12-12-2017  9:16 pm      •     
MLK Breakfast
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NEWS BRIEFS

Special Call for Stories about the Spanish Flu

Genealogical Forum of Oregon seeks stories from the public about one of history's most lethal outbreaks ...

Joint Office of Homeless Services Announces Severe Weather Strategy

Those seeking shelter should call 211 or visit 211.org. Neighbors needed to volunteer, donate cold-weather apparel ...

Q&A with Facebook's Global Director of Diversity Maxine Williams

A conversation on diversity and the tech industry ...

City Announces Laura John as Tribal Liason

Laura John brings an extensive background in tribal advocacy and community engagement to the city of Portland ...

Humboldt Sewer Repair Project Update: Dec. 4

Environmental Services continues to repair more than 3 miles of public sewer pipes ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

OPINION

The Skanner Editorial: Alabama Voters Must Reject Moore

Allegations of predatory behavior are troubling – and so is his resume ...

Payday Lenders Continue Attack on Consumer Protections

Charlene Crowell of the Center for Responsible Lending writes that two bills that favor predatory lenders has received bipartisan...

Hundreds Rallied for Meek Mill, but What About the Rest?

Lynette Monroe, a guest columnist for the NNPA Newswire, talks about Meek Mill, the shady judge that locked him up and mass...

Top 10 Holiday Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pet

Dr. Jasmine Streeter explains why pampering pets with holiday treats can be dangerous (and pricey) ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ENTERTAINMENT

National Security Adviser Michael Flynn speaks during the daily news briefing at the White House, in Washington. President Donald Trump has yet to comment on the allegations that Flynn engaged in conversations with a Russian diplomat about U.S. sanctions before Trump’s inauguration. A top aide dispatched to represent the administration on the Sunday, Feb. 12, news shows skirted questions, saying it was not his place to weigh in on the “sensitive matter.” (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)
By JILL COLVIN and JULIE PACE, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Embattled national security adviser Michael Flynn's fate as one of President Donald Trump's senior aides remained uncertain Monday following reports that he discussed U.S. sanctions with a Russian envoy before Trump's inauguration.

For a fourth straight day, White House officials would not say whether Trump had confidence in Flynn. The president has not publicly commented on Flynn's status, nor has Vice President Mike Pence, who previously denied that Flynn had discussed sanctions with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the U.S.

Pence and Flynn spoke twice on Friday, according to an administration official.

Trump has told associates he is troubled by the situation, but he has not said whether he plans to ask Flynn to step down, according to a person who spoke with him recently.

Flynn was a loyal Trump supporter during the campaign, but he is viewed skeptically by some in the administration's national security circles, in part because of his ties to Russia.

The administration official and both people with ties to Trump spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations.

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi called for Flynn to be fired, saying he "cannot be trusted to put (Russian President Vladimir) Putin before America."

On Friday, The Washington Post reported that Flynn addressed sanctions against Russia in a call with Kislyak.

The report contradicted repeated denials from Trump officials, including Pence, who vouched for Flynn in a televised interview.

Flynn has since told administration officials that sanctions may have come up in the calls, which coincided with the Obama administration slapping penalties on Russia for election-related hacking.

It's illegal for private citizens to conduct U.S. diplomacy.

Flynn's conversations also raise questions about Trump's friendly posture toward Russia after U.S. intelligence agencies concluded that Moscow hacked Democratic emails during the election.

Stephen Miller, Trump's top policy adviser, skirted the issue on several Sunday news shows, saying it was not his place to weigh in on the "sensitive matter" or to say whether the president retains confidence in Flynn.

Several other White House officials did not respond Sunday to questions about whether Trump had confidence in his national security adviser. Their silence appeared to reflect some uncertainty about the views of the president, who is known to quickly change his mind.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who led Trump's transition planning before the election, said Flynn would have to explain his conflicting statements about his conversations with Kislyak to Trump and Pence.

"Gen. Flynn has said up to this point that he had not said anything like that to the Russian ambassador. I think now he's saying that he doesn't remember whether he did or not," Christie said on CNN.

"So, that's a conversation he is going to need to have with the president and the vice president to clear that up, so that the White House can make sure that they are completely accurate about what went on."

The controversy surrounding Flynn comes as the young administration grapples with a series of national security challenges, including North Korea's reported ballistic missile launch.

The president, who was joined at his Mar-a-Lago estate by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe over the weekend, voiced solidarity with Japan.

Trump meets Monday with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and later in the week with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The White House is also dealing with fallout from the rocky rollout of Trump's immigration executive order, which has been blocked by the courts.

The order was intended to suspend the nation's refugee program and bar citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S.

Advocacy groups contend the government has rounded up large numbers of people as part of stepped-up enforcement. The agency calls the effort no different from enforcement actions carried out in the past.

 

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