Some of Mr. Trump’s allies believe the Russia documents they wanted declassified include information that will undermine established facts about the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia. But others are skeptical the documents will change the understanding of what happened in 2016. Outside investigators who reviewed intelligence gathered at the time for a bipartisan Senate report released this year backed the conclusion that Russia favored Mr. Trump in that election.No decision on whether to declassify the documents has been made. But the ultimate authority to declassify them does not rest with Ms. Haspel. Mr. Ratcliffe or Mr. Trump could ultimately decide to release them, with or without Ms. Haspel’s blessing. The C.I.A. declined to comment.- Advertisement – Though Ms. Haspel had no direct role in the impeachment inquiry, it was prompted by a C.I.A. officer who made an anonymous and indirect complaint to the agency’s general counsel, then filed a whistle-blower complaint to the inspector general of the intelligence community.Mr. Trump has acted against people he has perceived as aiding the impeachment inquiry. After the Senate acquitted the president this year, he fired Gordon D. Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union who testified in the inquiry, and Michael K. Atkinson, the inspector general who investigated the whistle-blower complaint. The White House also effectively blocked the promotion of Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman, the National Security Council aide who was the primary witness in the impeachment hearing, leading to his retirement.White House officials who favor Ms. Haspel’s ouster believe she has been insubordinate to John Ratcliffe, the director of national intelligence, and boxed in the White House on the debate over whether to declassify Russia documents by sharing her concerns with Congress, the senior official said.- Advertisement – – Advertisement –last_img read more

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Italian city evacuates 54,000 people to defuse WW2 bomb

first_imgCorriere della Sera said the operationwas the biggest peacetime evacuation in Italy with over 60 percent of thecity’s residents forced to vacate a “red zone” in a radius of 1,617 meters fromwhere the bomb was found. The city’s airport, train station, twohospitals, and a prison were shut down and evacuated as part of the operation,which authorities expect to be completed around lunchtime.(Reuters) An aerial image of the Port of Brindisi in Italy. BLOM UK VIA GETTY IMAGES The British bomb, believed to havebeen dropped on the city in 1941, is one-meter long and contains 40kgs ofdynamite, authorities said. It was found by chance last month duringrefurbishment works at a cinema theater. MILAN – Around 54,000 people wereevacuated from the southern Italian city of Brindisi on Sunday as expertsworked to defuse a World War Two bomb, authorities said.last_img read more

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Who is Neville Gallimore? Meet Canada’s 2020 NFL Draft prospect selected by the Cowboys

first_imgHere’s everything you need to know about the newest Canadian in the NFL.MORE: Canadians picked in the 2020 NFL DraftWhere is Neville Gallimore from?The Ottawa, Ont., native attended Canada Prep Academy in St. Catharines, Ont., in hopes of getting recognized by college scouts. In a Player’s Tribune article, Gallimore stated that the team’s schedule consisted of teams solely from the United States — a critical component to gain attention from American Football programs.Where did Neville Gallimore play college football?Gallimore attended the University of Oklahoma, completing a four-year career. He played defensive tackle for the Sooners after not even knowing how to get in the right stance at Canada Prep Academy.”When I got to prep school I didn’t even know how to even get in a proper D-line stance,” Gallimore wrote in The Player’s Tribune. “That’s like preschool, everybody knows that. If you know nothing else, you can get in a stance. But I couldn’t.”By the time his career ended, Gallimore said he became the point-man for questions about the position.He wrote, “I had younger guys asking me for plays, or asking me, ‘How do you do this?’ or ‘How can I beat this guy? What’s your thought process when you’re working your moves?'”What was Neville Gallimore’s statistics at Oklahoma?At 6-2, 304 pounds, he packs a relentless, powerful punch for his size. Over the course of his four-year career, Gallimore racked up 148 tackles, nine sacks and five forced fumbles. In his senior season, the Canadian defensive tackle started every game and earned second-team All-Big 12 and third-team Associated Press All-American honors.He collected 30 tackles, four sacks, 7 1/2 tackles for a loss and two forced fumbles in his last year and ran the third-fastest 40 time (4.79) by a 300-pound participant in the last 21 years at the Combine. Where was Neville Gallimore projected to be selected in the 2020 NFL Draft?In SN’s Vinnie Iyer’s seven-round mock draft, Gallimore was projected to be a second-round pick, 59th overall, to the Seattle Seahawks. On Iyer’s big board, he ranked Gallimore at 61st overall.”Gallimore got more attention last season for the powerful punch he showed on the Sooners’ interior line, blossoming as a senior with four sacks,” Iyer wrote. “He backed that up with a strong Senior Bowl week, and his relentlessness in practice can translate to the NFL.”Gallimore was also named the top-ranked prospect by the Canadian Football League’s Scouting Bureau for the 2020 CFL Draft scheduled to take place on April 30. Canadian Neville Gallimore was expected to hear his name called during the 2020 NFL Draft and it finally happened in the third round.The Oklahoma defensive tackle was tapped at 82nd overall by the Dallas Cowboys and will now join fellow Canuck’s L.P. Ladouceur, Tyrone Crawford and Christian Covington in Texas.last_img read more

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