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Obama warned Trump not to hire Flynn during Oval Office Visit

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Political Editor- LeNora Millen

Former President Obama warned Donald Trump last November, just two days after the election not to hire Mike Flynn as his national security adviser, according to a former senior Obama administration. Trump ignored the advice — later firing Flynn in February for misleading the White House about contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

Obama delivered the warning, which was first reported in an NBC exclusive, after meeting with Trump for 90 minutes in the Oval Office—two days after the election, according to a former White House official.

Obama did not initially plan on discussing his concerns about Flynn, according to a former Obama White House official, however, advised Trump that he should “think twice” about hiring the retired Army three-star general during their discussion about hiring personnel.

The revelation about Obama’s warning to Trump, materialized as former acting Attorney General Sally Yates was scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee about Flynn’s contacts with Russia’s Ambassador Kislyak and concerns she raised with the Trump White House in January.

A holdover from the Obama administration’s Justice Department, Yates was acting attorney general for ten days after Trump took office. She was fired after stating that the Justice Department would not defend Trump’s executive order seeking to ban travel from seven Muslim-majority countries.

Yates testimony is expected to provide specific details about the warnings that she gave the White House counsel about Flynn discussing sanctions imposed by the Obama administration with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, and later misleading Vice President Pence and other officials about his conversations.

Flynn was fired from his position as National Security Advisor 18 days after Yates’ visit to the White House after media reports about the existence of a transcript of Flynn’s contacts with Kislyak.  The transcripts were recorded as part of routine U.S. intelligence monitoring of foreign officials’ communications.

Trump sends out an early morning tweet on the day that Yates’ was set to testify,

“General Flynn was given the highest security clearance by the Obama Administration – but the Fake News seldom likes talking about that,” he tweeted Monday morning.

Trump also urged lawmakers to ask Yates about leaked information about Flynn.

“Ask Sally Yates, under oath, if she knows how classified information got into the newspapers soon after she explained it to W.H. Counsel,” he tweeted, referring to Yates’ conversation with White House counsel Donald McGahn.

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper also scheduled to testify before the Judiciary Committee, fired Flynn in 2014 as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency—the Pentagon’s spying arm, for what some officials cited as poor management, often described as contentious and other unspecified issues.

Clapper could face questions about statements made in a March television interview.  At the time, he said that he saw no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence agencies before he left office.  Clapper has since attempted to clarify his response to the March interview.  Clapper stated that he cannot determine what the other intelligence agencies may have discovered in their investigations, and because of the sensitive nature of classified information, he cannot speak for what the other agencies may have uncovered.

Yates’ testimony could give clarity to how she communicated concerns about Flynn possibly being blackmailed or compromised by the Russians.  Details about her statement to the White House counsel, which was described by White House officials as a general “heads-up” about Flynn’s contacts with Russia and not a specific warning, will be addressed. Yates’ denies that her concerns about Flynn far surpassed, a general “heads-up.”

Flynn and Kislyak were in touch in late December, and on the 29th, the same day that the Obama administration levied sanctions in response to a determination by U.S. intelligence agencies that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government had interfered in the U.S. election in an effort aimed, in part, at helping Trump win.

 

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Business

Former Congressman Harold Ford Jr. Fired by Morgan Stanley for Alleged Misconduct

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Harold Ford Jr., a former congressman, was fired by the financial services firm Morgan Stanley following allegations of misconduct, NBC confirmed on Thursday.

Morgan Stanley declined to say specifically what prompted the firing. The allegations were presented after a woman who was not employed at the firm accused Mr. Ford of acting inappropriately in a professional setting.

Mr. Ford’s termination reported by HuffPost as an exclusive has been challenged by the former Congressman as “false claims.”

Harold Ford Jr., a former congressman, was fired from his position as a managing director at the financial services firm Morgan Stanley for what the company described as behavior “inconsistent with our values.”CreditMike Groll/Associated Press

In a statement provided by his lawyer, Mr. Ford denied the sexual harassment allegations, stating in a tweet on Thursday that he will be bringing legal action against the reporter, for making false claims against him, as well as Morgan Stanley for wrongful termination.

“This simply did not happen,” Mr. Ford wrote. “I have never forcibly grabbed any woman or man in my life.” He added that socializing with members of the press was part of his job, and said that “false claims like this undermine the real silence breakers.”

Mr. Ford served five terms in Congress as a Democrat representing a Tennessee district after first being elected in 1996—serving as Congressman from 1997 to 207.

He joined Morgan Stanley as a managing director and senior client-relationship manager in 2011 as a vice chairman and senior policy adviser at Bank of America.

Amid the heightened scrutiny of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior toppling key figures in the entertainment and political arena, Mr. Ford is the latest high profiled man to lose his job in recent days for similar allegations.

Time magazine on Wednesday named the “Silence Breakers” its Person of the Year. They shared personal stories about harassment and assault and sparked the #MeToo movement.

According to Time, the #MeToo became a hashtag, a movement, a reckoning. But it began, as great social change nearly always does, with individual acts of courage.

In a tweet acknowledging his thoughts on the “Silence Breaker” quite pointed in his statement, Mr. Ford said the following in regards to news of his firing on Thursday, “This simply did not happen.  I have never forcibly grabbed any woman or man in my life.”

In another tweet, Mr. Ford spoke about his professional demeanor and his tremendous respect for the brave women speaking out “in this important national dialogue.”  Mr. Ford was pointed in stating that false claims alleged against him “undermine the real “Silence Breakers.”

Mr. Ford appeared as a frequent guest on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” MSNBC – which is owned by NBC 4 New York’s parent company.

“We are looking into the report about Harold Ford Jr.,” a spokeswoman for MSNBC said. “During that time he won’t be a guest on MSNBC.”

LeNora Millen            12-7-17

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TV One Cancels Roland Martin’s Morning Show ‘News One Now’

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TV One is canceling Roland Martin’s morning show “News One Now,” Roland made the announcement in a tweet Wednesday.

“Fam, the sad news is true. The staff of @tvonetv #NewsnewOneNow was informed this afternoon that after four years of doing groundbreaking and award-winning work, the show will cease production at the end of the year,” Martin tweeted.

Martin, who thanked audiences for their support, said the last episode will air on Dec. 21.

Roland Martin’s morning show “NewsOne Now” was cancelled due to budget cuts according to various reports from reliable sources.

“They called a meeting on Wednesday and told the staff they were canceling the show. They’re having significant financial problems and they have to scale back,” a source said. “After four years of award-winning programming and distinguished service to our viewers as the only black daily newscast on television, the network has made the difficult decision to suspend the production of NewsOne Now as a daily morning news show. The last live show is scheduled [Dec. 21],” TV One’s interim GM, Michelle Rice wrote in a memo.

Host of “News One Now” Roland Martin speaks on stage during ColorofChange.org 10 Year Anniversary Gala. (Rob Kim/Getty Images for ColorOfChange)

The news of “NewsOne Now” cancellation shocked Martin and staffers according to sources. The network had recently expanded the morning show to two hours in September.

The memo added: “While we will continue our long-standing partnership with Roland Martin to ensure his important voice can be heard across all Urban One platforms examining issues of importance to the black community, we regret this decision adversely affects several of our valued colleagues whose positions will be eliminated with the suspension of the show.”

The network issued a statement on Twitter that read, “We are committed to providing quality news to our viewers and to our long-standing relationship with @rolandsmartin #NewsOneNow who will continue to have a voice on #TVOne.”

LeNora Millen         12-07-17

 

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Editor Picks

President Donald Trump will recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel

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Why declaring Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is so controversial?

The final status of Jerusalem has always been one of the most difficult and sensitive questions in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. If the United States declares Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, it would be seen as prejudging that question, deciding an issue that was supposed to be left to negotiations and breaking with the international consensus on the holy city.
Recognizing Jerusalem as the capital also moves the United States one major step closer to relocating the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which would be seen as cementing Israeli sovereignty over the city.

More from CNN…

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